Are you planning a hunt to bring back a trophy? Make sure you take care of your game! Here are six things your taxidermist in Cody, WY wants you to keep in mind about field prep:
- Contact your taxidermist beforehand: If you know ahead of time that you will need taxidermy services, make sure your taxidermist knows so they can prepare for your trophy’s arrival. Provide details about the type of mount or pose you want, along with any other requests pertaining to your soon-to-be mount.
- Practice safe handling of the carcass: An animal can still be dangerous even after you have taken it down. Wild animals carry various diseases, some of which can transmit to humans and other animals—including your hunting dog. For this reason, you must use caution when handling any animal carcass. Use high-quality disposable gloves and sanitize your hands after touching any part of the animal, and be careful handling knives so you don’t cut yourself with a contaminated blade.
- Be prepared with the right supplies: Depending on what you are hunting, you need to bring along the right supplies for field care. The must common things to bring for field skinning are sharpened knives, ties, paper towels and gloves. But you will always need either a cooler full of ice or a portable freezer and clean bags to store carcasses or skins in, as well as cloth towels to wrap fish in before putting them on ice.
- Freezing is key: Freezing the carcass is an extremely important step in the field prep process. The moment an animal is killed is when the body begins to break down. Rotten flesh will attract insects, damaging parts like fur, feathers, eyes, antlers, horns and lips. Get your trophy into a cooler of ice or a freezer right away to prevent spoilage.
- Know when to skin your game: Large game—like bear, deer and big cats—need to be skinned to make a life-size mount or capped for a shoulder mount. The fresher the better, but there are times when getting a trophy animal or hide to a taxidermist right away is not possible. If this is going to be the case, ask your taxidermist ahead of time about techniques to skin the animals and salt the hide. And remember, don’t roll up hides. Freeze them as flat as you can get them.
- Prep trophies to keep them intact: Some creatures like birds, fish and small mammals should never be gutted. Bring them to your taxidermist immediately or freeze in a plastic bag. Tuck bird heads under the wing and make sure the bird is in a position that lets the feathers lay flat in the bag. Wrap fish in a wet towel with fins flat and down to the sides before freezing. Prepping and storing smaller game properly ensures the best possible mounts later.
Take your trophies to Nature’s Design Taxidermy and you are sure to go home with the most lifelike mount you’ve ever seen. Call our shop to speak with a professional taxidermist in Cody, WY today!