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FIELD CARE TIPS AND PREPARATION

To better preserve the quality of your specimen, we’ve provided field tips and preferences for game preparation. Use this website to help with mounting ideas. Contact Bass Pro Shops® Wildlife Creations taxidermy studio for any questions or concerns you may have about preparing your trophy before or after your hunt to better ensure that your mount arrives in good condition.

Extra charge is applied for skinning, fleshing and degreasing whole animals and green hides not properly cared for.

Fish Field Care Tips

For fish, we recommend subduing a fish you are going to mount as quickly as possible. It is important to handle a fish carefully as to not dislodge scales. A good method is to keep an old pair of lady’s nylons with you to slide a fish into after landing and subduing it, which will help in protecting the fish from losing scales. Place the fish into a cooler as quickly as possible.

  • Do not gut or cut the fish in any way.
  • Do not place fish in a wire basket or on a stringer.
  • Wrap fish in plastic trying not to curl the fins if possible.
  • DO NOT FREEZE FISH IN WET TOWEL. Towels and newspaper freeze to the fish and can pull scales off when thawed.
  • Leave the entire fish intact if possible. Do not clean if possible. If cleaned, damage can sometimes be fixed.
  • Keep fish cool and dry.
  • Freeze whole within 6 hours. Caution: too long in the frozen state can result in damaging the specimen. We recommend mounting within 3 months of the day of the catch. Note: fins are fragile when frozen.

Birds Field Care Tips

  • NO MIGRATORY BIRDS ACCEPTED.
  • To keep feathers smooth place in nylons head first and then wrap bird in plastic or newspaper.
  • Keep fresh bird separated.
  • Leave the entire bird intact if possible.
  • Keep bird cool and dry. Freeze whole within XX hours

Game Heads Field Care Tips

While in the field, it is a little more difficult to prepare a game head for mounting. As with fish, cooling the trophy down as quickly as possible is key. Weather and cape storage conditions determine the amount of time you have. If you can freeze or place cape in cold storage this is preferable. Treat cape as well or better than your meat. Keep it dry, cool and bug free. Take care not to have the hide dry out. Two main factors, heat and moisture cause bacterial growth, the cause of hair slip. Eliminate or reduce these factors and you increase the quality of your trophy.

  • Do not cut above the front legs when field dressing your trophy.
  • Cape animal from mid-body forward.
  • Keep animal cool and dry and take to taxidermist or meat processor as soon as possible for caping.
  • Capes should only be salted if: they are skinned off the skull, eyes, lip, and ears have been turned, and all excess meat has been removed from the hide.
  • Skull plates may be split for easier transportation/shipping.
  • Avoid using a rope to drag your trophy game out of the woods. Rocks and debris could damage the hide.
  • Preparing a game head
    • Using a sharp knife make an initial cut 4” behind front legs and cut around the entire animal. Cut hide around each front leg at the knee. Start next cut at the back of the knee and cut hide up the back of the front leg to the top of the front leg. Then angle cut back to meet the initial cut. Repeat this cut for the other front leg.
    • The neck cape should be free to be skinned up to the head of the animal by firmly pulling the hide forward toward the head. As you peel the hide toward the head CAREFULLY cut any membrane that binds up the hide. Once the hide is pealed 3-6 inches from the base of the skull use a bone saw to separate the head and cape from the rest of the body.
    • Finally, place the head, with cape attached, into a plastic bag and freeze if possible. We recommend delivering your trophy as soon as possible to ensure that your cape stays fresh and you receive the best possible mount.

Life Size Field Care Tips

  • Do not cut around the body; leave all skin and hide attached. Freeze solid and ship per instructions.
  • For salting, remove the fat and flesh from the hide. Salt the skin completely with a fine salt. Rub salt into the hide making sure to get in the folds, salt daily and keep cool.
  • Capes should only be salted if: they are skinned off the skull, eyes, lip, and ears have been turned, and all excess meat has been removed from the hide.
  • Contact us for skinning instructions before your hunt to insure use of the proper method for the mount.
  • Avoid using a rope to drag your trophy game out of the woods. Rocks and debris could damage the hide.