These quality elk leather hides are tanned using a method that emulates the traditional brain-tanning process. These are whole hides with some holes, blemishes, and scratches on the leather. Most of these imperfections are near the side of the skin. They come in different sizes and shapes. Each piece is different.
These commercial brain-tanned hides have a smoky smell and are supple. They average about 22 to 23 sq. ft., ranging from 16 to 25 sq. ft.
Elk are not an endangered species, and are not killed just for their skins.
A U.S. Fish & Wildlife export permit is required for all shipments outside of the United States.
The smoked deer, elk, and moose hides have a strong smell of wood smoke. This is considered to be a desirable trait by many customers, but can be overwhelming for people living in a small house or apartment. The smoke leaves creosote behind that binds with the fibers in the hide. This keeps the hide soft and flexible when wet and helps to preserve the hide, making this leather ideal for gloves and moccasins. The smoke will dissipate with time and use, but it can take years for most of the smell to leave.
It is possible to remove much of the smoke smell by placing the hide in a tub and washing it with soap and water. The hide then needs to be tacked out on a piece of plywood so it does not wrinkle when drying. We do not offer this service for customers, so please consider undertaking this project before buying these hides if you are worried about the smell of smoke being too strong.
If you like the color and want hides that have had much of the smoke smell removed, please let us know and we can offer this on a custom-order basis. It can take weeks to months to get specially prepared hides by the man who does the tanning.
Should you be unhappy with your purchase, please let us know as soon as possible. You can return the hide in its original condition for credit. You pay shipping and insurance both ways. We do not accept the return of hides that have been cut, treated, altered, processed, or damaged after shipment to you.
We measured several commercial brain-tanned elk hides to get the following sample sizes:
- Hide #1 is 57” x 34” and is 15 sq. ft.
- Hide #2 is 71” x 42” and is 20.5 sq. ft.
- Hide #3 is 73” x 37” and is 19 sq. ft.
- Hide #4 is 78” x 38” and is 22 sq. ft.