Let me start off by justifying this thread. I have a very good friend who is a awsome tamidermist and I help him every now and then in his shop. Mostly I watch and we talk about deer hunting but I have learned a few things from him. Ok fellows if you have killed a Big old Bruiser Buck and you know that you are going to put this bad boy on the wall there are a few thing you should know. First you have put in alot of time scouting and preparing for the hunt. The moment of truth has arrived you calmed your nevers and hit him true puting him on the ground. Once the deer is down you need to field dress your deer and prepare him for a mount. Dont--Cut your deer past the rib cage. In other words if you gut the deer and you cut all the way up to the neck you are making alot of work for your taxidermist. DO--Cut around the anus and male organs and then unzip the deers belly only up to the rib cage. It is important that you dont go past the point where the ribs come together and make a knotch. Dont-- Drag your deer throught the woods over rocks and rough ground. This will cause the hair on the cape to get loose and come out and will not make a very pretty cape once it is mounted. Dont-- Drag your deer behind a ATV this will seriously damage the cape and you will be sorry. DO-- If you have a ATV put the deer on the rack or on top of it and drive the deer out of the woods. Be careful not to let the cape rub on the wheels as you drive out this will cause the same thing as draging. Do-- If you dont have a ATV and you have to drag your deer out of the woods. Tie your rope or grab the antlers as low as you can and pick the deer up as high as you can. (what you are trying to do is get the cape off the ground as high as you can keeping it clean and not letting it drag) This can be difficult but will be worth the effort as you look at your mount for years to come. Dont-- Put your deer in the back of your truck and drive it around for days whether its cold outside or not. I know plenty of guys that have been very disapointed because they let the cape spoil from not bringing it in or freezing it. Yes you can get anouther cape but its not your deers cape and will cost extra money to do so. DO-- If it is cold outside you can wait to cape out your buck until the next day this will not hurt anything but you want to do this as soon as possible. Take a picture of your buck right away so you can show your friends the big bruiser as the taxidermist is working on him. DO-- I would suggest that you find a good taxidermist before you ever go into the woods looking for that big deer. In other words its a whole lot easier to find a taxidermist and look at his work before you have a buck on the ground then it is to call or run around looking for a taxidermist afterwards. This will allow you to find a good one instead of taking it to someone you know nothing about and havent seen his work. This will also allow you to find a Taxidermist that will cape or skin your buck out for you and you will know what kind of money you are looking at before you take them there. I would suggest letting the Taxidermist cape out your buck and pay the extra money you will get a better mount. DO--Find a spot on your wall where you want to put the buck before you ever go into the woods. This will give you an idea of what kind of mount you want and when he hands you a book of forms or asked you what pose you want you will allready know. Personally I only tell him I want a left or right turn or straight and then tell him to do what he does best and let him decide how to pose the buck. In other words I let him decide whether the buck will look best in a Full sneak or half sneak or some other pose. The taxidermist has seen many bucks all shapes and sizes and knows what would look best. Dont--Argue over the price or try to get him to come down off the price or try to strike a deal. Most of the time they will give you what you think is a deal and will not give you the best possible mount. You may get a lesser form or a smaller form. Just pay the money they want and you will be happy. Do--Be ready to pay about half of the price up front for your mount. This is one of the biggest things that a taxiderist hates Ill get the most hated thing in a minuete. People drop their cape off and then have no money and promise to come back and then never have the money. DONT EVER--Call your Taxidermist asking when your buck will be done forget about it. If you see them in Wal Mart dont bring it up fight the urge and let them bring it up. I have seen a cape getting worked on the phone rings and the cape go back into the freezer because of that person calling for it. The Taxidermist hates this the most. IF you think you have waited to long for your cape then call them up and tell them you have the rest of there money and would like to go ahead and pay the balance now they will take it and then the ball is in there court and the presure is on them because they have all there money now. Try it it works. DONT--Expect your buck to look just like it did in the woods it will not. If you have taken a picture you can give your taxidermist one and he will try his best to make it look just like the picture but it probably will not. DO--When you finally get the call to pick up your mount be ready with the money to pay the man he has worked hard on your mount and deserves to get paid. You should have the money saved as long as you have waited and been stressing him to get your mount done. DO-- When you get home and put your buck on the wall make sure you find a stud and put a big enough screw into the stud to hold the mount. If you drop it and break a point or god forbid breat a tine or antler off you will not be happy. Do--Hang your mount out of direct sunlight this will keep the cape from fading. DONT--Use any chemical on your cape (WD-40 or anything else) no matter what your friends tell you. I have seen 25 yr old mounts that look like they got mounted yesterday. Do--Dust your mount Dont--Keep touching the mount leave it alone. D0-- Look at your mount and feel good and remember the hunt and if the Taxidermist does a great job let him know. Now you can call him and tell him what a great guy he is and how much you love your mount.