Frozen Hides and Capes
Frozen hides capes are the easiest to work with, because freezing doesn't shrink the hide or cape. Frozen items must be shipped by Express services such as UPS 2nd Day or Next Day Air so that they don't spoil in shipment. This increases the cost substantially. You can thaw a frozen item by leaving it out at room temperature for several hours. Be careful not to let it sit too long, or it may spoil.
Tanned Hides and Capes
Purchasing hides that are already tanned saves the taxidermist the work of tanning the cape or expense of having it tanned. Capes and hides shrink when they are tanned. Getting the stretch back out is a lot of work and requires a lot of skill.
Capes are usually measured as the neck size behind the ears on the tanned cape. This is why the neck sizes listed for tanned capes are smaller than salted or frozen capes. A rule of thumb is to expect 20% stretch, but every cape is different and the amount of stretch you get out depends on the work you put into it.
Getting the stretch back out of a tanned hide or cape is a lot of work. Getting the full size back out, will require more than just soaking ("rehydrating") the hide or cape. Most taxidermy supply houses offer special soaking or stretching solutions that will help you get the most out of your hide or cape.
Salted / Dried Hides and Capes
Hides or capes are salted and allowed to dry to preserve the hide or cape and to lower the weight by removing the natural water from the skin. This saves shipping costs associated with shipping frozen hides or capes, but it makes it more difficult to get the stretch back out. Hides and capes shrink when they are salted. Getting the stretch back out is a lot of work and requires a lot of skill.
Capes are usually measured as the neck size behind the ears before the hide is salted. The longer a cape has dried, the less it will weigh and the more work it will be to get the stretch back. Capes purchased during hunting season will stretch more easily, capes purchased the next spring will have dried harder and will take more work.
Getting the stretch back out of a salted / dried hide or cape is a lot of work. Getting the full size back out, especially after the cape is well dried, will require more than just soaking ("rehydrating") the hide or cape. Most taxidermy supply houses offer special soaking or stretching solutions that will help you get the most out of your cape.
A good way to think about this is that a salted hide or cape is kind of like a piece of meat. You can dry a piece of meat to make jerky. You can spray a piece of jerky with water, but it won't turn into a steak.
All dressed, raw or salted items which have been soaked down or relaxed in any manner cannot be returned.
If you are purchasing raw, dried or salted items to tan yourself or by a third party, note that there is an inherent risk in the tanning process and we cannot guarantee the outcome of anyone else's work.
We do not guarantee the neck size or measurement you will get out of the hide or cape.
We assume no responsibility for delivery condition of frozen items.
For complete information on ordering, check our Ordering Page.