When hunting to bring home a hide to make a trophy, there are certain steps you’ll want to take and tips you’ll want to follow. Because an animal carcass will begin breaking down quickly, preparation is key to ensure your trophy makes it from the field to your taxidermist in good condition. Preparation means knowing how to prep the carcass as well as bringing the right tools with you on a hunt. Without a doubt, improper prep and care will mean a lower quality animal mount for your trophy room—or even no trophy at all.
Here are six things to keep in mind when field prepping a carcass for professional taxidermy in Cody, WY:
- Keep the carcass cool: Deterioration occurs as soon as an animal is killed, and you should keep in mind that the pace of breakdown is hastened in warmer climates. It is crucial that you get the carcass into cool storage—such as ice or a portable freezer—soon after it’s downed; otherwise, it can become unusable and you won’t get the trophy you were hoping for.
- Handle small game with care: Be vigilant about how you hold smaller game and birds intended for taxidermy. For instance, carrying trophy animals by the neck can stretch and deform the skin, causing irreparable damage. Your taxidermist may try fixing it, but it will not look as lifelike. Also, don’t allow your hunting dogs to retrieve game you plan to make into mounts.
- Transport large game properly: It’s imperative to not drag large trophy animals. If it’s too heavy to move, seek help from people in your group to get it up into your truck bed, ATV trailer or into other type of transportation. Being on your own means you might have to drag it, but do so very carefully to minimize the damage.
- Bring a towel for fish: It may sound strange, but fish trophies preserve well in a wet towel, albeit for a limited time. This is an especially good approach to take if you can’t get to a freezer right away. Simply soak a towel in cool water and wrap it around your catch, which should be lying flat, with its fins straightened. Put it on ice as soon as possible.
- Cut with care: Avoid cutting your animal trophy’s neck or chest, or you risk disfiguring it. Gently wash or wipe off blood from the hide, nose, mouth, ears and anywhere else there is blood.
- Ask your taxidermist for tips ahead of time: Your taxidermist wants to be helpful, so don’t be shy about asking for pre-hunt information and field prep tips. Some taxidermists may already have this information listed on their website for you to bookmark or print out.
An expert in taxidermy in Cody, WY will want your hunt and field prep work to be solid successes. After all, bringing back a properly prepared carcass ensures they can create a beautiful new animal mount, one you’ll be proud to display. Contact the team at Nature’s Design Taxidermy to learn more about field prep procedures or for pricing information.