Tagged a Trophy: What TO DO & What NOT to do!

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Tagged a Trophy: What TO DO & What NOT to do!

Josh Bryan advisory board member Oregon Outdoor Council

September 28, 2014 – by Josh Bryan, Advisory Board Member

Tagged a Trophy: What TO DO & What NOT to do!

Josh Bryan Taxidermy Josh Bryan advisory board member Oregon Outdoor Council

Have you or anyone you know scored a trophy and then thought; I want to get it mounted, but what do I do? How do you field dress an animal to get it mounted? How much cape do I leave if I want to properly mount my deer or elk?  Let’s answer these questions! Once you have had success in the field, and have decided that you want to get your trophy mounted, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your taxidermist has the best cape possible to work with. After all, a great mount starts with good field care!

Top 3 MUST do

  • First, you need to properly cape the animal. The diagram below shows the correct method of capeing. Make sure you leave enough cape to work with, it can always be trimmed later. When in doubt, leave too much!
  • Second, get the cape cooled as soon as you can! Put the hide loosely in a bag and allow cold air from the freezer or cooler to reach all parts of the hide. You can use a cooler with ice, a walk in cooler or a freezer. What ever you do, get it cold or frozen ASAP! Warmth is the enemy!! If you do not get the cape cool, you run the risk of losing your trophy!
  • Last but not least…simply get it to your taxidermist as soon as possible.

How to properly field dress a deer or elk to mount

 Definitely DON’T Do

  • First,  never EVER roll your cape up when you intend to freeze it! Animal skins are a great insulator, when you roll it up you are protecting the innermost part of the skin from the cold and it can remain raw for several days in the freezer. This allows bacteria to do its job and begin to breakdown the skin, causing you to lose your cape.
  • Second, never salt your cape. If a skin is not properly turned and fleshed than the salt does nothing but make a mess and makes the fleshing process much harder!!

If you are not sure of yourself when it comes to the field care of your trophy, call your taxidermist and they will be happy to help you. Your taxidermist will thank you for bringing them a properly cared for cape, making his/her job much easier, and the best possible mount for you!

Happy Hunting!!
Oregon Outdoor Council Advisory Member Josh Bryan
Josh Bryan, Advisory Board Member