Your mount begins in the Field Here are some tips that will help ensure the quality of your Mount
Bacteria is your worst enemy . Bacteria needs heat to grow and it is what makes the hair , fur , etc. slip or come out so get your trophy in a cool place ASAP ( Refrigerator , Freezer , Cooler w/ice). Get your trophy to your taxidermist ASAP !
Small Game ( Squirrel , Bobcat , Fox , Turkey , etc.): Do not use a knife on it in any way , just put it in a garbage bag mash what air out that you can get out , tape it up and freeze ASAP and get it to your Taxidermist ASAP. Leave all the cutting to your Taxidermist. DO NOT GUT ANIMAL
Turkey , Pheasants , etc. : In the field it is a good idea to have a pair of ladies panty hose and a paper towel with you ; 1st , put the paper towel in the birds throat , then slide the bird head first down in the hose , this will keep the blood from draining out of the birds mouth and hold the feathers in place. Just make sure you tell your wife or girlfriend what is going on before hand. Do not put a knife in it in any way , leave that to your taxidermist. If you must put the bird in a cooler with ice put it in a garbage bag first and tie it off past the tail , try your best not to let the tail get wet. When you shoot your bird go pin him down ASAP , do not let him flop around and lose feathers , caution with the spurs . DO NOT GUT BIRD
Deer , Elk , etc.: If you're on a guided hunt your outfitter is probably going to cape your trophy out for you and he will probably split it down the back of the neck which is alright , ( my mounts are not cut at all down the neck but I can work with one that has been ). If your outfitter does cape your trophy and you have no way to keep it cool on your way home SALT is your best friend , completely cover the meat side of your hide and roll it up , don't be afraid to get it on the hair side too . ( There will be Drainage ) If you are going to cape your own deer , hang it by its back legs and lets get started : Cut circles around the rear legs and split down the inside to gut cut , began skinning hide down toward head but before you get to much hide hanging down in your way , on the back of its front legs is a hair pattern where the brown hair and white hair meet , cut a circle around the leg at the knee (FIGURE 2a at bottom of page) and split the hide up the hair pattern until you hit the rib cage (FIGURE 2b at bottom of page) , then angle your blade toward the cut you made to gut the animal and finish your cut. (do this on both legs) then start skinning the hide off the legs and brisket area , now go back up to the hide you left coming off the body and finish skinning all the way down to the neck , Then cut the neck (meat part / not hide) bone and all (FIGURE 3 at bottom of page). YOUR BLADE SHOULD NEVER BE PAST ITS SHOULDERS WITH CUTS TO THE HIDE (neck area) AT ANY TIME; If you take it to a processing place make sure you tell them you are having it mounted , they know what to do from there. If you are total lost on this , take it somewhere and get some HELP ! Deer heads with the antlers on are bad to freezer burn because you can't get the air out of the bag , so get it to your Taxidermist ASAP to be skinned. Entry Bullet holes in neck are usually not a problem , Exit Bullet holes in neck can be a problem. NEVER CUT YOUR TROPHIES THROAT
Fish : DO NOT GUT OR CUT IN ANY WAY ; Take a bath towel and wet it , lay your fish on it and gently roll it up in the wet towel , flip both ends of towel toward the middle and put it in garbage bag and freeze. This cases your fish in a block of ice and will not freezer burn. Freezer burn is caused by the air in the freezer , so the more air you get out of your freezer bag the better , wrap everything tight.
Home Maintenance : Once a year it is a good idea to buy some Raid ant & roach killer and MIST (not soak) your Trophies to make sure you do not have trouble with dermatitis hide beetles. Larvae form of moths (my theory ). They can shipwreck your mount before you even know they're on it . Fish are not affected by them , but they will get on a Turkey and all hair and fur bearing mammal mounts. The best thing to clean your trophies with is a static cling feather duster , DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner on your mounts. Always rub with the hair ( same direction hair is laying ) , if you clean with Pledge and a rag.
Thanks Again Good Hunting and Happy Fishing to All !