You worked hard to score that prize trophy—how do you ensure that it will look beautiful for decades to come? Heat is public enemy number one of trophy preservation. Working with a trusted taxidermist, the secrets to the challenges of preserving your prize during those critical moments will secure a trophy worth mounting.
The Problem with Heat and Humidity
Early season hunting can be a joyous experience, with amazing weather, challenging foliage and bountiful game. One of the most important concerns, however, is protecting your harvest from the heat and humidity during this time of year.
The enemy of all things that die is bacteria, which thrive in the warm temperature and humidity present. Unless you happen to be lugging around a freezer, you have to have a way of inhibiting bacteria growth from rotting your game. The first sign of damage is when the hair begins to fall out in large clumps. This is called slipping. Unfortunately, once the hair falls out, the cape is unable to be salvaged. Your trophy is gone.
Even during colder seasons, heat can be a danger for your trophy. One hunter arrived at the taxidermist only an hour after killing the animal, only to find the cape completely ruined. He had transported the animal in a truck bed, which was superheating due to a muffler malfunction. The bacteria had thrived under that warm condition in the truck bed, which caused the rot.
Visit a Trusted Taxidermist
During the slow summer months is the time to stop by and discuss with your taxidermist some great ways for how to protect your harvest from the dangers of heat. Taxidermists agree that the first few hours are crucial in protecting the condition on the animal, and contrary to popular belief, taxidermists are not miracle workers. If you bring in a rotted animal with clumps of hair missing, there isn’t much that the taxidermist can do with that particular animal other than use a different cape.
A taxidermist can walk you through the solutions below and give you some tips on how to keep your trophy in mint condition:
- Cape the animal in the field.
- Cape the entire front half of the animal—this includes all the way to the head.
- Learn to cape from a taxidermist—skinning for a butcher means different cuts than it does for a taxidermist. Proper skinning techniques can remove much of the bacteria.
- Keep the animal and/or cape out of the sun.
- Do NOT put a cape in a black plastic bag, because it collects heat.
- Use a light color game bag to keep insects off the cape/animal.
Trophy Preservation Professionals
To learn how to cape your prize the correct way, come see the experts. When it comes to trophy preservation, Nature’s Design Taxidermy has been the best since 2004. We specialize in big game, safari animals and trophy room design. You will want to be sure to check out our breathtaking shop in Cody, Wyoming. Better yet, give us a call today to discuss how we can preserve your trophy!