has anyone ever Brain Tanned a deer hide - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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has anyone ever Brain Tanned a deer hide

Can someone explain how to Brain Tan a deer hide, My father wants to try it and I have no idea how? or where to get directons? any help would be appreciated..

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 12:17 AM
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Re: has anyone ever Brain Tanned a deer hide

I have not tried it, but the saying is accurate that every animal has enough brains to tan their own hide. I have directions, but I will have to locate them.

okay this is what I have:
mash the brains into a slimy paste and rub them thoroughly into the wet hide. During the process, the hide will become softer, thinner and translucent. If you have taken the hair of the hide, do both sides. If you take the hair off soak the rawhide a few hours in a little water with the paste on. If you left the hair on, skip that soaking step.
Finally, stretch the hide. This brain tanning can only be done after a lot of scrapping and removing flesh/meat/fat. I guess this is being attempted just as principle, because there are easier ways to preserve a deer hide. Good luck and I hope this helps. The information came from a survival book and once again I have never tried it.

There is no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people asking questions.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 09:48 AM
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Re: has anyone ever Brain Tanned a deer hide

you should boil the brain first due to desease that can infect you through a simple scratch in the skin. and no 1 brain is not enuff to do 1 hide effectively. you need more like 2 1/2

He never said it would be easy;
He only said it would be worth it!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 02:32 AM
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Re: has anyone ever Brain Tanned a deer hide

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of work to brain tan a hide.

-flesh off all meat/fat.etc
-dehair ( can do so by allowing to start rotting in water, the fur will start to slip out with the epidermis)
-stretch out to dry as rawhide
-sand both sides of rawhide which helps absorb the brain mix faster and better
-remove prepped hide from frame and cook brains up in a little bit of water, and then allow to cool
-wet the hide back out with brain mix and keep soaking with more mix in till rehydrated, then wring out as much of this liquid as you can
-work the hide by pulling, rubbing over something, and more pulling, till hide starts drying about 1/2 way
- apply more brain mix, wring, and work the hide again till 1/2 dry
- do it again 2-4 more times, then keep working the hide till it's dry and soft as flannel
- roll hide up and store till you can do the smoking process

I haven't done the smoking part, but I know it involves old dried punky wood, and a frame for the hide so it smokes evenly. You have to flip the hide to the other way to smoke the other side as well.

There are books on how to do this dry scrape, or to do wet scrape, as well as all sorts of stuff online on how to do it different ways.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 10:06 PM
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Re: has anyone ever Brain Tanned a deer hide

I wonder how many other things were tried before they came up with that
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 10:21 PM
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Re: has anyone ever Brain Tanned a deer hide

I heard that the "squaws" used to chew the hides to make them soft. Good luck with that!
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