As a hunter, there’s a good chance you also keep a trophy room to commemorate your successful hunts over the years, which means keeping your animals protected from damage is probably a high priority. Luckily for you, there are poses that your talented taxidermist can recommend should damage happen, but your goal is to collect an animal without incident. With this in mind, here are five things that can damage your trophy animal in the field:
- Hunting dogs: Depending on what animals you are hunting, you may decide to bring your four-legged companion. Dogs are especially helpful for duck hunters, because trained canines are quick to retrieve smaller game once you’ve hit your target. Hunting dogs are also good at guarding larger animal trophies until you can get to them yourself. But overzealous dogs, whether trained to help in the hunt or a family pet, can inadvertently or purposefully damage a trophy animal. Maybe your dog didn’t carry it properly out of the lake, or came up on an animal that wasn’t quite dead.
- Bullets: If you are hunting with the sole purpose of collecting a new mount-worthy animal to add to your trophy room, then you must be mindful of your aim. Disfiguring the animal’s face or causing other significant maiming of body parts can be an issue. For example, a gunshot to the head may result in a simple tail and wings pose for a wild bird kill, or a stretched out, tanned hide instead of a deer shoulder mount.
- Taking a tumble: Whether a large animal on the run or a bird soaring through the sky, you may shoot the animal in the right spot to bring it down quickly, but it’s the landing that could prove damaging. Bringing down a bird from high in the sky, and not over a water source, is likely to end in busted wings from the fall. Meanwhile, the legs on a bigger animal, like a deer, mountain lion or bear, might get mangled during or after the hunt.
- Quick moving predators: So, you’ve taken down an animal you’ve targeted to be your next trophy. Now you need to walk over to claim the animal. If you take too long getting to it—perhaps you unintentionally wander off trail for a bit or have trouble locating it—then there’s a chance other wild animals may get to it before you. Natural predators could already be nearby, or the downed animal might make noises attracting predators after having only been injured.
- Field prep issues: Improper field care of your trophy animal is a top reason why taxidermy cannot be done. It’s important that you store the body in a proper cooling storage container as soon as possible, and if you can, you should prep your trophy right there in the field for a quick send off to your taxidermist.
At Nature’s Design Taxidermy, you can rest assured that you are leaving your trophy animal in the hands of a professional taxidermist. Call today for taxidermy pricing and other important information.