It Begins With Proper Field Care!
A beautiful mount begins with good field care and how you handle the animal. Without a good specimen, there are problems before work 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 Rocky Mountain Taxidermy within 24 hours.
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 Rocky Mountain Taxidermy immediately.
Always freeze your animal if you cannot get to RMT right away.
Always save plenty of hide. Too much is better than too little.
If you must skin the animal yourself, make as few cuts as possible.
Place tags carefully on the hide, doing as little damage as possible.
Field Care for Birds - (Rocky Mountain Taxidermy is currently not accepting Birds.)
If weather is warm, try to keep the bird as cool and dry as possible; keep it out of direct sunlight.
When home, tuck head under the wing and place in a plastic bag and freeze at once.
Do not gut or cut the bird in any way. You want to make sure that the feathers stay as clean as possible.
Push a wadded paper towel into the mouth of the bird to prevent blood from getting on the feathers.
Field Care for Turkeys (Rocky Mountain Taxidermy is currently not accepting Turkeys.)
It can take up to 48 hours for the turkey to freeze solid. Get to us as soon you can, waste no time delivering your bird. If you cannot get the bird to us on the first day of the kill, then you will need to freeze the bird.
Right before bagging the turkey, place its head into a small plastic bag and secure it. Fold the head back against the body beneath a wing. Gently fold the wings against the body, being careful not to bend the feathers.
Once bagged, the turkey should go into a freezer immediately. Do not put the turkey into the plastic bag until you are ready to freeze as this may cause skin spoilage, which would cause the feathers to fall out.
Place the entire turkey into a large plastic bag, head end first, and roll it gently to squeeze out most of the air. Tape around the tapered end of the bag containing the tail.
Using cardboard panels or a flattened box, protect the tail feathers by positioning them flat between two pieces of cardboard secured with tape. This is very important! If the tips of the tail feathers or primary wing feathers remain bent during freezing or storage, it is almost impossible for them to ever look right again.
You can temporarily place the bagged turkey in a dedicated large cooler with plenty of ice, but make sure the bag is air-tight so the bird is not saturated in water.
Field Care for Fish (Rocky Mountain Taxidermy is currently not accepting Fish.)
Take a good digital color photo. (cell phones take great pictures).
Avoid bright sun and flash photos (too much glare). Get it cold.
If you cannot bring the fish into RMT right away, then you must freeze the fish.
Place the fish in plastic bag (garbage bags work well). Taking care to keep the fish as flat as possible, place it in a freezer.