Wet Tan Versus Dry Tan


New member
May 25, 2015
Reaction score
Hunting reports
USA, New Zealand, South Africa
I've read everything I can find on the subject of Wet Tan vs Dry Tan, a bit that I could fine here on AH and a lot around the web. It seems like the general consensus is that they generally are both good tanning methods (nearly split down the middle with preference) UNTIL you bring "African Taxidermy" in to the mix; it seems that the general reputation is that dry tanning in Africa is a bad idea. I will be on a hunt in a few weeks and have been working with Highveld Taxidermy for the dip/pack and shipping. They also offer a dry tan option that would save me a fair amount of money eliminating dip costs and lighter shipping weight. I'd be curious to know if any one here has used the dry tan method and how the result turned out. I am not willing to sacrifice the quality of the mount to save but if the general "African Taxidermy Reputation" is prevailing over the truth that a reputable dry tan can be just as successful as a wet tan then I would consider that route. Thanks in advance for the feedback.
I prefer my tanneries tanning, and sure a dry tan IS just as good as a wet tan , if the dry tan IS mounted within a year of the tanning being done. I do wet tans as when the skin is tumbled the last process I don't get as much dermis loss around the ears and eyes. And wet tans are already soaked up I don't have to deal with that part of it.
If a client of mine has pre tanned skin, I guarantee nothing.
I do not know if they will soak up the way I want them to.
If they will have enough stretch and softness after wetting to them up to mount with the same quality as I am used to.
Don't know how well they will hold a stitch, how many holes will they put in them during the process.

I have never see or dealt with their tanning so I cannot tell you if it's any good or if it's bad.
It's chance I would not take with my trophies unless they sent me a tanned cape to try ....
There are lots of horror stories on Africa tanned skins- I'm sure there are good palces over there but it's a big gamble.
With some tanneries there is no difference in the process they just don't dry tumble and do any drum sanding. I've mounted with both and didn't see much difference, I usually prefer dry tan as I don't have to keep as much in the freezers.
With some tanneries there is no difference in the process they just don't dry tumble and do any drum sanding. I've mounted with both and didn't see much difference, I usually prefer dry tan as I don't have to keep as much in the freezers.

Yes but I assume Jeff you are talking about American tanneries. The Poster was asking about having his African skins dry tanned in Africa. The consensus is that is a risky endeavor. Another taxidermist friend of mine had a few tanned in Africa because he was misled by the PH that there was some type of quarantine in the area that required it versus salt,dip and ship. Even being a taxidermist he was unable to work with or even save the hides once they arrived in the States. The American tannery had a hard time distinguishing between his dry/salt hides and the "tanned" ones until he went up there and told them which capes were supposedly tanned. Once he tried to re hydrate and work with them, they began to rip and there was zero stretch.
buck, he seemed to me not asking whether to have them tanned but rather wet versus dry. I also recommend strongly to have tanning done here at the tannery of your taxidermist's choice.

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest posts

Latest profile posts

looking for 300 h & h flanged ammo
Looking for shipping advice. I will be hunting in Limpopo in March, and was wanting to know a general idea of shipping costs to return my mounts to the US when completed. Air or sea? Only plains game hunting.
BLAAUWKRANTZ safaris wrote on gpiccs94's profile.
You are welcome to join our family at Blaauwkrantz in February. We have been hosting international hunters since 1978 and known to be the best kudu hunting in the world! we are based on our 100 000 acre ranch, an hours drive from the Port Elizabeth airport. Please email me on info@blaauwkrantz.com
CrippledEagle wrote on 7MAG's profile.
Good morning 7MAG. I have a NEW, never mounted, Leupold M8-4X Extended Eye Relief scope that I will sell you for $325 shipped to you. I was a Leupold rep for 12 years and this was always our preferred mounting for a lever gun, scout rifle style.
DLSJR wrote on Will Clark's profile.
You’ve got an interesting screen name. Will the Thrill provided lots of great times for me as a lifelong Giants fan. Even though I never met him, a number of buddies either duck hunted or shared a dugout with him. He’s a great guy according to those guys. Cool screen name and if that’s your real name, it’s a great one.