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Tips & Techniques
The quality of the taxidermist's work is dependant on the quality of the raw material. Below are some tips and techniques to consider:

Shooting: Avoid shooting the head or neck. Holes in short-haired animals are difficult to hide. Use full metal jacketed bullets (solids) on small animals.

Transportation of the Animal: Do not drag the animal along the ground.  Specially designed tarpaulin carriers are highly recommended for removing animals out of the bush. Ensure that the animal is covered and not exposed to the sun and taken back to the skinning shed as soon as possible.

Skinning: The animal must be skinned as soon as possible to prevent bacterial activity and resulting hairslip. It is important to ensure that all flesh is removed from the skin.  The skin can be kept in a cold room until ready for skinning.

Capes for shoulder mounts: Cut a V-line from the top of the head to the horns, cutting carefully around the horns without cutting off the hair. Never cut down – always up, so as not to cut the hair. Then cut straight down the back of the neck to well behind the shoulders. Take off the cape by carefully skinning around the eyes, turning the ears and splitting the lips. They should be caped and salted immediately  The capes should remain under salt for at least 3 days.  For any reason, if unable to salt, freeze the animal as the next best choice.  To prevent hair loss, special care must be taken of Kudu, Bushbuck and Eland capes.  The flesh must be removed before salting.
For animals with manes,  e.g. zebra, wildebeest, cutting in the mane is encouraged.

Aftercare:  The preferred choice for hanging shoulder mounts is indoors and out of the  harsh UV rays.  Humidity may be a problem but, as mentioned, the sunlight might be more of a problem.  Mounts should always be kept dust free and can be moth-proofed bi-annually or annually.  Horns can be revamped by adding another coating of oil.  Contact us for details regarding this.  For any mishandled trophies they can be brought to us for maintenance and/or repairs.
19 Produce Street • Baakens River Valley • Port Elizabeth • South Africa
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