GAME HEADS: DO NOT BLEED your deer! Slits in the throat area are impossible to hide and will prevent a top quality look in the final product. Also, don’t saw through the brisket. The cape and head should be skinned within a couple days to prevent spoilage. To skin out the cape make an incision behind the front shoulder and completely around the girth of the deer, including the brisket. Now peel the skin off the shoulders and pull the leg stumps through and then invert it over the neck. Detach the head from the neck about 3 inches behind the skull. If you can’t bring the cape to Gary’s Life-Like Taxidermy immediately, it may be frozen in a large plastic garbage bag. Seal the bag the best you can.

SMALL MAMMALS: Animals, coyote sized or smaller, should not be skinned unless by a professional. If possible gut the animal. Small mammals, especially carnivores, will spoil quickly because of their thin hide and bacteria will grow faster. If you can’t take the small game animal immediately to Gary’s Life-Like Taxidermy, put it in a plastic bag, seal it and freeze it immediately.

BIRDS: Look for a bird that is fully feathered, avoid excessive pin-feathers. Do not field dress bird. Use paper towels to wipe off blood and clot shot areas. DO NOT wring the bird’s neck, better to pinch off its windpipe if necessary. Allow the bird to cool down, place in plastic bag and freeze. Be careful not to damage the feathers, including the tails when putting the bird in the plastic bag. If the bird’s tail feathers do not fit in the bag, do not bend them. Just let them stick out of the bag and tie the bag loosely. It’s best to bring the bird to Gary’s Life-Like Taxidermy within days for best results.

FISH: Don’t gut your fish! Avoid stringers if possible. Place fish in cooler with good side up and without good side touching anything (not even ice) for it will keep the best color. Freeze it as soon as possible after it dies and the color bleeds back. Wrap the fish in wet, saturated towel and place it in a heavy plastic garbage bag to freeze. Make sure all of the fins are flat against the fish’s body to prevent breakage. Bring your fish to Gary’s Life-Like Taxidermy as soon as possible since the fins freezer burn quite easily. Make sure plastic bags are sealed to prevent freezer burn. Never place newspaper or cardboard on the fins as they will dry the fins out.
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