Hunters and trappers often tan their own animal hides, or send the animals to a tannery or taxidermist to have the hides tanned. Tanning deer hides was traditionally performed using the animal's own brain. Chemicals in the brain contain the tannins used in brain-tanning. A deer's brain is usually large enough to tan its own hide. In order to brain-tan a hide, you must first remove the brain from the skull.
Remove the deer's head by cutting through the neck bone at the base of the skull. Use a large knife or hacksaw.
Shave or cut away the skin located in the ridge-line between the eyes and toward the back of the antlers; use a sharp knife. Ensure that the skin is scraped free, and that the skull bone is fully exposed.
Cut a V-shaped trench in the skull using a hacksaw. Pry the skull slightly apart. Use the antlers to provide leverage.
Scoop out the deer's brains using a spoon. Place the brains in an airtight container. Preserve the brains with refrigeration.
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