Pre-Tannery Hide and Trophy Care

Follow these steps to help insure a quality finished product.

Step 1

Skin animal as soon as possible. Or bring animal to us to skin it. Or freeze whole animal if it is under 40 pounds.

Step 2

Wrap hide in plastic garbage bag and place on ice if refrigeration is not available. Do not place the hide directly on ice or get the hide wet. Do not wash the hide. Transport to tannery. If your animal is already frozen, ice is not neccesary. If this is not an option continue to Step 3.

Step 3

  • Freezing

Roll hide flesh side together with face and feet inside. Wrap hide well in 2 layers of plastic bags, squeeze out as much air as possible and seal bag. Freeze. Do not store more that 6 weeks before delivering to tannery to prevent damage by freezer burn.

  • Salting


Do not salt in temperatures below 40 degrees F or above 80 degrees F, to prevent your hide from freezing or rotting before the salt has a chance to work. Remove all meat and fat from hide. On capes and life-sizes turn/split ears, eyes, lips and feet. Use fine hay/stock salt, non-iodized (available at feed store), never coarse or rock salt. Pour thin layer of salt on floor and lay hide hair side down on top of it. Pour some salt on flesh side of hide and rub vigorously making sure to rub onto every square inch. Pack salt into ears, eyes, nose, lips and feet. Then cover entire hide in 1-2 inches of salt. You cannot salt too heavily! Do not skimp on salt! Salt is cheap compared to replacing your trophy or hide. Allow hide to sit for a minimum of 48 hours for thin hides (deer and thinner) minimum of 3 days for thicker hides (beef, buffalo) but no longer than 5 days for any hide. Then shake salt off and hang hair side up on wooden rack for 12- 24 hours to dry hair then flip hide so flesh side is up and allow hide to dry almost completely. Once hide no longer looks or feels wet but still bends fold hide with hair sides together and roll with feet/faces inside roll. Allow your hide to dry in roll at least 2 weeks before shipping.

  • Shipping

All Orders

Do not ship fresh, frozen or damp hides with out calling first! Thoroughly dried and salted hides can be shipped without prior notification. Please print a Shipping Form and include with order and deposit. Include CITES tags for all bear, bobcat, cougar, wolf, wolverine, etc, with order, if applicable. Ranch-raised items like buffalo, North American raised exotics, etc, do not need a wild game ledger, unless you were required to purchase a hunting license or tag to hunt them. Domestics like beef, goats, horses, sheep (wool and hair) do not require any additional information. When shipping orders in multiple boxes include your name and contact information in each box (business card or equivalent) and include only one shipping form per order, not per box! Be sure to clearly mark boxes with box number (1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3) when shipping orders in more than one box. Ship all hides via UPS only. Always insure your shipments as we are not liable for items/orders lost or damaged during shipping. Be sure that the estimated delivery date is no more than 3 business days for frozen skins.

Packaging Hides

When boxing hides do not pack delicate hides and furs like antelope, deer, etc, under heavier items like moose, elk and beef as they can be damaged. Make sure all ears, feet and tails are folded inside the bundle and not exposed as they can be damaged or broken off during shipment. Please see photo tutorial below. Be sure to securely seal all boxes and tape all openings as UPS can consider packages leaking salt as hazardous and destroy them accordingly. Always use a box no larger than absolutely necessary as this saves on shipping costs and reduces the risk that your box may be damaged or open up during shipping.

Taxidermist Customers

Be sure to permanently mark hides with your customer information with a numbered punch. Do not use tags as these are sometimes lost or destroyed during the tanning process. We are not responsible for lost or damaged tags. Always include your Taxidermy License # on all shipping forms. We cannot process your order as wholesale without it. WA Wholesale must have a completed resale certificate on file to get the sales tax exemption.