Field Care

Since the final quality of your mount results in part from how take care of your animal in the field, we would like to state exactly how it is recommended to field dress your deer. Many trophies are ruined in the first few hours after it has been killed. When the animal dies, bacteria begins to eat away at the carcass. It is very important to properly care for your animal after death to gain the very best mount possible.

Field Dressing

  1. With the deer on its back, make a shallow cut through the skin just below the breastbone. Be sure to start your cut far away from the brisket to allow plenty of uncut skin for shoulder mounting. Insert two of your fingers under the skin around the blade to hold the skin up and away from the guts.

  2. Cut straight down from the belly and around the genitals, separating but not cutting them from the abdominal wall. Cut the belly skin all the way to the pelvic bone.

  3. Cut very deeply around the rectum, but don't cut off or puncture the intestine. Pull to make sure the rectum is separated from the tissue that is connecting it to the pelvic canal. Pull the rectum out, and be sure not to let any of the droppings touch the meat which could possibly contaminate it. Reach into the front of the pelvic canal, and pull the intestine and connected rectum into the stomach area.

  4. If you want a full shoulder mount, DON'T cut open the chest cavity. Cut the diaphragm away from the ribs all the way to the backbone area. Reach into the forward chest cavity, find the esophagus and windpipe and cut them off as far up as possible. Pull them down through the chest.

  5. Roll the deer onto its side, grab the esophagus with one hand and the rectum/intestine with the other and pull hard. The deer's internal organs will come out in one big package with minimal mess.

Caping for a Shoulder Mount

  1. Cut the hide around the body behind the shoulder at approximately the midway point of the ribcage behind the front legs. Cut the skin around the legs just above the knees of the animal. An additional cut will be needed from the back of the leg and joining the body cut behind the legs.

  2. Peel the skin forward up to the ears and jaw exposing the head and neck junction. Cut into the neck about three inches from this junction. Circle the neck, cutting down to the spinal column. After this cut is done, hold the antler bases and twist the head off the neck. This should allow the hide to be rolled up and put into a freezer until transported to Rhodes Taxidermy. These excess cuts should allow ample hide to work with in mounting.

Please remember, we can always cut off extra hide We can't replace what isn't there.