Middle Tennessee's finest licensed, full time taxidermist with over 25 years experience

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
    1. Cut the hide around the body about 6 inches behind the shoulder. 
    2. Cut around the leg right above the knee, leave as much skin as possible. 
    3. Cut up the back of the leg (where white and brown hair meets) to midpoint of body, then come back to starting point.
    4. Peel the skin forward towards the head. 
    5. 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.