How to take care of your trophy
Always wear latex gloves when handling the carcass. Wild game can transmit various diseases to humans via small cuts or scratches in human hands, arms or wrists.
Field dressing Deer, Elk, Antelope or similar big game critters
With the deer or elk on its back make a shallow cut through the skin just below the breast bone. Make sure you start your cut well below the brisket, allowing ample amount of uncut hide for your shoulder mount. Insert two fingers of your free hand, cradling the blade, to hold the skin up and away from the entrails.
Small Mammal Animals
Coyote sized or smaller should not be skinned unless by a professional. Do not gut the animal. Small mammal, especially carnivores, will spoil quickly because of their thin hide and bacteria. If you can’t take the small game immediately to a taxidermist, as soon as the carcass cools completely, put it in a plastic bag and freeze it. With the epidemic of rabies evident in many areas of the country, take every precaution necessary when handling your game.
Birds (including Turkey)
Do not gut the bird. Rinse any blood from the feathers with water. Take the bird immediately to your taxidermist or freeze it. Wrap the bird in a very wet towel and put in a sealed plastic bag for freezing, being careful not to damage the feathers, including the tail. If the birds tail feathers do not fit in the bag, don’t bend them. Get a larger bag.
Do not gut your fish. If at all possible take a digital picture of you fish immediately after the catch. If it is a catch and release weigh and take measurements. Take the fish to your taxidermist immediately or freeze it. If you are freezing it, wrap in a very wet towel and put in a plastic bag. Make sure all the fins are flat against the fish body and freeze it.