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Thread: Trophy care seminar

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Default Trophy care seminar

    I was reading the Seminar schedule for the sportsmans show and saw the care of big game meat and trophies section. Does anybody know if this going to demonstrate how to cape an animal? I have always brought the head in, and paid the taxidermist to do all the head work, so a demonstration on caping would be awesome. I will have to learn how to do this in prep for my fly in later this year.
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Its really not that hard, the smallest sharp knife you can handle is all you need, use a blunt wooden stick for turning ears....Don't forget to take your salt. Last year we took way too much salt we ended up dumping most of it.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    How much salt do you usually take? I was thinking about a gatorade bottle full, but I'm not sure if it's enough. I watched the online video on how to do cape a black bear on youtube, but it didn't explain how to split the nose, or skin around the eyes. The rest looked pretty easy, it looked like I just need to take my time and be careful where I cut.
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    I could send you a by the step dictation that you could fold up and put in your back pocket if needed. Take me about 20 mins to write up and since I really dont have much more to do..might do that..lol

    Get one of these..http://www.havalon.com/ best thing smokin for skinning, caping, turning lips and ears.(probably not a good idea for a beginner to try the ears just yet with this). As stated..really not that difficult. once you do it a few times you will be a master. The biggest mistake is made around the ear butts..seem alot of guys would drop off capes with a smooth cut right through the ear..little work and most taxidermist can fix this..but really hate to see it. You really need to understand the anatomy of this area along with around the mouth. Lips on the other hand just takes time and patience. You have to look for that thin dark line and if you dont stay on that...oh $#@$%....see you got me starting the book now..lol

    let me know,

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    How much salt do you usually take? I was thinking about a gatorade bottle full, but I'm not sure if it's enough. I watched the online video on how to do cape a black bear on youtube, but it didn't explain how to split the nose, or skin around the eyes. The rest looked pretty easy, it looked like I just need to take my time and be careful where I cut.
    I think wiggys still has that super salt stuff. I used it on a goat and it worked real well,give him a call and I am sure he can help out with that...Ducks it is not too difficult to skin and turn but if no seminar send me a pm and we can talk about it maybe even go look at some mounted critters and I can give you some advice..
    dave

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    just rememberd I got a tanned hide in the garage that i can show you turning and stuff,,just keep it in mind if you need help
    dave

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    Thanks I would definetly be interested in that Hugh and Dave. I bought a havalon a few months ago, it looks like it's going to be perfect for skinning. I am afraid of cutting my hand off with it though. That thing is the sharpest knife I have ever had. I also bought one of the Knives of Alaska caping knives. I used it on my caribou last year and it worked great. I figured I would use a tripod leg or a stick to use to turn the ears. That part makes me nervous as well as splitting the lips.

    I think I need to get a few spring bears to get some practice on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    Thanks I would definetly be interested in that Hugh and Dave. I bought a havalon a few months ago, it looks like it's going to be perfect for skinning. I am afraid of cutting my hand off with it though. That thing is the sharpest knife I have ever had. I also bought one of the Knives of Alaska caping knives. I used it on my caribou last year and it worked great. I figured I would use a tripod leg or a stick to use to turn the ears. That part makes me nervous as well as splitting the lips.

    I think I need to get a few spring bears to get some practice on.
    Ducks most first timers are usually nervous as they are afraid of messing up their trophy,and thats understandable for sure,truth is its really not that difficult if you take your time and pay attention to the little things.Like I said if I can help Ill make sure your prepared,youll have plenty of other things to worry about when you get in there...

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    Duckslayer,

    I understand getting nervous about the turning and splitting part, the first moose I got, I sliced thru the eyelid trying to turn them, I was kind of rushing myself yet learning at the same time, However, my taxidermists took care of it and you can't even tell. As far as how much salt?....it depends on what else you plan on shooting after you get your sheep...we just brought way too much. Salt is always left at base camp and I would bring a 5 gallon bucket with a good tight seal lid ( to keep moisture out) if you and your partner plan on taking a sheep and bear each. What you don't use you can discard.
    My take on Havalon knives...They are sharp, but they break easily, and easily get lost within the hide and flesh, had one blade pop off and never found it. I use the Alaska knives lightweight folder, 2 each, one carbon fiber, and one orange with partial serrated blade ( these go with me to spike out) I also leave two cheap knives at base camp ( I bought them from Macks in Kodiak I don't know the name, but they have plastic handles come in white, black and red) but only cost about $3.00 and are soft flex and used by most brown bear hunters, several of them used in chris battens video, they are excellent, yes they need to be sharpened periodically but they work !!! ...but thats just my take, the havalons will work but you have to be careful with them, they just make me nervous.

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    I would take Dave up on the offer. Little different with a tanned hide then a green one..but pretty much same technique. I would think if you can at least see what we are talking about and know what to look for you will do fine. Just go slow. the nose is another animal in itself and will require a very thin blade and patience. The skin there is very thin..most Taxidermist will have a special tool to use on this and technique that makes it easier. Plus when they go to put it on the form, it is very easy to hide all the little imperfections in the nasal cavity etc. Ensure you leave enough on the lips so they can be trimmed and tucked. The skin around the eyes is another common error found on many capes taken off. Just be sure to get in deep around the tear duct and leave as much of that white inner eye skin as possible. They will trim it regardless either after tanning or before and make it work. I had a few get dropped off where it looked like they just cut the eyelids out just inside of them and was tough getting them to line up. Amazing what they can do with clay, bondo and silicone and not to mention the T-pins..lol

    Patience and pratice and you will be opening up your own taxidermy studio in the future..lol

    Enjoy brother.

    H


    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    Thanks I would definetly be interested in that Hugh and Dave. I bought a havalon a few months ago, it looks like it's going to be perfect for skinning. I am afraid of cutting my hand off with it though. That thing is the sharpest knife I have ever had. I also bought one of the Knives of Alaska caping knives. I used it on my caribou last year and it worked great. I figured I would use a tripod leg or a stick to use to turn the ears. That part makes me nervous as well as splitting the lips.

    I think I need to get a few spring bears to get some practice on.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Unless you've either watched someone split the lips and turn the ears, I really don't recommend it either. Main thing imo is to take your time around the pocket (inside corner) of the eye. If you don't you can cut it right off there and it is hard to make an animal look right after that's gone.

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    So true, and sound advice.


    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Unless you've either watched someone split the lips and turn the ears, I really don't recommend it either. Main thing imo is to take your time around the pocket (inside corner) of the eye. If you don't you can cut it right off there and it is hard to make an animal look right after that's gone.
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    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    yea eyes can be tricky...sheep are not too bad...nothing like caribou... I always leave extra on everything and let the taxi cut it off just make sure its thin enough for salt to penetrate or if it meaty like parts of the insides of the mouth/lips chin i cross slit to work in the salt....

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The best thing you can do is to go into your taxidermist's shop in May and watch him do a couple of bear skulls. That's what I did when I wanted to do my own rather than bringing the whole head in, and it makes a world of difference. Most taxidermists are happy to have folks watch, as a better quality product coming in their door makes their job easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    I was reading the Seminar schedule for the sportsmans show and saw the care of big game meat and trophies section. Does anybody know if this going to demonstrate how to cape an animal? I have always brought the head in, and paid the taxidermist to do all the head work, so a demonstration on caping would be awesome. I will have to learn how to do this in prep for my fly in later this year.
    I'm doing the meat and trophy care seminar at the show and no, I won't be demonstrating live with a cape. We'll deal with the basics, but I spend more time on meat care.

    Russel Knight is doing something on bear skinning and detail work. It might be worthwhile sitting in on that one. He has brought in green hides before. Don't know if he's doing that this time, but you could phone him.

    You might check out the Wilderness Taxidermy video in our store. It goes into these details.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Thanks Brian and Mike. I had planned on visiting which ever taxidermist I decide to go with and finding out how they want the cape done. I just haven't made up my mind on who I am going to go with for my sheep, provided I am successful. I will check around and see if I can get a few demonstrations later this spring. Hopefully I have a spring bear of my own to practice on.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckslayer56 View Post
    Thanks Brian and Mike. I had planned on visiting which ever taxidermist I decide to go with and finding out how they want the cape done. I just haven't made up my mind on who I am going to go with for my sheep, provided I am successful. I will check around and see if I can get a few demonstrations later this spring. Hopefully I have a spring bear of my own to practice on.
    Doing a walk-through with your taxidermist is one of the best ways to learn. It's not difficult once you understand the steps.

    Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
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    Ducks the best possible thing to do is as pointed out talk with a taxi and go through the procedure with them. Also I get one of those seamstress tapes,ya know the little cloth or plastic roll up rulers that are several feet long,keep that in your pack so when u get your sheep you can get some measurements for your taxi. I always have one in my pack when I guide. Taxis usually want nose to eye and around neck and such. This will no only help them but it will benefit the look of your ram. Be sure to take pictures of the measurements vs writing them down so there is no confusion. Also take many closeup pictures from different angles for reference.Besides your gonna want to measure them horns right away so im sure you'll have a little tape..lol
    My offer still stands if you need it, again I would just hate to see any hunter have to go in blind when it comes to their trophy. And if you get a spring bear drop.me a line sine you live in wasilla and ill help you out and go through it with ya. All the best
    Dave

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    It has been awhile since I capped out a sheep but I do remember they have very little fat on their skin. As others have said, cutting around the eyes always seem to be the easiest thing to screw up.

    If you turn the lips and ears within a day or so of shooting the animal do you really need to salt the head down while in the field? I heard of hunters just laying the cape out in the sun so it will dry so long as all the fat is off. Don't mind carrying some salt sheep hunting but don't want to carry it if we don't have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    It has been awhile since I capped out a sheep but I do remember they have very little fat on their skin. As others have said, cutting around the eyes always seem to be the easiest thing to screw up.

    If you turn the lips and ears within a day or so of shooting the animal do you really need to salt the head down while in the field? I heard of hunters just laying the cape out in the sun so it will dry so long as all the fat is off. Don't mind carrying some salt sheep hunting but don't want to carry it if we don't have to.
    So much depends on the weather imo. I'm NOT going to tell you not to bring salt. If it's real warm, or warm and rainy and you won't be back to town very soon then it may be a good thing to salt down your cape. But from my experience, up in sheep country it's usually pretty darn cool. And if you get blood on your cape you'll want to let it soak in some ice cold water to get the blood out before it dries. This cools down the cape really well. It's also usually pretty windy in sheep country so when you take the cape out of the water when it's getting late in the day, and lay it out where the air and wind can get to it, it usually stays pretty darn cold. That's the whole thing right there, keeping the cape cold. I've been trying to remember, but I don't think I've ever salted a sheep cape while in the field, and I've never had one slip.

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