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Braintan Elk Hides, Articles, and Raw Skins

An elk hide tacked out to dry.

      In principal, braintanning an elk hide is just like braintanning a deer hide, only bigger. In practice, however, many people feel that it is more work to tan one elk hide than to tan multiple deer hides to obtain the same amount of finished buckskin. In addition, braintanned elk hides are typically slightly thicker than braintanned deer hides, seemingly ideal for moccasins, yet may not hold up to wear and tear any better than a deer hide.

      Nevertheless, the extra square footage of a braintan elk hide is a luxury when laying out a pattern to make buckskin clothing, especially where large pieces and few seams are desired. For example, when working with smaller deer hides, a buckskin jacket or dress can become a patchwork of many hides stitched together. But with braintanned elk hides, it is often possible to cut out full sized pieces and make seams only where required by the pattern.

An elk resting in the snow.       Do to the extra size and weight of elk hides, it can be impractical to hand-soften the brained hide, unless you have muscle-man arms. The easier method to soften an elk hide is to lace it up in a rack and stake it. Better yet, lay the rack horizontally on four stumps to make a trampoline. Don't jump up and down on the hide, but wallk gently around and let gravity do the work to stretch the fibers of the hide. Be extra careful near the holes where the laces run through. Too much weight can tear the holes open. Work carefully, and you will soon have a beautiful, big piece of braintanned elk buckskin all our own! Check out the links below for articles, videos, and finished elk hides.

Sources for Braintanned Elk Hides
-Trapline Lodges
-Circle S Leather
-Kentucky Leather and Hides
-Braintan Buffalo Robes and More
-Traditional Tanners
-Rocky Mountain Braintan

Articles about Braintanning Elk Hides
-Brain tanning an elk hide step by step
-Brain Tanning Elk, Moose and other BIG Hides
by Billy Metcalf

Videos about Braintanning Elk Hides



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Books
authored by
Thomas J. Elpel
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, andthe Blossoming of Human Spirit
Roadmap
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Living
Homes
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids
Shanleya's
Quest

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