Legacy Taxidermy

Leaving a path for the next generation to follow!

PROPER FIELD CARE FOR TROPHY MOUNTS:

These are just some of the tips of proper field care for the hunter or angler desiring to have their trophy mounted. Following some of these techniques will greatly improve the chances of protecting and preserving your trophy until it reaches your taxidermist.


IN TAXIDERMY, OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM CAN COME FROM "SKIN SLIPPAGE" AND/OR "HAIR SLIPPAGE-LOSS".  
    THIS "ENEMY" TO TAXIDERMISTS (and to the potential trophy that you worked so hard to acquire), IS SIMPLY BACTERIAL GROWTH.  YOU CAN BEST                HELP ASSURE A QUALITY RESULT IN YOUR FINISHED TROPHY MOUNT BY IMMEDIATELY CARING FOR YOUR TROPHY IN THE FIELD, THE SAME AS        YOU WOULD YOUR GAME MEAT.  BACTERIA THRIVE IN A COMBINATION OF HEAT & MOISTURE, SO DO NOT PLACE A WARM SPECIMAN IN A    
     CLOSED PLASTICE BAG. CLEANING, COOLING QUICKLY AND USING SOME OF THESE LISTED TECHNIQUES WILL HELP YOU.

 TOOLS & SUPPLIES THAT WILL AID YOU:
          *Sharp skinning knives & sharpener
          *Bone Saw or Pack Axe
          *Plastic bags (NEVER put WARM hide, animal, or bird into a plastic bag until completely cooled)
          *ICE, ICE, & ICE
          *SALT (salt can be applied liberally to a fresh skinned hide -once fleshed thoroughly-, then place the hide in a shady spot to cool,      
            then shake off excess salt and liberally re-apply. The salt draws the moisture from the hide and inhibits...slows bacterial growth.
            Stock feed salt can be purchased inexpensively at any feed store) 


SKINNING FOR GAME HEAD SHOULDER MOUNTS:
          *Never cut the animal's throat to "bleed" it out
          *Never cut anywhere around the neck
          *Never cut from front leg to back leg
          *With animal hanging by the hind legs, make circular cut at
            mid-body and "tube" skin towards head and front legs
          *Saw off front legs at the knee joints and continue tube
             skinning from inside down legs and up neck to base of skull
          *Saw off neck as close to skull base as possible
          *When finished, you will have the head and half of the hide attached.
          *Let your taxidermist finish skinning the head out 


FIELD CARE OF SMALL MAMMALS FOR LIFE-SIZE MOUNTS, INCLUDING: COYOTE, FOX, BOBCAT, RACCOON, ETC.

          *Do not gut animal
          *Wipe off excessive blood with a wet rag
          *Cool down as quickly as possible in a shaded area, then pack in ice chest....DO NOT LET ANIMAL SOAK IN ICE WATER, BUT          
            RATHER LAY ANIMAL ON TOP OF PLASTIC BAG OVER ICE
          *Once cooled down completely, double-bag in airtight plastic bags & place in freezer or take to your taxidermist
          *Your taxidermist will inspect animal and discuss possible poses available to you 


SKINNING FOR LARGE LIFE-SIZE MOUNTS:
          *Make belly incision, starting directly between front legs,
            extending straight down to between rear legs
          *Extend your incision outward on the "inside" of each leg to
             hoof or paw
          *Leave hooves or paws completely attached
          *Cut tail bone off at base of tail, close to body, leaving tail                       
             bone attached to tail
          *Work your skinning knife carefully and slowly around entire
             carcass from inside, avoid cutting any holes in hide (Don't worry if
             you do cut a hole or two, it can be repaired by taxidermist)
          *After body skin is completely detached from carcass, continue
            skinning up neck as high as possible, then sever neck at the base of skull.
          *SEE REFERENCE DRAWING AT RIGHT 


SKINNING FOR LIFE-SIZE RUG MOUNTS:
          *Make belly incision, starting directly between front legs, extending straight down to between rear legs
          *Extend your incision outward on the "inside" of each leg to hoof or paw
          *Leave hooves or paws completely attached
          *Cut tail bone off at base of tail, close to body, leaving tail bone attached to tail
          *Work your skinning knife carefully and slowly around entire carcass from inside, avoid cutting any holes in hide (Don't worry if
            you do cut a hole or two, it can be repaired by taxidermist)
          *After body skin is completely detached from carcass, continue skinning up neck as high as possible, then sever neck at the base of
            skull
          *DO NOT attempt to skin head off of skull
          *Leave the skinning of the head to a professional guide or taxidermist
          *Liberally salt and cool hide, then roll skin up hair side out.
​          *SEE REFERENCE DRAWING ABOVE FOR SKINNING LIFE-SIZE


FIELD CARE OF WATERFOWL AND GAME BIRD MOUNTS:

          *DO NOT field dress if you desire to have mounted
          *Try not to let hunting dogs handle birds you want to mount
          *Pick up bird by the feet, not by the neck, wings, or tail
          *Do not twist neck of bird to kill
          *Wipe off any excess blood on plummage
          *Stuff bits of paper, cloth, etc. into birds beak or bill and vent (anus) to prevent seepage
          *Cool bird down as quickly as possible-DO NOT SOAK IN ICE WATER
          *Tuck head of bird under wing and place in air tight bag to freeze
          *Another great technique to protect plummage is to slide bird (head first) through a cut-off leg of panty hose
          *Slip the cooled bird gently into an airtight plastic bag (two would be best), then freeze
          **Turkeys are so large that they may need to be cooled down more effectively by making a straight-line incision from the BOTTOM
               of the breast bone to just shy of the vent (anus). Pull entrails out of body cavity and place a bag of ice into the empty cavity. 


FIELD CARE OF FISH MOUNTS:
          *Do not gut fish or remove scales
          *Gently handle fish and fins
          *Keep fish packed on ice
          *Wrap entire fish in a wet towel, place in airtight freezer bag, then freeze (this will protect from freezer burn until ready to have
            mounted)
          *Color photos immediately after your catch can aid your taxidermist
          *NOTE: If you desire to relase your fish back into the water, a quality reproduction can be done for you
          *Take several close-up & multi-angled photos *Weigh fish, measure length & girth of fish *Take photos & measurements to your
            taxidermist.