How to Take Care of Your Taxidermy Mounts: What to Do and What Not to Do with South African Species
If you hunted in South Africa and got a kudu or a springbok as a trophy, you want to ensure it doesn't fade or get broken. Taking good care of your taxidermy mount is essential if you want it to look its best. Here are some tips for caring for your mount.
How does taxidermy work?
Taxidermy is the art of mounting or stuffing an animal's body to be studied or displayed. It is often used to keep fish, birds, and mammals alive. Taxidermy is also sometimes used to make art and remember dead pets. Taxidermy comes in many forms, such as traditional skin mounts, copies, and freeze-drying.
How to Take Care of Your Mounts: Do's
When you want a taxidermist to mount an animal, please give them the best animal possible to work with. When you handle the animal, be careful not to damage the hide, fur, or feathers, and wipe off any blood before taking it to a taxidermist.
After killing an animal, you can skin it yourself if you know how. If not, you can have your taxidermist do it for you. Contact a taxidermist near you as soon as possible, and send them your sample quickly. This will help them skin the animal more easily. You can freeze the animal if you can't get to the taxidermist immediately.
Keep the animal clean and dry before and during transportation, and let the taxidermist know what kind of mount you want. Once the mount is finished, store it somewhere dry with little or no humidity, preferably in a room where the temperature can be controlled. It needs to be dusted often to stay looking clean and new.
What to avoid
Please don't cut the animal's throat to make it bleed or cut through the skin to take out the windpipe. It isn't needed and can hurt the skin.
Don't drag the animal across the ground because it can pull out its hair. If you want to cape and skin an animal yourself, cut the skin well behind the front legs or leave the whole skin on the cape.
Never put an animal's skin or any other part in a plastic bag unless you want to freeze it. Also, don't roll the hide up. Instead, it would be best to hang it up so air can move around, and if salted, the air will dry it.
When you catch a fish, be careful not to gut it, and don't touch it more than you must. This can make the scales fall off and hurt the fins. Do not let anyone pull out or break the feathers of a bird you have killed.
Keep your finished mount clean and dust-free to keep the way it looks. Don't rub the fur or feathers backward to clean your mounted animal. With the proper care, your taxidermy mounts from South Africa will look great for many years.