Hide Tanning Workshop

The next Hide-Tanning Weekend Workshop will be held April 6-8, 2018


People holding hidesThis workshop is a powerful challenge. Attempting the very physical act of transforming raw animal skin into useful leather is an ambitious undertaking!  We provide nutritious meals, cozy lodging, a welcoming campus, knowledgeable and skilled staff, good tools and high quality materials. You provide the elbow grease, effort and labor. With focus, determination and dedication it is possible to walk away with a finished hide. We will do everything in our power to help you succeed. As we are all students, at different learning levels, based on diversity of skill sets, age, past experience, exposure and physical prowess, each participant will have a unique experience. 


This particular weekend workshop begins at 10am on Friday and ends at 4pm on Sunday. The entire time is required. White tail deer hides will be provided for each participant from tagged deer harvested and taken to a meat processor. They are hides that would otherwise be discarded. Our intention is to honor the sacred parts of each animal and use them to their highest purpose. This class coveres the wet-scrape brain tanned method of making buckskins. We will flesh and grain each hide on a beam, rather than in a frame. Dry scraping in a frame is another valuable (often superior) method of brain-tanning, but takes too long to complete in a 3-day workshop. The hides provided in this class will already be off the deer and quick-fleshed and occasionally soaked in a basic solution ahead of time to help the hair slip. All finished hides will be bare. Hair-on methods are not covered in this class.  (This class does not cover hunting animals. Hunting classes are offered on a case by case basis, during open season to licensed hunters ages 15 and older by Eustace. To learn more about that, please leave a message at (828) 265-2267)

Location: 8 miles east of Boone, NC - the awe-inspiring base camp at Turtle Island Preserve: just 2 miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway - Bamboo Gap Exit

Cost: $300.00 per person *All overnight lodging, meals, tools and materials included

Cancellations: A non-refundable deposit of 1/2 your total will be retained for all cancellations.

Road Conditions: watch the video of our actual gravel driveway

Testimonial: I went to Turtle Island for the hide tanning workshop in March 2017. It was an amazing experience - everyone was kind and welcoming and I came away with a ton of new knowledge about the craft (among other things) and a finished hide!

I think the best part of my experience was the other people - volunteers and fellow workshop attendees. Everyone seemed so genuinely happy to be there and interested in learning and helping out. I wish I was surrounded by so much positivity in my everyday world.
Also the food is INSANELY GOOD!!!! I can't wait to come back - hopefully soon! - Alexandra Pike

How To Register:

Print and complete the Workshop Registration Form, mail in with your payment and completed 2-sided Medical/Liability Form to:

Turtle Island Preserve
Attn. Hide Tanning Workshop
2683 Little Laurel Road
Boone, NC 28607

Attention Visitors - Please Note:

WARNING: Under North Carolina Law, A Farm Animal Activity Sponsor Or Farm Animal Professional Is Not Liable For An Injury To Or The Death Of A Participant In Farm Animal Activities Resulting Exclusively From The Inherent Risks Of Farm Animal Activities. Chapter 99E Of The North Carolina General Statutes.

WARNING: Under North Carolina Law, There Is No Liability For An Injury To Or Death Of A Participant In An Agritourism Activity Conducted At This Agritourism Location If Such Injury Or Death Results From The Inherent Risks Of The Agritourism Activity. Inherent Risks Of Agritourism Activities Include, Among Others, Risks Of Injury Inherent To Land, Equipment, And Animals, As Well As The Potential For You To Act In A Negligent Manner That May Contribute To Your Injury Or Death. You Are Assuming The Risk Of Participating In This Agritourism Activity.

Important Liability Waiver - Read before entering: Please be aware that Turtle Island Preserve is NOT LIABLE for your safety, health or any impairment of it. Enter at your own risk. Your presence represents your acknowledgement that you accept full liability for any damage to your person or property. This applies to everyone on the property or associated with Turtle Island Preserve.

After You've Registered:

Please print and READ this info prior to arrival

Driving & Parking Directions (for this weekend workshop only)

What to Bring (for this weekend workshop only)

Orientation Info (you NEED to know this in advance)