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Thread: caribou mount when in velvet

  1. #1
    New member caribou-man's Avatar
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    Default caribou mount when in velvet

    I have a chance to go caribou hunting in July in the HV area and was wondering if I do came across a big one, would it be worth mounting with the antlers in velvet. I've not seen any mounts that way but heard that it is done. Also, will the meat be any worse July than any other non-rut time of year? Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Well

    I am going in August and am bringing formaldehyde to preserve the velvet. I have seen many velvet mounts and I think they look better than hard horned mounts. Having never done this, take it with a grain of salt, just what my taxidermist instructed me to do.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you'll be coming home within a few days of harvesting your caribou (which would be wise, concerning what warm weather will do to your meat), you shouldn't have any problem. My friend has has mounts done with his the last two years in early August, and he didn't have any problems, nor did he bring along formaldehyde or other preservative. One thing you do need to be aware of, though, is rubbing on the way home. If you tie or bungee them down in the back of your truck, it's pretty likely that you'll get rub marks. We made sure his were tied down around the bases where it didn't matter as much.

    As for meat, July should be great. No worries there at all, as long as you keep it cool and get it home rather quickly.

    Good luck!

    -Brian

  4. #4

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    yeah, should have mentioned the formaldehyde is because it is a 2 week caribou and black bear deal...
    Another thing my taxi said was to put cardboard around the tips to prevent them from bending in transport. Any comments on that?

  5. #5
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default long time in the field....

    Quote Originally Posted by Utarded
    yeah, should have mentioned the formaldehyde is because it is a 2 week caribou and black bear deal...
    Another thing my taxi said was to put cardboard around the tips to prevent them from bending in transport. Any comments on that?

    If you see that trophy bull of a lifetime early in your adventure it could be tough to keep that bou meat and hide in decent shape, Utard. The bugs and heat will be in full regalia in August. The bear hide could be tough to keep decent too--lots of salt!
    Two weeks is a long time out there...be prepared for an extra meat pickup by your air taxi if you are using one. May necessitate a sat phone too...Best of luck in your hunting,
    Frank

  6. #6

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    One thing to keep in mind is that in July, the antlers are not fully developed and won't reach full potetial until late August/early September. Chances of seeing a truly huge caribou rack at that time will be almost nil. I have seen a bunch in the Nelchina area this year and the racks have a long ways to go. Just a thought.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the tip about the meat and hides. We are having a meat/trophy pickup 1/2 through inbetween the 'bou and the bear. We figure that 1/2 of the weight we are allowed will be split between salt and formaldehyde. Thanks for the well wishes!

  8. #8

    Default bleed 'em

    Bleed the antlers by poking the tips with a knife and then hang them upside down so they can drain. A July bull will have a LOT of blood in it's antlers and you want to get it drained so you can fill in the voids with formaldehyde. It can be done, but you need to baby it and it might not work. I tried preserving my first velvet bull and it didn't work worth a ****. Now I just save the hassle and strip them in the field. July/August caribou meat is fantastic.

  9. #9
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    You might think about using stuff called TTC as a salt substitute, it'll save you weight. Wiggy's in Alaska sells it and I believe Cabela's. A 4 1/2 pound container is about the same as a 20 pound bag of salt.
    I preserved some velvet antlers by getting a solution from a taxidermist especially formulated for velvet preservation. You eject it under the velvet and also brush it on after "bleeding" them as shart describes. My brother had a set of antlers from a bull caribou in velvet that he had Knight's Taxidermy here in Anchorage do for him in 99 and they are still in perfect shape.

  10. #10
    New member caribou-man's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'm just going out for about three hunting days in the field. Like I said, got to go when you have a chance! I didn't know about bleeding the antlers. I will talk to a taxidemists before I go to get specific instructions and supplies. But if they are not going to be fully developed yet, I may just bring the meat back and wait for that big fall monster for the wall! Thanks again.

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