Caring For Game In The Field
Leave plenty of cape and never cut the throat of any trophy. The dotted line shows the correct cuts. Great care should be taken to avoid cutting of the eyes, nose and lips.
The dotted line shows the correct cuts when skinning an animal for a rug: cut around the pads on the feet but not completely. Skin paws to the last joint on the toes. Do not cut through the pads. Leave them attached on one side as shown. Skin out ears, but do not remove cartilage. Salt well, drain and ship. Bring in the animal as fresh as possible. Do not freeze for extended periods of time; this is when hair slippage occurs. The head and the feet maybe left on the trophy but then rush it to us at Capilano Taxidermy as quickly as possible. Fine hairs on the face and between the toes and ears need extra salt applied. This is where hair slippage occurs first. If you have not taken the time to skin out the head, lips, ears and paws you absolutely cannot delay in getting the animal to us. Salt cannot penetrate through flesh and fat, it can only work on the hide itself. If you apply salt where it has not been defleshed, will only pickle the meat.
Always use plenty of salt. Never dry skins in the sun.
Salt should be fine not in coarse crystals as they dissolve much slower. You should always carry about 10-15 pounds of salt with you when hunting. If you hunt a large moose or deer and then also tag a black bear, you need enough salt to last you at least a week until you emerge from the wilderness.
The best way to keep a hide fresh is to keep it frozen. If no such facilities are available, it should be completely skinned out: ears, lips and paws. Then of course apply plenty of salt and do not miss any areas like in between the toes, right up inside the ears, between the lips. The places that you miss will have no hair. In either scenario, the faster the taxidermist gets your trophy the less risk you take loosing it.
Pre-curing hides for shipping
Find a cool, dry and well-ventilated area and lay the hid on the floor, flesh side up. Make sure that no edges are folded over. Apply salt - cover hide approximately 1/8 inch deep with salt (fine - grained salt preferable), and rub vigorously into the ears, nose and lips. Next morning, wipe hide dry and re - salt. Repeat this process for three days or until all water is drawn out of the hide. Fold hide flesh side in and ship.
Fish and birds should be frozen whole. Do not remove entrails from fish and birds.
Wrap the entire bird carefully in paper towels taking care to smooth down the feathers while doing this. For extra protection, the bird can be gently and loosely wrapped in a piece of cardboard before placing it in a plastic bag. Freeze the bird as soon as possible being careful not to crush the bird while it is in cold storage. Do not place items on top of it.
We at Capilano Taxidermy will recommend specific techniques to help produce an extremely professional quality mount. Good photographs of your trophy and some basic measurements always help.
Tools for Caring for Your Game
10-15 pounds of fine salt
Two good knives preferable one with a curved skinning blade.
10 to 15 meters (yards) of nylon cord or rope at least 5mm (3/16 inches) diameter.
A "come-along" or light block and tackle
A meat saw/axe
Sharpening stone or steel
Game bags or cheesecloth
Black pepper to keep flies away
Paper towelling or clean wiping cloth
A nylon or polyethylene tarpaulin
A pack board
All Game should be frozen if possible and shipped immediately to your taxidermist without delay.