Decomposition begins immediately upon death. The sooner you
take care of your acquired specimen, the better the quality of the finished
- Never slit throat
- Never hang or drag by neck
- Do not drag carcass
- Rinse off blood/debris and blot dry (blood speeds decomposition)
- Avoid freezer burn which damages hide - double bag and
remove as much air as possible before freezing
Because of the various diseases that wild game can transmit to humans,
always use extreme caution when handling the carcass. Use rubber or
latex gloves and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water after handling.
twin cuts under the chest. Start from the first circular cut around the rib
cage and continue along the back of one leg to join the cut you made above
the knee. Then do the other leg.
the animal on its back, make a shallow cut through the skin just below the breastbone.
Make sure that you start your cut well away from the brisket, allowing plenty
of uncut skin for your shoulder mount. Insert two fingers of the free hand,
cradling the blade, to hold the skin up and away from the entrails.
straight down the belly and around the genitals, separating but not severing
them from the abdominal wall. Slit the belly skin all the way to the pelvic
bone. Be sure to start the incision below the cape line.
not cut open the chest cavity or into the brisket. Cut the diaphragm away from
the ribs all the way to the backbone area. Reach into the forward chest cavity,
find the esophagus and wind pipe, cut them off as far up as possible and pull
them down through the chest.
the animal onto its side, grab the esophagus with one hand and the rectum/intestine
with the other. Pull hard - the animal's internal organs will come out in one
big package with a minimum of mess. Wash off any blood and/or debris on the
deeply around the rectum, being careful not to cut off or puncture the intestine.
Pull to make sure the rectum is separated from tissue connecting it to the pelvic
canal. Pull the rectum out and tie string tightly around it to prevent droppings
from touching the meat. Lift the animal's back quarter a bit, reach into the
front of the pelvic canal, and pull the intestine and connected rectum into
the stomach area.
a sharp knife, slit the hide circling the body behind the shoulder at approximately
the midway point of the rib cage behind the front legs. Slit the skin around
the legs just above the knees.
the skin forward up to the ears and jaw exposing the head/neck junction using
your knife as little as possible to avoid nicks. Holding the hide out of the
way, cut into the neck approximately three inches down from the head/neck 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 - complete with antlers
bag the cape and freeze, removing as much air from bags as possible. Make
sure antlers do not puncture bags to reduce risk of freezer burn.
- Do not gut bird
- Take great care not to damage feathers
- Wipe off any blood with a damp rag
- Plug throat and nasal passages with a small piece of
cotton or paper towel to prevent any fluid from staining plumage
- Carefully fold feathers in and tuck head under a wing
- Slide bird head first into a nylon stocking (pantyhoes)
- Double bag removing as much air as possible and freeze
- To avoid damage do not lay anything on top of bird in
- Fish start to lose color immediately, so a good color
photograph will provide an accurate reference to reproduce natural color
- Leave fish whole, do not gut
- Wrap in a very wet towel, taking care to keep fins flat
- Double wrap in plastic wrap / bags removing aas much
air as possible and freeze
- To avoid damage, do not lay anything on top of fish in
coyote size and smaller should not be skinned or gutted. Small mammals deteriorate
quickly due to their thin hide and bacteria, so freeze as soon as the animal
is cooled. Double bag, removing as much air as possible