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Quality mounts begin in the field.
Contact IMPERIAL TAXIDERMY
before your hunt, for proper field care of your trophy


Caping
The caping process of skinning out a trophy animal is best left to the taxidermist. Their experience skinning, especially the delicate nose, mouth, eyes, and ears is invaluable toward producing a quality mount. Damage to a hide is costly to repair. Some types of damage simply can't be "fixed' by the taxidermist.

Many trophies are ruined in the first few hours after death. As soon as the animal dies, bacteria begins to attack the carcass. Warm, humid weather accelerates bacteria growth. In remote areas, or areas not near your taxidermist, a competent person may be required to cape out the hide in order to preserve it.
Every taxidermist has a preferred method of caping a hide. Contact your taxidermist prior to your hunt in order to get instructions on their caping requirements. However, the following techniques are generally acceptable.

Skinnig Life-Size Big Game
There are two major methods of skinning a large life-sized mount such as deer, elk, or bear. These methods are the flat incision and the dorsal method.

The Flat Incision
The flat incision is used for rug mounts and for a variety of poses. The areas to be cut are shown in Figure 1 (cutting the feet free from the carcass) and pull the skin off the carcass. The head is detached as with the shoulder mount.

The Dorsal Method
The dorsal method of skinning involves a long slit down the back (from the tail base up into the neck). The carcass is skinned as it is pulled through this incision. The feet/hooves and the head are cut off from the carcass as with a shoulder mount explained later. Only use this method with approval and detailed instruction from your taxidermist. Use this method only when skin can be frozen quickly after skinning.

Figure #1

Note: If you can't take your hide immediately to a taxidermist, freeze it to your taxidermist's specifications.








Caping for a Shoulder Mount

1. With a sharp knife slit the hide circling the body behind the shoulder at the approximately the mid-way point of the rib cage behind the front legs. Slit the skin around the legs just above the knees. An additional slit will be needed from the back of the leg and joining the body cut behind the legs. (Figure 2A and 2B)

2. Peel the skin forward up to the ears and jaw exposing the head/neck junction. Cut into the neck approximately three inches down from this junction (Figure 3). Circle the neck cutting down to the spinal column. After this cut is complete, grasp the antler bases and twist the head off the neck. This should allow the hide to be rolled up and put in a freezer until transported to the taxidermist. These cuts should allow ample hide for the taxidermist to work with in mounting. Remember, the taxidermist can cut off excess hide, but he can't add what he doesn't have!

NOTE: When field dressing a trophy to be mounted, don't cut into the brisket (chest) or neck area. If blood gets on the hide to be mounted, wash it off with snow or water as soon as possible. Also avoid dragging the deer out of the woods with a rope. Place is on a sled, rickshaw, or 4 wheeler. The rope, rocks, or a broken branch from a deadfall can easily damage the fur or puncture the hide. If you do need to drag it out with a rope, attach the rope to the base of the antlers and drag your trophy carefully.

Figures 2A, 2B









National Award Winning Taxidermist