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BASIC INFO ON SKINNING & STORAGE

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Some Basic Information on Skinning and Storage

The most common mistake hunters make while skinning their deer or hog is cutting the cape too short or splitting the brisket area.

To be certain you have enough skin to shoulder mount your trophy, cut around the body of the animal at the place where the rear edge of the sternum (breast bone) meets the ribs. This is well behind the shoulders. For standard wall poses cut around the legs at the first joint below the body (the knee). Then skin out the cape and pull off of the legs similar to a T-shirt. For sizing purposes it is good to leave the head with about three inches of neck attached to the skin. The cape can now be taken directly to the taxidermist or placed in a freezer. DO NOT store capes or skins in plastic bags unless you are freezing them. Plastic can cause skins to spoil quickly, unless kept very cold.

Special mounts of large animals such as half-bodied or life-sized animals need a different skinning process. Fox-fire Taxidermy can provide this service for you or help with additional information.

Smaller animals such as coyotes or raccoons should be taken to the taxidermist whole. Do not gut these animals as they are skinned in different ways depending on pose. Be aware that all carnivores and scavengers can spoil very quickly so getting them cold and to the taxidermist in a timely fashion is important. (Predator animals and hogs can carry health risks to humans. It is a good idea to handle any skinning project with latex gloves.)

All birds should be taken whole to the taxidermist. We prefer to get your birds fresh but they can be kept in a cold refrigerator for up to three days. Beyond that we recommend you freeze them in a plastic bag. Do not store birds on ice. Fish can be kept in ice or bagged and refrigerated for several days. If you plan to store a fish longer than five days wrap it in plastic smoothing the fins to the body and freeze. Remember that a fish tail will break easily once frozen so protect the tail in the freezer.

When hunting or fishing out of your area without refrigeration more involved procedures are required. If you have questions concerning the care of your trophy under field conditions contact us.




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