Caring for Your Taxidermy Trophy

Otter Taxidermy

For those who are not familiar with the term taxidermy, it can be described as the act of preparing and conserving a body of an animal through stuffing and mounting for the objective of studying or display. It is mainly  done on birds, mammals, and fish; however, it can also be used in the preservation of insects, arachnids, and reptiles.

There are many ways in which taxidermy or pet preservation can be used, such as in museums or at home. Hunters and fishermen use taxidermy to preserve and display their trophy hunts. Additionally, the method can be used as a craft to memorialize pets.

There are three main techniques of taxidermy used, and they include freeze-drying, conventional skin mounts and reproductions. The freeze-drying method entails freezing and drying parts or all of the animal to retain its realism. On the other hand, conventional skin mounts use the animal’s skin over a mannequin while reproductions utilize materials such as plastic or fiberglass to mimic the look of an animal.

THE DOS

When mounting an animal from hunting, it is essential to give your taxidermist the finest animal they can work with. Caution should be taken while handling the specimen, ensuring that there is no damage that happens to its hair or feathers, as well as getting rid of any extra blood before representing it to the taxidermist before it dries up.

Knowing how to skin an animal is an added advantage since it can be done after the kill, however if you do not know how to, just leave that work to your taxidermist, they will do it for you. It is crucial to have your taxidermist’s mobile number in hand so that you can be able to contact them as soon as possible.

If you can, take your hunt to the taxidermist as quickly as you can since it will make it simpler for him or her to skin the specimen’s skin. Nevertheless, if you cannot take it sooner, you can freeze your specimen to preserve its freshness.

Another important thing to do is to keep your hunt as clean and dry as you possibly can before and while transporting it and ensuring that you are familiar with the style of mount that you want, this will give the taxidermist an idea of what you really want as the final product.

The moment your specimen is finished, you can now exhibit your trophy at home or whichever place you prefer. Taking good care of a taxidermy will ensure it preserves its almost real look for a long time. Your taxidermy is supposed to be kept in an area that has little to no humidity, ideally a room that has its temperatures controlled for it to remain dry. This will keep the specimen always looking new. Also do not forget to regularly dust it off.

taxidermy diorama

THE DON’TS

It is not recommended cutting of an animal’s throat, you do not have to bleed your hunt because once it is dead , it will not bleed out of the opening either way. Additionally, do not remove the windpipe since it will mean cutting through the skin.

Sometimes animals can be very heavy to carry after a kill. Nonetheless, if it can be avoided, do not drag the animal on the ground since it will remove its hair. If you are doing skinning by yourself, try not to cut it to short by cutting it well behind the front legs or by leaving the whole skin still attached.

It is advisable that you do not put the animal in a plastic bag unless your plan is to freeze the animal. In addition, refrain from rolling up the hide, alternatively, just hand it up to promote aeration to reduce heat.

When it comes to fish, it is crucial that you be extra cautious. Gutting of the fish is not recommended and also avoid too much handling since it threatens to loosen fish’s scales and ruin the fins. As previously mentioned, the taxidermist requires the best specimen for best results. For birds, avoid plucking or breaking of their feathers.

Lastly, it is essential that you keep your finished animal clean as well as free of dust to continue looking the same. Steer clear of rubbing feathers or fur in the opposite direction to avoid breaking. While displaying your mount, it is important to keep it in a controlled temperature room. Very hot or cold rooms will lead to early aging of your trophy.

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