Field Care

G.I.G.O. = Garbage In Garbage Out

If (we receive a trophy animal skin/cape has been poorly handled from the time animal has been shot to the time of delivery) then (your trophy animal will most probably be "not be mountable" or "turn out poorly")

Result = Disappointment

In order for us to produce a quality mount, we need you to ensure that the animal skins, horns and skulls that we receive, has been correctly handled from the time the animal is shot to the time it arrives at our studio.

The moment the animal has been shot and dies; decomposition starts. Hair Slip being the most common result of skins not being handled correctly.

Decomposition cannot be stopped, but can be slowed down significantly with the proper field care.

Taking Care of Your Trophy Mounts

    1. Preferably do not shoot the animal in the head or neck. Damaged caused by the bullet can result in ugly holes that need to be sewed up, or in the case of skull mounts damage the skull extensively.
    2. Taking photos; do this as quick as possible and don’t drag the animal into position.
    3. When Loading animal onto vehicle; do not drag the animal over the ground.
    4. For large animals, do not winch with cable around neck (if a shoulder mount is wanted). Dragging = Hair-slip and skin damage.
    5. Ensure the animal is delivered to the skinning shed as soon as possible.
    6. Prevent trophies from exposure to excessive heat. This is either from the sun or heat transfer on the back of the vehicle. If a very hot day, put grass or branches under the animal. Gutting in the field also helps in releasing body heat. Cover with branches or canvas.
    7. Wash blood off animal. Always remove blood, dirt/grime as soon as possible with fresh cold water. Bacteria love blood and this will speed up their growth. Wash before and after skinning.
    8. Make sure all fat or meat on skin is removed when skinning.
    9. The salting of skins must be done immediately after skinning and washing. Never economize on salt, salt is cheap compared to the cost of a hunt. The more salt the better. Make sure the salt is rubbed into the delicate areas such as ears, nose, mount, eyes. How do you know you have enough salt on the skin? “When you can no longer see the skin for the salt!"
    10. Skins must never come into contact with metal surfaces. The salt and blood will cause the metal to corrode and result in the skin/hair being permanently stained.
    11. Transporting skins; Never puts skins in a plastic bag. (Unless when freezing). Use hessian sacks or leave exposed. Plastic bags result in heat and moisture build up, just what bacteria love.
    12. Never let skins lie in blood or juices. This will promote bacterial growth resulting in hair-slip and staining.
    13. Freezing; for trophies where head skinning is not possible (due to lack of skinning knowledge, or other), the severed head and attached cape/skin must be frozen immediately and transferred frozen to the taxidermist. No salt is needed as salt prohibits freezing. This also applies to small mammals and birds, which can be frozen whole without gutting.
    14. For skulls; remove as much meat as possible, wash with clean cold water and salt. Deliver to taxidermist as soon as possible. Do not cut the skull with a bandsaw, deliver whole.