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Pre-Taxidermist Care - Whitetail
|Field dressing a Whitetail: DO NOT cut any of the hair above the breast bone as this cuts into the brisket area that is needed for a shoulder mount. (i.e. make sure not to cut hair that is within 4" of the front legs.)|
|Removing a Whitetail from the Woods: When dragging your deer out of the woods, DO NOT tie a rope around the neck as this may damage the hair. Either grab the horns with your hands or tie the rope around the horns.|
|Cool down: Do this immediately without thawing and refreezing your specimen to prevent bacteria from ruining your trophy. If unable to bring to taxidermist immediately, freeze specimen.|
|Finally: Treat your cape as well or better than your meat because heat and moisture cause bacterial growth, the main cause of hair slippage. By eliminating or reducing these factors you will increase the quality of your trophy.|
How to Cape a Whitetail for a Shoulder Mount
1. Hang your trophy deer up by the hind legs. Never hang it by the neck! Notice the cut is thru the skin just behind the tendon.
2. Make the initial cut around the entire belly of the deer approximately 4” above the armpits as shown in the first picture above. Cut around the entire animal at that height.
3. Next, cut the hide around each front leg approximately 4" down from the armpit as shown in all three pics.
4. Cut the hide up the leg on the outside of the white hair as shown by the tape in the second picture. Meet this cut with the one around the belly as seen in the third picture. (i.e. don't cut thru the armpits which are needed)
5. Carefully skin the hide starting around the belly and working your way down. Be careful in the armpits since the hide is thin.
6. Continue skinning by cutting the white membrane between the hide and the meat. Once you get close to the top vertebrae, you will have to hold the skin open as shown in the third picture.
7. Once you're as far up as possible, cut through the meat at the top vertebrae and twist the neck off.
8. Bring to the taxidermist or freeze immediately in double plastic garbage bags to prevent damage. Do not allow thawing and refreezing of your specimen. Keep it dry, cool and bug free for the best results.
Post Taxidermist Care
1. Clean eyes with Windex
2. Dust hair with mineral spirits