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How To Salt Preserve A Deer Hide With Fur On

Often after the hunt you may want to tan your own deer hide but do not have time on that day. If you want to keep your deer skin for later tanning, a simple process of salt curing the deer hide will save it for later.


After you salt cure your deer hide you can put it away and wait for warmer weather or when you have time for the long process of tanning the hide properly. The salted deer skin will last for months, sometimes years if kept dry.


First, the only two things you will need is a dull knife or butter knife and a 2-3 pound box of pickling salt. The salt should be the non iodized type.


The process shown can be done with the hair on. Later when you tan the hide you can make your decision to remove the hair if you want.




Lay the hide fur down on a flat surface. Take your dull knife and scrape off all the fat and meat chunks that may be left behind on the deer skin. This is a lot of work and will probably take an hour or two to properly clean off all the fat. There may also be some membranes left on the skin.


Once the skin is cleaned of all fat, lay the hide out on a flat surface large enough so that the complete deer hide lays flat.


Take your salt and sprinkle it liberally all over the deer skin with the fur side down. Cover every surface of the skin with salt. Do not be shy and use lots of salt.


Salt curing deer hide with fur on

Salted deer skin laying out to dry




The salt will pull out the moisture from the skin as it dries. Moisture will collect in pools and run off the skin. Pour off any puddles and resalt any bare skin. Keep repeating this process until the deer hide is dry and stiff.


How to salt cure a deer skin

Close up view of salted deer skin


When the deer skin is dry you can brush off any excess salt. Now you can put the skin away in a dry place until you are ready to tan it properly. One idea for saving the skin is to make a wooden frame just a few inches larger than the deer hide on all sides and string out the skin on the frame. Now you can hang it on the wall, fur side out as a sort of wall hanging.

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Troy Reid



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