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Field Care & Mounting Deer

Once you've taken the trophy buck down there are several things you must do before the mounted head will end up as one you'll be proud of. When removing the deer's cape, you must not cut the throat or make any incisions in the neck skin whatsoever. If you do so, it will cause the taxidermist many problems in preparing the mount.

It's extremely necessary to leave much more neck skin intact that you might think. Most poorly mounted trophy heads result because the taxidermist doesn't have enough neck skin or cape to work with. You should start by making a cut on top of the buck's head just behind the ears. Cut towards the rear along the top of the neck to a point behind the front shoulders.

Then you should make 2 vertical cuts, one down each side of the body to the point where they meet. This point where the cuts meet should be behind the brisket, or just ahead of the forelegs. When you finish these cuts you'll see how the excessive skin is needed in order to make a good mount.

What you want to achieve is to get the head and cape removed from the rest of the deer carcass. You should start peeling the skin at the point where the horizontal and vertical cuts meet, just behind the front shoulders. Using a skinning knife, peel the flaps of skin away from the body toward the head. Contine until skin is removed from the base of the skull.

At this point, you can cut the head free from the carcass by cutting straight through the neck. You need to get your buck's head to a taxidermist within a very few days so that it doesn't spoil. You may want to freeze the head if you find it difficult to get it to a taxidermist in a timely manner. When you freeze the head, make sure that you put the head in a cardboard box and seal the box, and then take it to a meat-packing plant if possible. Good luck and safe hunting!