Deerskins into Buckskins 2nd Edition



By Matt Richards, 240 pages plus photos and illustrations.

Seven years of substantial improvements to the tanning process, woven into the easy to follow format of Deerskins into Buckskins. Deerskins into Buckskins is a step-by-step presentation of the simplest traditional method we know of to tan a hide. Most folks who have tried the tanning method in this book, now use it. Also features the most thorough chapters on using stone, bone and wood tools, history, science, hide glue, and garment construction.

A new 15 minute step that creates:

  • Easier to soften Hides.
  • Hides that come out super soft.
  • Hides that take the dressing even when dry, which in turn:
    1. Removes the variability of trying to get the perfect moisture content before dressing.
    2. Makes it much easier to get complete brain penetration on thick hides, which makes tanning
      thicker hides such as moose, elk or even thick deer, way less work.
    3. Makes it so you can skip one of the wringing steps (which takes 15 minutes itself).

This step is such a great improvement that it has really motivated me to put out this new edition.
Other key new highlights include:

  • Different skinning cuts for a better hide shape.
  • How to tan Moose, Elk & Antelope.
  • Bibliography (thorough and user-friendly).
  • Important improvements to the Bucking process.
  • Important improvements to the Dressing step-by-step, to ensure success for first timers.
  • A step-by-step guide to varying this books’ Basic Method if you want to tan without the bucking step.


Customer Reviews      Avg. Rating:     Number of Reviews: 6      Write your review

Awesome Book
Reviewed By: Screamin’ Eagle from the mountains of Pennsylvania     May 29 2001

This is probably the best source to begin learning how to tan, for the beginner and excellent reference for the advanced tanner. I often refer to my copy, learning more each time I open it, and refresh my newly acquired knowledge. Have used the books method for 20+ hides to date. Due to every hides different properties, I only had minor difficulties with 3 hides, which was discussed in “The Hide Out” and resolved.

If you are looking for a more complete book on brain tanning, it isn’t out there yet…. while you are continuing to look, read Deerskins into Buckskins and you will have what you need to brain tan.

Brain Tanning Made Simple
Reviewed By: Timothy L Blanchard from Albany, New York     March 11 2000

This is definitely a must for anyone wanting to brain tan hides! I am just getting started and through the information given in this book, was able to figure out the mistakes that I made on the first three hides I did. I also know that I can go back and correct those mistakes and make my hides better! They are not ruined, nor do I have to leave them as is. I can make them even better.

The organization of the book is superb. When “newbie’s” such as myself get to a point in the process of tanning a hide and had “brain fade” (which happens to me a lot!) it is very easy to go right to the correct section to find out what you should be doing. The many illustrations really assist a beginner to grasp what is being discussed in the text. Nobody should think about tanning hides without having this book as a guide throughout the process!

Thanks Matt for a wonderful reference manual.

Must Have Brain Tanning Book
Reviewed By: Chris “AboNormal” Hanson from the Heart of South Dakota     March 10 2000

This is a must have book for any hide tanner! Matt’s (re)discovery and publication of the bucking process is nothing short of revolutionary.

I’m sure “Deerskins into Buckskins” is responsible for the conversion of many a diehard dryscraper. I have been brain tanning for 10 years and have yet to find a more efficient process. The book is succinct, informative, with easy to follow instructions. The trouble shooting sections would be especially beneficial for the first-time tanner. I’d highly recommend it to anyone interested in brain tanning regardless of their experience level. If you had to pick only one book to have on the braintanning process, this should be it.

Muchas Gracias!
Reviewed By: Vaughn Terpack from the Southeastern US     March 5 2000

It has often been said that any book is worth the price paid if only one sentence amongst the many thousands therein does something for the reader. If that one word or sentence is structured in such a way that it makes things in the reader’s head click together in some cohesive manner, often the rest of the book doesn’t matter.

So it is with Matt’s bit of writing. By his own admission, Deerskins Into Buckskins isn’t a perfect bit of literature. However, we must look beyond that (it’s coming from Matt after all!!!) to find the one sentence.

Personally, there were two things in this book that made it more than worth the price paid. The first was the cover photo were I was able to determine the benefits of hanging a skin rump-up by a cross bar. Now, my skins are far better.

Secondly, there was that interesting idea about using glue instead of staples or needle and thread. To say that I experience Nirvana after trying that would be an understatement in the extreme. I cannot adequately express how greatly this changed the quality of my tanning operation and the finished skins.

Proving the old adage correct, Matt’s book doesn’t glitter with fancy drawings or great use of the English language, but it is golden nonetheless. You absolutely must have it in your home library.


Perfect Buckskins
Reviewed By: Ben Magiera from Pine Valley, CA     June 15, 2005

The book Deerskins into Buckskins is perfect for the beginner who is just getting into buckskinning or for the experienced buckskinner who just wants to refresh his/her knowledge on buckskinning. The book is quick, concise and to the point. This book is the best and easiest one I’ve ever read. If you are having trouble getting started or just having problems  period this is the books for you.


Best instructional book ever written
Reviewed By: Dan Aitchison from Ridgefield, CT     April 23, 2008

This is by far the best instructional book ever written on any topic that I’ve wanted to learn. Taking you from the very first step clear through the very last, Deerskins into Buckskins covers all the bases. Not only is it extremely well written, but it is also well organized and easy to reference. Great for the beginner who might not have any hands on experience or personal guidance; this book can teach you how to make great quality buckskin on your first try! (This is where I and friends learned from!) For those who are experienced tanners, Deerskins into Buckskins would be a good reference book and one that might teach you a few “fine tuning” tricks. Matt mentions the wrong moves before you go there, and what to do if you do. Many great buckskins owe their success to this book. The video is a good companion to help see the steps in action.



Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 8.5 × 5.5 × 1 in


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