I smell like wet dog.

Well, actually, I smell like wet MOOSE… because I managed to flesh and mostly membrane a moosehide today.

I learned two things:

  1. Keep pressure hose off concrete, or else vibration will eventually wear a hole in said hose.
  2. Moose softens INCREDIBLY easier than cow. I’m starting to really understand why the brain-tanners refuse to even touch cow. I’m very likely, should I be able to source hides for tanning, to start working more in deer and elk and moose, simply because it’s so much less work to soften.

UPDATE:  It’s looking pretty good now, and is sitting in the frame sun-to-fur so that it can finish drying out.  I’ll take a couple of pics once I take a break.  I’m beat, and I’ve gotta be at the gym in two hours.

  1. (on softening)  Yeah.  That in spades.  Unless somebody wants tooled saddlery stuff, I’m not looking back.  Fergit cow.  I just softened sections of that hide that would have taken a semi-industrial process in cow, on the fly as an impromptu “break,” as I hot-stuffed another side of leather.
  2. A bigger and better (bulk-rate) frame would have helped.  I had to lose a couple of corners by the back legs because my frame wasn’t big enough to let me work them right.
  3. The fur itself has a really nice russet shine to it: the alum bath really seems to have brought out some of the color.  I’m thinking of rolling it up when it’s done and I’ve cleaned the fur off, and storing it wrapped up in a bag with cinnamon oil or something to block the scent, so that my wife objects.  She’s never had a dog, let alone a wet, dirty dog, and while the smell will diminish rapidly once it’s dry, it just seems like the “married” thing to do.

Or, maybe, I could rub it down in rosemary or lavender or something like that.  Rosemary, probably.  I just can’t see “lavender moose” as anything other than a bad disco trip.

Leave a comment


  1. I am thinking that you smell like DEAD Moose

  2. Well, there’s a touch of that, too. But it was caught early, so it’s no worse than hanging around the early stages of a pig roast…

  3. eowyn

     /  May 31, 2007

    aaaaand this is news to anyone?

  4. Well look at what the cat dragged in…

  5. I cannot wait to see the new spring fashion line from this:

    “Here is Grog, wearing the latest in Dead Moose. Am I the only one, or does that russet moose hair just look Faaaabulous on Grog?”

    “I agree Janet. The way he carries that Cro-magnon war club just accentuates the smell that he carries down the ramp.”

    “He certainly has the crowd raving. Notice the way that the fleas popping off of that sucker just carries a cloud of MAN about him!”

    “Ah, yes. We live in fortunate times when we can see the likes of this kind of fashion walking down the ramp!”

  6. E: Hey, there, stranger! How’s it shakin’?

    HP: Yes, the smell’s very much like wet (or sweaty) shaggy dog, kind of like my German Chow-pherd on a hot, summer day. Since the Bunny didn’t grow up with dogs, it’s no wonder the Bunny hasn’t quickly gotten used to the smell.

    And, since the moose hide is draped along the frame and one sawhorse, the Marmot commented, “Looks like the throne of Odin.” 🙂

  7. Hrm… spray it with febreeze or something with ozone. Ozone kills smelly things.

  8. Alex

     /  June 1, 2007

    Ozone? Oh that would be fun to watch as he hooks up an arc welder to generate enough electrical breakdown to make O3 that it sets the moosehide on fire creating an even more wonderful “aroma” for the neighborhood to enjoy.

  9. happycrow

     /  June 1, 2007

    I know all kinds of stuff that kills smelly things… that’s not the problem. (I mean, part of this is that it’s a moose, and smells like a moose, right?) I’m just thinking that a nice overlay scent would help, once it dries enough that it has a MILD moosy scent. (Up at Fort Jackson, the buffalo hide in their museum room still smells like buffalo if you sniff it, and that sucker looks to be at least sixty years old).


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