piebald whitetail deer running - taxidermy by Nathan Wilson of Wilson's Wildlife Artistry

Mount by Nathan Wilson of “Wilson’s Wildlife Artistry” of Crossville, TN. Nathan uses our PRO-MAXX TANNING SYSTEM for all in shop tanning. Wilson’s Wildlife Artistry is one of the largest studios in Tennessee.

PRO-MAXX is a short-cut system for those that want complete schedules and simplicity. It is most similar to our BRUSH ON TANNING System.


Instructions for Average Deer-Sized Cape:
The base formula is good for average deer, black bear, boar, or mule deer size cape.
NOTE: use 1 1/2 times the amounts for x-large capes, pedestal capes, etc.…
see instructions below for “Miscellaneous, Large or Life-Size Skins”.

1. split & turn – remove red meat and fat

2. wash skin in COLD water (1/2 fl oz Atesan LPW per gallon for soap) …
– rinse / drain briefly & proceed to tan solution…OR…
Option: a simple “2 hour BRINE-SOAK” will produce whiter skins
SALT BRINE: 1 volume quart salt per 1 gallon COLD water
(3 gallon for avg. deer cape…rinse well / relax in COLD water & proceed to tan)
Note: the BRINE SOAK is simply a short-cut for salting to remove blood & fluids…OR…
you can salt overnight, and rehydrate in cold water the next morning…
if skins are “salt-dried”, rehydrate overnight, then proceed to tan (see Rehydration Instructions)

“Odorous and/or Blood-Soaked Skins” – salt heavily overnight…
(elk, goats, sheep, bear, coyote, mink, antelope, etc.)
next morning knock salt off & wash in following bath until completely relaxed:

  • 2 fl. oz. Atesan LPW (or Degreaser) + 1 cup salt per 5 gallon WARM water (80 deg F)
    (plus 1/2 cup Deodorizer for odorous skins)
  • rinse in COLD water / drain briefly…proceed to tanning solution


  • 5 gallon clean, cool water
  • 5 lb. salt (mix well) …56 volume / fl. oz.
    (Lowe’s paint cup quart: 32 fl. oz. + 24 fl. oz.)
  • 8 fl. oz. PRO-MAXX TAN (mix well)
    (recommended for greasy skins: 1/2 cup Degreaser)

4. add skin to tan solution (skin-side out / down…hair-side in / up)
NOTE: use 2 rope tote system for free-float / submersion without compression…
(for floating whitetails…fur bearers sink & do not float)
add couple gallons water in second tote for equal weight distribution overnight

  • agitate well for 5 minutes, then every 30 minutes first 2 hours…
    then periodically for 3 days minimum
  • keep submerged overnight
    (float cape inside-out w/ shoulders spread out in a circle, hair-up like a “floating umbrella”)

    skins can be left in the tan…agitate 1-2 times / week
    (put lid on if stored for extended time, so water doesn’t evaporate)

5. shave skin (degrease GREASY and/or ODOROUS skins after shaving)

6. return skin to tan solution overnight minimum


  • in a separate pail, mix 1 cup baking soda into 5 gallons cool water
  • remove skin from PRO-MAXX Tan Solution (hold in separate pail)
  • add the 5-gallon “NEUTRALIZING MIX” into the EXISTING tanning solution (MIX WELL)
    Note: add half the neutralizing mix and mix well, then add rest (it will foam hard)
  • re-add skin & agitate periodically for 1 hour

    Neutralizing Option #2: neutralize in a “separate” solution (just like for BRUSH ON TANNING) …
    this is used when you want to tan “multiple” capes together in a larger PRO-MAXX Tan Solution
    Example: you can use a 20-gal. tan for 4 capes, and not end up with a 40-gallon neutralizing mix…
    neutralize them one at a time while leaving remaining capes in the PRO-MAXX Tan Solution
  • drain skin from PRO-MAXX Tan Solution
  • per 5 gallons of water
  • 2 cups of salt
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda – MIX WELL before adding skin
  • add skin & agitate periodically for 30-45 minutes
    (thin skins / fine furs: 2 gal. water + 1 lb. salt + 4 tbsp. baking soda…agitate 15 min.)

8. remove skin & rinse in cool water…spin-out / drain to thirsty (damp, but not wet)

9. apply warmed PRO-MAXX OIL (appx. 8 fl. oz. for avg. deer cape)
Note: how to oil a tube incision cape (use same method for salting)

  • apply oil to front / inner hair-side of ears w/ cartilage
    (oil does not penetrate cartilage well)
  • fold skin-to-skin / hair-out & sweat overnight at room temp.
    (ready to mount or bag & freeze…do not wash / rinse before freezing)

10. Wash Formula for Optimal Cleanliness:
– 5 gallon lukewarm water
– 2 cups salt
– 1 fl. oz. Atesan LPW or Degreaser

CAUTION: hard well water can alter solution pH…check pH end of Day 1, 2, 3…
make sure pH is lower than 2.0 (add 1 fl. oz. PRO-MAXX TAN to lower)
NOTE: we do recommend checking pH first couple times you use the PRO-MAXX system
just to validate there are no variables in your water system, etc. that could raise the pH…
it is rare that the pH needs lowered, but skin weight variables make it better to be than
sorry (we recommend at least one pH check end of Day 2)

The base formula is good for an average deer, black bear, boar, or mule deer size cape…
use 1 1/2 times amounts for x-large pedestal cape, x-large boar, etc. or appx. 12 lb. green skin…
see instructions below for miscellaneous and/or large, life-size skins.
(if in doubt about skin-size & what formula to use, use the Miscellaneous Skin Formula)

Mounts by Abel Everage using PRO-MAXX TANNING SYSTEM…

Bobcats and Average Coyote Size Skins:
(bobcat, average coyote, raccoon, fox, beaver, otter, etc….for large coyote use deer tan formula)
Note: for fur bearers, you can shorten the time in tan to 2 days before shaving and degreasing…
always return to tan after shaving and degreasing for at least overnight

  • 2 1/2 gallons water
  • 28 volume oz. salt (or 2 ½ lb.)
  • 4 fl. oz. PRO-MAXX TAN
    (recommended: 2 fl. oz. Degreaser)
  • Neutralizing Mix “in the tan”: add 2 1/2 gallons water and 1/2 cup baking soda
    (neutralize 30 minutes…15 minutes for fox)

Small Mammal Size Skins:
(squirrel, mink, weasel, etc.)

  • 1 gallon water
  • 12 volume oz. salt (or 1 lb.)
  • 2 fl. oz. PRO-MAXX TAN
    (recommended: 1 fl. oz. Degreaser)
  • Neutralizing Mix “in the tan”: add 1 gallon water + 3 tablespoons baking soda
    (neutralize 15 minutes)

Miscellaneous / Large or Life-Size Skins:
(weigh raw skin after removing red meat and fat)

  • 1/2 gallon water per lb. raw fleshed skin
  • 1 lb. salt per gallon water
  • 2 fl. oz. PRO-MAXX TAN per gallon water
    (recommended: 1 fl. oz. Degreaser per gallon…or 1/2 cup per 5 gallon is good)
  • Neutralizing Mix (add to tan):
    1 cup baking soda per 5 gallon water (match water volume of tan solution)
    (neutralize 1 hour)

For example (20 lb. skin):

  • 10 gallons water
  • 10 lb. salt
  • 20 fl. oz. PRO-MAXX TAN
  • 10 fl. oz. Degreaser (1 cup is good)
  • Neutralizing Mix: add 10 gallons of water + 2 cups of baking soda

Degrease Greasy Skins after shaving:
– bear, raccoon, beaver, boar, coyote, bobcat, fox, otter, mink, etc.
Degrease Odorous Skins after shaving:
– goats, sheep, antelope, elk, skunk, etc.

Degreasing Bath Formula for Greasy and/or Odorous Skins:
(use same water volume as tan solution)

  • per gallon WARM water (80-85 deg F)
  • 3/4 cup salt (1/2 lb.)
  • 1 fl oz Degreaser
  • Odorous skins: 1 fl oz Deodorizer
    • agitate periodically 1 hour (thin skins / fine furs: 30 min.)
    • remove, drain only, and re-add to tanning solution

Note: tan deer flats and/or larger skins using the “Miscellaneous Skin Formula”

  • sweat PRO-MAXX Oil in overnight
  • (thick skins: elk, bear, etc. – apply 2nd coat next morning before hanging to dry)
  • hang skin-exposed to dry…stretch during drying and break at 85-90% dry until soft

(see dry-tan finishing for any oiled skin on SUBMERSIBLE – TANNERY QUALITY SYSTEM page)

INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTO TANNERS: Tanners that run 1-2 rpm are ideal
(we recommend the “brine soak” for 2 hours first, rinse and proceed)
For the average deer cape:

  • do gentle on/off cycles first 2 hours (run 5 minutes, off 15 minutes, etc.)
  • run tanner all day…leave skin soaking overnight shoulders up / skin-down (tanner off)
  • Note: if tanning longer, run the machine 5 minutes 2-3 times a day
  • shave, then return to tanner and run another 1-2 hours
  • “neutralizing mix” – add to tanner and run 15 minutes
  • rinse, spin-out and apply warmed PRO-MAXX Oil (sweat overnight)
  • TANNERS w/ TIMERS: run 5 minutes every hour morning to morning

(NOTE: do not use mechanical action tanning for fur bearers or mule deer)

Mount by Wes Mote…Wes uses the PRO-MAXX or
BRUSH ON TANNING SYSTEMS for all his whitetails…
“and of course PRO-1 HIDE PASTE!” Wes Mote

2021 Nationals / Division of Excellence
. North American Champion – OM Whitetail / BOC
. Bruchac Award
. Breakthrough Best of Show
. Virtuoso Award for Excellence in Molding & Casting
. People’s Choice Best Whitetail

Mount by Jena Everage…Jena exclusively uses the


2021 Nationals / Division of Excellence
. North American Champion – CM Whitetail / BOC
. Distinguished Taxidermist Award