Field care begins immediately after your trophy is down. Fur bearing animals should be skinned and chilled as soon as possible. Capes should be blood-free (wiped down with a damp cloth) and frozen. Do not salt and freeze.

We Can Cape Your Trophy

Our studio is equipped with a drive-up bay with hoists. We will cape your trophy and prepare it for the butcher while you wait at no additional cost.

Some Common Mistakes

We can fix some mistakes, but it may end up increasing the cost of your mount.

  • Not getting the trophy to your freezer or taxidermist in time.
  • Dragging the animal. Use a sled or a tarp if you must drag.
  • Hanging the animal by the neck. Hang it by the base of the antlers for those buck pole pictures.
  • The slip of the knife. Don’t be the novice who attempts skinning around the eyes, mouth, nose or turning of the ears.
  • Use of bird carriers/harness. Avoid neck wringing or carrying the bird out of the field by the feet. As soon as possible, place the bird’s head under the wing and put it in a bag or nylon.

Remember

KEEP IT CLEAN, MAKE GOOD CUTS AND CHILL IT ASAP!

When placing trophy items into your freezer, tag it with the following info:

  • What it is
  • Name of hunter
  • Hunting license #
  • Date killed
  • County killed in

Following these steps should keep you out of trouble with the game warden (and your wife).

Small Mammals

Animals, coyote-sized or smaller, should not be skinned by anyone other than a professional. Don’t gut the animal. Small mammals, especially carnivores, will spoil quickly because of their thin hide’s weakness to bacteria. If you can’t take the small game animal immediately to a taxidermist, as soon as the carcass cools completely, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it.

Birds

Do not gut the bird. Rinse any blood from the feathers with water. Take the bird immediately to your taxidermist or freeze it. For freezing, put the bird into a bag. Be careful not to damage the feathers, including the tail. If the bird’s tail feathers do not fit in the bag, do not bend them. Let the tail stick out of the bag, and tie the bag loosely.

Fish

Do not gut your fish. If you cannot take your fish immediately to a taxidermist, wrap it in a very wet towel and put it in a plastic bag, making sure all the fins are flat against the fish’s body (to prevent breakage), and freeze it. A fish frozen in this manner can be kept safely in the freezer for months.

Caping for a Shoulder Mount

With a sharp knife, slit the hide circling the body behind the shoulder at approximately the midway point of the rib cage behind the front legs. Slit the skin around the legs just above the knees. An additional slit will be needed from the back of the leg and joining the body cut behind the legs (Figure 2A and 2B).

Peel the skin forward up to the ears and jaw, exposing the head/neck junction. Cut into the neck approximately three inches down from this junction (Figure 3). Circle the neck, cutting down to the spinal column. After this cut is complete, grasp the antler bases, and twist the head off the neck. This should allow the hide to be rolled up and put in a freezer until transported to the taxidermist.

These cuts should allow ample hide for the taxidermist to work with in mounting. Remember, the taxidermist can cut off excess hide, but he can’t add what he doesn’t have.

Skinning Life-Size Big Game or Rugs


Make these slits (cutting the feet free from the carcass) and pull the skin off the carcass. The head is detached as with the shoulder mount.

Field care begins immediately after your trophy is down.


We can fix some mistakes but it may end up increasing the price of your mount. Avoid damages and unforeseen costs by following the instructions listed here.