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#175103 - 01/30/02 07:06 PM Hide won't seem to dry
Kentucky Fisherman2 Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 5
Loc: Louisville, KY USA
I've got a yote hide that I fleshed, washed, let drip dry for a while, then started salting. My question is this: This hide is in its third day of heavy salting and it's still quite soft and pliable. It shows no signs of wanting to stiffen or harden as I expected it should.

Do you think I'm doing something wrong, or maybe it's just that the humidity is a little high, so it's just gonna take a while. Do properly salted hides always end up real stiff, or do some of them stay soft, even with the salt?

The hide's case skinned and I've been salting it leather side out. This afternoon I decided to turn it and see if perhaps the fur was damp. The fur was still a little damp and I figured maybe that was keeping the hide from drying, so I took a hair dryer and very slowly dried the fur out some. The underfur is quite dense and wooly, so I figure it was holdling quite a bit of moisture that I had overlooked. guess I should have turned it hair side out and let that dry real good before starting the salting, huh?

So what do you think, guys, will this hide harden up if I keep changing the salt?

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#175104 - 01/31/02 03:48 AM Re: Hide won't seem to dry
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
If you washed it Fisherman2, then hanging it to air dry with the fur out for a while would have been a good idea. Drenched fur will slow the drying process.
There's no harm done here. You must have some rather high humidity right now, because the hide should be well on it's way to being dry by now.
[QUOTE]Do properly salted hides always end up real stiff, or do some of them stay soft, even with the salt?[/QUOTE]
They should get rock hard if they are completely dried. If exposed to damp conditions they will soften as they pull moisture from the air around them.

Let us know how it goes.



------------------
~River Runner~

Champion Tannery

www.predatormasters.com

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#175105 - 01/31/02 03:55 AM Re: Hide won't seem to dry
River Runner Offline
PM is my life

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 8930
Loc: Bloomington, WI
Just thought of something else, fisherman2.
Are you using a coarse grade of salt? I know coarsely ground salt will slow the drying time down also. Salt like you sprinkle on your sidewalk in the winter.

The best thing to use is fine ground, resturaunt grade salt. You can buy it at a lot of cattle feed stores real cheap.

------------------
~River Runner~

Champion Tannery

www.predatormasters.com

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#175106 - 01/31/02 05:28 AM Re: Hide won't seem to dry
Tim Behle Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 219
Loc: McNeal, AZ
When I was in Indiana, It wasn't unusual for it to take 2-3 days in the winter, for a coyote to dry enough on a stretcher for me to turn him fur side out. Then another week of drying like that until it was dry enough to ship.

I have to watch them a lot closer now. The humidity is so low in SE AZ that they can be turned after only an hour on most days. I've had a few I've had to wet down to turn after 2-3 hours.

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#175107 - 01/31/02 06:03 AM Re: Hide won't seem to dry
Kentucky Fisherman Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 181
Loc: Louisville, KY USA
RR, I followed some earlier advice from you and went to a farm supply store for the salt. Bought a 50lb sack of non-iodized fine ground feed salt for a little over $3, and that's what I'm using. It's at least as fine as table salt, maybe finer.

I guess it's just a matter of not letting the fur dry enough before I turned the hide leather out for salting, plus the high humidity we've had the past few days. It's been either overcast or showering for several days now. I brought the hide inside and put it in my furnace room night before last, when the rain started. Since my furnace is in there, I figure that room might stay a little drier and there's decent air circulation from the furnace blower.

If anything else occurs to you guys, or someone else has tips, I'd love to hear them. The annual meeting of the Kentucky Fur Takers Assn. is not far from me this Saturday, so I may take the hide down there in order to have someone give me a hands-on evaluation of the fleshing and to make sure it's curing OK. I hope I can find some old timers to give me some good pointers on fleshing, too, because I think I have a lot to learn in that area.

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#175108 - 01/31/02 10:57 AM Re: Hide won't seem to dry
Jimmie in Ky Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 03/14/00
Posts: 3133
Loc: Mayfield KY
Hey KF. I use canning salt on my hides that I cure. It won't dry until this weekend when the weather takes a turn for the better or worse depending on your view point Our humidity play's hell when trying to dry hides here.I've had deer hides take as long as 3 weeks even with changing the salt daily. Be sure you packed the salt well in around those ears and feet if you left them on . Jimmie

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