The first step to creating a good-quality trophy is informed field preparation. Unless you are careful in the field, you are unlikely to see the best results when you order taxidermy in Cody, WY. In fact, you could even make trophy creation impossible. This often presents challenges when you hunt in remote areas, since decay starts merely hours after death. Luckily, there are ways to counteract that so you can still enjoy a high-quality trophy. Here are four of our best field preparation tips:
- Fill your coolers: Besides an assortment of drinks and food to sustain you as you camp, you also need to stock your cooler with ice. Consider maintaining a separate cooler of tightly-packed ice just for preserving any quarry. You can buy ice bags to freeze the night before that remain frozen even 48 hours later. Ice works best for small game and fish; most hunters cannot bring enough of it to preserve larger game. Keep small game in your cooler until you can get it to us. If you are wing shooting, cushion the ice with towels so you do not damage feathers.
- Bring towels: If you catch that monster trout, your best bet for preservation is a wet towel. Soak the towel in water and lay the fish flat on it. Straighten the fins so they do not curl. Wrap the towel around the fish. Once it is fully wrapped, put it on ice or in a cooler so it lasts until you get home. You can also place it in a plastic bag to add more cushioning and prevent damage to scales.
- Field dress carefully: Field dressing an animal for taxidermy is different than doing the same just for meat. If you intend to create a trophy mount, never cut into the neck or chest. The idea that animals need to be “bled out” is a myth, as that will only ruin the hide and make taxidermy impossible. Wash blood off the neck and chest. Avoid dragging the quarry on the ground—use a sled, cart or four-wheeler instead. If you have no choice but to drag the animal, do so slowly and cautiously. While it will not remain in perfect condition, it should be possible to repair damage if you are careful.
- Know your limits: There are some techniques to leave to professionals. Fish and small game should only be skinned by trained taxidermists. Carnivores especially decay quickly, and any mammal coyote-sized or smaller needs to be sealed in a plastic bag and placed on ice. If hunting large game, ask how to skin the animal and receive detailed instructions. Each approach depends on the species. Ask the taxidermist about any preferences. You do not want to ruin your quarry and make it impossible for us to create your trophy.
Nature’s Design Taxidermy can address all types of taxidermy in Cody, WY, including fish, birds, small game and large animals. Call us when you are ready to turn your quarry into a beautiful trophy.