March 16, 2016

Trophy Care

This Pic shows the first two cuts to be made on your animal for a shoulder mount.  To make sure you have plenty of cape the circular cut behind the shoulder is first followed by a cut starting at the base of the skull to the circular cut.  I use a scalpel blade such as a Havalon knife so I know the blade is always sharp and I don’t spend time sharpening.  Try to cut from the underside of the skin to prevent cutting the hair.

The next step is to start peeling the skin forward from the shoulder area towards the head.  Try to leave all the meat and fat on the animal without skinning so tight that you make cuts in the cape.

After you have it peeled towards the front of the animal, make a circular cut down by the elbow.  Cut the leg off at that point and “tube” the skin over the upper arm as you work forward and continue up the neck to the base of the skull.  Once you reach the base of the skull, take the head off with the cape attached.  Unless you have done the face, ears, eyes, and mouth before, this is where you stop.  It is very important to get the cape cooled off quickly and bring it in so that I can finish taking the cape off the skull and turning everything prior to salting.  DO NOT FREEZE IF YOU HAVE SALTED THE CAPE!  The salt will keep the cape from freezing and will spoil and slip the hair.  If you have an animal that you plan on freezing prior to bringing it in make sure you fold the animal flesh to flesh and fold as if it were a pair of pants with the head/ears inside.  Freezer burn will cause hair slippage that will not be noticeable until it makes it to the tannery.  

This video goes in to a little more detail as far as moving forward and taking the rest of the cape off the face of the animal.