This may have been my last above 35* day for many months, and would have been nice for smoking a couple skins, but the deer just isn’t ready.
That’s one of the things I like about this work: it forces me to slow down, to do things not at my will but in their due time.
I can’t control the weather to make a hide dry faster. I can bring them into my warm home, but the other side to that coin is that I don’t want them drying too quickly or they may lack suppleness.
If the snow that’s predicted to fall tonight sticks around, then I’ll just smoke hides in the snow. When they’re ready.
Meanwhile, I have been alternating scraping and stretching the deer hide in my workshop and my home.
As always, the white parts are dry and the blue parts are still wet.
Last night’s work on the deer:
Deer skins, in my experience, dry faster and harder than sheep. I think this is because of the insulating factor of wool – even though it’s only on one side of the skin, I think it hampers air flow.
Another thing on my mind recently – how’s that for a transition – is that the colder weather will give me opportunities to harvest roadkill. There may be some buckskin or bark-tanned deer hides in my future. If I’m lucky, some nice winter furs from unlucky raccoons. And if I’m really lucky, a fox.