Hunting an animal for meat is one thing, but it’s another if you want to make a trophy mount out of the hide. Downing an animal for mounting means you will have to prep the hide while in the field and store it properly in preparation for taxidermy. If you’re new to trophy hunting, then the following information is for you! Here are some good rules to follow when prepping deer in the field to take to a taxidermy service in Wyoming.
Be careful not to ruin the cape or throat
Chances are you won’t bag a deer in a spot with easy truck access. When you don’t have a truck to load your deer into, the only option is to drag it or cart it back to your vehicle. Be very careful dragging the carcass in a way that will ruin the cape. Always drag a downed deer either by the antlers or front legs, never the back legs. This keeps the front end in the air and prevents friction between the cape and the ground. If you’re using an ATV, load the deer into a deer cart instead of dragging it with a rope behind the ATV. Make sure the wheels aren’t rubbing against the cape, which is sure to cause damage.
Never hang the deer by its neck, as the rope can cause irreversible damage to the throat, which can limit your mounting options. And when dispatching the deer, be careful not to shoot it in the head or slit its throat.
Don’t cut the wrong side of the hide
Every taxidermist has had a trophy hunter bring in a hide that was cut from the wrong side of the skin. When caping a deer, make all your cuts from under the skin; in other words, from the inside out. Also use a sharp blade for slicing. This prevents excess hair loss, and the hide will turn out looking pretty good.
Back away from the salt, ice and water
Put down that pack of salt and back away from the deer hide! Don’t salt the hide just because you can’t take it to your taxidermist right away. The best thing you can do to preserve the hide is freeze it in a semi-airtight bag, but you can use salt to prevent bacterial growth if you are on a remote hunt and don’t have a cooler.
Storing the cape in a cooler? Make sure it doesn’t come in contact with ice or water. This encourages bacterial growth and can cause hair slippage with the cape. Keep it cool, but not wet.
Communicate little details to your taxidermist
Your taxidermist can’t read your mind. If there are specific things you want done during the taxidermy process, no matter how small, you must convey those details to the taxidermist. For instance, a hunter might want a bullet wound or dried blood stains on the hide or antlers left visible.
Nature’s Design Taxidermy is an experienced taxidermy service in Wyoming. Call us today for more information about how we can help with your custom mounts!