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A Doe was hit by a car in front of my house. The impact broke her hip, the sheriff came and was supposed to kill her but he shot her in the back of the neck just under the skull and we ultimately stabbed her in the heart and slit the throat to end it quickly for her馃挃 we were given permission to keep it to use as much of it as possible but the meat is not safe for consumption bit I would really like to save the pelt(she was pretty) and I plan on retrieving and cleaning the bones once nature takes over after the pelt is removed. It has been just over 24 hours as of right now (I have never skinned a deer and have been asking all of the people I know for help but just discovered this forum!) How long is too long to wait to try and save the pelt? I have a friend that might help me because he knows what he is doing but he doesn't know how long is too long either? Please help! It would be a shame to waste more of this beautiful animal than necessary. I don't want her death to mean nothing
 

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Depends on what the temps are in your area. I would give it a shot. Worst case, you lose the hair and end up with a piece of rawhide. Having extra rawhide is never a bad thing. How are you planning to tan it?

Wolf
 

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Welcome to here!

I do things the old-fashioned primitive way (no chemicals), so my advice may differ from others.

Generally, a fair test would be to see if the fur is "slipping" or not: grab a bit of fur between your thumb and index finger and pull fairly hard. If you end up with fur between your fingers, it is too late to save the hide for fur-on purposes.

However, you may be able to save the hide for fur-off purposes such as leather and rawhide IF you hurry. Time and heat are your enemies. Untreated, you can quickly end up with a stinking and rotting hide. You either need to process it for tanning or else treat it for working with it later.

What I do with hides that I can't process for tanning right away: I flesh it out very well, removing all of the fat and meat, then sprinkle borax on both sides of the hide. (20-Mule Team Borax is great and is found in the laundry department of most stores). It's been my experience that borax keeps flies, insects, and most animals off of the hide better than salt.

Before sprinkling the borax, I like to stretch my hide on a homemade rack, pretty much like our First Americans did. This helps to dry it out quicker and ensure that ALL parts of the hide is well covered in borax.

First I borax the fur side, working the stuff deep into the entire fur to the skin. Then I carefully flip the hide/rack over and position it so that the flesh side is up (some of the borax will fall out, but that is ok), and work the borax well into the flesh side of the hide, covering every bit of it in a 1/4 - 1/2 inch layer of dry borax.

Over several hours, the borax may become damp with moisture from the hide. Simply brush it off and reapply a fresh layer of borax. After it dries some for a few days, I flip the rack over so that the fur side is up, and work some more fresh borax into it as before, then carefully flip it over and work in more borax into the flesh side again. Allow the boraxed hide to dry completely in a well-ventilated area.

During a particularly busy season, I forgot about one of my dried and boraxed fur-on hides and found it a few years later. It was in great shape. I shook the borax out of it and hung it on the wall. The fur never slipped out of that hide, even after several decades. It was stiff, not soft and pliable as with a tanned hide. But still beautiful and the wall didn't mind.
 

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A Doe was hit by a car in front of my house. The impact broke her hip, the sheriff came and was supposed to kill her but he shot her in the back of the neck just under the skull and we ultimately stabbed her in the heart and slit the throat to end it quickly for her馃挃 we were given permission to keep it to use as much of it as possible but the meat is not safe for consumption bit I would really like to save the pelt(she was pretty) and I plan on retrieving and cleaning the bones once nature takes over after the pelt is removed. It has been just over 24 hours as of right now (I have never skinned a deer and have been asking all of the people I know for help but just discovered this forum!) How long is too long to wait to try and save the pelt? I have a friend that might help me because he knows what he is doing but he doesn't know how long is too long either? Please help! It would be a shame to waste more of this beautiful animal than necessary. I don't want her death to mean nothing
Why is/was the meat not safe for consumption?
 

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I don't have a specific answer for you. I'd say the sooner you get it off the carcass and start processing it the better. In warm weather especially, time is of the essence.

The front shoulders should be safe btw. Heck, even the hind quarters provided her guts didn't actually rupture.
 

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Why was the meat not safe?

GA gave a good tutorial. Hair slippage happens pretty quick, but you can still make rawhide with it for quite some time.

Found the use of borax interesting. Used salt before in a similar way. Some people will freeze the hide to work on it later, or to take it to a taxidermist. But do not attempt it if you have salted the hide. Let it dry out. A dry hide is ok, too. You can still scrape it, if there is anything to clean up, and tan it, and remoisturize it. Some people like to use the brain to condition and soften the hide, also.

The sheriff just left, without making sure the deer was dead!?

Don't stress too much about the waste. Nice to use what you can, but the scavengers have to eat, too. At least you gave it a kinder death than it would have been afforded had the coyotes, wolves, or bear got to it first.
 

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I don't have a specific answer for you. I'd say the sooner you get it off the carcass and start processing it the better. In warm weather especially, time is of the essence.

The front shoulders should be safe btw. Heck, even the hind quarters provided her guts didn't actually rupture.
Didn't think that maybe the guts rupturing was maybe the reason she was worried about the edibility.

If a person had to eat, tainted meat is pretty awful, but still safe to eat.

But to avoid all that, the gutless method works well, and you can get just about everything without opening the deer. Just have to kind of work carefully around the rear end.
 
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