Twenty years ago I did this with the hair off and was successful. I've only done it that one time. My wife is a seamstress and expressed interest in a fur. My brother is an avid hunter and provided one. Fleshing: I used a PVC pipe as a beam and scraped the meat and fat off. It took almost four and a half hours to complete this. Way more work than I remembered. However, the first time I did this I had my brother's help and had the hide on a stretcher frame. I think that would have been way better on my back, neck and shoulders. Salting (optional): I didn't have a brain yet (some would say that's why I took on this project). So, I salted it down good (about six pounds). I changed the salt every day and eventually used about thirty pounds of salt to get to a dry hide. Tanning: I got a deer brain from a processor. I found a sand castle buckets the kids weren't going to want back. I mashed it up with my hands. The result is watery brain stuff. I spread it all over the flesh side of the hide, folded it on itself and let it sit overnight. It was cold but didn't freeze. Breaking: More manual labor. For the next twelve hours with only a few short breaks I worked. I first tried breaking it across a rope, but gave up quick because it kept rolling on itself and pulling our hairs. I ended up using the edge of a board nailed to a tree. This worked very well and I was able to lean my shoulder against the tree to keep from straining my back. I worked it like this until it started raining. I did the very last of the breaking sitting on the back porch breaking across my knees. Smoking: I built a smudge fire in a twelve inch deep hole. I built a tee pee out of some old easel parts. I ened up having to prop the edges of the hide up away from the fire with sticks. I kept the fire pretty much out the whole time with little to no flame and lots of smoke. I covered the distance from the bottom edge of the hide to the ground with fabric pieces provided by my wife. I smoked it for about two or three hours. I have no noticeable hair slippage at all. I did pull a few out while breaking, but only when I grabbed it wrong. Done! After I was done it was still good and flexible. However, I put it in my garage to let it air out and after it sat overnight it has gotten stiff again. I'm not sure what's gone wrong. I'm hoping I don't have to chunk it and start over, but I really don't know. Any advice at this point would be greatly appreciated.