How you handle the animal matters. Without a good specimen, there are problems before work even begins. Skin begins to decay immediately upon death, so take care of your specimen as soon as possible. Keeping it cold slows this breakdown; freezing stops it. Always freeze specimens if they cannot be delivered to taxidermist within 24 hours. If you ever have any questions feel free to contact Samantha.
NEVER cut the throat
NEVER hang animal by the neck
NEVER cut up through the brisket
NEVER get the hide wet (when possible)
NEVER drag animal by the neck (or at all if possible)
ALWAYS get the animal to Naturally Wild Taxidermy immediately.
ALWAYS freeze your animal if you can not get to the shop.
AWAYS save PLENTY of hide. Too much is better than too little.
Animals, coyote sized or smaller, should not be skinned unless by a professional. Don't gut the animal. Small mammals, especially carnivores, will spoil quickly because of their thin hide and bacteria. Call Naturally Wild to schedule a time to drop off the small game animal, as soon as the carcass cools completely, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it.
Do not gut the bird. Cool the bird immediately to prevent feather loss. Rinse any blood from the feathers with water. Schedule a time for drop off at Naturally Wild the same day or freeze. When freezing, place the bird into a plastic bag and tie loosely. Be sure not to damage feathers. Leave the tail feathers sticking out of the bag if necessary.
Take good pictures immediately onsite, at the water’s edge. Measure the fish from nose to fork of tail. Then measure the fish directly in front of the dorsal fin, located in center of the back, with the exception of pike, burbot, and other fishes whose dorsal fins are located further back. These fish should be measured around the center of the largest part of girth.
Why Choose a Replica over a Skin Mount?
A fiberglass mount won't deteriorate over time.
Promote Catch-and-release fishing. Some species are in decline and big fish are becoming harder to find. Catch and release polices are now in force on many waters worldwide.
No ugly shrinkage that can be associated with some poorly done skin mounts.
No grease bleed associated with some poorly done skin mounts, all Salmonid and all salt water species are notorious for "grease bleed ", their heads and bodies are packed with natural oils that are all but impossible to remove completely.
No risk of mold, insect infestations or other deterioration.
Requirements for Fiberglass Reproductions
Measure length.— The live fish must be measured before releasing it back into the water. The most essential measurement necessary is the overall length. This is a nose to end of tail measurement.
Measure girth.— A girth measurement, a circumference measurement at the largest part of the body (directly in front of the dorsal fin) is also helpful, although not essential if the fish is stressed.
Take photos.— Take photos, being careful not to stress your fish! Good photographs will enable us to create an accurate fiberglass reproduction of your fish.
Please remember that the less you stress a fish the better chance it has for survival. With that in mind, the two most important pieces of information you can supply us with is a nose to tail length measurement and a color photograph.
The best fish mounts are made from the best fish, and whether you keep or release your fish, proper handling will result in both a happy taxidermist and a happy angler.
How are fiberglass blanks made?
Fish taxidermists order blanks from our choice of suppliers world wide. Naturally Wild Taxidermy only uses top quality replicas from these suppliers. Suppliers have created a mold, which was taken from an actual specimen, countless numbers of casts can be taken from that one mold. Naturally Wild Taxidermy uses provided photos, length and girth measurements, and at times weights to choose the closest possible fiberglass replica to your original fish. If we cannot find an exact match we can modify forms to recreate your trophy. We work closely with you to ensure 100% satisfaction.
This is skinning the animal down the back. From base of tail to back of head. Then it is cut down and peeled off the carcass. Skinning down legs and cutting leg and leaving foot& leg bone in. Also leave the head and skull in hide. Freeze or take to the shop ASAP.
This is used in rug mounts and other variety poses. Make these slits (cutting the feet free from the carcass). The head detached as with the should mount.
1. With a sharp knife slit the hide circling the body behind the shoulder at approximately the mid-way point of the rib cage behind the front legs. Slit the skin around the legs just above the knees. An additional slit 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/neck junction. Cut into the neck approximately three inches down from this junction. Circle the neck cutting down to the spinal column. After this cut is the head off the neck. This should allow the hide to be rolled up and put in a freezer until transported to our studio. These cuts should allow ample hide to work with when mounting. Remember, we can cut off excess hide but he can't add what he doesn't have.
* Always have appropriate tags with your trophies when you take them to Naturally Wild Taxidermy.
* Do not cut off the ears for attachment.
* Songbirds, Eagles, Hawks and Owls are protected by Federal Law and can not be mounted unless with special Federal permit.
* For times where you are hunting with no available freezer, fully skin the animal, flesh, and salting the hide. This is the only method in remote locations that can preserve your hide for later mounting.
*We do not recommend freezing salted hides as the salt will not allow the animal to fully freeze.
*When in doubt; Call us!