If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.


    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
Scott M

Uber Buckskin Co.

Recommended Posts

Scott M

Saw a story about the Uber buckskin company in Owatonna. It was at Pioneer Press' website. I can't get into my account, can somebody post the story?

If you google Uber buckskin, their web page comes up.

Anybody ever send in hides to them? Looks like they do pretty nice work and you are providing the materials so they aren't too expensive.

Looks like I might be sending some business their way next year, would like to hear from somebody that has dealt with them though.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scott M

Nevermind, got it to work

Chris Niskanen

St. Paul Pioneer Press

OWATONNA, Minn. - The caller at the other end of Jared Rinerson's phone line was a hunter in Montana. He had four elk hides. And he wanted to turn them into a jacket and maybe some handmade gloves.

"Salt them down and send them to us,'' said Rinerson, 35, owner of Uber Glove and Tanning Co. He hung up the phone.

"He had saved his elk hides in the freezer and wanted to know what jacket colors we had available,'' Rinerson said. "He heard about us from another hunter."

It is the fall hunting-season rush for this 103-year-old niche leather company.

Send your deer or elk hide to Uber Glove and Tanning, and Rinerson's employees will tan it and make it into a couple of pairs of supple buckskin gloves, a pair of fleece-lined slippers, a purse or a gun case.

Send four or more deer hides and Uber will fashion them into a sporty buckskin jacket or vest made to your specifications.

"I've looked around and I think we're the last company in America to do it,'' said Rinerson of his hides-to-leather-products company. "Other companies will make deerskin gloves, but they won't use your hide to make it."

Rinerson, who lives in Ham Lake, bought the company in 2006 from the Uber family, which had been running it for six generations. He describes it as an Old World company operating in a new global economy where cheap Chinese-made goods dominate retail shelves.

And that's where the former computer programmer sees a business opportunity.

"There are still plenty of people who want to buy a U.S.A-made product,'' Rinerson said. "And I think this sheds hunting in a positive light."

Many of his customers already know that.

At the company's tannery last week, employees unloaded dozens of boxes containing salted deer hides sent in by customers from across the nation."We get hides from every state but Hawaii,'' Rinerson said.

After skinning their animals, Uber customers cover their hides in coarse-grain salt, let them dry for a few days, then box them up and send them to Uber, along with an order form. Hunters are also welcome to drop off their hides at company headquarters in a residential area of Owatonna.

Then the hides are numbered, tanned, dyed and fashioned into products by Rinerson's sewers. All the products are made on the second floor of the company shop, where workers hand-cut the leather and sew it on aging Singer machines. The entire process takes four to six months and is laid out on the company's Web site, uberglove.com.

"I think we make the best chopper gloves around,'' Rinerson said. "The price will be a little bit higher than the Chinese stuff, but you get much better quality.''

A deer hide makes two to three pairs of Uber buckskin gloves, which sell for $25 to $30 a pair. The base price for a men's bomber-style jacket is $143. A western-style jacket with fringe is $149.

Globetrotting hunters have sent Uber giraffe, Cape buffalo, warthog and other exotic hides to turn into gloves and jackets.

And if you don't have your own hides, Uber sells jackets, gloves, slippers and other products made from its own leather.

"Buffalo has a very unique grain,'' Rinerson said, running his hand over a bumpy bison cape. "We do a lot of stuff in elk, too."

The company also sells buckskin gloves wholesale to L and M Supply, a discount chain in northern Minnesota, and Sheels, a Fargo, N.D.-based sporting goods store. Rinerson hopes eventually to sell products in the Twin Cities as well. In addition to the 15,000 to 20,000 deerskin gloves it sells wholesale, the company operates a tiny retail store in its headquarters, which was built in 1938.

In 1904, Adolf Uber, the son of a German immigrant and leather tanner, moved to Owatonna from Wisconsin to start his own tannery. (The Uber family leather tanners can be traced back to the early 1800s in Prussia.) Adolf's son, Harley, began making leather gloves in his basement in 1931.

When Rinerson bought the company from the Uber family, he had no experience in tanning, leather manufacturing or running a company. He grew up on the Iron Range in a hunting family, but spent his career as Microsoft computer programmer.

"I'd been a computer guy for 15 years and I was tired of working for other companies,'' he said. "I've been a hunter all my life and, after looking at other companies, this really appealed to me."

Rinerson said his biggest challenge is marketing his products to a new generation of hunters who have never heard of the company. He hopes the notion of recycling deer hides will appeal to the environmentally conscience crowd.

"I know a lot of hunters just say, "Ah, I leave my deer hide for the coyotes,''' he said.

"By using every part of the animal,'' Rinerson said, "I think it accentuates a positive side of hunting."

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our group has been taking hides here for years. Many since the 60s! Everything they make is very high quality and knowing it came from your deer is very rewarding. I think it costs about $40 to tan a deer hide, then they will turn them into whatever you want. Cost are not cheap, but not overly expensive either.

Very highly recommended!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Grant Pearson

also, if you drop off your deer skin, they will give you a pair of gloves. It's a nice little trade if you ask me.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend that has taken his hides there for many years and has everything from a gun case to a jacket, very good quality worksmanship. I have been saving my hides to take in atleast 3 or 4 at once so that I can decide on anything that I want to have made. Some of the items require more than one hide.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in Owatonna and my family has been taking deer hides to them for years. The quality and selection of items is great. You can also just have the hide tanned, take it home, and decide what to get later. Nothing like that fresh leather smell.........

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Grant Pearson


Nothing like that fresh leather smell.........

I totally agree

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I live about 6 blocks north of them... I highly recommend them.

The new leather smell is great but boy does it stink in the neighborhood when they dump their tanks...!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  


  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • ZachD
      I agree the Mississippi I love the river I don't know much about it up there as I live more south But I fish the Mississippi just south of Elk river and the Rum river for Small mouth. I will take a 3lb river smallie fight over a 5lb lake bass any day 😁 Plus Get some bonus walleyes and big Northern as well   
    • chizek
      Anyone ever fish the stretch of the mississippi like highway 694 bridge to the lowry ave bridge   in ne minneapolis mn 
      any general info im looking for  been kind of exploring it 

    • DLD24
      Do you have any tips for fishing Fish Lake this time of year? I'm gonna try it out in the next few days... Is it typically an early morning, late evening bite or can you get them all day long? Thanks for any info.
    • PRO-V
      Calling them would be your best bet. Maybe you can reserve some on a card.
    • delcecchi
      starft you off.... https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/lake.html?id=69066000 http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/data/lakemaps/b0537011.pdf Status of the Fishery Ely Lake is located approximately 2 miles SE of the city of Eveleth. This popular lake is highly developed with homes and cabins. There is a small seaplane base and two public swimming beaches also located there. Water clarity is good and large amounts of aquatic vegetation can be found throughout the lake. 

      There is a concrete planked boat ramp and dock located near the NE end of the lake off Cedar Island Drive (CR629) for public access. The parking space is somewhat limited near the ramp. Several private accesses are also present. 

      Thirteen species of fish were sampled during the 2017 survey on Ely Lake. Gill nets, trap nets and night electrofishing were all used to sample the fish community. Small bluegill were common in the gill net catch (34%) and abundant in the trap net catch (57%). Other panfish species including hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed, green sunfish and black crappie were also sampled in good numbers. Largemouth bass outnumbered smallmouth bass in the 2017 sample. Walleye (16%) contributed to the gill net catch and several were sampled in the trap nets. Yellow perch are present in average amounts and some good sized pike were again sampled during the 2017 survey. 

      Bluegill numbers in 2017 (72.1/trap net) were much higher than the long term average (31.6/trap net) on Ely Lake and greatly above average (7.9/trap net) compared to other similar lakes in the area. The average bluegill sampled was 5.6 inches long and about 6 years old. Approximately 66% of the bluegill sampled with the trap nets were under 6 inches with a maximum size recorded of 8.0 inches. Bluegill sampled with the gill nets had a similar size structure. Approximately 7% of the hybrid sunfish sampled in the trap nets were 8 inches or larger. Several pumpkinseeds were also in this size range. 

      Largemouth bass (92%) and smallmouth bass (8%) were sampled during the night electrofishing effort. The average largemouth sampled was 10.9 inches which is similar to the historic average of 10.6 inches. The biggest largemouth sampled was 18.5 inches. Approximately 33% of the largemouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. The average smallmouth sampled was 9.8 inches which is slightly larger than the historic average (8.4 inches). The largest smallmouth sampled was 16.8 inches long. Approximately 32% of the smallmouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. Largemouth bass were also sampled from the gill nets and trap nets in numbers above average. 

      Walleye numbers in 2017 (6.2/gill net) were similar to the historic average (6.1/gill net) on Ely Lake and slightly above average (5.0/gill net) when compared to other similar area lakes with walleye. The average walleye sampled was 15.5 inches and about 4 years old. Approximately 34% of the walleye sampled were 15 inches or larger up to a maximum of nearly 29 inches. Walleye fingerlings are currently being stocked during even-numbered years and in 2017 approximately 62% of the walleye aged came from years where stocking occurred. 

      Northern pike numbers in 2017 (1.1/gill net) were similar to the historic average (1.3/gill net) and below average (3.2/gill net) compared to other similar area lakes with pike. The average pike sampled was 26.8 inches which is similar to the historic average length of 26.3 inches. The largest pike sampled in 2017 was 35.2 inches long and sampled with a trap net. 
    • gizmoguy
      Yes they do. Many resorts are set up for summer usage. Understand you can't use your FH in the storage lots. Only in a summer use lot. You have to pay for it. The cost is in addition to your winter fees. Usually more $ but the season is longer. The county requires the resorts to have bathroom facilities within a certain distance. Mac's Twin Bay has summer lots as do many others. Hunter's Point is another. Doubt Brandt's is set up for summer.
      Sweet! Heading back up tonight through the weekend. Bringing the wife and little one this time instead of my buddies, hopefully the weather cooperates.
    • Neutz68
      Heading up Sat morning and will be looking for Shiners. Anyone know if the Gateway and/or Kab Outdoors have them in stock??    Thanks for the input.
    • crappieslapper
      Hi Guys & Gals, My brother in law recently purchased a property on Ely Lake. All the boys are invited up this year on Memorial. Unfortunately nobody in the family has been on the lake before. I thought I would reach out to the pros here on the forum to see if anyone would be willing to give us a few tips on fishing this lake. Thanks in advance, Dan
    • crappieslapper
      Hey Forum, My brother in law just purchased on Ely Lake. Memorial weekend will be the first time on lake. Wondering if anyone has some experience/tips they would be willing to offer the Ely lake rookies. Thanks so much. Dan