Guide: 10 steps for skinning and preparing the hide after bagging a trophy
Qualified taxidermist, Flemming Georg Jensen from Denmark, gives us the following 10 tips for checking that the hide of your trophies gets the best treatment from the outset!
10 steps for skinning and preparing the hide after bagging the trophy
When you have bagged a trophy it is important not to damage the hide by dragging the animal, because the layer of hair will be destroyed..
The skin should be taken off the animal as quickly as possible – the ears should be turned, the nose and the mouth should be ripped out and all fat and meat residues should be removed from the hide.
If the hide is very thick (as on an eland, chamois buck or buffalo) it is important to scratch the skin on the inner side so that the salt can get through. The scratches should be criss-crossed in approximately 1-cm intervals where the hide is thick.
Wash the hide in a solution of water + 30% salt. Wash off all the blood from the hide.
Hang the hide up to dry for 15 minutes and apply fine salt to the inner side of the hide. Use the same amount of salt as the weight of the hide.
Rub the salt into the hide. Be especially careful on the head.
Place the flesh side against the inner side and roll the hide up – let it lie for about 24 hours.
Roll out the hide and brush the wet salt off and then salt the hide again with new salt. Pay special attention to the areas you might have missed when salting the hide the first time.
After salting the hide for 48 hours, hang it to dry on a wooden stick in the shade. Note: A metal pole will colour the hide.
If you are shipping the hide then make sure you apply insect repellent to the inside of the hide before you pack it. Also remember to mark both your trophy hides and horns with your name and contact information with plastic tags and plastic strips.
Diana Taxidermy video showing the correct skinning of hunting trophies
Click on the images to open the videos in YouTube.
Video about mounting heads, Part 1: Skinning. (Danish speak)
Video about mounting heads, Part 2: Exposing the antlers and eyes. (Danish speak)
Hunting trips in Africa
If you fancy the idea of experiencing or re-experiencing an exciting hunt in the black continent with red earth beneath your feet, baking sun on the brim of your hat and grey spiral-horned kudu bulls in the thorny bush, then find Flemming G. Jensen and his family’s South African safari firm Side By Side Safaris in Rainsford Hunting’s HuntFinder.