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Thread: Moose Trophy Field Care Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Moose Trophy Field Care Questions

    I am going on my first moose hunt this september and was wonder about a few things.

    What cuts do you make to cape out a moose?

    How do you prepare the cape for shipment?

    How and who do you get to pack/ship the cape home?

    I am all for saving money, time and effort.

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenmack View Post
    I am going on my first moose hunt this september and was wonder about a few things.

    What cuts do you make to cape out a moose?

    How do you prepare the cape for shipment?

    How and who do you get to pack/ship the cape home?

    I am all for saving money, time and effort.
    Hello Ken,

    Welcome to Outdoors Directory, and welcome to your first moose hunt!

    To cape a moose for a shoulder mount, I start by making a cut around the animal about a foot or two behind the shoulder area. You won't be able to make the cut all the way around until you roll the animal over later in the field dressing process, but cut around it as far as you can. Then make a cut around each of the forelegs at the knee joint. Then run your knife along the back of the leg, from your knee joint cut, through the armpit area, and to your "around the body" cut. Finally, make an incision from the cut around the body at the spine area. Start at your original cut and follow the spine until you come to a point between the ears and about three or four inches from the antler bases. From that cut, make separate cuts to each of the antler bases. The final result of the antler base cut should look like a "Y" shape. With these cuts made, you can skin out the top half of the animal. Be particularly careful around the eyes, tear ducts, nose and mouth. I usually make my mouth cuts by first reaching inside the lips and cutting the skin from where it attaches to the gums all the way around the mouth area.

    Once you have the cape removed, the real work begins. You have to flesh the hide, by removing all excess fat and tissue from it, splitting the lips, nose, dewlap and even the eyelids in some cases where the weather is warm. Also you will need to turn the ears. This detail work is essential to preventing the hair from slipping (falling out) once the pores relax after a few hours post-mortem.

    Until you've seen it done a few times, it's going to be a tough job. My best recommendation for you is to pick up some resources that actually show you how it is done. The caping process needs to work together with the way the meat is removed from the carcass, because they are typically done together. The best DVDs currently available for this are Larry Bartlett's "Wilderness Taxidermy" DVD, and ADFG's "Field Care of Big Game" DVD.

    PREPARING CAPES FOR SHIPPING

    If you have properly fleshed and salted your cape, it can be placed in a cooler or a fish box and shipped to your taxidermist via air freight, or even as checked luggage. However I generally recommend that you hand it over to an expeditor / taxidermist who will go over it to ensure it is done correctly before shipping. This is especially important when you are new at it and unsure of the process. A great place to have that done for you is Russel Knight's Taxidermy or Alpha Fur Dressers, both of which are in Anchorage. This should address both of your prep and shipping questions.

    Please advise if there is anything else we can do to assist you!

    Best regards,

    -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
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Mike. The cuts for the cape were as I thought but having experience only with whitetails, I didn't know if there were any modifications necessary for moose due to their size. I've never split lips before so I suppose I better start learning.

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