Hide Tanning Workshop

The next Hide-Tanning Weekend Workshop is in October of 2019


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 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)



Date/Time: April 5-7 arrive 9am Friday, depart 5pm Sunday

Available Spaces: limited to 12 adults (no unchaperoned minors)

Cost: $375 online, $360 by postal mail (hot meals & overnight rustic lodging included)

Cancellations: non-refundable deposit (1/2 of total) is retained for all cancellations

Road Conditions: 1.5 miles off-road gravel - watch the video(link is external)

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


How To Register:

Option 1: Pay $375 online w/ credit card using the 'Buy Now' button below - and email these forms to: mail@turtleislandpreserve.com(link sends e-mail)




Option 2: Pay $360 w/ check or money order by Postal Mail - print and enclose these forms to:

Turtle Island Preserve

Attn. Hide TanningRogers Cabin - open air wood floor overnight shelter

2683 Little Laurel Road

Boone, NC 28607



After You've Registered:

Driving Directions

What to Bring on overnight stays

CRUCIAL Orientation Inf



Testimonials from Participants:

Lee T. Hide Tanning Workshop Fall 2017This turned out to be the most amazing weekend I have had in a VERY long time. The place is magnificent! Its all primitive and simple, yet sophisticated and so real. If you ever tried to build a driveway or a cabin by yourself, you’ll know right away how much effort and how many hours went into creating Turtle Island. Its a lifetime of work that I have so much respect for.  …And the people! In our modern world, when you are deep into all this homesteading and rewilding stuff, you constantly have to explain yourself sometimes almost convince people that you are not completely out of your mind. How fabulous it was to be surrounded for a whole weekend by people who get you. They just know the value of eating a meal from a wooden bowl you carved yourself; they get it, no need to explain. It was a simple but truly amazing experience. -Lee T.



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! 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



ATTENTION ALL VISITORS: Read Before Entering - 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 you/your children’s person or property. This applies to everyone on the premises or associated with Turtle Island Preserve programs.

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.