Do’s & Dont’s
Proper care in the field ensures a better looking mount
Deer/small mammals -- Do
- Keep animal cool and dry.
- Place animal in large trash bag and freeze as soon as possible.
- For coyotes or similar small mammals, freeze whole.
- Preparing for a Shoulder Mount
- Cut the hide around the body about 6 inches behind the shoulder.
- Cut around the leg right above the knee, leave as much skin as possible.
- Cut up the back of the leg (where white and brown hair meets) to midpoint of body, then come back to starting point.
- Peel the skin forward towards the head.
- Cut through the neck and spinal column 3-4 inches below the head/neck.
- REMINDER: The more care you take of your deer now, the better the finished mount will look.
Deer/small mammals – Don't
- Never put a hot animal into a plastic bag, always allow it to cool down first.
- Don’t keep your hide in a cooler or refrigerator. It needs to be frozen.
- Never cut the throat, neck or briscuit area.
- Never drag the animal if at all possible. Always do you best to protect the head, neck and shoulders by keeping it off the ground.
Fish -- Do
- Wrapping it in a very wet cloth towel (never in paper towel), then putting it into a plastic bag helps to prevent freezer burn.
- Then put towel-wrapped fish into plastic bag, place in the freezer.
- REMINDER: the more care you take of your fish now, the better the finished mount will look.
Fish – Don’t
- Never gut the fish.
- Never wrap fish in newspaper.
- Never let dead fish remain in standing water.
Birds/fowl – Do
- Carefully rinse away any blood on feathers with water.
- Place birds in a plastic bag that is big enough to prevent bending the tail and/or breaking the feathers.
- If the feathers are too long, let them stick out of the bag and tie the bag loosely. REMINDER: the more care you take of your feathers now, the better the finished mount will look.
- Lay the head alongside of the body and place in bag, wrap up and put in freezer until you can bring it to be mounted.
Birds/fowl – Don’t
- Never gut the bird.
How to care for your mount at home
- Always hang your mount with appropriate hardware according to weight of finished mount.
- Dust your mount regularly, moving in the direction of the hair or feathers. Use a feather duster or Swiffer duster.
- Keep mounts out of direct sunlight to reduce fading.
- Do NOT hang over a heat source like a fireplace/heating vent or a high humidity area like an aquarium, hot tub, etc.
- Keep out of reach of small children.