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Caping for a Shoulder Mount
1. With a sharp knife slit the hide circling the body behind the shoulder at approximately then 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 (Figure 2A and 2B).
2. Peel the skin forward up to the ears and jaw exposing the head / neck junction. Cut into the next approximately three inches down from the junction. Circle the neck cutting down to the spinal column. After this cut is complete, grasp the antler bases and twist the head off the neck. This should allow the hide to be rolled up and put in a freezer until transported to the taxidermist. These cuts should allow ample hide for the taxidermist to work with in mounting. Remember, the taxidermist can cut off excess hide but he can not add what he does not have.
NOTE: When field dressing a trophy to be mounted, do not cut into the brisket (chest) or neck area. If blood gets on the hide to be mounted, wash it off with snow or water, as soon as possible. Also, avoid dragging the deer out of the woods with a rope. Place it on a sled, rickshaw, or a 4-wheeler. The rope, rocks, or a broken branch from a dead-fall can easily damage the fur or puncture the hide. If you do need to drag it out with rope, attach the rope to the base of the antlers and drag your trophy carefully.