Last Updated On: November 24, 2022

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If you're wondering "what are deer hide uses?", then this guide is for you.

I'll tell you 5 common uses to take full advantage of deer hide after harvesting. Check it out:

deer hide uses

Why Deer Hide Should Be Kept?

If you are like most deer hunters today, I know what you are probably thinking. “Why would I go to the trouble of keeping a deer pelt?

Although this mindset is fairly prominent among many circles of deer hunters in the modern age, it might be keeping you from getting the most out of your harvest.

Ever since the days of primitive man, animal hides of all varieties have been viewed as every bit as valuable as the meat that it protects.

Throughout history, deer hide has been used for a number of purposes, and it hasn’t been until recent times that hunters have begun viewing a hide as being of little value.

Although, it is true that a certain amount of extra effort is required to remove the hide in a manner that preserves its integrity, the reward is worth the effort.

The following is a list of some of the top uses for deer hide. Keep reading:

5 Awesome Deer Hide Uses That You'll Love:

1. Tracking Dog Training Aid:

Tracking Dog Training Aid 2

If you have hunted for any period of time, you have more than likely encountered an instance where you have made a less than ideal shot on a deer.

This is a natural part of hunting. Although we, as hunters, try to minimize these occurrences, eventually everyone experiences such circumstances.

When this occurs, lengthy tracking jobs are typically necessary. During this process, the trail might run cold, leaving you in a bind. In these cases, the use of a tracking dog is highly valuable.

But how nice would it be to have a trained tracking dog at your disposal should the need arise? This is where deer hide becomes a valuable commodity.

Deer hide is commonly used as a training aid when teaching a dog to track wounded deer. The hide naturally contains a deer scent that a dog’s nose can easily pick up on.

Deer hide can be given to your dog at a young age in order to help them become well accustomed to the scent. As time progresses, the hide can be hidden in order to force your dog to seek it out.

Eventually, you can drag sections of deer hide across a wooded area to create a scent trail for your dog to practice following.

This simulates the actual trails that your dog will be following in the event that an actual tracking job must take place.

By keeping an entire deer hide, it can be cut into strips and frozen or otherwise preserved in order to secure a large amount of training stock for your dog’s needs.

2. Barter With A Taxidermist:


Have you killed a buck that you do not wish to get mounted? This is a wonderful opportunity to save your deer’s hide for use by others.

Taxidermists are always in need of deer hides to use as replacement capes for other clients. In this case, a little bit of added effort can benefit you in the long run.

Every year, taxidermists are tasked with attempting to rectify less than ideal situations for their clients. The most trying of these situations is handling cases where the cape from a client’s deer becomes unusable.

There are a number of cases where this situation can take place. Some hunters are inexperienced at camping out deer for amount.

When this is the case, the cape is often trimmed too short for use or incorrect cuts are made rendering the cape unusable.

In other situations, a tracking job might have turned lengthy and the cape of the buck that was intended for use in the mounting process becomes spoiled.

By saving the hide from your deer, you can be providing a helpful service to your local taxidermist. They can use the hide as a replacement cape when in a time of need.

In doing so, many taxidermists will barter with you in exchange for your hide.

It is common for taxidermists to offer large discounts toward their future services for hunters who provide them with deer hides for replacement capes.

This is especially helpful if you ever intend to have a deer mounted in the future, as these discounts will save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

3. Sell Your Hide:

clothing manufacturers


Many large clothing manufacturers use deer hide in their production processes. This use creates a demand for quality hides.

Although the fur market is not what it used to be in the 1970s or 1980s, furs of all types can readily be sold to fur buyers.

Many areas have a local or regional fur buyer that purchases furs and sells them to larger wholesalers who market them to clothing manufacturers.

You can get in touch with these local or regional buyers in order to inquire about the going rate for deer hides or to sell your hide in the event that you have one available to the market.

The contact information for many local fur buyers can be found with a quick internet search by googling “local fur buyers”.

If these efforts do not turn up the needed information, seek advice from trappers in your area.

Most trappers communicate frequently with local fur buyers and can provide you with their information.

Alternatively, you can sell your hides directly to large market auction companies. This might be your best option if you live in a remote area that does not have a local fur or hide buyer.

In the event that you do decide to sell your hides directly to a large market company, many require hides to be properly dried according to market protocol.

The shipping address for these companies, as well as their required drying protocol, can typically be found on their web site.

Fur and hide buyers also often only buy premium hides that have been skillfully skinned out. This is an art that only comes with time and experience.

However, instructional videos that outline the process can be found on content sharing sites such as YouTube. Here’s how it works:

  • Go to
  • Search Skillfully Skinning A Deer
  • Watch videos until you feel confident enough to do it on your own

Although you will not make a fortune selling deer hides, you can generate a few extra dollars that can be reinvested into future hunting gear purchases.

4. Skin Hide For Tallow:

The interior portion of a deer’s hide is coated in a layer of dense fat. This fat, if properly prepared, can be used in a multitude of projects.

Fat from deer hide can be scraped and collected into a suitable container. Once this fat is removed it can be simmered to separate any remaining meat.

Once this fat is rendered, a substance known as tallow forms as a byproduct. This tallow is highly prized for its nearly endless list of uses. Take a look:



Tallow is commonly used in the production of organic-based soaps. This is due in large part to its moisturizing properties.

If you enjoy dabbling in craft making, this can be an excellent weekend project.

On the other hand, if soap making is not of interest to you, you can locate an independent soap maker who could put this tallow to use.



Tallow can also be used as a butter substitute in the cooking process. Just as lard has been used for centuries in place of butter, tallow can be used interchangeably.

Many chefs claim that tallow is the ultimate when preparing tasty dishes and renders a taste like no other.


deer fat candle


A number of individuals value tallow for its use in the candle making process.

Tallow alone can be used to produce simple, easy to make candles to store for emergency use.

Alternatively, tallow can also be used in conjunction with beeswax during the candle making process in order to cut costs significantly.



Tallow is also a highly sought-after ingredient in making skin moisturizer.

Human skin readily absorbs tallow, making it ideal when attempting to remedy wind-chapped hands after a bitterly cold hunt.

The makers of moisturizer also prize tallow because as it is absorbed into the skin. It does not leave behind a greasy residue, unlike many other ingredients.

5. Homemade Clothing and Decorations:

Like other forms of hiding, deer hide when tanned, can be used as a durable medium for making homemade clothing and decorations.


deer hide gloves


Many ranchers or other forms of tradesmen, commonly use buckskin gloves while working on a day to day basis.

Deer hide, when properly prepared into glove form, tends to be very rugged and can easily withstand many days of strenuous work.

If you are a hunter and have deer hide at your disposal, there is no need to pay premium prices at your local farm supply store for gloves of this nature.

Deerskin gloves can be easily made at home with the use of basic supplies.

Once a hide has been tanned, the process can typically be completed in a single afternoon.

Here’s the deal:

  • Google "templates for glove making" on the internet
  • Choose your preferred template
  • Overlay the template on a segment of hiding that is to be cut
  • Cut with a sharp razor
  • Repeat the process for the other side of the glove
  • Stitch the hide together with water-resistant thread
Deer Hide Rugs
deer hide rug


Another wonderful use of a tanned deer hide is in the production of a deer skin rug.

A deer skin rug makes a beautiful addition to any hunter’s home and can be displayed in a number of ways.

Deer skin rugs can be placed on the floor in a traditional fashion, hung on the wall in the form of a highly visible trophy display, or draped over the back of a couch.

Making a deer skin rug is not extensively difficult, and can be done by almost any hunter, no matter his or her experience level.

  • Skin your deer as you would under any other circumstances while taking care to avoid making any unnecessary cuts or knife punctures.
  • Decide whether or not to conduct the tanning process yourself. You can tan your deer’s hide in your own home with the use of a home tanning kit, or send the hide off for professional tanning for a fee.
  • After tanning is complete, stitch closed any punctures in the hide
  • Display rug as you see fit

Deer Hide Blanket

deer hide blanket


Deer skin blankets are also another popular item made from deer hide.

A deer skin blanket can be just what is needed to keep you warm on cold nights at your hunting cabin or similar retreat.

The process for making a deer skin blanket is very similar to that of making a rug.

The same process of skinning, tanning, and sewing must take place in order to produce quality work.

One special consideration when making a deer skin blanket has to do with how you choose to tan the hide.

Unlike a rug that is primarily used for display purposes, comfort is a huge function in the viability of a blanket.

If you choose to tan your deer’s hide at home when making a blanket, carefully study the different home tanning products that you can choose from.

Many home tanning solutions are known to produce a finished product that is not overly pliable. This quickly becomes an issue, as a blanket that is not comfortable is of little use.

If a suitable home tanning solution can not be secured, or if you feel that you would rather bypass the risk of subpar results altogether, the use of a commercial tannery is advised.

Another consideration when making a deer hide blanket is whether or not to include a liner of a differing material.

Although deer hide itself will produce a suitable blanket, liners made of fleece, flannel, or any number of other materials can be stitched in for added warmth.


This year, when your hunt turns successful, don’t discard your deer hide with the waste pile.

Instead, use our helpful list of deer hide uses to get the most out of your harvest.

As always, feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions that you might have.

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Robert Gate, a hunter from Texas and Founder of ArcheryTopic.

I first learned archery from my dad when I was 12 years old. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift and instantly fell in love with the pursuit.