I am always willing to show and teach you the first time how to properly cape your trophy out right. If you get something do not hesitate to call me we can do it together. Nothing worse than losing a trophy because it was cut wrong…
If in doubt, contact me and I will be happy to discuss.
If you are lucky enough to bag one of our North American small games there are some things you must know and understand. (Coyote size or smaller)
1. Never Gut any small game animal that can cause more harm than good.
2. Never attempt to skin out a small game animal, Small mammals, especially carnivores, will spoil quickly because of their thin hide and bacteria.
3. If you have had the privilege of taking more than one animal do not stack on top of each other, this will hinder the cooling process and you can lose both animals.
4. Do not just throw them in the back of your vehicle and think they are ok, take the time and make sure there is ventilation on both top and bottom, best thing you can do is throw an old pallet in the back of the truck and place on top of that.
5. If you cannot take to your taxidermist immediately the best method is to let it cool completely, you can speed this process up by placing in your freezer uncovered, once cooled then place it in a plastic bag and freeze it.
6. If you take one of your small game that needs to be sealed get it sealed and cooled as soon as possible.
1. Do not gut the bird.
2. Rinse off any blood on the feathers with water. If the head area is bleeding wrap the head in a paper towel.
3. Take the bird immediately to your taxidermist or freeze it.
4. Put the bird into a plastic bag for freezing being careful not to damage the feathers, including the tail.
5. On most birds the size of a goose on down use a panty hose leg, start from the head and work the bird into the panty hose leg this will prevent the feathers from being pulled and not laying correctly. If the bird's tail feathers do not fit in the bag do not bend them. Let the tail stick out of the bag and tie the bag loosely.
1. Due to the size of a turkey, and the often warm weather associated with the spring hunting season turkeys are often miss handled causing more damage than good.
2. When retrieving your down bird get to it as quickly as possible if it is flopping, grab it by the legs holding it away from your body until the death convolutions have ceased. This will keep the bird from causing more damage to the wing and tail feathers. These big birds must be treated just as delicately as any smaller birds. Try to keep the feathers from becoming soiled in dirt or blood. Never grab the bird by the neck or drag it on the ground. When transporting the gobbler, place it on its belly, never on its back.
****************** Songbirds, eagles, hawks, and owls are protected by Federal Law and cannot be mounted unless with special Federal permit you are not even allowed to have in your possession a feather from any type, the best thing to do if found call your local game warden. **********************
Fish Mount Options:
There are a couple of different methods you can choose for your trophy. Both skin and reproduction mounts are popular. Whichever method you choose proper care and attention to detail will give you the best mount.
Skin mounts are done from the actual fish you catch. Not all fish are suitable for skin mounts due to size or oily skin a lot of times depending on what time of the year will also determine if it can be mounted. If you decide to do a skin mount, here are a few simple rules to follow:
1. Never cut the fish in any way.
2. Minimize scale loss by not allowing the fish to flop around.
3. Keep your fish separate from other fish.
4. Keep your fish in ice water until you are able to freeze it using one of the methods below.
5. Take as many pictures as you can. Close-up photos of the fish are best and most digital cameras have a macro mode. This is very helpful to the taxidermist in individualizing your fish, and capturing all the detail.
6. It is best to take the photos as soon as the fish is landed. The colors will fade fast as the fish dies.
7. ******* MOST IMPORTANT********* TRY NOT TO USE A NET.... USING A NET CAUSES A LOT OF FIN DAMAGE AND SCALE DAMAGE, TRY TO USE A CRADLE AND BLANKET METHOD IF YOU CAN.
Methods for freezing:
Method 1 (My preferred method for freezing)
1. Use Borax, which can be found in most grocery stores in the laundry detergent area.
2. Cover the fish from head to tail, both sides.
3. Lay a piece of wax paper, shiny side up, on a rigid board that is as long as your fish at minimum.
4. Lay the fish flat on the wax paper, taking caution of the fins.
5. Lay paired fins along the body. (Tail fin and dorsal fin are not paired fins all others are)
6. Place the entire board with the fish in the freezer.
7. Sometimes if fish not completely deceased you can wrap entire board and fish in saran wrap to keep it secured to board until frozen.
8. Once frozen solid, place (only the frozen fish) into two heavy duty plastic bags such as leaf bags. Push out as much air as possible, and seal the end of the bag to where air does not leak back in.
9. Place back in the freezer, and try not to stack anything on top of it.
* Soak a bath or beach towel (depending on size of fish) in water.
* Wrap the wet fish with the wet towel(s), taking caution of the fins.
* Lay the fish flat into two heavy duty plastic bags such as leaf bags. Push out as much air as possible, and seal the end of the bag to where air does not leak back in.
* Place in freezer on a rigid surface, or as flat as possible, until fish freezes solid.
* Do not lay anything on top of the fish. NOTE: Take extra care to prevent damage to the fish. Small damages can be fixed, but major damage to the fish may not be able to be fixed, and will cost extra.
This will be the method you will want to choose if you want to release your catch, eat it, or simply cannot get the fish prepared for a skin mount. This method will give you a beautiful reproduction of the fish you caught, that will last forever. For this method, if you want your fish to be as original as the fish you caught, please follow these simple instructions
1. Measure the fish length from tip to tip, (((((( that means closing the mouth of the fish and going to to outer tip of tail ))))))
2. You second measurement will be the girth or the WIDEST PART OF THE FISH, this is typically in front of the dorsal fin.
NOTE ******It is best to use a “soft” tape to get these two measurements.*******
NOTE ******* Take as many close-up photos as you can. However, if planning to release the fish, please minimize the photograph session. Use a digital camera on macro mode if available. The pictures will help enhance the individualism of your fish.
Note: A fish will lose its coloration shortly after being caught. A good color photograph immediately after the catch may enable the taxidermist to duplicate the natural color tones of that particular fish.
TIPS: Always have appropriate tags with your trophies when you take them to your taxidermist. Do not cut the ears for attachment.
• For situations where you are hunting with no available taxidermist or freezer, ask me about techniques to skin out the entire cape (including the head) and salting the hide. This is the only method in remote locations that can preserve your hide for later mounting.