Come by the shop, or request a mailing, for your free copy of a waterproof, Trophy Field Care Guide, that fits right in your back tag. Then when you get your trophy, your field care instructions will be right at your fingertips.
TROPHY FIELD CARE GUIDE
FITS IN BACK TAG
GREAT TROPHY MOUNTS START WITH THE CARE YOU GIVE THEM IN THE FIELD.
*Think of your trophy before you pull the trigger. Chest shots are preferred. Head shots may require costly repairs and can deter from the quality of the mount.
*Do not drag the trophy. Instead carry it or put it on a sled or atv. DO NOT pull trophy by antlers as the antlers can break away.
*Get trophy to taxidermist or a cool location as soon as possible, especially bears, turkeys, fish and carnivores.
*Do not dress or cape carnivores, birds, small game, fish etc. Rinse off blood and debris, gently. Bring animal in whole, immediately, or place animal in a plastic bag and freeze it. See “small mammals and birds and fish” for further detail on care.
* When taking your trophy to the taxidermist, bring appropriate tags with your mount. If by chance the cape is ruined, antlers broken, holes in the head; check with your taxidermist, most damages can be repaired. If a cape is damaged beyond repair, one can be purchased.
* If you plan to be in a remote area, speak with your taxidermist about caping, skinning and caring for the trophy BEFORE your trip. It is best, however, to leave skinning to a taxidermist.
FIELD DRESSING FOR A SHOULDER MOUNT: Field dress as normal but DO NOT cut up chest cavity. Start your cut between back legs and run up belly stopping at ribs. Cut lining that separates abdomen from chest (diaphragm) by following inside ribs around to backbone. You can then reach up inside chest cavity, grasp esophagus/windpipe and cut it as far forward as possible. Then pull to remove internal organs.
CAPEING FOR A SHOULDER MOUNT: Start the cut about 4-6” behind front legs. Slit skin all the way around the body. Cut around the front legs at the knees. Make final slits down the backside of both front legs, cutting down to the body cut. Peel skin up neck to head/neck junction. Cut in neck muscle 3” down from head/neck junction, cutting to the spinal column. Then cut or twist off the head. Rinse off any excess blood with snow or water. Roll up cape hair side out, bag and chill.
CAPEING FOR FULL BODY MOUNT: Best left to the taxidermist. If you plan to cape yourself, call your taxidermist first and see incision method they prefer. The dorsal method involves cutting up the back starting at the hip and stopping just above the shoulder. Peel skin away from body. Cut off head (3” down from head/neck junction) and feet (knee or ankle area) and leave them with cape. For flat incision, start between back legs on belly side and cut up to rib cage but do not cut brisket area. Starting at ankle of each leg, cut down legs to original center cut. Peel skin away from body. Cut feet and head off and leave with the cape. Roll up cape, with ice pack and head to inside, hair side out and freeze or take to taxidermist immediately.
SMALL MAMMALS AND BIRDS AND FISH: Do not gut, cape or skin. Rinse off any blood or debris, gently. Bring animal in whole to taxidermist as soon as possible. If there is a delay to taxidermist, place animal in plastic bag and freeze .For birds, take care not to damage the feathers. Let tail stick out of bag and tie bag loosely. For fish, take a pic (weigh/measure for catch/release.) Then wrap fish in a very wet towel (not newspaper,) place in a plastic bag making sure fins are flat against the body and freeze.