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Nice work gents.  That's a helluva hunt...
  I finally made it back to the midwest to...
Last call.....
word on the street is ol Eric Welsh.....shot one...

what do i need

6 replies [Last post]
diehard (not verified)

I don't what your asking?But once you have a deer down you need to skin it out as far as you can. If you have never caped a head out I don't recommend it if you want to mount it. the best thing would be to get as far as you can with out cutting holes in it. Then cut the rest of what you don't need off. Then some people salt it some don't but you need to get in a cooler and keep it cool until you can take it to your taxidurmist. I've had good luck doing it that way

Eric Welsh's picture
Posts: 1571

This is what I do: When gutting the deer, I make the smallest cut possible trying not to go farther than the breast plate. then at the bottom of the cut, near the balls of the buck, I cut around the whole deer over his back. this is all easier if its hanging from his back legs. The I "tube" him down to his legs and neck. I then cut around the elbows on his front legs and tube the legs. then cut the head off at the top of the neck. I dont cape out the face or head myself. I let the taxidemist do it.


- Team DIY


Posts: 3

 You should pick up a copy of Proper Field Care For Your Trophy by Belleville Artistic Wildlife. It will show you how to clean, quarter and cape you deer. You can get it Advantage Archery in Covina 626-332-0663.


dblcluckr1's picture
Posts: 114

Right on Mike (saltonman) glad to see you made it, now get ernie on here


2010 PSE MoneyMaker X LF, Trophy Taker Original, Spot Hogg Hogg It Sight, 12" B Stinger 14oz Stabilizer, 10" B Stinger Side Bar w/ 4 oz X Addict Spike weight, Spot Hogg Wiseguy release

2010 PSE BowMadness XL, Redzone Code Red Rest, Axcel Armortech Pro HD Sight, 12" Smooth Stability Stabilizer, TightSpot Quiver,Spot Hogg Wiseguy release

zslayer's picture
Posts: 325

Caping for a Shoulder Mount

With a sharp knife, slit the hide circling the body behind the shoulder at approximately the midway point of the rib cage behind the front legs. Slit the skin around the legs just above the knees. An additional slit will be needed from the back of the leg and joining the body cut behind the legs.


Peel the skin forward up to the ears and jaw exposing the head/neck junction. Cut into the neck approximately three inches down from this junction. Circle the neck, cutting down to the spinal column. After this cut is complete, grasp the antler bases, and twist the head off the neck. This should allow the hide to be rolled up and put in a freezer until transported to the taxidermist.

These cuts should allow ample hide for the taxidermist to work with in mounting. Remember, the taxidermist can cut off excess hide, but he can't add what he doesn't have.


When field dressing a trophy to be mounted, don't cut into the brisket (chest) or neck area.

If blood gets on the hide to be mounted, wash it off with snow or water as soon as possible.

Avoid dragging the deer out of the woods with a rope. Place it on a sled, a rickshaw, or a four-wheeler. The rope, rocks, or a broken branch from a deadfall can easily damage the fur or puncture the hide. If you do need to drag it our with a rope, attach the rope to the base of the antlers and drag your trophy carefully.

Small Mammals

Animals, coyote sized or smaller, should not be skinned unless by a professional. Don't gut the animal. Small mammals, especially carnivores, will spoil quickly because of their thin hide and bacteria. If you can't take the small game animal immediately to a taxidermist, as soon as the carcass cools completely, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it. With the epidemic of rabies evident in many areas of the country, take every safety measure necessary when handling your game.


Do not gut the bird. Rinse any blood from the feathers with water. Take the bird immediately to your taxidermist or freeze it. Put the bird into a plastic bag for freezing, being careful not to damage the feathers, including the tail. If the bird's tail feathers do not fit in the bag, do not bend them. Let the tail stick out of the bag and tie the bag loosely.


Do not gut your fish.

If you cannot take your fish immediately to a taxidermist, wrap it in a very wet towel and put it in a plastic bag, making sure all the fins are flat against the fish's body (to prevent breakage) and freeze it. A fish frozen in this manner can safely be kept in the freezer for months.


Note: A fish will lose its coloration shortly after being caught. A good color photograph immediately after the catch may enable the taxidermist to duplicate the natural color tones of that particular fish.



  • Always have appropriate tags with your trophies when you take them to your taxidermist.
  • Do not cut off the ears for attachment.
  • Songbirds, Eagles, Hawks and Owls are protected by Federal Law and can not be mounted unless with special Federal permit.
  • For situations where you are hunting with no available taxidermist or freezer, ask your taxidermist about techniques to skin out the entire cape (including the head) and salting the hide. This is the only method in remote locations that can preserve your hide for later mounting.
This document is copyrighted by McKenzie Sports Products, Inc. and is intended to help hunters avoid common mistakes in the field.
Printing of more than one copy at a time without written permission is prohibited.

Posts: 4

sorry for the delayed response to your posts, for some reason i havent been getting notifications in my email.


thank you for all the helpful advice, i realize my initial post was pretty vague


i am going white tail hunting for the first time this fall, and would like to get a mount of my very first buck, tho due to current times i am not sure if  the money will be there to have a mount made immediately. how long will a cape and head last in the freezer until i can get it mounted.. and what are some ways i can help preserve the integrity of the cape

thanks again,