Sportsmens field care procedures

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by CarolinaCats, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. CarolinaCats

    CarolinaCats New Member

    Rural Hall
    Didnt know where a good place to post this would be. So I placed it here. Hope it is of edcutaional to you.
    Often I have customers arrive at my studio and have a trophy of a lifetime. Only after my inspection they find out,what they shouldn't have done. The outdoorsman doesn't realize the importance of the field care of a trophy. Be it large game, small game, birds or even a fish. For each animal you need to practice,"field care procedures". Here I will go over procedures for the above mentioned.

    To start with on any large game. If you are hunting out of your state,you need to contact your local taxidermist or your state game and fish department to verify if it is legal for you to transport any game into your state,from a state with CWD(Chronic Waste Disease) prior to your hunting trip. Several states have implemented rules and regulations pertaining to the importation of game from states with CWD. A sample of some of the rules implemented are, having no brain matter on the item,the item must be fully skinned. If the skull cap and antlers are saved you must boil or burn the skull cap to make sure no brain matter is left intact. Several states have different regulations. That is why I suggest to you, to contact your State fish and game department for the complete rules.

    On your big game trophy.
    They are numerous problems a taxidermist see's when a client brings his item into their studio. For instance, the sportsman cut the cape to short for a shoulder mount. ALWAYS save at least half the cape for a shoulder mount item. This gives the taxidermist ample amount to work with. A Taxidermist can do miracles,but they cannot make the cape longer than it actually is. Don't not cut into the brisket area. This is another vital area that gets whacked on as well. And please DO NOT cut the throat area. This results in extra work for the taxidermist which in return will cost you more money to have your item mounted. And if you have a trophy and want to show it of, take pictures of it when you harvest it. Don't ride around town all day with it in the back of your pickup truck bragging. You can do that with photos or after you get your item back from the taxidermist. Once a trophy is harvested, rigamortus starts once the heart has stopped pumping blood through the body. This causes bacteria to began. The bacteria will leach to the skin and start to kill the hair pores in the skin. The end result is the hair will fall out and your trophy is ruined. And if you find it necessary to drag your trophy out of the woods,drag it from the antlers. This way the hair is being drug in the direction it is in naturally.

    On your small game.
    The simplest way to preserve your game until it can be taken to a taxidermist is to wrap it up in a plastic bag and place it into another plastic bag and store in a freezer. However before hand you need to let the body heat escape from your item. Do not shoot something in your back yard and immediately place it in your freezer. this will cause hair to "slip" or fall out as well. so give it a while to "cool down" before freezing.

    On your birds. The best way to preserve your birds until you get them to your local taxidermist is to place them in panty hose. The panty hose will allow the birds feathers to stay more in a natural state. Once you have placed them in the panty hose then you can place them in a plastic garbage bag and store in your freezer.

    On your fish.
    First I will discuss a "skin mount" fish and then a reproduction fish.
    The skin mount fish should be wrapped in a WET towel or cloth of some kind then sealed in a plastic garbage bag and froze. Keep in mind when you take your fish to a taxidermist, he will give you a estimate on the cost until he has thawed the fish out and taken exact measurements. Most taxidermist charge by the inch. And they will not be able to give you an exact cost (per inch) until the fish has thawed. As a rule of thumb I personally measure the fish frozen,while still wrapped in the cloth, and tell the client that it will be aprox. X amount of dollars. Then once I thaw the fish out Im fairly close to the actual charge.

    Reproduction fish
    As CPR (C.atch P.hoto R.elease) is coming more popular, many people are having reproductions made. Many taxidermist have eliminated mounting several fish types. Both fresh and salt water due to the high oil content in the bodies and the shrinkage that happens over time. If I have said once I have said it a hundred times. ALWAYS take a camera with you when you fishing. This is essential if you catch a trophy and want a reproduction made. Measure the length and the girth. Get all the information you can get on your fish. Your taxidermist would much rather have to much information than not enough. I have had clients inquire about a reproduction and they not have any idea about the length or girth of the fish. Then when I show them the measurement on a tape measure they say, It was bigger than that....I think..."
    "Or maybe it was smaller." "Can you just make it about this size?" I can make it whatever size you want it to be. But wouldn't you like it as near as what you caught? So always try to record all the information you can on this particular fish. Your taxidermist will appreciate your effort in helping him/her reproduce your trophy.

    These are some basic steps that many sportsman do not consider on a trophy item they want to take to a taxidermist. I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions feel free to ask them. I will answer them to the best of my knowledge or find someone that can. If you follow the steps mentioned above, your taxidermist will be very grateful to you for taking care of your trophy. And don't be afraid to contact your taxidermist and ask questions on proper field care before you go hunting. Its your trophy. And we, the taxidermist want your trophy to last you a life time.