Things to do with a Deer Hide

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You did all the preparation, made all your plans, got your buddies together, and then went out deer hunting. And then, lo and behold, you managed to bag yourself a big ole buck. You most likely cut off the head, or maybe just the antlers, butchered the venison and packed it away in the freezer, then turn sat there looking at the hide, wondering what the heck you might do with that.

To be perfectly honest, most successful deer hunters do the same thing with the hide as they do with the guts, hooves and other parts of the deer they don’t want. They leave it in the woods, or toss it the trash; which isn’t really ideal, because there are some things you can do with that hide.

If you’re not going to toss or leave it, then your only other option is to keep it then see what you want to do with it. If this is the case, then you need to clean the hide as quickly as possible to prevent lice from infesting the underside. To do this, rinse it with warm water, using your hand or a small fingernail brush to get off as much of the gooey parts as you can. Then, use a knife blade against it, not cutting, but just dragging the blade sideways against it to remove the rest of the gooey stuff that is the undermost parts of the skin. Then rinse some more and allow to dry. Then start to consider your options.

One easy thing is to give or sell it to someone else. In a lot of places where there is deer hunting there are people, or even small businesses that buy deer hides (or accept them for free) which they use to make things out of, such as mittens and gloves. This is especially true if you happen to bag your buck near an Indian Reservation. In either case, all you have to do is look in the yellow pages for the places near you and then drive the hide over and drop it off.

On the other hand, you could tan the hide yourself and then make something out of that dear skin, or you could treat it and turn it into a cozy little throw rug; they go great on hard wood floors; very soft under bare feet. Of course if you don’t know how, it could take a fair amount of research, and then the investment in time that is required, and even then there is no guarantee of success as either approach does take some skill and craftsmanship. But if you’re willing to give it a shot, there’s no harm done.

In any case, doing something with your deer hide is better than doing nothing, because otherwise it’s just going to go to waste, and that generally doesn’t fit in with modern hunting practices. Always try to use as much of the deer as you can.

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