How To Skin An Elk For A Shoulder Mount?

Step-by-Step Directions

prior to turning it over. Elk are difficult to lift. (See the deboning, skinning, field dressing, and field dressing without the guts pages.)

great for splitting the hide. In the event that the gutless procedure is not possible, it also makes gutting an animal a breeze.


As you move closer to the eye, expose the forehead as well as the region between the ear canal and the eye that is underneath the antler. As you want to slice, not saw, your way around the eye in this situation, you must slow down and use a medically sharp blade. Use the other hand to grab the hide and pull tension while holding the knife in your dominant hand. You can do this by putting your index finger into the lateral eye socket and using your thumb to grab the loose hide beneath the antlers.

Use your inserted index finger as a guide as you cautiously move forward to start cutting the white, inner skin of the eye, being careful not to damage the eyelids or the outer skin of the eye. Cut the white inner skin around the entire eye orbit by applying continual pulling pressure to the hide while being careful not to cut the tear duct, which is situated in front of the eye.

Elk’s tear duct can be skinned in a manner akin to that of the eye utilizing the finger and thumb technique, which involves gradually removing the thin skin from the tear duct’s deep indent. Since a deer’s tear duct is too small for a finger, trimming the connective tissue without cutting the skin requires cautious use of the knife’s tip.

Some advice for capping a head out

1. A tiny, well-balanced knife is crucial. 2. Move slowly and carefully. 3. Take your time to avoid cutting the hide. 4. Be mindful of where your fingers are at all times to avoid cutting yourself. 5. Always remove all meat and skin by pulling along the head’s bone.

To each horn or antler, you want to cut a “Y” at the top of the neck’s back. The head’s hide is then removed via skinning. Use the tip of your knife and cut upwards toward the horn while cutting around the antlers or horns; never cut downwards away from the horn. The hide will come off like in the video if you pull on it firmly and cut upward with the knife’s point.


Getting Ready for a Shoulder Mount * Slit the hide surrounding the body behind the shoulder with a sharp knife, roughly where the rib cage meets the shoulder.

field preparation

Make a shallow cut through the skin right below the breastbone when the deer is lying on its back. To ensure that there is enough uncut skin for your shoulder mount, start your cut far enough away from the brisket. To hold the skin up and away from the guts, insert two fingers of the free hand into the area where the blade is being held (Figure A.)

2. Separate the genitalia from the abdominal wall by cutting straight down the belly and around them. To the point of the pelvic bone, cut the abdominal skin (Figure B.)

3. Make a deep cut around the rectum while taking care not to sever or pierce the intestine. Make sure the rectum is freed from the tissue that connects it to the pelvic canal by pulling. To keep excrement from touching the meat, pull out the rectum and tie a thread firmly around it. The intestine and linked rectum are pulled into the stomach area by lifting the animal’s hind quarter a little bit and reaching towards the front of the pelvic canal.

4.Avoid cutting into the chest cavity if you wish to make a full shoulder mount. From the ribs to the region of the backbone, cut the diaphragm away. Find the esophagus and windpipe in the forward chest cavity, cut them off as high as you can, and then draw them down through the chest (Figure C).

5. Flip the deer over and grab the esophagus and rectum/intestine with one hand each. Pull firmly. The deer’s internal organs will be removed with the least amount of mess possible in one large bundle.

What is used to boil an elk skull?

Don’t actually boil, but rather simmer the mixture while adding a dash of dish soap to function as a degreaser. Start by adding a cup of baking soda, but watch out so the mixture doesn’t boil over. Use a vessel that can hold the skull entirely submerged. (Avoid boiling your record-book bear or lion; doing so will cause the skull to slightly contract.)

How much is a shoulder mount of a moose?

Any pins and drying aids will be taken out when the mount has dried, and the animal will typically be combed or groomed. To fleshy areas that generally fade and/or darken when drying, such as the nosepad (not so much on a moose), nostrils, lips, ears, and eyelids, color is applied in the form of paints using an airbrush or regular brush.

A finished moose shoulder mount will typically cost between $1200 and $2000, depending on the quality, materials, and talent of the taxidermist.

If properly cared for, a good moose mount will last a lifetime. Since the underside of mounts is leather, it is important to maintain constant temperatures and humidity levels. The life of the mount will also be ensured by occasional dusting. We hope you now have a better understanding of taxidermy and the price to mount a moose. Discover more about us and the inspiration behind Mountain Mike’s products.

How long is an elk skull boiled?

Put the Elk head with the antlers in a metal pot with water in it, and then put the pot on the stove to cook the water for a good two hours at a continuous, gentle boil. Make this outside.

How much time does it take to mount an elk?

Taxidermy is a master class in patience, taking an average of eight months to two or even three years. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of effort and frustration to receive a prize back from a taxidermy studio. But why does taxidermy require so much time? Sometimes all it comes down to is bad management and a lack of business acumen. Here are some important facts about the taxidermy industry and the reasons behind the high turnaround times.

How should a caped deer head be stored before mounting?

Unless you’re hunting in the bush and won’t be able to return to civilization for a few days, most taxidermists do not advise salting the hide. Fold the hide instead flesh-to-flesh. It can now be kept in a cooler or refrigerator for a few days with the head still attached. The head and hide can be frozen if you can’t get to the taxidermist that quickly.

Extra Advice: After skinning the deer, make sure to put the cape and head inside a refrigerator as soon as possible. According to Fleming, a cape is the ideal environment for germs to develop because of the blood, soil, and moisture that it may contain. “The hair will slip as soon as bacteria start to multiply. At that time, the cape is damaged and you are unable to find a good mount.”

What is the price of a shoulder mount?

If you’ve ever shot a deer and searched for the greatest deal on taxidermy, you know that the cost of a shoulder mount varies greatly. The “man down the street” is only asking for $300, but reputable taxidermy companies may charge $600 or $700. You might wonder what the difference is—other than the half.

A top-notch deer shoulder mount will accurately depict the buck you shot and bring back memories of that momentous day for many years to come. You will always remember the exact moment the buck stepped out and you “lost your snot,” so to speak, every time you look at the mount.

I’ve known for a very long time that there is typically a clear correlation between quality and experience and price differences. I was unaware of the precise cost breakdown required for a taxidermist to complete a task on the business side of things. Let’s examine the company plan in more detail.

How are pelts skinned?

The easiest animals to skin and those whose pelts are most frequently bought and sold are coyotes, foxes, and bobcats. The animal should be hung by the tendons of its rear legs at shoulder height for the best results when skinning. An easy, efficient way to hang the animal is with a short rope that has a harness snap at either end and is tossed over a beam. Some skinners prefer to fasten the rope to a car’s bumper rather than hang the animal.

Cut the skin of a coyote, fox, or bobcat from the rear pad of one hind foot down the other leg to the rear pad of the other hind foot before skinning the animal for commercial sale. The fur on the inner and outer surfaces of the hind legs differs in color in a pretty pronounced way. When cutting along the rear of the leg, the skinning cuts should adhere as closely as possible to this color-transition line. To leave a little triangle of skin, including the vent, on the carcass, make a short cut across the belly side of the vent. Work the pelt away from the hind legs and tail, cutting around all four legs slightly above the feet (unless when fur purchasers want feet and claws left intact). A little wooden boning tool (Figure 2) may be useful in addition to using your hands or a pair of pliers to grasp the tailbone lightly. Use of a boning tool is shown in Figure 3.

Because pelts can usually be removed quickly, a knife is typically only required for initial cuts and peeling around the skull. Pull the fur down to the ears, covering the body, the shoulders, and the front legs. Next to the skull, remove the ear cartilage, then carefully skin the remaining portion of the head. Avoid making any cuts close to the lips and eyes in particular. Keep the pelt’s nose and lips in place.

When skinning close to a spot where a gunshot or shot entered or exited the body, proceed with utmost caution. Before final stretching, bullet holes (or holes produced accidently while skinning) should be closed. Thread can be made from fishing line or dental floss. Make sure the hole is neatly sewed so that there are no bulges and that the colors on the fur side match. Either before or after skinning, pelts should have their fur thoroughly brushed. For this, a horse brush or standard cleaning brush works well. It could be required to wash off any blood or other foreign objects. It works best to use a high-pressure stream from a garden hose. Before stretching the pelts, the fur side should dry because they may spoil if stretched while still wet. Because the fur side of cased pelts receives minimal air during initial stretching, this is particularly true.

How are pelts prepared for mounting?

Never put the skin during full mount preparation in a plastic bag or in direct sunlight. To completely drain the skin of moisture, let it in the salt for 24 hours. Replace the salt (this is where many people fail). When the skin is nearly fully dry, leave it in the new salt.