Field Dressing Guide

You’ve had the hunt and made your kill, but now what? In order to make sure that your next taxidermy project is the best that it possibly can be, follow the tips and procedures below.

Birds:
Please, do not gut your birds.  Rinse any blood that might be onthe feathers.  Place the bird in a plastic bag and freeze.  If the tail feathers are too big for the bag, cut a hole big enough for them to stick out.  Do not bend.

Fish:
Please, do not gut your fish.  Wrap it in a wet towel and place in a plastic bag to freeze. Fish will lose their coloration quickly.  A good photo immediately after catching can help your taxidermist with your fish’s natural color tones.

For Shoulder Mounts:
If you can get the animal to the taxidermist whole, that is best. There, you can most likely let your taxidermist do the skinning. If not, follow these important steps:
First cut around chest (A) about 4 to 5 inches above the front legs (always better to have too much skin). Next, cut around legs at wrist (B) and up the back of leg where the brown and white hair meet on whitetails. Come straight up the leg (C) thru to cut (A). Skin capes down towards head and neck, leave about 4 inches of neck for proper measurements.

Taxidermist Field Dressing Guide

Correct cuts are around at A, around at B and up the back of legs at C.  Stop your upward cut between front legs if at all possible.  Leave as much cape as possible on legs.