Being an avid hunter and fisherman, I can appreciate the importance of capturing your trophy in the most realistic and creative way possible. That is why we bring wildlife artistry to new heights of realism, be assured that whether it is your trophy buck or your kids first fish. That is the purpose of this guide. If you are planning a hunt in the near future, please visit our other guides. These will provide all the information you will need to prepare your kill for your taxidermist, or feel free to call us and we will personally help.
(Please use picture as a referance only)
When skinning for a shoulder mount, it's better to cut to long than too short. With the animal laying on its side, poke your knife into the side skin, blade edge up, starting behind the trailing edge of the front leg. Then imagine a straight line going up to the animals back. Slowly cut up heading to the spine. It is better to angle slightly back you stopped your last cut at the spine, and cut down to behind the trailing edge of the other front leg. Continue this incision across the belly to where the cut started, behind the other leg.
From the circumference incision that you've already made around the body, make a perpendicular cut over to, and then down a couple of inches, of both trailing edges of the front legs. Now make a perpendicular cut from the bottom of the trailing edge leg cuts, all the way around the upper leg to separate the upper leg skin from the rest of the leg.
With one hand holding the edge of the skin and the other hand cutting, carefully work the knife between the skin and muscle. Keep working all the way around, working towards the head, rolling the skin back like you were inverting a sock. When you have worked the skin like this all the way to the back of the head, you can stop. (Unless you already have experience, let the taxidermist skin out the head. If you do skin out the head, make sure you take measurements first.
Nose to front of eye
Nose to back of skull
Neck circumference 2" behind head
If the animal has either horns or antlers, measure from the nose to the left and right of each of the sides closest points
For the taxidermist to have enough neck left to measure to acquire a proper fit, use a saw starting approximately 3" back from the head to cut through the neck and separate. Now make sure the cape is clean of debris and blood on the face, ears, or hair, is rinsed off. Then place in a plastic bag and tie shut. Either REFRIGERATE OR FREEZE depending on how soon you can deliver it to a taxidermist.