Skinning/Care Guide

helpful hints

The 2 worst things for a hide are sunlight and moisture. 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. Bacteria is what causes the hair to fall out, which is known as “Slipping”. Damage to a hide is costly to repair. Some types of damage simply cannot be “fixed” by a taxidermist.

keep out of sunlight

Regardless of the temperature sun light will heat up the hide and cause bacteria to grow.

shoulder mounts

The more of the hide you keep attached the better. DO NOT CUT the animals throat or Chest Bone “Brisket”. Cut to the Brisket then go at an angle to the front legs, see Figure 2B. If you decide to cut the hide in half see Figure 2A on where to cut. Cut neck off as close as possible to the head, see Figure 3. Put head and hide in a plastic bag, tie as good as you can, then set in ice chest or in another plastic bag and ice down. Keep as dry as possible. Do not hang animals by the horns, this can stretch the neck.

medium and small animals

Do not gut the animal. Small mammals, especially carnivores, will spoil quickly because of their thin hide and bacteria. As soon as the animal cools put in plastic bag and tie tight to keep animal as dry as possible, then lay in ice chest or in another plastic bag and ice down. Let a taxidermist do the skinning.

birds

Do not gut the bird. Put in plastic bag then lay in ice chest or in another plastic bag and ice down. DO NOT BEND the tail feathers to get them in the trash bag; it is OK if they hang out of the bag.

fish

Do not gut your fish. Wrap fish in a very wet towel and put in a plastic bag, making sure all the fins are flat against the fish’s body (to prevent breakage), and ice down until you get home, then freeze. 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.

freezing

If you plan to freeze your animal when you get home that is fine, but try not to leave your animal in the freezer past one month. Past one month the animal will start to freezer burn. If for any reason your head or animal will be in the freezer for more than a month call me, I will skin out the head or animal and bag it properly to keep it from freezer burning and keep it until you are ready for me to mount it.

Extended or Out of the Country Hunting Trips

If going out of the country or on a extended hunt for big game call me and we can discuss what needs to be done to the cape or hide of the animal to ensure it is in good shape when you get it home.

drop offs

I work during the week, but I am home by 4:00 pm. I am flexible about drop-offs. When you call me ahead of time to inform me when you will be by, I will take drop-offs after 4 p.m. on the weekdays and anytime on the weekends.

note

Large animal(s) with thick skin or hair DO NOT roll hide in a ball. Lay hide out as flat as possible and let hide get cold all the way through, then you can ball it up for transporting.