Don’t be Singing the ‘Taxidermy Blues’
If you’ve been hoping to add a handsome trophy to your wall, a few cautions could ensure your trip to the taxidermist to be successful.
There’s nothing worse than being told that you ruined your beautiful specimen while field dressing your game. What are some of the basic do’s and don’ts?
- Bring a camera and take lots of photos. Taxidermists will tell you that your animal is as individual as you are. Photos help him/her recreate your treasure!
- Going bird hunting? Get your wife to donate her old nylon pantyhose/stockings. Your birds may look funny in the hose, but that protects the bird’s feathers until you get to the taxidermist.
- Want a shoulder mount of your trophy deer? Go to: http://www.foresttaxidermy.com/quality_mount.htm for some great visuals — where and how to cut your animal.
- After field dressing, make sure your animal’s skin stays dry and cool. The skin should be iced immediately; but make sure it stays dry in the cooler. It should be kept cool all the way to the taxidermist’s shop.
- Have a bighorn sheep or antelope to mount? Pay particular attention to blood stains on the skin/fur. Remove immediately because the blood will stain!
- Don’t even THINK about dragging your game; carrying or packing your game is important. Dragging an animal ruins the hair. I don’t think you will want a cute bow covering the raw spot on the deer’s hide!
- Some hunters don’t know when to quit — with the knife. Repeat after me: “I will never cut the animal’s throat or front quarter, if I want to mount my specimen.”
- Go back to the visual drawings listed above for directions on cutting animals.
- Don’t salt your cape. Why? Do you want a bald spot(s) on your animal? A cape that is salted before the meat, etc., is removed – runs the chance of the salt not penetrating the hide/fur and losing the fur. Leave the salting to the taxidermy staff.
- Want to mount a coyote, bird, fox, or other small mammal? DO NOT SKIN the animal. Bring the whole animal to the taxidermist – packed in ice and dry.
- Got a skin to take to the taxidermist? Put it in a plastic bag and keep it cool. Bagged skin without ice is a bacteria-generating machine that can lead to fur loss.
- Get your specimen to the taxidermy shop quickly. If you store the skin in a “frost free freezer’ for long periods of time, you could develop freezer burn. Why? ‘Frost free’ stays that way by drawing moisture out of the meat and freezer.
I hope these tips lead to a great mounted beauty on your wall!
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com