Sunday, November 29, 2009

***WARNING*** Graphic Images...

Do not scroll down if you're sensitive to the sight of blood, or images of dead things.


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Still here? Good. My son killed a deer yesterday. If you've been here lately, you'll know that means he brought home a hide for me to tan. In the book I bought, the author called the process of prepping the brains for use in the tanning process making "brain soup" .. and that was enough to make me run screaming from the whole mess. I had intended to use the brains, because it's the most natural and authentic you see, but decided on an less disgusting easier method.

This is the package that Chad brought home:


See how neat and tidy it all is? I figured it wouldn't stay that way, so I made an "apron" out of a garbage bag.

The head was included in our little gift package, but since we wouldn't be using any part of that now, I had to remove it along with the tail.


Peeling off the nasty bits.




Scraping off the rest of the nasty bits. I didn't have a proper scraping tool, so this part was a real bitch. If I do this again, I'll be looking into some better tools.



And then, into the drink. Weighed down with some rocks, it will soak in a lye solution in a plastic garbage can (outside) for the next few days, stirring occasionally, until it's spongy and the hairs are loose and easier to remove.


The most exciting part for me was that I handled this whole thing without a single gag reflex. I'm not sure if it was because it was fresh and not all that bloody, so there was very little smell. Or maybe because I wore gloves, eliminating the problems caused by my texture issues. Or maybe because I had to do it in the dark, in 40 degree weather and was more concerned with just getting-done-for-chrissake-so-we-can-get-in-the-house. It didn't bother the kids much either. As Cadence and I scraped, Riley played with the head. "Look, Mama, I closed his eye." "Look, Mama, I made his ears point up/back/sideways." **shudder**

There are harder steps ahead, as far as actual work and time spent on the hide, but the grossest part is over, and we all handled it really well. More photos and updates soon!

5 comments:

Katherine said...

Hey, a deer! Way to go, kiddo. And way to go, Heather. Y'all rock.

Gail said...

Congrats on the first deer.

And really impressive on the scraping-without-gagging. I'm not sure I could do it.

Christine said...

It didn't look as horrid as I imagined.
If Riley weren't so cute, her playing with a dead deer head might be creepy ;) I LOL'd at her comments.

MOM #1 said...

Wow. Gross. I knew I'd be grossed out, but I had to look anyway. You know, I'm just weird like that, LOL.

Sort of not really but still kinda looking forward to the updates.

rae said...

Wow,Heather. You've come a long way, baby! I am in total AWE! You can now live among the Missouri hillbillies with absolute assurance of fitting in. You rock.