If you want a high-quality lifelike animal mount, then the work needs to be done in a reputable taxidermy shop. But as skilled as professional taxidermists are, they are not magical. You have to do your part to make sure your animal trophy gets to the taxidermy shop in good condition. You must take proper care of it, follow the right field-prep steps and take measures to preserve the body, all of which are important things to do prior to having it turned into a mount.
So, to ensure long lasting taxidermy work, what are some of the best practices to take heed of when in the field? Let’s ask an experienced taxidermist in Cody, WY:
- Contact your taxidermist: First, choose a taxidermist you want to work with. Do this before going on your hunt so they can give you specific instructions on how to prep and preserve the kind of animal you’re after. Tell them whether you will be able to get the animal in a freezer or deliver it to them quickly.
- Go prepared: When packing your hunting gear, make sure you leave room for the gear needed to care for your trophy. Pack a proper sharp-blade knife, a sharpening tool, toilet paper and paper towels for cleaning and a light source for when night falls.
- Don’t drag your animal: There are several reasons why you don’t want to tie up your downed animal with a rope and drag it across the ground. For one thing, a rope around its neck and legs will surely rub off hairs, and rough debris on the ground will damage the hide. Instead, use a pulling device (such as a rickshaw or sled) to get it back to your vehicle.
- Follow field dressing instructions: Your taxidermist in Cody, WY will give you detailed field dressing instructions before you head out. They may instruct you to not make certain cuts, depending on the type of mount you want made; this may also be the case if you know you’ll be able to get the animal to their shop immediately. Otherwise, follow instructions closely.
- Avoid caping or skinning: For big game trophies, your taxidermist is likely to instruct you to leave caping or skinning to them. This is because a damaged hide is a costly repair, and some damage cannot be fixed at all.
- Clean your kill: Bring toilet paper and paper towels on your hunt so you can clean blood and other fluids from your animal trophy. Use water or fresh melted snow for moisture. If blood dries, it can leave permanent stains on the hide, fur or feathers, leaving your trophy less than attractive. Also, wrap the animal up in a blanket or sheet for safe transport.
Now that you know some of the best practices to follow while in the field, get out there and bring back a prize! If you are looking for a professional taxidermist in Cody, WY with many years of experience under their belt, contact Nature’s Design Taxidermy. We would love to speak to you about working on your next prized animal mount!