CAPING FOR A SHOULDER MOUNT
With a sharp knife cut the hide between the ears, down the back of the neck, stopping your cut behind the shoulders as shown in Diagram A. Cut down behind the shoulders to behind the front legs, cut around the front legs about 5” down from the body and join the two cuts as shown in Diagram B, so the brisket and arm pits end up going forward with the cape that will show on a full shoulder mount.

Skin up to the head or right behind the ears and cut the head off the body as shown in the diagram to
the left.
If you are an experienced skinner, you can make a “Y” cut to the base of the horns, carefully skin around the horn burs, cut off the ear butt close to the head, and skin out the rest of the head. Otherwise take it to your taxidermist and let him finish skinning out the head so it is done properly.

Do not drag your deer out of the woods with a rope. The branches, rocks and ground can easily damage the hair and ruin the shoulder which will show on your mount.

SKINNING
LIFE-SIZE BIG GAME
By looking at the Bear Diagram below, your first cut should be 5” from the end of the bottom chin, cut directly down the center of the bear’s chest and stomach to the base of the tail. The second cut can be started on either front leg and beginning at the middle of the front pads.
The large foot pad can be split down the middle and cut to a point approximately 2” above the elbow, as shown in the diagram. Than from the elbow, cut straight across to the lower chest where the first cut was made. Both cuts on the front legs should intersect the first cut at the same place on the chest. On the back legs, start by splitting the foot pads down the middle and follow down the back of the leg to where the rump muscle begins. Angle your cut to a point approximately 5” ahead of the anus. From these cuts, the skin can be removed from the carcass. Most people cut off the head and feet leaving them in the hide for their taxidermist to skin out.

BIRDS
Do not gut the bird. Wash off any blood that may have gotten on any feathers with water. Place the bird in a plastic bag, being careful not to damage any of the feathers. If the bird’s tail is too long, don’t bend it, let it stick out of the bag. Tie the bag loosely and freeze as soon as possible.








SMALL MAMMALS
Unless you are experienced at skinning, animals that are coyote size or smaller, should be taken to your taxidermist to be skinned properly. Don’t gut the animal. Because small mammals spoil quickly, they should be put in a plastic bag and frozen as soon as the carcass has cooled completely.








FISH
Do not gut your fish. Lay the fins flat against the fish’s body. You should wrap the fish in a wet towel or in a plastic bag and freeze as soon as possible. You can keep a fish wrapped like this in the freezer for months.