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Hunter's Taxidermy Field Guide

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Animal Care

When caping an animal, center your cuts as shown in the photo to the left.

A) From between the center of the ears, down the center of the back 20 inches past the shoulders.

B) Across the rib cage downward to the brisket on both sides.

C) Across both the lower forelegs halfway to the knee.
Once the lower fore legs are cut through the bone, the cape sides (B) may be skinned down and the remaining foreleg skin (C) can be pulled off of the leg in a tube fashion.

Once the cape has been skinned free of the animals body, the neck should be cut through at or near the base of the skull (D) leaving the skull and a small portion of the neck attached. The A, B, and C corresponding cuts that should have been made are also shown in the photo below.
Some helpful hints while skinning your trophy are:

1) Make smooth straight cuts. Avoid a sawing action while cutting.
2) Cut WITH the grain of the hair. DO NOT cut the throat or make any cuts across the grain of the hair.
3) Be careful not to cut the hair itself while skinning.
4) Avoid skinning to close to the inside of the skin. It won't hurt to leave some meat on the inside of the hide.
5) DO NOT place salt on the hide.
6) DO NOT attempt to skin the head and face of the animal.
7) Place in a freezer and immediately call Old Heritage Taxidermy toll free at 1-877-900-3824.

Bird Care

When saving a bird in the field for later mounting, several steps should be taken to keep the trophy in good condition. In anticipation of keeping a bird for mounting later a hunter should take along several items such as newspaper, paper towels, and masking tape. Follow these steps as shown in the pictures below.

1) Stuff paper towel into the mouth and deep into the throat of the bird.
2) Wrap 3 - 4 paper towels around the head and neck of the bird.
3) Carefully tuck the head and neck under the wing being careful to keep blood off of the feathers.
4) Wrap the bird in several layers of newspaper using the masking tape to keep it in place.
Now place the bird in a paper bag for transport home. Once home, replace the outer layer of newspaper with a lightly damp terrycloth towel. Place into a plastic bag, seal and place the bird in the freezer. Follow these additional helpful hints to keep your trophy in good condition for the Taxidermist.

  • Always choose a trophy that is in good shape. Even though the bird may be one-of-a-kind, if it is blown to pieces you can't expect to receive a perfect mount upon completion.
  • After harvesting, keep the bird in a cool as possible environment. Keep out of direct sunlight and warmth.
  • Never attempt to skin the bird or remove the entrails.
  • If possible, wipe off any additional fresh blood from the bird. Water works well for this. Don't worry about getting the feathers wet but don't over-do-it either.
  • Never place a fresh bird into a plastic bag without following the steps above first.
  • It is possible to save the meat for later consumption provided the bird has been kept cool and frozen quickly, however, it is not advisable.
  • Get the bird to the Taxidermist as quickly as possible after freezing. Birds will keep for up to 6 months frozen but quality may suffer if kept frozen for an extended period of time.