If you seek that ultimate shoulder mount for your latest quarry, there are ways to make that easier for your taxidermist in Cody, WY. It all starts with correct field prep, followed by using good preservation methods while you transport. Once it arrives here at Nature’s Design Taxidermy, we can take care of the rest! Here are six field prep tips to create the best shoulder mount:
- Cut carefully: You need to give the taxidermist enough skin to work with, and that starts with the cut. Start with a cut in a circle behind the front legs. It is better to cut too far back than fail to cut enough, so if you are uncertain, err on the side of overkill. Never cut in front or at the throat, or your trophy will have an unsightly scar.
- Freeze the remains: In the field, you need to remove the head. To do this, loosen the skin around the neck and roll it off. Then cut it off. After that, your best course of action is to freeze the head and then bring it to us.
- No freezer—more work: However, if your freezer is not large enough or you are camping and cannot freeze the head, you must remove the head skin from the skull. Take your time here; start at the bottom and cut towards the ears. Stop when you reach between the ears. Then cut in a Y-shape below the horn base. Cut the ears free from the skull and loosen the skin around the horns. When you are removing skin around the eyes, be careful with the eyelids. Once you finish this painstaking work, boil and bleach the skull to clean it.
- Be careful with ears: The ears are often problematic because, when skinned poorly, they rot. You can prevent this by turning the ears inside out, so they are salted well. Like other steps in this preparation, take your time, as this must be done correctly and gently and not while you are in a hurry.
- Know when to salt; If you cannot freeze your trophy, you need to salt it. Never salt a trophy if you can freeze it; the salt lowers the freezing temperature and that will make it more difficult for the taxidermist to finish what you started. If you skin the entire animal, leave the skin in salt for 24 hours to ensure all the moisture is removed. Change the salt after that time and then give it a good coat of insecticide.
- When it doubt, ask for help: This is specialized work, and it is likely that you can only accomplish some steps well on your own. If you need tips, call the taxidermist you plan to work with. Also, even if you are on a remote hunting trip, it may be prudent to plan runs to the taxidermist so we can start working on your trophies immediately.
Nature’s Design Taxidermy is a skilled taxidermist in Cody, WY. Call or visit us today and see why we are the top choice for your hunting trophies.