I have been watching the video series on the backwoods taxidermy site and trying to get a good idea of how to take care of a cape just in case I connect on my fly out hunt this year. First off I will talk to the taxi that I choose before heading out to get some pointers but as a layman the vids seemed pretty good and I certainly have a lot more insight into what is involved w/ turning ears, ringing mouths, splitting lips etc.
The vids show a bird beak knife which looks light and I am thinking about taking one along for cutting between horns. Other than that I will have a Havel knife to do most of the work.
The guy in the vid uses a 7 cut on the deer instead of the Y or T to work around the antlers. I am guessing that this will not be too effective on a sheep and that a Y cut would be preferred so that there was no cut on the thin strip of fur between the horns themselves. I am curious what the general consensus is on that though.
The bear on the site they worked the ears manually. The deer they used a tool. I don't see me taking the tool out in the field for a sheep but I am very curious if anyone has any tricks for turning ears in camp. I am curious about both bear ears and sheep.
I get that "cleaner is better" but I am curious just how close you need to be to prevent damage. Is there a "good enough" where the salt will do the job and get me through a week or so in the field to get the hid back to my guy? I am mainly worried about eyes, nose, lips, ears in regards to that.
Tear ducts? I have read and seen on vids where they trim them out and keep them on the hide. It seems that they ring the eyes and leave them on but I am not sure how to treat them in the field. Can I just get most of the meat off around them then salt thoroughly?
Last question.... do you charge the same for a properly turned, fleshed, prepped cape that you would charge for a guy that brought one still on the skull? I will obviously need to talk to any taxidermist that I choose about this ahead of time but I am curious what the general feeling is about it. I can certainly see where a poorly done cape w/ holes would create more work in the long run so would expect to see repercussions there. What I don't want to do is spend a bunch of time scraping, trimming, turning in the field to get it fully prepped and have it not return any benefit over having just worked it enough to make sure the hair doesn't slip.