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Author Topic: What to do with cape  (Read 699 times)

Offline Buckjunkie

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Re: What to do with cape
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2020, 08:54:25 PM »
I cape it out completely, including turning the ears. Take a big spoon that you have dull sharpened. Cool out overnight as much as possible, and put salt on the cape to remove the moisture. Should keep the hair from pulling.

Offline BlackRiverTaxidermy

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Re: What to do with cape
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2020, 10:51:19 PM »
Duckman,
Heres a few tips for ya based on hunting in the backcountry myself as well as being a taxi and actually doing some experiments with my own harvested animals in regards to cape preservation. Keep in mind that all game animals are different, meaning some capes last a while and some tend to start decomposing faster (predators)...but lets stick with deer for now....
If you don't know how to the remove the skull from the head for a shoulder mount you did the right thing, don't. It doesn't take much know-how to do it, especially on a deer, but unless you've done it (watching YouTube vids doesn't count) before I would highly suggest letting your taxi take care of the step. If you do have to leave the head in here's what to do. As some have said, split the cape right up the spine-line and stop between the ears and antler bases. Open the cape up and let it cool. In my experience if the cape is kept cool and slipping starts its usually not necessarily due to heat in the head, which cools off rather quickly. The real culprit is the bacteria levels in the mouth which starts decomp much quicker, affecting the hide around the mouth such as in the cheeks and throat. Let the head with the cape cool off and then put in a cloth bag such as a meat sack. You said you have access to a cooler....perfect. Put the cape in there with the head (if you can also fit the antlers), and pack with ice around it. You DONT want the cape sitting in water tho...so keep it up out of the melting ice water. If your temps at night are freezing then open the cooler and let that bugger freeze during the night. I did an experiment with a blacktail a couple of year ago and put a cape (my own of course) with the head still in it in a fridge set at 36 degrees (bacteria is significantly slowed and halted at anything below 37 F). The cape was unwrapped but rolled up and cooled. It lasted about 8 days before I started to see some signs of hide degrading.

If you can get the cape off the skull you have a hell of a lot more ways and extended time to keep it good for a trophy mount. Either you can learn how to do this or the other options is most game processing places, such as where you take your meat, offer 'trophy caping' for a minimal fee, which is well worth it. If you take it off in the backcountry some of the same process applies...open the cape up and cool in a shaded area, preferably where a breeze can get to it, put in a meat cloth bag and get chilled. If you don't have access to ice, another trick is to let the cape cool overnight and then put the chilled cape in a plastic bag and seal it up and submerge in a creek or snow bank to keep it cold. Again, you really don't want to make a practice of putting any cape in a plastic bag, but for this chilling option it is a must as you don't want the cape coming in contact with water. I kept an elk cape for almost a week in this manner, in a creek. A cape removed from the head, chilled, rolled and in a cloth bag lasted in my fridge for about 17 days before I started to see problems or concerns, but again, it was 36 degrees.

DONT salt a cape!!!!! Unless you have FULLY turned the lips, ears, eyes, and nose the salt wont do much for you. The meat layers around the lips and especially the ears hold more meat and tissue than you think and salt will not permeate that tissue well enough for preservation for your taxidermist, which you should check with before even attempting any salting. I've had salted capes come in before with people claiming it was turned and fleshed properly and I've only had a scant-few that were truly done correctly and it caused problems (random slippage spots) for the cape. Salted capes, when not done correctly are a HUGE pain and I know of some taxi's that wont touch them or charge additional fees if done without the cape being 'turned' first.
Wow, sorry for long winded response, but hope this helped. If you want to practice or see how to remove a cape from the head to retain eye, lips, and nose membrane for mount work, I would be happy to show you. Best of luck in your hunt(s) this year!
Joel-BRT
WWW.blackrivertaxidermy.com
360-789-5056- Joel Swecker-BRT

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: What to do with cape
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2020, 08:25:00 AM »
That was really helpful Joel, thank you. I have no real interest in having a shoulder mount done any time soon, but I always feel it's a waste to leave a quality cape on the woods. I've been considering caping all my animals out moving forward and donating them to my local taxidermist. Maybe for credit of some form if they're quality enough. I think the practice alone would be worth it.
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Offline bornhunter

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Re: What to do with cape
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2020, 08:40:07 AM »
Duckman,
Heres a few tips for ya based on hunting in the backcountry myself as well as being a taxi and actually doing some experiments with my own harvested animals in regards to cape preservation. Keep in mind that all game animals are different, meaning some capes last a while and some tend to start decomposing faster (predators)...but lets stick with deer for now....
If you don't know how to the remove the skull from the head for a shoulder mount you did the right thing, don't. It doesn't take much know-how to do it, especially on a deer, but unless you've done it (watching YouTube vids doesn't count) before I would highly suggest letting your taxi take care of the step. If you do have to leave the head in here's what to do. As some have said, split the cape right up the spine-line and stop between the ears and antler bases. Open the cape up and let it cool. In my experience if the cape is kept cool and slipping starts its usually not necessarily due to heat in the head, which cools off rather quickly. The real culprit is the bacteria levels in the mouth which starts decomp much quicker, affecting the hide around the mouth such as in the cheeks and throat. Let the head with the cape cool off and then put in a cloth bag such as a meat sack. You said you have access to a cooler....perfect. Put the cape in there with the head (if you can also fit the antlers), and pack with ice around it. You DONT want the cape sitting in water tho...so keep it up out of the melting ice water. If your temps at night are freezing then open the cooler and let that bugger freeze during the night. I did an experiment with a blacktail a couple of year ago and put a cape (my own of course) with the head still in it in a fridge set at 36 degrees (bacteria is significantly slowed and halted at anything below 37 F). The cape was unwrapped but rolled up and cooled. It lasted about 8 days before I started to see some signs of hide degrading.

If you can get the cape off the skull you have a hell of a lot more ways and extended time to keep it good for a trophy mount. Either you can learn how to do this or the other options is most game processing places, such as where you take your meat, offer 'trophy caping' for a minimal fee, which is well worth it. If you take it off in the backcountry some of the same process applies...open the cape up and cool in a shaded area, preferably where a breeze can get to it, put in a meat cloth bag and get chilled. If you don't have access to ice, another trick is to let the cape cool overnight and then put the chilled cape in a plastic bag and seal it up and submerge in a creek or snow bank to keep it cold. Again, you really don't want to make a practice of putting any cape in a plastic bag, but for this chilling option it is a must as you don't want the cape coming in contact with water. I kept an elk cape for almost a week in this manner, in a creek. A cape removed from the head, chilled, rolled and in a cloth bag lasted in my fridge for about 17 days before I started to see problems or concerns, but again, it was 36 degrees.

DONT salt a cape!!!!! Unless you have FULLY turned the lips, ears, eyes, and nose the salt wont do much for you. The meat layers around the lips and especially the ears hold more meat and tissue than you think and salt will not permeate that tissue well enough for preservation for your taxidermist, which you should check with before even attempting any salting. I've had salted capes come in before with people claiming it was turned and fleshed properly and I've only had a scant-few that were truly done correctly and it caused problems (random slippage spots) for the cape. Salted capes, when not done correctly are a HUGE pain and I know of some taxi's that wont touch them or charge additional fees if done without the cape being 'turned' first.
Wow, sorry for long winded response, but hope this helped. If you want to practice or see how to remove a cape from the head to retain eye, lips, and nose membrane for mount work, I would be happy to show you. Best of luck in your hunt(s) this year!
Joel-BRT




Great info for all of us. Thanks Joel.

Offline duckman18

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Re: What to do with cape
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2020, 03:35:26 PM »
Duckman,
Heres a few tips for ya based on hunting in the backcountry myself as well as being a taxi and actually doing some experiments with my own harvested animals in regards to cape preservation. Keep in mind that all game animals are different, meaning some capes last a while and some tend to start decomposing faster (predators)...but lets stick with deer for now....
If you don't know how to the remove the skull from the head for a shoulder mount you did the right thing, don't. It doesn't take much know-how to do it, especially on a deer, but unless you've done it (watching YouTube vids doesn't count) before I would highly suggest letting your taxi take care of the step. If you do have to leave the head in here's what to do. As some have said, split the cape right up the spine-line and stop between the ears and antler bases. Open the cape up and let it cool. In my experience if the cape is kept cool and slipping starts its usually not necessarily due to heat in the head, which cools off rather quickly. The real culprit is the bacteria levels in the mouth which starts decomp much quicker, affecting the hide around the mouth such as in the cheeks and throat. Let the head with the cape cool off and then put in a cloth bag such as a meat sack. You said you have access to a cooler....perfect. Put the cape in there with the head (if you can also fit the antlers), and pack with ice around it. You DONT want the cape sitting in water tho...so keep it up out of the melting ice water. If your temps at night are freezing then open the cooler and let that bugger freeze during the night. I did an experiment with a blacktail a couple of year ago and put a cape (my own of course) with the head still in it in a fridge set at 36 degrees (bacteria is significantly slowed and halted at anything below 37 F). The cape was unwrapped but rolled up and cooled. It lasted about 8 days before I started to see some signs of hide degrading.

If you can get the cape off the skull you have a hell of a lot more ways and extended time to keep it good for a trophy mount. Either you can learn how to do this or the other options is most game processing places, such as where you take your meat, offer 'trophy caping' for a minimal fee, which is well worth it. If you take it off in the backcountry some of the same process applies...open the cape up and cool in a shaded area, preferably where a breeze can get to it, put in a meat cloth bag and get chilled. If you don't have access to ice, another trick is to let the cape cool overnight and then put the chilled cape in a plastic bag and seal it up and submerge in a creek or snow bank to keep it cold. Again, you really don't want to make a practice of putting any cape in a plastic bag, but for this chilling option it is a must as you don't want the cape coming in contact with water. I kept an elk cape for almost a week in this manner, in a creek. A cape removed from the head, chilled, rolled and in a cloth bag lasted in my fridge for about 17 days before I started to see problems or concerns, but again, it was 36 degrees.

DONT salt a cape!!!!! Unless you have FULLY turned the lips, ears, eyes, and nose the salt wont do much for you. The meat layers around the lips and especially the ears hold more meat and tissue than you think and salt will not permeate that tissue well enough for preservation for your taxidermist, which you should check with before even attempting any salting. I've had salted capes come in before with people claiming it was turned and fleshed properly and I've only had a scant-few that were truly done correctly and it caused problems (random slippage spots) for the cape. Salted capes, when not done correctly are a HUGE pain and I know of some taxi's that wont touch them or charge additional fees if done without the cape being 'turned' first.
Wow, sorry for long winded response, but hope this helped. If you want to practice or see how to remove a cape from the head to retain eye, lips, and nose membrane for mount work, I would be happy to show you. Best of luck in your hunt(s) this year!
Joel-BRT
Thanks Joel if or when I get one I thinks worthy of a mount it will be going to you. 3 years ago You did a bear skull and re-did another one for me that the taxi didnít get all the grease out of.
Corey

 


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