To ensure a quality
mount, proper care and quick shipment is vital. In any case, the most
important step in trophy care in the field is to get your trophy cooled
as soon as possible. The sooner you can get your trophy cooled, the
less the chance that bacteria can begin deteriorating tissue.
I recommend subduing a fish you are going to mount as quickly as
possible. It is important to handle a fish carefully as to not dislodge
scales. A good method is to keep an old pair of lady’s nylons with you
to slide a fish into after landing and subduing it. Place the fish into
a cooler as quickly as possible. Sliding a fish into nylons will help
in protecting the fish from losing scales. Please do not gut or
cut the fish in any way.
the field, it is a little more difficult to prepare a game head for
mounting. Again with fish, cooling the trophy down as quickly as
possible is key. Below, I have included some written instructions on caping a game head. If you feel uncertain about this, please let me
know, and I can go over it with you or send you a handout to take afield
a game head
Skinning is the
process of removing the hide from a game animal.
sharp knife make initial cut 4” behind front legs and cut around the
starts at initial cut at the top of the back. Second cut runs along
the back of the neck and stops 2” back behind the antlers. Split the
second cut to form a “Y” running to the rear base of each antler.
around each front leg at the knee. Start next cut at the back of the
knee and cut hide up the back of front leg to the top of the front
leg. Then angle cut back to meet the initial cut. Repeat this cut
for the other front leg.
game, a heavy screwdriver with a 1/4” blade is useful in prying hide
loose from around the antler bases. On horned game carefully use a knife
to cut between the hair and horn junction. Take the time to pull the
hair down and away from the horn base to avoid cutting hair with the
separate the hide along the neck incision taking extra care at the ears,
eyes and lips. Cut the ear canal close to the skull. It is always
attached farther back and lower than you think. If you place your finger
in the ear canal it will help determine this point. Take care not to cut
the tip of you finger. Again using your finger as a guide skin around
the eyes cutting close to the skull. Be aware of the tear duct at the
front of the eyes. You'll have to carefully cut or pry tear duct out of
the depression in the skull. The lips should be cut close to the skull
taking extra time leaving all lip and gum material attached to the hide.
Make sure the
cape is long enough for a shoulder mount. The cape should include the
area behind the front legs. Being sure to include the full brisket and
complete armpits. The antlers can be removed by a saw cut from the rear
of the skull towards the center of the eye socket. And a second cut
starting above the eye socket connecting with the first cut.
you've successfully caped your big game animal. At this point you should
take the cape to your taxidermist. Depending on weather and cape storage
conditions, determine the amount of time you have. If you can freeze or
place cape in cold storage this is preferable. Treat cape as well or
better than your meat. Keep it dry, cool and bug free. Take care not to
have the hide dry out. Two main factors, heat and moisture cause
bacterial growth, the cause of hair slip. Eliminate or reduce these
factors and you increase the quality of your trophy.
are ready to ship me your trophy for mounting, please make sure it is
completely frozen. Optimally, you can obtain a Styrofoam container to
place the trophy in and package for shipping. However, I have found
that before placing a frozen trophy in a cardboard box, lining it with
newspaper helps in insulation as well. Ship your trophy next day air,
and please include a note describing how you want the trophy preserved.
I also ask that you include a 50% deposit. I also ask that you call me
when you ship the trophy, so that I can make sure someone will be able
to receive it properly.
Please ship your trophy to:
Bob Dorta Taxidermy
Naples, FL 34120
Thank you for your business, and