North American
Bird Gallery
Field Care

Here are some tips so that your trophy is the best it can be. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please call us or visit us at our studio. We will be happy to help you.

  • Do not tie rope around the neck or drag the animal over the ground.
  • To remove the cape, make your first cut around the ribcage behind the front legs. Then cut around the front legs above the knee and up the back of each leg to the first cut around the ribcage. Then cut up the back of the neck to the antlers.
  • Skin the cape off as far as the head, then cut the head off at the neck, leaving the cape still attached to the head and antlers.
  • COOL THE HIDE AND HEAD as quickly as possible.  Then fold the hide with the flesh side in.  Put it in a clean cloth that will breathe (do not use plastic!) and keep the hide COOL!

  • Don't cut the throat, tie a rope around the neck, or drag the animal.
  • Lay the animal on its back.  Beginning between the front legs, cut all the way down the center of  belly to the base of the tail. Cut through the tail bone, but do not skin the tail.  We will finish skinning the tail, feet, and head when you bring in the hide.
  • Cut from the base of the tail up the inside of both back legs to the knee joint.  Cut through the joint, leaving the feet still in the hide. Repeat for the front legs. Then skin the body and the neck to the base of the head.  Cut off the head, leaving it inside the hide. You should now have a whole hide with the head, feet and tail attached and unskinned.  Fold the skin flesh sides together. Keep the hide cold and bring it in to our studio as soon as possible.
  • Small animals (squirrel, fox, etc.) can be brought whole to the taxidermist but you must bring it in promptly and keep the animal cold

  • Choose birds with a minimum of damage or feather loss. Handle the bird gently, and carry it by the feet, not the neck.
  • Don't wring the neck, don't gut the bird, and don't put it in a nylon stocking.
  • COOL AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.  Do not wrap the bird until it is cool as heat will cause feather loss. If you can’t bring the bird to our studio promptly, seal it in an airtight plastic bag and freeze it.

  • Any damage to the skin of your fish will be visible so do not gaff or club the fish,  do not drop it on the deck or let it flop around, and don’t put it on a stringer and let it thrash around in shallow water.
  • The fish will have to be painted after it is mounted, so taking a few color photographs before you wrap the fish will enable us to recreate the original color as closely as possible.
  • Wrap the fish in wet paper towels or cloth.  This keeps the skin moist and prevents cracking. Put the fish in a plastic bag and place it in a cooler on ice.  If ice is not available, keep the fish in a cool, shady location.
  • Bring the fish to our studio the same day or the next day if possible.  If you can’t bring your fish in promptly, remove as much air as you can from the plastic bag, seal it, and freeze it.  

If you catch a fish you want to release, we can mount a reproduction for you that looks as good or better than a skin mount.

Before you release the fish, measure the length and girth of the fish and take plenty of color photographs (top, front, and side views).  Then bring your measurements and pictures to our studio.