3340 Andersonville Highway

Andersonville, TN 37705


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  Specializing in

Fish- natural and reproduction

Birds- upland and waterfowl

Shoulder Mounts

Life Size

Half Life Size

European Mounts



Tanning- furs, capes, and skins



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Field Care

Many times trophies are ruined due to improper care in the field. By taking every precaution possible, you can help to ensure a quality mount.

Skinning Life-Size Big Game
There are two major methods of skinning for a large life-size mount such as deer, elk, or bear. These methods are the flat incision and the dorsal method.

The Flat Incision Figure 1
The flat incision is used for rug mounts and for a variety of poses. The areas to be cut are shown in image to the right. Make these slits (cutting the feet free from the carcass) and pull the skin off the carcass. The head is detached as with the shoulder mount.
Note: if you can't take your hide immediately to a taxidermist, freeze it to your taxidermist's specifications.

The Dorsal Method
The dorsal method of skinning involves a long slit down the back (from the tail base up into the neck). The carcass is skinned as it is pulled through this incision. The feet/hooves and the head are cut off from the carcass as with a shoulder mount explained later. Only use this method with approval and detailed instructions from your taxidermist. Use this method only when the skin can be frozen quickly after skinning.

Figure 2a

Shoulder Mounts: Leave at least 4 inches of hide behind the shoulder. Never cut the throat, brisket, or neck. Avoid dragging the animal if at all possible. If it is necessary, drag by the antlers and keep the head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. Cut the hide around the body about 4-6 inches behind the shoulders. Cut the skin around the legs just above the knees.

Figure 2b

Make a cut up the back of the legs to the previous cut around the body. Peel the skin forward to the head.

Cut through the neck (not skin) and spinal column about 3 or 4 inches below the head/neck union. Soak up any blood with paper towels. Keep the cape cold and dry.
Figure 3

Small Mammals: Do not gut. Leave whole place in a clean paper bag if possible and freeze, or keep cold/dry and bring to the taxidermist as soon as possible.

Birds: Do not gut. Pick the best specimen. Choose the one with the least blood stains, broken feathers/bones, and pin feathers. Leave whole and slip, head first, into a nylon stocking then into a plastic bag and freeze.

Fish: Do not gut. Place in plastic bag with Borax and freeze.

© McKenzie Taxidermy Supply