"Men show their superiority inside; animals, outside."

Russian proverb

 
Trophy Preparation

Curing Hints for Game Hides

 

Purpose of curing is to protect, by the use of salt, freshly flayed hides and skins from attack by micro-organisms and to render them storable for a prolonged period of time. There are many methods to follow, but remember that the longer curing is delayed, the greater the risk of disappointment with the end result. It only takes 6 hour for the bacteria to destroy the hair roots, causing hairslip.

 

So, how can we reduce the risk of bacterial damage?

 

Method

 

  • Skin the animal as soon as possible after shooting.
  • Remove excess fat and flesh.
  • Wash off all blood and dirt with cold water
  • If possible, soak the skin for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight in a saturated salt solution (about 20 kg's salt per 100 liters of water), together with a bactericide such as dettol at the rate of about 50 ml per 100 liters of water.
  • As you remove the skin from the solution, open and flatten the skin on a clean surface with the flesh side facing up and cover the skin with salt. Be liberal with the salt.
  • As a guideline, use an equal quantity of salt to the wet weight of the skin. The skin must then lie in salt for at least 3 days, after which the skin should be dried out. Avoid leaving a skin in the sun, but try and air dry as quickly as possible, as the sooner the skin is dehydrated, the better. If one does not have time to do this, the skin must be rolled in the salt and dried at it's destination.

 

DO NOT:

 

  • Drag the animal or leave it in the sun after it has been shot.
  • Salt a skin that has already started to dehydrate. Rather soak it in a strong salt solution as above.
  • Do not leave blood, flesh or skin in a plastic bag, except for transportation only.
  • Keep as cool as possible.

bull's eye taxidermy