collapse
LockNLoad Outfitting – Central Alberta Outfitter A lightweight orange vest that complements your technical hunting apparel!

Author Topic: Caping a Deer for a Shoulder Mount and Trophy Care  (Read 4029 times)

Offline BlackRiverTaxidermy

  • Business Sponsor
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Hunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2015
  • Posts: 190
  • Location: Rochester, WA
  • Joel - Owner/Taxidermist
    • BlackRiver Taxidermy
  • Groups: RMEF, DU, NRA, WSTA
Caping a Deer for a Shoulder Mount and Trophy Care
« on: January 14, 2016, 08:45:59 PM »
Caping Deer shoulder mounts-

The first step to a great looking mount is the removal and care of the cape. Here are some tips, common mistakes, and instructions to a standard shoulder mount cape removal and further care prior to delivery to your taxidermist.  The best way to make correct cuts is a flat open space with room to move.  This is not always available however so take your time when skinning your trophy. USE A SHARP BLADE and never cut from the hair side, always cut from the flesh side so as not to cut the hair fibers in half. Make a cut around the midsection, keeping well back from the back of the shoulders (figure 2A).  One of the biggest mistakes is the tendency to cut too far forward on the brisket. Slack and adjustments for shoulder mounts are dictated by the brisket length; leave plenty. The diagram shows the cut behind the shoulder, but its best to make your cut at the mid-abdomen section of the animal. The following cuts should be just above or at the first knuckle or knee of the animal (figuare2B). The most effective method is to ‘tube’ the cape up to the back of the head. Stop approximately 2-3 inches from the back of the head where the spine and skull meet and cut the skull from the spine (figure 3). The other optional cut, but not advisable, is a cut directly up the spine-line, up the back of the neck stopping at the skull. This cut is very easy to do improperly,  therefore it would be best to refrain from doing this in the field unless absolutely necessary.


Care after skinning-

After skinning the cape, lay it out, hair side down in a cool area out of the sun and let the flesh-side cool. After the heat is gone from the cape, fold the cape over on itself and roll it up, hair side out. Place cape in a cloth bag such as a meat bag; refrain from plastic bags! As soon as possible, unroll the cape and get cool again or get into either a freezer or pack on ice. Salting a cape should be your LAST option. Salting causes problems on ‘green skinned’ capes and should only be performed if your days out from a cooler or ice. Freeze if possible, ensuring the cape is not soaking wet as this will be cause freezer burn much sooner.

Tips and Care your Taxidermist will appreciate!
Keeping a clean cape- sometimes it’s next to impossible, but a clean cape free of debris and large chunks of meat are much appreciated and facilitates prepping the cape for form mounting.

When in doubt, leave more- don’t try and guess where the skin needs to be cut for the minimum amount needed for the form. More is better! Granted, more skin equals more weight for the pack out, but it could save you money if the cape ends up being too short and additional work is needed for patching or moderate/major repairs.  Some of the biggest mistakes are in the brisket areas…cut well back from the brisket areas.

Leave the head in- unless you are proficient in removal of the skin over the head DON’T try and attempt this yourself in the field. Eye, nose, lip, ear, and scent gland membranes MUST be retained for adequate and effective mounting. The best practice is to leave the head/skull in the cape and deliver to your taxidermist for final removal of the face/head skin.

Common Mistakes

1.   Cutting too close to the brisket.  When gutting, it’s a common mistake to come too far up and cutting into the brisket skin and inadvertently splitting part of the cape. This requires repairs by the taxidermist and potential problems, especially for early season/warm weather animals that carry shorter hair.
 
2.   Not making the round/midsection cut far enough back. Stay well back from the shoulders when cutting around the mid-section for the cape removal. Stay at least 4-6 inches back from the shoulder blades to ensure you have enough skin to cover a shoulder mount form.

3.   Improperly cut lines or a dull knife. If you are unable to or decided to make the cut up the back of the neck line, MAKE SURE your animal is squared up and you cut directly up the back of the cape. A ‘wavy’ or cut that goes down one side of the neck presents potential problems and more work for the taxidermist. Best practice is to ‘glove’ the neck and leave the cut up to your taxidermist. Use sharp knives when cutting, a dull knife will make rough cuts and make damage to the skin and hair.

4.   Not cooling the cape down. Capes spoil almost as quickly, sometimes SOONER than meat. Cool the cape as soon as possible and keep cold, freezing is best, but if a freezer is not available keep on ice and get to the taxidermist within 24-48 hours.

Every Taxidermist has his own method of caping and requests for care of trophies. Therefore, it is best to contact your taxidermist if you have any questions before your hunt.

Joel Swecker– BlackRiver Taxidermy
360-789-5056
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 11:27:16 AM by BlackRiverTaxidermy »
The best way of getting a hold of me-
360-789-5056- Joel Swecker-BRT

 

* Recent Topics

New loading bench build. by boneaddict
[Today at 08:38:16 PM]


2 wolves shot NE Washington by mdbuck5x5
[Today at 08:37:24 PM]


Looking for L/H rifle for daughter by W_Ellison2011
[Today at 08:34:57 PM]


Mixed bag by Forrestrover
[Today at 08:33:37 PM]


Grizzly Bear Hunt by mountainman
[Today at 08:31:26 PM]


Gear sale vortex kifaru phone skope by Chad E.
[Today at 08:31:19 PM]


Late season round ball doe by Forrestrover
[Today at 08:30:43 PM]


Tyvek tarps by j_h_nimrod
[Today at 08:29:49 PM]


2017 Hoyt Carbon Defiant Turbo by Come Get Some
[Today at 08:23:16 PM]


Pay it Forward by Fastass350
[Today at 08:10:26 PM]


My Blacktail season comes to an awsome close by blackveltbowhunter
[Today at 08:09:24 PM]


Kayaks, Who hunts with them? Let's see your set up. by ghosthunter
[Today at 08:03:22 PM]


Methods for West side Blacktail? by fishnfur
[Today at 07:41:11 PM]


Fletching glue by Come Get Some
[Today at 07:33:45 PM]


MOVED: Last chukar hunt this year by Bob33
[Today at 07:29:58 PM]


Educate me on bottom fishing please by MHWASH
[Today at 07:25:24 PM]


whatre the best bird dog vests? by 3dvapor
[Today at 07:24:19 PM]


How often do you train? by jagermiester
[Today at 07:23:41 PM]


2017 HuntWA Christmas Gift Exchange - LIST IS CLOSED by h20hunter
[Today at 07:23:41 PM]


Professinal shotgun cleaning for benelli by Come Get Some
[Today at 07:21:23 PM]