Whidbey Island Taxidermy | Field Care
When you collect an animal you want mounted, we suggest you follow these tips to ensure the quality and protection of your specimen.
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Field Care

Please note we do not accept salted hides. 

When you collect an animal you want mounted, we suggest you follow these tips to ensure the quality and protection of your specimen.

Birds

If you know there is a good chance you’ll bag a nice bird OR if you’re on a guided hunt for a seabird like the Harlequin, consider using a smaller shot size. This will help prevent excessive damage to the feathers, bill and feet, and greatly contribute to a better mount.

If your friend’s dog has a hard mouth, attempt to retrieve the bird before the dog does!

Once you have your bird in hand, GENTLY rinse off as much mud and blood as possible. Next, GENTLY tuck the bird’s head under one wing and place first in a nylon stocking, then a plastic bag. Keep your bird in a shaded or cool place during the remainder of the hunt and plan to freeze the bird as soon as possible.

Before you freeze your bird, wrap it in a couple of plastic bags, pushing out the air, and sealing the bags shut with tape to prevent freezer burn. This should keep your bird in good mountable condition up to 1 year. It’s always good practice to write on the bag or attach a tag—including your name, date, species of bird, and your State Wildlife Identification Number.

Mammals

After you collect your mammal (deer, bear, bobcat, etc.) skin the animal as fast and carefully as possible to cool down the meat and the skin (see the figure below). While skinning, be sure to make clean straight cuts; this will help hide the suture lines when I sew up the animal. Cooling down the skin quickly prevents the hair from slipping during the tanning and mounting processes.

Place your animal in a game bag and keep it in a shaded or cool place during the remainder of the hunt. Freeze your animal as soon as possible. Before you freeze, wrap it in a heavy plastic bag, pushing out the air, and sealing it shut with tape to prevent freezer burn. Label the bag with your name, date and tag number.

In order to get an accurate measurement for the taxidermy form, I need several key measurements of the animal. One of the most important involves the circumference of the neck. Please leave six inches of the neck and meat behind the skull so I can make this key measurements.

Do not skin out paws or hooves. Skin down to the ankle area and stop there. Many skinning mistakes are made in this location, requiring extensive repair work on my part and added expense to you.

Do not split or skin out the tail. Again, many mistakes made there may require additional repair work and added expense. I’ll take care of this specialized skinning for you.

Do not skin out the head to retrieve the skull. Skin up to the base of the skull and stop there. Then, carefully wrap the head with the skin and freeze. If you want the skull let me know at the time you bring the animal into our shop and I will process it for you OR I can clean it for you at an additional cost.

For all shoulder mounts follow the cut lines on the diagram below. Many hunters cut the cape too short! Be sure to cut around the animal’s body ½ way down the ribcage and ½ way down the front legs.