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View Full Version : Field Care of Elk Cape in the field



crumy
08-04-2012, 10:25 PM
I have googled, binged, and asked ill I am blue in the face. I see Salt it. Don't salt it. freeze it, don't freeze it. just keep it cold. So I am lost and wanted to see what you guys had to say.

I will be back in the mountain and may take me 5 days to get to a taxidermist, may take 2 to get to a cooler. If I get an elk that I want to put on the wall what do I do? Sorry I am a newbie to this and want to make sure I do it right.

Can I cape it, leave the skull and put in a cooler in a platic bag with ice for a couple of days? Do I need to remove the skull and cape the whole thing? I really don't want to salt it, because I doubt I have the paitence or skill ot remove everything necessary to do that. (face, ears, lips, eyes along iwht getting the meat and fat off) But if that is what I need to I will, I just don't want to screw it up.

If I could get it the hide and skull to a cooler would that buy me some time?

Jim

ssliger
08-05-2012, 08:05 AM
Have you picked a taxidermist you would like to use? Once you have picked the taxidermist you would like to use, they will tell you exactly what they want you to do.

Ikeepitcold
08-05-2012, 08:15 AM
Have you picked a taxidermist you would like to use? Once you have picked the taxidermist you would like to use, they will tell you exactly what they want you to do.

I agree. Do what your taxi says.

ivorytip
08-05-2012, 09:28 AM
look up montieth taxidermy. new in laramie but a very seasoned tax. one of the best. check out his web site and give him a call, nicest guy u will meet. his name is kevin.

HuntWYODon
08-05-2012, 01:01 PM
I have googled, binged, and asked ill I am blue in the face. I see Salt it. Don't salt it. freeze it, don't freeze it. just keep it cold. So I am lost and wanted to see what you guys had to say.

I will be back in the mountain and may take me 5 days to get to a taxidermist, may take 2 to get to a cooler. If I get an elk that I want to put on the wall what do I do? Sorry I am a newbie to this and want to make sure I do it right.

Can I cape it, leave the skull and put in a cooler in a platic bag with ice for a couple of days? Do I need to remove the skull and cape the whole thing? I really don't want to salt it, because I doubt I have the paitence or skill ot remove everything necessary to do that. (face, ears, lips, eyes along iwht getting the meat and fat off) But if that is what I need to I will, I just don't want to screw it up.

If I could get it the hide and skull to a cooler would that buy me some time?

Jim

Don't freeze it with salt on it. Freeze without or salt and refrigerate or keep cool with salt The salt and freezing it will dry it up and may not be able to be streched even when soaked after thawed. Words from taxidermist friends. I almost wasted a cape from a Book Cliff's Utah buck (186 lbs. of just meat) broke butchers record then two days later someone brought in an alphalfa field buck and beat it by 2 lbs. , I had it in the frezzer with salt too long. They problem is when you are packed in somewhere. Salt and keep cool is all you can do. Don't put in plastic trash bag either. Either without a bag or a game bag. Trash bag will hold heat and spoil it. just from experiance and taxidermist advice :)

HuskyMusky
08-10-2012, 07:36 PM
my taxi says...

salt is kinda the last choice/only choice sorta thing

best choice is cape it, get it to him and frozen asap...

NoMoreOldNo7
08-10-2012, 10:09 PM
HuntWYODon & HuskyMusky I believe hit it pretty well correct. Don't freeze it with salt on it, get it in a meat locker or freeze it and get it to your taxi as quick as you can. If you tag out on the first day and have to wait for another 5 days you might want to salt it, but clean off the salt once you get to a cooler or freezer (and I say cooler I don't mean a cooler with ice in it) . You want to avoid it getting wet. Bacteria starts to grow as soon as it hits the deck, add in some heat, lack of oxygen and moisture and you got all the fixins for some major hair slippage. Salt simply stops the bacteria from growing, but you got some time. Get it caped, keep it clean and dry would be the way to go. After a few days I think I would salt it. Thats what I am planning on doing this fall on any big game I take, but I'm going to taxi them myself. I will also turn out the face (eyes, nose and ears) that night/the next day so that basically it would be ready to be fleshed. I'll either freeze it or salt it and ship to a tanning company. But that's way more than you need to do if you don't have any experience. IMHO keep it clean, keep it dry and get it to a locker or freezer as quick as you can. But forget anything I said if you taxi tells you other wise.

bigmoose
08-11-2012, 09:43 AM
This is what I do on deer when I'm way back in or can not get to a taxidermist right away. You need to cape out the head along with the shoulders and neck. Don't worry about turning the ears or splitting the lips. Once he's caped, clean any meat or fat off and fold the cape skin to skin, then roll it up and find the coolest spot you can to store it. If you have a cooler, put it in a plastic bag (or two) and it should keep for a week or so. Don't let it get wet. Do not salt it. Once you start salting and fleshing it will need to drain.

I have never lost a cape yet this way. You can put it right into a the freezer when you get home or get it to your taxidermist right away. The hard part will be capeing the face. You may want to ask your taxidermist how and then go slow doing it. Be careful around the eyes and tear ducts and use a dull screwdriver to remove the cape around the antlers. Good luck! I hope you get that monster!

Moose

HuntWYODon
08-14-2012, 04:02 PM
HuntWYODon & HuskyMusky I believe hit it pretty well correct. Don't freeze it with salt on it, get it in a meat locker or freeze it and get it to your taxi as quick as you can. If you tag out on the first day and have to wait for another 5 days you might want to salt it, but clean off the salt once you get to a cooler or freezer (and I say cooler I don't mean a cooler with ice in it) . You want to avoid it getting wet. Bacteria starts to grow as soon as it hits the deck, add in some heat, lack of oxygen and moisture and you got all the fixins for some major hair slippage. Salt simply stops the bacteria from growing, but you got some time. Get it caped, keep it clean and dry would be the way to go. After a few days I think I would salt it. Thats what I am planning on doing this fall on any big game I take, but I'm going to taxi them myself. I will also turn out the face (eyes, nose and ears) that night/the next day so that basically it would be ready to be fleshed. I'll either freeze it or salt it and ship to a tanning company. But that's way more than you need to do if you don't have any experience. IMHO keep it clean, keep it dry and get it to a locker or freezer as quick as you can. But forget anything I said if you taxi tells you other wise.

NoMo,
Are you going to do your Wy. loper buck mount/cape yourself ? Dam goat capes are a pain. Loose a lot of hair. I blew holes in the first 10 or so antelope buck capes. Shot 4 more until I got one to mount. I ruined the cape on my best buck in 1994. I salted it and drove home with it in a plastic trash bag. Big no no. Then it sat in my garage a couple days . The hair pulled right out. That's the year a taxidermist became a friend and I hunted a lot with him in Wy.,Ut. and Co..He taught me a lot .Watch me shoot a bigger loper buck here in Ca. in a few days than I've ever got in Wy. and Az. ...$$$ :( I hope you get a big loper buck in Wy. and big buck (deer) in X9A that you have to mount too !

NoMoreOldNo7
08-14-2012, 11:13 PM
Yeah them lopes are the toughest, but hopefully I'll have 3 of them to practice on (2 does & a buck). And I am looking to take a wall hanger in X9A. I'll do my part now I only have to get them to do their part.

And yes, plastic and hides do not mix well. In the freezer its fine, but anywhere else you can at least say is a learning experience. It's OK to make mistakes, just as long as you learn from them (that goes for most anything but women, I made a lot of mistakes before I learned anything, and class is still in session on that one).

Get after a big en up there in Calif, I wish you luck.

Jeremy
08-15-2012, 08:55 AM
Take the hide all the way off the skull for sure. It's very easy and won't take you very long. After that, you have several options of putting the hide in a cooler, etc. Ideally, you want to stick the cape in a deep freeze for about 2 days and get if froze solid but a cooler is better than nothing.

justinthedoc
08-15-2012, 11:57 AM
MOst taxi guys dont want you saltn because most dont know how to. And if you dont know how to, you kust lost a cape. YOu have to turn everything, flesh all the fat and muscle off, take the thick spots down and then salt. Most folks dont know how to do all of that. So yes most people freeze and opt for dry-ice or pay a local taxidermist to do all the turning for you it takes about 6-7 days to salt a hide properly.

HuntWYODon
08-15-2012, 01:55 PM
39603957]QUOTE=NoMoreOldNo7;33649]Yeah them lopes are the toughest, but hopefully I'll have 3 of them to practice on (2 does & a buck). And I am looking to take a wall hanger in X9A. I'll do my part now I only have to get them to do their part.

And yes, plastic and hides do not mix well. In the freezer its fine, but anywhere else you can at least say is a learning experience. It's OK to make mistakes, just as long as you learn from them (that goes for most anything but women, I made a lot of mistakes before I learned anything, and class is still in session on that one).

Get after a big en up there in Calif, I wish you luck.[/QUOTE]

Thanks NoMo ! I'll try. Maybe I'll drop the cape and all of at your house on way home to practice on ;)
Rememeber to give me a ring when your in X9A , I'll be up the road a little way in X12 . :D
Yeah, I learned a lot of field care, etc. for capes in last 20 yrs. from 3 different taxidermist I've hunted with.
Funny, one of them wanted me to do a life size on my bighorn. I said if you do it for the price of a shoulder mount I will ! No go there ! I did a pedestal mount instead.
The woman/wife thing, I learned the first time... been there done that. Like being single for last 16 yrs... :) If I look tired in first pic it's because I am ! Second pic is finnished product but can't see stand. It has rocks,sage,crap in center and below neck.The bull mount is my fave. Cha ching ! My Taxi frind in Cody did that one. What he looked like before a dust collector.It wouldn't let me download the deer mount from Wy. 2010 ??? We should start a taxidermist/mount thread...3957

TooFarEast
08-16-2012, 06:28 AM
I wonder if this would help?

http://www.wildgameguardian.com/WilD_Game_Guardian/Home.html

I saw an ad for it to help perserve meat in the field, but it also says it will help with the cape. I think it is contains citric acid, etc. Just wanted to know if any of you had opinions?

NoMoreOldNo7
08-16-2012, 06:38 AM
Hey TooFarEast, thanks for the site. That looks like an interesting product. It must be something like "Stop Rot" I have never seen it before. If you look at the Directions tab it talks in there about bacteria & salting hides. I also like the statement "Remember, treat your cape like your game meat and you will greatly improve the quality of your big game mounts!" The best way to help you taxi provide a great mount is to take proper care of your hide before you get it to him. Regardless of how nice a trophy you have, it's tough for a taxi to bring back a spoiled hide.

Again good job finding this site

Hey HuntWYODon, those are some mighty fine looking animals you have right there