Montana School of Taxidermy and Tanning 3280 Green Meadow Drive, Helena, MT 59601 - (406) 443-0022
(406) 443-0022
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Commercial Tanning

Montana School of Taxidermy and Tanning

Commercial Tanning


The Montana School of Taxidermy and Tanning now offers a unique one of a kind commercial tanning course. For years, the number of taxidermists has increased at a substantial rate but the number of commercial tanneries has not, creating an enormous back log for existing tanneries and a golden opportunity for someone to get into business and be successful.

Never before has anyone been able to learn the complete art of tanning under one roof. Our classes are small, maximum of seven students, and our facility - modern and large ,complete with all the equipment necessary to operate a commercial tannery. Students learn by hands-on training and practical experience. Even though the theory behind tanning formulas must be taught, two thirds of the course is hands-on training. Not only will students master several tanning formulas, but will also learn how to build and operate all the equipment necessary. Upon graduation, students will be knowledgeable enough to open their own tannery.

In recent years, the Montana School of Taxidermy and Tanning has improved the most advanced tanning formulas and tanning techniques used in the world. Our system, developed right here in Montana, tans faster and is more thorough than any other tanning method used today.

For example, tanning a buffalo hide, which used to take from beginning pickle through the actual tanning bath several days to over one week, can now be done in one fourth the time (one day to be exact).

Our students enjoy attending the Montana School of Taxidermy. Student excitement builds week by week as their tanning knowledge grows and skin by skin they begin to realize that tanning is really going to work for them.

Our daily schedule is quite simple. Students begin their day with instruction on tanning procedures, step by step, and end the day with valuable hands-on training by tanning their own skins using the most modern tanning equipment know. We build our students ability to tan daily and by the end of our course, they have a complete understanding of all facets of tanning. One student set our class records at 56 skins and twenty five of those skins were African life-size. Click to the photo album to see the results.

Several of our students own and operate existing tanneries and others are currently developing their own. Don't wait and pass up your opportunity for the independence of self-employment or to make your existing taxidermy studio more independent and profitable. Call us, e-mail us, or write, but don't wait and let your opportunity pass!

Jeff Welch

P.S. Don't take my word for it. Check out what our students to have been doing in our latest Photo Album.

176 hours (actual course work). Class begins each March 7, ends March 25, and students attend class 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., five days per week.


Tanning Methods

  1. Aluminum Sulfate
  2. TX-72 and TX-77
  3. Tan TX-2001


  1. Salting
  2. Drying
  3. Storing
  • Pickling
  • Washing, Relaxing
  • Shaving
  • Tanning
  • Buffing
  • Oiling
  • Drumming
  • Sanding
  • Finishing
  • How to build equipment
  • Business
  1. Contracts
  2. Advertising
  3. Shop Layout
  4. Billing
  • Wet tan vs. Dry Tanning
  • Equipment building class (wet wheels, sanders, shavers, degreasers, tumblers, and staking machine

You'll get your diploma with us!Tuition: $3,000 with $250 deposit required (non refundable).

Students are encouraged to bring as many specimens as possible, however, the school can supply you with everything you need. All skins are the property of the student to be taken home. Skins required for completion of course: (3) Deer Skins, (1) Deer Cape, (3) Elk Skins, (1) Elk Cape, (1) Bear Skin (life-size), (1) Coyote Skin, (1) Fox Skin, (1) Raccoon, (1) Beaver Skin. More exotic skin can be obtained through the school at student's expense. Students are responsible for the purchase of their specimens.

Specimen Price List (Bear and elk capes are not required to be purchased by students once tanned)
Deer Skin $40 Bear Skin $200-$400
Deer Cape $125 Coyote Skin $85
Elk Skin $80 Beaver Skin $60
Elk Cape $175 Raccoon Skin $55
Fox Skin $75 Antelope Skin $40

Housing available through a motel that offers monthly rates at $1,000 per month (complete with shower, microwave, refrigerator, TV, etc.)

No tools are necessary, school supplies all.

Maximum of eight students per class.


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