Decomposition starts right after the harvest of your trophy. The more time bacterium are given to break down the skin cells of your specimen, the less structure there will be left to hold in the base of your trophies hair, fur, scales, or feathers. In other words if you don't take care of your white tail cape, the hair will "Slip" and you wouldn't want a deer skin with bald spots now would you? So the sooner you take care of your acquired trophy, the better the skin will be able to hold in the base of your trophies hair, fur, scales, or feathers.
- Don't ever leave your harvest out in the heat! Get it cold as soon as possible.
- Rinse off blood around face or wound and blot dry. Leaving blood on the skin will increase decomposition time
- Clean off any dirt, leaves, gravel, etc. from specimen
- Place in a plastic bag and tie shut. Double bag if freezing.
Never cut an animals throat or make any cuts in the brisket area (chest).
Simply encircle the animal 2" behind the front legs and skin up to the base of
the skull. Place the head with horns attached in plastic bags. Roll the skin up
to the head area.
For the taxidermist to have enough neck left to measure to acquire a proper fit, use a saw
starting approximately 3" back from the head to cut through the neck meat and separate.
Avoid letting the skin get exposed to heat or soak in water. Freeze as soon as possible.
If you are ever in doubt about the skinning process please contact me. The quality of a
mount begins before it ever gets to the taxidermist.
Keep in a cooler or refrigerator, but only if you can deliver it to a taxidermist within
1 to 3 days. Otherwise freeze. (DO NOT SALT!)
Clean off any loose debris, and lightly rinse and blot dry any blood on the feathers. Plug the mouth, nostrils, and any wound with pieces of paper towel, to keep any seepage from staining the feathers. (It is optional to slide the bird into an old pair of nylon stockings, head first, to protect and hold the feathers down and in place. If you don't have stockings, you could wrap an old towel around side-ways, or some paper towels. Do this with wings folded to its sides and head laying against the body.) Now carefully place this in one or two layers of plastic bag, tie shut, and freeze immediately.
Animals, coyote size and smaller, should be brought in whole. Do not belly cut. Clean the specimen off, place a little paper towel in any area where blood is seeping, such as a wound, mouth, nose, etc. to absorb blood and keep it out of the hair or fur. Then place in a plastic bag, tie shut and freeze at 0 degrees or below.
- A camera is a good tool to have when fishing, for both replicas,( to be made for catch & release) and for skin mounts. Fish lose color fast and lose all color after mounted, .
- Measure longest length with fish laying straight, and measure around the fish at its largest girth for catch and release fish.
- Never belly cut and gut fish. It will only cost extra to repair and still won't look as good as originally.
- Place wet in 1 or 2 tied shut plastic bags. (first wrap in an old completely saturated towel making sure fins are flat.
- Keep in cooler, refrigerator or freezer depending on how soon it can be delivered to a taxidermist.