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Thread: Caping a Moose Questions

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    Default Caping a Moose Questions

    I am going on a DIY Float Hunt for Moose in 2014. Looking for some information and DVD instructions on how to cape a moose for mounting, care of the hide and so on. Any suggestions? Also any experiences from past hunts. What worked, what didn't work, etc. How much salt did you bring?
    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duramax2005 View Post
    I am going on a DIY Float Hunt for Moose in 2014. Looking for some information and DVD instructions on how to cape a moose for mounting, care of the hide and so on. Any suggestions? Also any experiences from past hunts. What worked, what didn't work, etc. How much salt did you bring?
    Thanks.
    Take more hide than you think you'll need. Back to at least the middle of the shoulders. Fifty pounds of salt may be enough. Roll the hide with the hair side out. Keep it cool. Be VERY careful when skinning around the eyes. If it will be several days before the cape reaches your taxidermist, turn the ears and split the lips, packing both well with more salt.

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    Member jojomoose's Avatar
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    Here is a good video from Mike Strahan floating around on youtube. If you haven't read his book, I suggest you do. Tons and tons of good information for beginners

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElG_vGAHivk

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    Larry Bartlett has two great videos that might be of interest (you can find these at www.pristineventures.com) The first is his "Project Bloodtrail" DVD on meat care, and the second which is dead center on target to your question is his "Wilderness Taxidermy" DVD - it's very detailed and the best thing I've ever seen regarding the details of caping and handling the hide short of actually doing it with someone experienced guiding you along.

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    pretty simple. id start the cape directly behind the front shoulder, you cut a v out by the brisket coming off the legs, make sure your cut is on the inside of the legs, bring a scalpel for the head.

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    Add a utility knife with some roofing blades and a small meat hook to you kit. The Utility knife makes those long cuts so much easier and prevents all those jagged edges you get when you stop and restart your cuts. The meat hook is super handy for firmly holding meat when field dressing and prevents your buddy from cutting you when working close or having a leg slip from your slick bloody hands. I also recommend some thin cut resistant gloves, they sell them at AIH and they are really good at saving you from a nasty cut, they are latex coated on the grip side and are a must have for me. The gloves also help keep your hands clean and keep all that crud from under your nails.

    Sink the utility knife all the way in and make your cuts with the grain of the hair.

    Try at all cost to keep your cape out of plastic bags, especially black ones. If you must bag it to keep your pack clean or to cool it in water remove it ASAP and let it air out. COOL, CLEAN AND DRY. Moose capes are crazy heavy so be prepared. I use plastic milk jugs to store my salt and you can really pack a lot into one, just keep slamming it down to pack it. I also store it in kitty litter plastic buckets. Easy to get stuff wet on a float hunt.



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    just remember its best to leave wayyyy to much hide then 1 inch short.. One of the biggest complaints I hear from taxis is too short of capes.. Just because its a shoulder mount doesnt mean they dont need extra to tuck.. on my hunters capes I typically cut em 6inchs behind the shoulders... and dont forget the bell.. some moose freeze em off though..

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    Save the weight and space required for carrying all that salt. Check out TTC (Total Taxidermy Care). 1 pound TTC provides same results as 5 pounds of salt. Marc has it at Wiggy's-Alaska. Give him a call to ask about it. I've seen it used on one wolf pelt and it only took about 1-1.5 pounds of TTC.

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    Member brule's Avatar
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    If you know which taxidermist you'll be using I'd contact them. They can help you out with a lot of the info you need. I show multiple customers a year how to skin and cape properly. I'd rather take the time to teach them than try to fix capes later.

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    i take my stuff back to the ribs as well, to short and you've wasted all your time and the haslte of workin' a moose cape. you'll need to get the nose cart. out to if its gonna be a while...hair on teh nose that you want to stay there. brule said it right...go watch a taxi at work on a cape and you'll learn more in 30 min there than you will in a week on here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    i take my stuff back to the ribs as well, to short and you've wasted all your time and the haslte of workin' a moose cape. you'll need to get the nose cart. out to if its gonna be a while...hair on teh nose that you want to stay there. brule said it right...go watch a taxi at work on a cape and you'll learn more in 30 min there than you will in a week on here.

    Yeah and what a nose it is...you can get lost in them things...

    I would urge caution when using TTC as lots of taxis do NOT like the stuff.... Best thing is as stated..pick your taxi and go spend some time with him prior to the hunt.. If a trophy is what you are after like Brwnbr said wouldnt is stink to do all that work just to lose what set out for...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duramax2005 View Post
    I am going on a DIY Float Hunt for Moose in 2014. Looking for some information and DVD instructions on how to cape a moose for mounting, care of the hide and so on. Any suggestions? Also any experiences from past hunts. What worked, what didn't work, etc. How much salt did you bring?
    Thanks.

    I did a float hunt with 2 other guys in 2011. We were somehow all very fortunate to take 3 moose and 2 wolves. I had the same concerns as you did and this is the place to start. To echo what others have said, the video from Larry on wilderness taxidermy is second to none. One area that it doesn't cover is the bell. Make sure you split it in half and salt that as well. I can tell you that I was the only person that kept a shoulder mount. The other guys just did European and a skull cap. We had plans to take about 40 lbs of salt, but I think it got cut down to about 25, but to be honest I can't remember exactly. (we had to cut weight last minute for the trip in) I can tell you we salted both wolf hides and my moose and we had some extra left over. However, I shot my moose on day 8 of a 13 day trip, and by the time I got back home it still wasn't dry. (I had to lay it on my basement floor with a fan on it for 2 days to get a good crust). But I didn't have any hair slip. For storage I would use a game bag. Make sure you've done all your work before you salt it and then role it up and put it in a game bag.
    One thing that I had on this hunt was a Piranaha knife with a ton of blades... Probably 20 blades. We had 3 moose and 2 wolves so it got its use, and I went through every single blade I had with us, and so did the other guys with a similar setup. I also used a kershaw knife with a sharper and still couldn't keep it up. At the end of the trip I threw away the sharper (it was cheap) but we destroyed it trying to use it so much. Taking the hide off of the skull is extremely tedious. As someone else said the nose is probably the absolute worst time sink. I probably spent a combined 20-30 hours working on the moose and wolves, so prepare for that type of investment. The good part is if you take your time, you will end up with a fantastic mount. The hide on a moose is very think, and you will nick it in spots, but take your time and it will come out awesome. Just got my mount back last week from my taxidermist, he said it was one of the best field jobs he's ever seen.
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    To me one of the most important things to make sure you don't mess up is around the eyes. IMO the eyes are what makes a mount. You have to be VERY careful you don't cut off the hide where the little pocket is next to the corner/tear ducts are. Just take your time when you get there and work right in close right next to the bone in that little pocket. If that little bit of hide gets cut off then the taxi has to pull it from elsewhere around the eyes and it just doesn't end up looking right. That's another thing......ANYWHERE you make a mistake and slit the hide, more hide has to be pulled from other places to sew it back up again. If this happens enough then a mount will start to loose it's lifelike features....which is what all mounts strive for.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Go to www.taxidermy.net and ask the question or call your local taxidermist. I was FT Taxidermist for many years, have my way of wanting things done. There is never too much good information. And their are videos out there.

    Hugh

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