WNY Bowhunter

Skinning a deer for your taxidermist...

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Just thought that I'd post this with season opening in a few days:

When you can't get to your taxidermist right away and have to skin your trophy buck and freeze the head and cape for a later date this is the right way to do it...

First, a lot of guys think you need to "sleeve the deer" which is essentially to skin it by turning the front half inside out like a sock without making any cuts. Not only is this time consuming but totally unnecessary. When I get a cape like this, the very first think that I do is cut from the bottom of the cape through the underside of the armpits like in Figure 2B (where the short white hair meet the dark brown/gray leg hair). Also, take the time and carefully skin the neck ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE BACK OF THE EARS!!! As a taxidermist, there is nothing worse than waiting for a big frozen chunk of neck meat to thaw out. The rest of the face with thaw quickly and can be skinned out within a few hours of taking the head out of the freezer.  Waiting for a frozen block of neck to thaw can take several additional hours. The shorter the time frame that the raw cape is exposed to the elements/bacteria the better especially is it's warm out!!!

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"I'm not from New York. I'm a REDNECK from Western New York!!!"

"It's not a passion. It's an obsession!!!" - Mossy Oak

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14 minutes ago, WNY Bowhunter said:

Just thought that I'd post this with season opening in a few days:

When you can't get to your taxidermist right away and have to skin your trophy buck and freeze the head and cape for a later date this is the right way to do it...

First, a lot of guys think you need to "sleeve the deer" which is essentially to skin it by turning the front half inside out like a sock without making any cuts. Not only is this time consuming but totally unnecessary. When I get a cape like this, the very first think that I do is cut from the bottom of the cape through the underside of the armpits like in Figure 2B (where the short white hair meet the dark brown/gray leg hair). Also, take the time and carefully skin the neck ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE BACK OF THE EARS!!! As a taxidermist, there is nothing worse than waiting for a big frozen chunk of neck meat to thaw out. The rest of the face with thaw quickly and can be skinned out within a few hours of taking the head out of the freezer.  Waiting for a frozen block of neck to thaw can take several additional hours. The shorter the time frame that the raw cape is exposed to the elements/bacteria the better especially is it's warm out!!!

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I'll make sure the butcher leaves plenty of cape for you to skin. Where do I meet you? I'm planning on shooting a nice buck around 8am on 10/1 and be done at the butcher by noon-ish.

Edited by Biz-R-OWorld
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"The sportsman lives his life vicariously. For he secretly yearns to have lived before, in a simpler time. A time when his love for the land, water, fish and wildlife would be more than just part of his life. It would be his state of mind."

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I'm just breezing through now and didn't read this but good job giving guys a heads up. 

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4 hours ago, Biz-R-OWorld said:

I'll make sure the butcher leaves plenty of cape for you to skin. Where do I meet you? I'm planning on shooting a nice buck around 8am on 10/1 and be done at the butcher by noon-ish.

I'll be home all day. It's a long drive to Steuben County from Westchester.


"I'm not from New York. I'm a REDNECK from Western New York!!!"

"It's not a passion. It's an obsession!!!" - Mossy Oak

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4 minutes ago, WNY Bowhunter said:

I'll be home all day. It's a long drive to Steuben County from Westchester.

Any airports nearby? Maybe I can take an online class tonight and then I can fly in 


"The sportsman lives his life vicariously. For he secretly yearns to have lived before, in a simpler time. A time when his love for the land, water, fish and wildlife would be more than just part of his life. It would be his state of mind."

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Great informative post, WNY.....I have done a bunch,whitetails, mulies, pronghorns, elk caribou.. Most of the caribou were DIY wilderness hunts where we had to completely cape the heads, turning the ears, doing tear ducts, splittings lips, etc...I have spent a lot of time sitting  around camp sipping on a little cup of bourbon while caping and fleshing caribou....<<smile>>...Fortunatey none of the guys who shot moose wanted a sholder mount..I can't imagine the amount of work to fully cape and flesh a moose...

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I haven't been splitting or turning most of mine lately. I kust pay my friend from Howard who tans my capes to do it. 


"I'm not from New York. I'm a REDNECK from Western New York!!!"

"It's not a passion. It's an obsession!!!" - Mossy Oak

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11 hours ago, moog5050 said:

Who is this directed at?   I thought you like all the extra neck meat!

Not you directly. Just got one in from last season and the neck was done perfectly. Believe me...I want those Mendon deer frozen before I touch them...in liquid nitrogen if possible.

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"I'm not from New York. I'm a REDNECK from Western New York!!!"

"It's not a passion. It's an obsession!!!" - Mossy Oak

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13 hours ago, Pygmy said:

Great informative post, WNY.....I have done a bunch,whitetails, mulies, pronghorns, elk caribou.. Most of the caribou were DIY wilderness hunts where we had to completely cape the heads, turning the ears, doing tear ducts, splittings lips, etc...I have spent a lot of time sitting  around camp sipping on a little cup of bourbon while caping and fleshing caribou....<<smile>>...Fortunatey none of the guys who shot moose wanted a sholder mount..I can't imagine the amount of work to fully cape and flesh a moose...

You may need to join us up at our cabin for a little "sip"! 

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Good to know I do mine the right way right. I always brought the cape in whole lol. Then let them cut the line of what they need and didn't need behind the shoulders. 

Thought Biz was hunting with WNY on opening Day? Arkport has an airport!! 

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How hard is this to do yourself? Just the cape part. A friend has done it before for himself and is willing to walk me through it. I love learning this stuff but am honestly worried it will get messed up even though he’s a very knowledgeable person.

I always process my own deer which is why I’m leaning on doing the cape myself.


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It's not difficult at all to skin the deer to the base of the ears and detach the head and cape. Skinning the face is a different story...I'd leave that part to your taxidermist. 


"I'm not from New York. I'm a REDNECK from Western New York!!!"

"It's not a passion. It's an obsession!!!" - Mossy Oak

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23 hours ago, Moho81 said:

How hard is this to do yourself? Just the cape part. A friend has done it before for himself and is willing to walk me through it. I love learning this stuff but am honestly worried it will get messed up even though he’s a very knowledgeable person.

I always process my own deer which is why I’m leaning on doing the cape myself.


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Moho - you and i in the same boat again.  Lol.  We both never got bigger than a 7 point before this season and I had these same questions.  I called the taxidermist and asked him.  And yeah never doing it before it was quite a chore.  Esp since i usually process mine and hang them by the neck but didnt want to of course here.  Bad enough i had a long drag with it.

But he told me to bring the whole cape.  He said to cut along the white hair on the legs up to the armpit and then have to roll and skin it off under the neck whole kinda like rolling over a sleeve.   It took me a couple of hours and i really thought I didnt do a great job, but he looked at it and said it was just fine.  I cut up and around under the neck as far up as I could then sawed off the neck bone.   I know some will say there is a way to seperate at the head but I just used a saw.  He said be sure not to cut into the brisket farther than the legs if I could help it. 

I worried about doing it right but am sure they have seen worse come in. lol 

hope this helps and good luck!  

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1 hour ago, Robhuntandfish said:

Moho - you and i in the same boat again.  Lol.  We both never got bigger than a 7 point before this season and I had these same questions.  I called the taxidermist and asked him.  And yeah never doing it before it was quite a chore.  Esp since i usually process mine and hang them by the neck but didnt want to of course here.  Bad enough i had a long drag with it.

But he told me to bring the whole cape.  He said to cut along the white hair on the legs up to the armpit and then have to roll and skin it off under the neck whole kinda like rolling over a sleeve.   It took me a couple of hours and i really thought I didnt do a great job, but he looked at it and said it was just fine.  I cut up and around under the neck as far up as I could then sawed off the neck bone.   I know some will say there is a way to seperate at the head but I just used a saw.  He said be sure not to cut into the brisket farther than the legs if I could help it. 

I worried about doing it right but am sure they have seen worse come in. lol 

hope this helps and good luck!  

Man I have been stressing over this way to much. If I knew it was going to cause me this much stress I would have never shot him!!!!! 

Kidding of course. Luckily for me Treeguy is stopping over tonight and he's going to walk me through the process. I will  feel so much better once the cape is off and it's back to being just a deer for me to process. Next step is to decide on a Taxidermist. I have never needed one and of course everyone has their guy that they recommend. I'm pretty sure I know who i'm going with but man is this hard work. Oh god I also have to decide on a pose for him as well. Lol. 

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1 minute ago, Moho81 said:

Man I have been stressing over this way to much. If I knew it was going to cause me this much stress I would have never shot him!!!!! 

Kidding of course. Luckily for me Treeguy is stopping over tonight and he's going to walk me through the process. I will  feel so much better once the cape is off and it's back to being just a deer for me to process. Next step is to decide on a Taxidermist. I have never needed one and of course everyone has their guy that they recommend. I'm pretty sure I know who i'm going with but man is this hard work. Oh god I also have to decide on a pose for him as well. Lol. 

Andrew has done his fair share and once you do one you will realize it’s easy enough that you will start killing wall hangers every year for the practice!   Enjoy the whole process.  Something satisfying about having it caped well with just the head staring at you.   

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14 minutes ago, Moho81 said:

Man I have been stressing over this way to much. If I knew it was going to cause me this much stress I would have never shot him!!!!! 

Kidding of course. Luckily for me Treeguy is stopping over tonight and he's going to walk me through the process. I will  feel so much better once the cape is off and it's back to being just a deer for me to process. Next step is to decide on a Taxidermist. I have never needed one and of course everyone has their guy that they recommend. I'm pretty sure I know who i'm going with but man is this hard work. Oh god I also have to decide on a pose for him as well. Lol. 

Andrew is a good man, he'll get ya squared away!  

and yeah i have a guy.... lol .  He has done fish for me for years and is now semi retired and only takes in like 10 deer a year.  We sat down for an hour and BS'd about it and picked out a pose too.  And i still dunnno if its the right one but im going with it!   

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I did my first one this year with my buddy who shot that monster. It was extremely easy to do . There is videos on YouTube that show you how to do it.

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Man I have been stressing over this way to much. If I knew it was going to cause me this much stress I would have never shot him!!!!! 
Kidding of course. Luckily for me Treeguy is stopping over tonight and he's going to walk me through the process. I will  feel so much better once the cape is off and it's back to being just a deer for me to process. Next step is to decide on a Taxidermist. I have never needed one and of course everyone has their guy that they recommend. I'm pretty sure I know who i'm going with but man is this hard work. Oh god I also have to decide on a pose for him as well. Lol. 


Why not just have your taxi do it? You’re paying the same price anyway.


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"The sportsman lives his life vicariously. For he secretly yearns to have lived before, in a simpler time. A time when his love for the land, water, fish and wildlife would be more than just part of his life. It would be his state of mind."

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4 minutes ago, Biz-R-OWorld said:

 


Why not just have your taxi do it? You’re paying the same price anyway.


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Some guys won't cape it for you ,not sure why. You would think they would want it done their way.

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9 minutes ago, Biz-R-OWorld said:

 


Why not just have your taxi do it? You’re paying the same price anyway.


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My guy also hunts and I don't want to drop the deer there and want to process the meat.  If he was to cape each one you'd be waiting a bit esp after opening weekend.   

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My guy also hunts and I don't want to drop the deer there and want to process the meat.  If he was to cape each one you'd be waiting a bit esp after opening weekend.   


Interesting. I always go to butcher first. Let them cut the head off leaving plenty of cape, then take head to taxidermist to have it capes and start the process.


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"The sportsman lives his life vicariously. For he secretly yearns to have lived before, in a simpler time. A time when his love for the land, water, fish and wildlife would be more than just part of his life. It would be his state of mind."

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I process it myself. I think it would be difficult to have have the Taxi cape it then bring the body back home to process. If who I select even will do that as a part as their service. 

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1 hour ago, Biz-R-OWorld said:

 


Interesting. I always go to butcher first. Let them cut the head off leaving plenty of cape, then take head to taxidermist to have it capes and start the process.


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 I butcher my own - so does Moho I believe. 

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