Good taxidermy starts with good field care.

Without a good specimen, there can be problems before work even begins. Skin begins to decay immediately upon death, therefor you should take care of your specimen as soon as possible. Keeping it cold will slow the decaying process.(show it off after you have it mounted) By freezing it, this will stop the decaying process for the most part. Always freeze your specimen in a sealed air tight plastic bag to avoid freezer damage. Take your specimen to a taxidermist as soon as possible, freezing it for months can also cause unwanted problems.

Field Care

Fish - Once landed don't allow the fish to thrash around this could lead to scarring or tearing of the fins. Do not gut the fish, simply wrap it in a wet cloth or paper towels and seal it in a air tight plastic bag or double bag and lay it as flat as possible in the freezer. Do not use tin foil or newspaper the ink can be absorbed into the skin. If you plan on having your trophy trout mounted ,keep it seperated from the rest of your catch,because when they lay against each other in the cooler or whatever it may be, the skin will get blotches on it ,which sometimes is very hard to paint when it dries.

Birds - Wipe off blood, smooth feathers, best if slipped into a nylon stocking first. Seal in a air tight plastic bag and freeze whole as soon as possible. When placed in plastic bag lay the head on the body, the head can easily be broken off. Birds left out all day in the fall weather may begin to slip and lose its feathers. Birds with excessive pinfeathers and badly shot up often make for poor mounts so be sure to inspect your bird carefully. When in doubt, bring it to a taxidermist before it is frozen so they can check it.

Game Heads - Many taxidermist prefer to cape(skin head and shoulders)themselves. If you choose to cape yourself, be careful and cut along the back of the leg NOT inside. Skin up to head, then cut off carcass, keeping hide attached to head. Deliver to taxidermist, or fold hide(NOT ROLL)if at all possible, seal in plastic bag and freeze. Do not: slit ear, slash throat, drag by neck or hang for a long period of time. AVOID I repeat AVOID getting the hide wet if at all possible.