How to Make a Deer Tail: A Step-by-Step Guide

To make a deer tail, first, properly clean and dry the tail. Then, comb the hairs out and cut them evenly.

A deer tail can be a decorative addition to a hunting cabin or a unique piece for crafts. Making a deer tail begins by acquiring a tail from a deer that has been hunted. After properly cleaning and drying the tail, use a comb to remove any tangles and smooth out the hairs.

How to Make a Deer Tail

Cut the hairs evenly to the desired length. Deer tails can be used in crafts, such as dream catchers or keychains, or simply as a natural decoration piece. The process is straightforward but requires patience and attention to detail for the best outcome. Follow these steps to make a beautiful deer tail to display or use in crafts how to make a deer tail.

Step 1: Acquiring The Deer Tail

Finding Ethical Sources

To construct a deer tail, acquiring the right source is crucial. Here are the key points to keep in mind while finding ethical sources:

  • Deer tails must be acquired legally- it is illegal to hunt, trap or kill deer without a license
  • The best way to obtain a deer tail is from a hunter who has proper licensing
  • Deer tails from roadkill can also be used, as long as it has not been contaminated or rotting
  • Avoid purchasing deer tails from online retailers, as the source may not be ethical

Preparing The Tail For Use

Once you have acquired the deer tail, preparing it for use is the next step. These are the key points you must keep in mind when preparing the tail:

  • Use gloves, and make sure the tail is free of any visible dirt, flies, or parasites
  • Cut off the meaty portion of the tail, leaving behind only the fur. Trim it to your preferred length
  • Wash the tail with mild soap and water, then dry it with a towel
  • Use a wire brush to brush out any tangles or matting in the fur, starting from the bottom and working your way up
  • Comb the fur gently, starting at the base, and working your way towards the tip
How to Make a Deer Tail

Following these steps will ensure that you have a properly prepared deer tail that is ready for use in any project. Remember to always obtain your deer tail from legal sources, and practice proper safety measures when handling it.

Step 2: Cleaning And Prepping The Tail

Making a deer tail takes a bit of skill and knowledge, but it is an essential task for any hunter or outdoorsman. In this post, we will walk you through each step of the process so that you can create a beautiful deer tail that you can be proud of.

In this section, we will discuss step 2: cleaning and prepping the tail.

Removing Debris And Excess Tissue

Before you start working on the tail, it is essential to ensure that it is entirely free of any debris and excess tissue. This step will make it easier to handle the tail and ensure that it is a clean and hygienic process.

Here are the key points to remember when removing debris and excess tissue:

  • Use a sharp knife or scissors to remove any dirt, excess hair, flesh, or fat from the tail gently.
  • Do not pull or tug on the tail as this can damage the skin or hair and make it challenging to create the final product.
  • Be sure to take your time and work carefully to avoid any mistakes that could ruin the tail.

Flattening And Separating The Hairs

Once you have removed any debris or excess tissue from the tail, the next step is to flatten and separate the hairs. This step will make it much easier to create a finished product that looks great. Here are the key points to remember when flattening and separating the hairs:

  • Use a straightening iron or hairdryer to straighten out the hairs gently.
  • Use a comb or brush to separate the hairs and ensure that they are lying flat before you start working on the tail.
  • Be sure to separate the hairs evenly and avoid clumping them together. This will give you a more natural look.

With these simple steps, you are well on your way to creating a beautiful deer tail that you can be proud of. Remember to take your time and work carefully, and you will have a finished product that you can cherish for years to come.

Step 3: Bleaching The Tail

When it comes to making a deer tail, bleaching the tail is a crucial step to achieve that pristine white color. This step, however, requires careful consideration and attention to detail. In this section, we’ll go over everything you need to know about bleaching a deer tail in order to achieve the desired result.

Selecting The Right Bleach And Prepping The Tail For Bleaching

Before beginning the bleaching process, it’s important to select the right bleach for the job. When it comes to deer tails, you’ll want to use a hydrogen peroxide-based bleach, as this is gentler on the hair and won’t cause as much damage as other types of bleach.

In addition to selecting the right bleach, it’s equally important to properly prep the tail for bleaching. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Use a comb to gently brush out any tangles or knots in the tail.
  • Fill a sink or basin with warm water.
  • Add a small amount of dish soap to the water.
  • Swish the tail around in the water to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned.
  • Rinse the tail thoroughly and shake out any excess water.

Bleaching Techniques And Tips

Now that you’ve prepped the tail for bleaching, it’s time to move on to the actual bleaching process. To achieve the best results, follow these tips:

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the bleach.
  • Mix the hydrogen peroxide-based bleach according to the instructions on the package.
  • Dip the tail into the bleach mixture and use a brush to apply the bleach evenly. Be sure to keep the tail submerged in the bleach for the recommended amount of time.
  • Check the tail periodically to ensure that it’s lightening evenly. If you notice any spots that aren’t lightening as quickly, apply more bleach to those areas.
  • Once the tail has reached the desired level of whiteness, rinse it thoroughly with warm water and gently squeeze out any excess water. Do not twist or wring the tail, as this can cause damage.
  • Hang the tail up to dry in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
How to Make a Deer Tail

By following these steps and tips, you’ll be able to successfully bleach a deer tail and achieve that stunning white color you’ve been dreaming of. Just remember to take your time and be patient – bleaching can be a slow process, but the end result will be well worth the wait.

Step 4: Dyeing The Tail

Choosing The Right Dye And Prepping The Tail For Dyeing:

Before dyeing your deer tail, you must consider the color you want to achieve and the type of dye suitable for the tail. Most hunters and craftsmen opt for natural dyes that give a rustic or traditional touch to their work.

To achieve the desired shades of colors, you can use various natural dyes, such as:

  • Oak bark or nut hulls for browns
  • Goldenrod for yellow
  • Red and purple sumac berries
  • Indigo for blue

Once you have chosen your dye, it’s essential to prepare the deer tail before dyeing. Cleaning the tail helps to remove dirt, oils, and debris, creating a uniform base for dyeing.

Here’s how to prepare the deer tail for dyeing:

  • Soak the deer tail in cold water to loosen any dirt and debris.
  • Use mild soap and water to scrub the tail gently. Do not use harsh chemicals or bleach as they can damage the hair.
  • Rinse the deer tail thoroughly in cold water and gently squeeze out any excess moisture.
  • If you want to achieve vibrant colors, soak the deer tail in a solution of water and vinegar for 1-2 hours. This process opens up the hair cuticles, allowing the dye to penetrate better.

Dyeing Techniques And Tips:

Now that you have chosen the right dye and prepared the deer tail let’s discuss some dyeing techniques and tips that ensure you get the best results.

  • Start by heating the dye in a pot on a stove, following the instructions provided with the dye.
  • Once the dye reaches the desired temperature, add the deer tail and stir continuously for even distribution.
  • Increase or decrease the dye time based on the desired color intensity. Keep in mind that natural dyes take longer to set than synthetic dyes.
  • Rinse the dyed deer tail in cold water, gently squeezing out any excess dye.
  • Hang the deer tail to dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

Here are some bonus tips for getting a perfect deer tail dye:

  • Add salt to the dye mixture to prevent bleeding and increase color intensity.
  • Test the dye color on a small section of the deer tail to see the results before dyeing the entire tail.
  • Use gloves to prevent staining your hands.
  • Experiment with natural dyes and different concentrations to create unique colors and patterns.

Dyeing a deer tail is a fun and creative process that requires patience and attention to detail. With the right dye and preparation, you can achieve beautiful rustic colors, adding a unique touch to your artwork or furniture.

Step 5: Shaping The Tail

Deciding On Tail Shape And Size

The first step in shaping a deer tail for taxidermy is deciding on the shape and size of the tail. Keep in mind that the tail should look natural and proportionate to the size of the deer. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Take note of the deer’s age and species as this can affect the size and shape of the tail.
  • Use reference images of deer tails to determine the most appropriate shape.
  • Consider the position of the deer’s tail when it was taken, a slightly curved tail may look more natural than a straight one.
How to Make a Deer Tail

Wiring And Shaping Techniques

After deciding on the shape and size of the tail, the next step is to start wiring and shaping it. This technique allows the taxidermist to manipulate the tail to achieve a natural-looking shape. Follow these steps to wire and shape the tail:

  • Start by sewing the top of the tail shut using a strong thread.
  • Next, insert a wire into the tail, making sure that it runs through the center of the tail.
  • Gradually shape the wire to achieve the desired curve.
  • Cut off any excess wire but make sure that there is enough wire at the end of the tail to sculpt the shape.
  • Apply clay or other taxidermy materials to create the desired shape and make sure to add extra material to create a more natural transition from the body to the tail.
  • Finally, sand down any rough spots and paint the tail to match the rest of the deer.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to shaping deer tails. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques and materials until you find the right fit.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Make A Deer Tail

How Do You Clean A Deer Tail?

Clean the deer tail by using warm soapy water and a brush to remove dirt, debris and hair. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry for some time. You can use a degreaser to remove any grease that may contain on the tail.

How Do You Preserve A Deer Tail?

To preserve a deer tail, use a mixture of salt and borax. Lay the deer tail on a flat surface and generously cover it with the mixture. Leave it for a day or two, then shake off the excess mixture.

This process should help preserve the tail for a long time.

What Can You Make With A Deer Tail?

There are many things that can be made with a deer tail. It can be used as a decoration, hat accessory or even for fly fishing. You can also make a keychain, dreamcatcher, or use it as a costume prop.

How Do You Soften A Deer Tail?

Soak the deer tail in warm water with a fabric softener and conditioner will help to soften the fibers. After the tail is soaked, gently comb the tail with a soft-bristled brush and let it dry completely. Repeat the process to achieve the desired softness.

How Do You Choose A Good Deer Tail?

Look for a deer tail that isn’t damaged and the hair is in good condition. Check for any holes, breaks, or shedding. A good deer tail will have a healthy color and no signs of distress. Make sure that the deer tail is free of any pests or larvae.


Overall, making a deer tail can be a fun and rewarding experience for both seasoned hunters and beginners alike. With the right tools, techniques, and attention to detail, you can create a stunning decoration or useful piece of equipment. Remember to take your time and use caution when working with sharp blades, and always follow the legal guidelines for hunting and collecting deer parts in your area.

Whether you’re looking to honor the animal or simply wanting to put your crafting skills to the test, making a deer tail is definitely a project worth exploring. So, get ready to channel your inner outdoorsman and give it a try how to make a deer tail!

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