Field Care

 

 

 

CARE FOR YOUR SPECIMEN

Your mount will only be as good as the specimen presented. Some things just can't be fixed. Refrigerate or freeze. Talk to your taxidermist as soon as possible.
Blood is trouble. Blood left on feathers or hair may stain the specimen and increases bacterial damage. Wash/wipe blood off immediately. Attention to this applies to all species, not just light colored ones.

Big Game - Never cut the throat. Always leave plenty of cape for the taxidermist to work with. The cut should always extend beyond the front leg.
Photographs and measurements of fish, habitat, and anything pertinent to the desired finished mount are very important.

Small animals, Fish, birds should be left intact. Never field dress! Simply rinse or wipe off all blood. Keep tails, feathers, smooth and tucked into the body. Wrap the specimen in several plastic bags, freeze in a flat position. Squeeze out as much air as possible and close the bag tightly. If in the field for an extended time, keep away from sunlight, let body cool before putting in plastic.

There are several methods of removing the hide for your mounting needs. If you choose a lifesize mount, then it is best to do a dorsal cut down the back. If you choose a half lifesize, then try to leave the whole hide attached and I will make the proper cuts. For a rug, it is best to cut down all four legs, belly and chest to open it up flat. I’ll be happy to help you just call.

 

DISEASES AND THE TAXIDERMIST

RABIES - Certainly rabies is at the top of this list. Rabies is caused by a virus. If live virus is present in any tissue when it is frozen it will still be viable when thawed.
MANGE - Mange is a term that describes two diseases. The Demodex mite, only a concern to a taxidermist with need to cover up those small patches of hair loss on the face or paws.
The Sarcoptes mite causes the other mange that is specific to the species in which it causes disease. Bears are unique in that they are affected by two.
LYME DISEASE - This is a bad disease to get, but pretty easy to prevent. It is a bacterial disease and is transmitted by a tick called Ixodes. If you avoid the tick you avoid the disease. If you find that a tick is attached you still have about 24 hours from the attachment before the bacteria migrates from the gut of the tick into you as it feeds.
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD) is a disease of the deer family to include elk and is caused by a disease agent that is neither a virus, bacteria, nor a parasite and is called a prion. It is very dangerous.
For further disease information go to
www.pgc.state.pa.us or call your Wildlife Veterinarian at the Pennsylvania Game Commission 814-863-8370 x 3400

 



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