Tips on Preparing Big Game for Taxidermy

Many hunters choose to taxidermy game of all types and sizes. A trophy mount is an excellent way to celebrate a successful hunt and memorialize the hard work you did and the fun you had doing it!

Because there’s such great opportunity to hunt particularly big game—like bull moose and bear—here in Saskatchewan, we’ve put together some useful tips on prepping your prize for the taxidermist. Heed our advice to guarantee your mount is as impressive as your hunting skill!

Find your taxidermist beforehand.

If you’re going for a big trophy, you’ll likely want to invest in a great souvenir to honor your accomplishments. Do some research before you head out to the field. This way you won’t end up rushing to make a decision after you’ve taken down an animal and dissatisfied with the final product. Evaluate each person’s work and choose someone whose methods and display appeal to you.

Once you find the right taxidermist for your taste and needs, reach out to them or look at their website for specific tips on prepping your game. Each one will be different so consulting them ahead of time will allow you to provide them with the best tools to carry out their technique and get you the mount you’re looking for.

Pay attention to how you skin your game.

Where and how much you skin will depend on the type of mount you want—shoulder, half, full, etc. One of the most common mistakes hunters make is cutting the cape of their animal too short. You want to leave your taxidermist some extra room to work with. Leaving about 1½ feet of excess skin is the standard recommendation.

You also want to make sure you’re cutting up, not down, through the skin and from the inside out. This will prevent you from cutting any of the root hairs and leave the coat in ideal condition for preservation.

Freeze the hide after field prepping.

Once you’ve finished preparing your game, you always want to take the time to let the hide cool properly. Be sure to use a game bag during this process. If you put a warm carcass in a garbage bag, you’ll just end up cooking it. Your best option is to freeze the hide immediately after cooling to keep it as intact as possible for your taxidermist.

If you’re able to freeze the hide quickly, don’t salt it. Salting can interfere with freezing and cause other issues, particularly for large game in which the salt may not be able to fully penetrate the excess meat and fat of the hide. Only use salt if you can’t get your game to a freezer right away.

At Lawrence Bay Lodge we offer guided moose hunting trips and plenty of accommodations and resources for hunters of all kind! Our large hunting area in Saskatchewan offers remarkable opportunity for taking bear and bull moose and walking away with the glory and satisfaction of an outstanding trophy.

Contact us today to find out more about our hunting trips and the other adventures we offer to make your next vacation a thrill!