A quality mount begins with proper field care
Outlined below are some tips on proper field care. If you find yourself unable to immediately take your trophy to your taxidermist, following these tips will help to ensure that you will receive a top-quality mount.

    Take some time to evaluate a bird for mounting. Select a bird in full plumage with no pinfeathers or broken feathers or bones. Once you have determined you have a prime bird, wipe any blood off the feathers with a towel and water. Plug the throat and nasal passages with a small piece of cotton or paper towel to prevent any fluids from getting on the plumage. If you are unable to take your bird immediately to your taxidermist, place it in a plastic bag, tucking the head under a wing, and roll up the bag, squeezing as much air out as possible as you roll. Repeat the process with a second bag. Eliminating as much air as possible will help prevent freezer burn.

Start by wrapping the entire fish in a wet towel, taking care to keep the fins flat against the body. Roll it up in a plastic bag and lay flat in a freezer. Do not wrap a fish in paper or cardboard. If you choose to have a reproduction made, follow the steps outlined below:
•  Measure the entire length of the fish.
•  Measure the girth of the fish at the widest point.
•  If possible, take several color photos from different angles.

    A professional taxidermist should skin coyote-size and smaller mammals that are intended for life-size mounts. If you are unable to immediately take your trophy to your taxidermist, allow the animal to cool, then place in a bag and freeze. If you are planning a hunt for larger mammals, please contact me, and I can advise you on proper skinning procedures for your trophy.

Caping for a shoulder mount  
The diagram to the right shows the proper cuts to ensure there is enough cape for a shoulder mount. When field dressing your trophy, do not cut past the front legs. When skinning, cut around the front leg joint, and up the backside of the legs. Carefully skin the shoulder and brisket area forward and down the neck, taking care not to cut any holes. Continue skinning down the neck until reaching the head and neck juncture. Cut the head from the neck.    

Other helpful tips
•  Freezing your trophy is the best short-term solution, but due to freezer burn, your trophy should only be stored in a freezer temporarily. It is still recommended that you get your trophy to your taxidermist as soon as possible.
•  Take care when dragging your deer from the woods. Do not drag against the hair patterns.
•  When hanging your deer, do so by the hind legs. Do not hang by the neck.
•  If you are planning a trip where no freezer is available, please contact me, and I can advise you on the proper steps to take in remote areas when freezing is not an option.
•  If you are ever in doubt about any of the field-care procedures, we are only a phone call away.