HuntingNut
HuntingNut
   Login or Register
HomeCommunity ForumsPhoto AlbumsRegister
     
 

User Info

Welcome Anonymous


Membership:
Latest: Locolima
New Today: 0
New Yesterday: 0
Overall: 13064

People Online:
Members: 0
Visitors: 453
BOT: 2
Total: 455
Who Is Where:
 Visitors:
01: Forums
02: Forums
03: Forums
04: Forums
05: Forums
06: Forums
07: Forums
08: Forums
09: Forums
10: Forums
11: Forums
12: Forums
13: Forums
14: Forums
15: Forums
16: Forums
17: Forums
18: Forums
19: Forums
20: Forums
21: Forums
22: Forums
23: Forums
24: Forums
25: Forums
26: Forums
27: Forums
28: Forums
29: Home
30: Forums
31: Home
32: Forums
33: Forums
34: Forums
35: Forums
36: Forums
37: Forums
38: Forums
39: Forums
40: Forums
41: Forums
42: Forums
43: Forums
44: News
45: Forums
46: Forums
47: Forums
48: Forums
49: Forums
50: Forums
51: Forums
52: Forums
53: Forums
54: Forums
55: Forums
56: Forums
57: News
58: Your Account
59: Home
60: Forums
61: Forums
62: Forums
63: Forums
64: Forums
65: Forums
66: Forums
67: Forums
68: Forums
69: Forums
70: Forums
71: Forums
72: Forums
73: Home
74: Forums
75: Forums
76: Forums
77: Forums
78: Forums
79: Forums
80: Forums
81: Forums
82: Forums
83: Forums
84: Forums
85: Forums
86: Home
87: Forums
88: Forums
89: Forums
90: Forums
91: Forums
92: Forums
93: Home
94: Home
95: Home
96: Forums
97: Forums
98: Forums
99: Forums
100: Forums
101: Forums
102: Forums
103: Forums
104: Forums
105: Home
106: Forums
107: Forums
108: Forums
109: Forums
110: Forums
111: Forums
112: Forums
113: Forums
114: Forums
115: Forums
116: Forums
117: Forums
118: Forums
119: Forums
120: Forums
121: Forums
122: Your Account
123: Forums
124: Forums
125: Home
126: Forums
127: Forums
128: Forums
129: Forums
130: Home
131: Forums
132: Forums
133: Forums
134: Forums
135: Forums
136: Forums
137: News
138: Forums
139: Forums
140: Forums
141: Forums
142: Forums
143: Forums
144: Forums
145: Forums
146: Forums
147: Forums
148: Home
149: Home
150: Forums
151: Forums
152: Forums
153: Home
154: Forums
155: Forums
156: Forums
157: Forums
158: Forums
159: Forums
160: Forums
161: Forums
162: Forums
163: Home
164: Forums
165: Your Account
166: Home
167: Forums
168: Forums
169: Home
170: Forums
171: Forums
172: Forums
173: Your Account
174: Forums
175: Forums
176: Home
177: Forums
178: Forums
179: Forums
180: Forums
181: Home
182: Forums
183: Forums
184: Forums
185: Forums
186: Forums
187: Forums
188: Forums
189: Forums
190: Forums
191: Forums
192: Forums
193: Forums
194: Forums
195: Forums
196: Forums
197: Forums
198: Forums
199: Forums
200: Home
201: Forums
202: Forums
203: Forums
204: Forums
205: Forums
206: Forums
207: Home
208: Forums
209: Forums
210: Forums
211: Forums
212: Forums
213: Forums
214: Forums
215: Forums
216: Forums
217: Forums
218: News
219: Forums
220: Forums
221: Forums
222: Forums
223: Forums
224: Home
225: Forums
226: Forums
227: Forums
228: Forums
229: Forums
230: Forums
231: Forums
232: Forums
233: Home
234: Forums
235: Forums
236: Forums
237: Forums
238: Forums
239: Forums
240: Forums
241: Forums
242: Forums
243: Forums
244: Home
245: Forums
246: News
247: Forums
248: Forums
249: Forums
250: Forums
251: Forums
252: Forums
253: Forums
254: Forums
255: Forums
256: Forums
257: Forums
258: Forums
259: Forums
260: Forums
261: Forums
262: News
263: Forums
264: Forums
265: Home
266: Forums
267: Forums
268: Forums
269: Forums
270: Forums
271: Forums
272: Forums
273: Home
274: Forums
275: Forums
276: Forums
277: Home
278: Forums
279: Forums
280: Home
281: Forums
282: Home
283: Forums
284: Forums
285: Forums
286: News
287: Forums
288: Forums
289: Forums
290: Forums
291: Forums
292: Forums
293: Forums
294: Forums
295: Forums
296: Forums
297: Forums
298: Home
299: Forums
300: Forums
301: Forums
302: Forums
303: Forums
304: Forums
305: Home
306: Forums
307: Forums
308: Home
309: Forums
310: Forums
311: Forums
312: Forums
313: Forums
314: Forums
315: Forums
316: Forums
317: Forums
318: Forums
319: Forums
320: Forums
321: Forums
322: Forums
323: Forums
324: Forums
325: Forums
326: Forums
327: Home
328: Forums
329: Home
330: Forums
331: Forums
332: Forums
333: Forums
334: Forums
335: Forums
336: Forums
337: Forums
338: Forums
339: Home
340: Home
341: Forums
342: Forums
343: Forums
344: Home
345: Forums
346: Forums
347: Forums
348: Forums
349: Forums
350: Home
351: Home
352: Home
353: Your Account
354: Forums
355: Forums
356: Forums
357: Forums
358: Forums
359: Forums
360: Forums
361: Forums
362: Forums
363: Forums
364: Forums
365: Home
366: Forums
367: Home
368: Forums
369: Forums
370: Home
371: Forums
372: Your Account
373: Your Account
374: Forums
375: Forums
376: Forums
377: Forums
378: Forums
379: Forums
380: Forums
381: Forums
382: Forums
383: Forums
384: Forums
385: Forums
386: Forums
387: Forums
388: Forums
389: Forums
390: Forums
391: Forums
392: Forums
393: Home
394: Forums
395: Forums
396: Forums
397: Forums
398: Forums
399: Forums
400: Forums
401: Forums
402: Your Account
403: Statistics
404: Forums
405: Forums
406: Home
407: Forums
408: Forums
409: Forums
410: Home
411: Forums
412: Forums
413: Home
414: Forums
415: Forums
416: Forums
417: Forums
418: Forums
419: Forums
420: Forums
421: Forums
422: Forums
423: Forums
424: Forums
425: Forums
426: Home
427: Forums
428: Forums
429: Forums
430: Forums
431: Forums
432: Forums
433: Forums
434: Forums
435: Forums
436: Forums
437: Forums
438: Forums
439: Forums
440: Forums
441: Home
442: Home
443: Forums
444: Forums
445: Forums
446: Forums
447: Forums
448: Forums
449: Forums
450: Forums
451: Forums
452: Forums
453: News
  BOT:
01: Forums
02: Home

Staff Online:

No staff members are online!
 

Coppermine Stats
Photo Albums
 Albums: 308
 Pictures: 2446
  · Views: 811925
  · Votes: 1315
  · Comments: 86
 

  Caping Guide

Field Dressing / Animal CareThis guide is graphic so if you find the sight of blood is disturbing, click the back button on your browser now. It is also image intensive so it might take some time to load on slower internet connections.


First off congratulations on your harvest! Getting a animal mounted is an exciting thing to me... it is much better than pictures and a great way to remember the hunt and harvest.


This guide is meant to be an overview of how to cape out a big game animal for a classic shoulder mount. It is pretty much the same for any big game animal but you might want to consult with your local taxidermist before taking to the field to see if he has any specific additional instructions.



Hint!

Before you even think about dressing out the animal and caping it, take a moment and study it in its natural form. Turn the head to the left, to the right... raise it higher and lower. Try to get a feel for the best "look" as that will aid you later when the taxidermist asks you what form you want to have it mounted on. Defects can be hidden or enhanced depending on the head position and there is no better time to figure this out than before you begin processing it in the field.

It might also be a good idea to visit a taxidermy form supplier's website to see what types of forms are available for the animal you are hunting, so you at least have an idea what is available. Common forms include Alert (head raised), sneak (head low), semi-sneak (head midlevel), and turns, Ahead, Left, Right. etc etc.



Step #1) Preparation

Try through the steps, to avoid getting blood on the cape. Some people wash off their animals which can be good or bad depending on the animal and what type of hair it has. The following pictures are of a Wyoming Pronghorn Antelope and they are notorious for having hair "slippage" so I like to touch it as little as possible and let the taxidermist do any cleaning of blood as he sees fit.


For a traditional wall mount, the cape is split right up the back of the neck and down around both sides of the chest (see red lines on following pictures).

One major problem most novice hunters make is they make their chest cuts too far forward. Trust me, take more hide rather than too little. Your taxidermist will be much happier if he cuts off an extra 10" than going to mount it and finding out hes 2" short on the brisket.

Mentally envision the first cut, down the center of the animals neck:






Mentally envision the side cuts, making note to start far enough back.







Step #2) Cutting down the neck


Feel with your fingers the backbone and insert your knife to make the initial hole. I dont cut too deep at this point because I want to extract the tenderloins later. I insert two fingers into the hole with my knife safely between them. I then keep constant pulling pressure on the hide as I work the knife carefully up and down making the cut. I like to angle the tip of the knife forward so the hide is cut from the inside out rather than outside edge in. This helps cutting hairs that then get all over the place.



Carefully work your way up the neck to the base of the skull.









Step #3) Cutting down the side


Again, take a good look and make sure you are starting far enough back to give your taxidermist enough hide to work with (note my brother who is a taxidermist looked at this picture and still felt i was on the edge... he'd rather the cut be another 6" back).



Cut the hide straight down the animal (be careful you dont accidently angle forward) exposing the front shoulder.



Insert the knife at the back of the front leg and cut upwards along it, angling into the "armpit" and back until you reach the previous side cut.



Next skin around the front leg, freeing it from leg and "armpit" area.





The entire front shoulder should be completely free at this point. This is a great time to remove it via the "gutless skinning method" listed in another HuntingNut article!





Step #4) Processing side 2


Turn the animal over carefully and again, double check where you are going to make the side cut.



Cut straight down the side to where the first side cut ended at the brisket, exposing the shoulder.



Insert the knife in the back of the front leg, cutting upwards towards the "armpit" then back to your side cut.



Skin around the front leg. Finish freeing up any attached hide near the belly area.





Carefully pull on the hide at this point and make small cuts freeing it from the neck and brisket area.



Once you have it free up to the base of the skull, carefully cut through the meat, jugular, windpipe and tendons at the base of the skull. Once this is done you can carefully twist off the head (it should come off with no problem).



Your head and cape should be free from the body at this point.



Spread the cape out while you process the rest of the animal to let it cool down (very important for some species of big game like Antelope)





Step #5) Processing the head


Processing the head may or may not be necessary depending on how long it will take you to get to a taxidermist. If the weather is cold or you have a way to freeze it you can do that and let the taxidermist do the skinning of the head.

I really suggest your taxidermist do this as you can really mess up cape if you cut the lips, eyes or nose wrong. Its not terribly hard however and I will walk through the steps of it. You might want to try skinning out some small game animals or even big game animals you dont intend on mounting to get a feel for how this works.

First start by orienting the head somewhere it will be secure and easy to work on. Continue the back of the neck cut

Next decide on what type of cut you want to make to free it from the antlers (for a female or animal without antlers you dont have to cut a "Y" cut but rather split the neck just enough to slip the cape up over the head). There are several variations on this and I suggest you ask your taxidermist what he recommends. I personally like the "deep y" as it tends to hide the stitching in the folds of the ears. I have an antelope mounted with a normal "Y" and you can see the stitching on the top of the head. Ask your taxidermist what he recommends.



Next begin carefully skinning the cape from the head. Wiggle the ears to get an idea of where the cartlidge connects to the skull. Cut through it as close to the skull as possible.

NOTE: this is a poor picture but the head is upside down resting on its horns and nose. You can see on the left side where the ear cartlidge has been cut free.




Carefully cut around the base of each antler / horn, freeing the hide. Work in slow careful strokes until you come to the eyes.



Ok if you are tired at this point take a break. The eyes are next and can be tricky for your first time. Now is when patience pays off. Pull on the eye lids and feel with your fingers where the skin around the eye attaches to the skull. You want to cut this as close as possible to the skull. It should be nearly pure white skin that you are cutting. You should be able to see your knife blade behind the skin if you look down under the eyeball. Verify several times you arent cutting any visible "outside" skin. This is expecially important when you get to the inside corner of the eye where the tear duct is. Cut deeply into the skull to remove as much of the duct as possible.

Cut deep, inside the eye socket bone, freeing as much tissue as you can. Your taxidermist will cut off anything he doesnt need but like with a brisket if you are short here, it will be difficult for him to fix.







Once that tedious step is done, orient the animal so you can begin freeing up the lips. Pull the lower lip with a steady pressure and cut it free from the inside of the lip where it meets the gums.



Next pull upward on the upper lip and cut through the gum material and upwards through the nose. It should slowly unfold as you work it free.



Once you have freed the lips and nose, re-orient the head and finish skinning down the sides of the cheeks until it comes free.



At this point your cape should be off the head. Carefully cut off any large pieces of meat that might be hanging on to it. If you have immediate access to a freezer roll it up carefully and freeze it. If you dont have access to a freezer put it in a cool shady spot and unroll it so it can begin to air dry. Rub salt onto it to aid in the drying process.

DO NOT SALT AND THEN FREEZE THE HIDE!!! THIS WILL FREEZER BURN IT RUINING MOST HIDES!!! Freeze *OR* salt but not both!




With the cape removed you can now saw the antlers off or if you are going for a european mount you can boil the head right now (antelope need their horn sheaths removed first, email me if you need instructions on ways to do that step).



Thats pretty much it! Take it to your taxidermist and get it mounted then come back here and share some pictures!

Posted by DallanC on Saturday, March 25, 2006 (01:41:09) (23346 reads) [ Administration ]
Related Links
 More about Field Dressing / Animal Care

Most read story about Field Dressing / Animal Care:
Field Dressing Guide
 

Article Rating
Average Score: 4.72
Votes: 18


Please take a second and vote for this article:

Excellent
Very Good
Good
Regular
Bad

 

 

Valid CSS! Valid HTML 4.01!
Click to check if this page is realy HTML 4.01 compliant for speed :)

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of HuntingNut.com.
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © 2011 by HuntingNut.com
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy

.: Upgraded to DragonFly 9.2 by *Dizfunkshunal* :.