Prepping & Shipping Your Skins


    The proper care of alligator skins begins as soon as the animal is harvested.  We recommend avoiding direct sun or heat on the carcass or skin whenever possible and skinning the animals as soon as you are able to do so.

    Alligator & Crocodile Skin Preparation for Tanning 

    After skinning and fleshing, generously salt and roll your alligator skin. Here are a few pro tips:

    • You cannot over-salt your skin; make sure there is about ¼” of salt all over the skin.
    • Rub the salt into the skin and in all wrinkles and folds of the skin.
    • Fold the legs and sides in and roll the skin up from head to tail.
    • Do not leave head or feet attached to the skin.
    • Place it in a container (cooler works well) and allow the skin to take
      salt (cure) 7-10 days in the ambient air, out of direct sunlight and rain (we
      suggest a garage) You will know it is cured once it stops weeping water. 
    • Once cured, shake off old wet salt, do not rinse, re-salt lighter this
      time to avoid weight and extra shipping cost.

    Ensure you have a CITES tag on the skin.  If your tag does not have the word ‘CITES’ on it, you only have a state tag.  Please contact your state to obtain a CITES tag.  We will not accept skins without CITES tags.

    We will not accept skins or skin pieces without a CITES tag attached to it.  We do not tan backstraps.  Skins may not be cut into pieces.  We have no way of tracking those pieces in the tannery.  We will only accept one skin per one CITES Tag.  There are no exceptions to this rule.


    You may verify the size of your alligator to estimate tanning costs.

    Your skin should be flat on a table.  Stretch the skin gently, and allow it to return to its natural size.

    Measure across the belly or back, from edge to edge, in centimeters. This is the raw width. The finished width of your skin, if measured properly, will be +/- about 10% of the raw size. The skin is usually slightly bigger by a few centimeters after tanning.


    Once your skins have been properly salted two times, you may store your skin for a period of time (if needed) before shipping to AMTAN for tanning.

    If you need to store your salted skin, please keep the following in mind:

    • Place your rolled, salted skin inside a trash bag and refrigerate it until you are able to ship it for tanning.
    • Do not freeze the skins; freezing the skins can damage the alligator.
    • It is possible to store a refrigerated skin for up to 1 year, but we advise tanning as soon as possible in order to have the best possible result.

    We provide a form which should be completed by all customers.  The form will give us all the information we need to process your tanning order. Please note, we receive over 1000 individual hunters’ skins each year, and skins without paperwork can easily get lost in the tannery. We ask that you include an email address on your paperwork so we can send you updates and tracking information for your shipment once completed. We will only accept color and finish instructions in writing, and skins received without proper paperwork will incur an additional $50.00 charge.

    Download our Customer Information Forms 

    Place your rolled, salted alligator skin inside a sturdy plastic bag that will collect any drainage.   Line your box with paper, and place the plastic bag inside the box. Place your completed forms (with your tag numbers listed), and check or money order (if applicable) in a Ziploc bag on top in order to keep your paperwork dry.

  • SHIP

    Please ship your skins to AMTAN using only Fedex or UPS.  The US Postal Service will not deliver raw skins, and we have had instances where the Postal Service has thrown skins away.   Properly salted skins may be shipped by ground service.  There is no need to ship express.

  • WAIT

    Once we receive your skin, we will enter your full shipment information into into our database and place your skin in our cooler until it is lotted for tanning.  We will send you a shipment report by email (or mail), letting you know we have all the necessary information for your order.  If we need additional information, we will let you know via email or post.  You will not have any further updates until your skin is ready to be shipped to you.

    Please be patient.  It takes 8-12 months for us to turn your trophy into a beautiful piece of leather.  We do not cut corners, and making quality leather takes time.  Trust us, it’s worth the wait!