Upper Bay Taxidermy
77 Watson Way
North East, MD 21901
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Care and Handling of Game
A great mount begins in the field! Improper handling of your trophy bird or animal can damage, or even RUIN it. We urge you to
take a few moments to learn what to do with your trophy from the time you harvest it. If you have any questions, give us a call.
This is one situation where its very true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Believe it or not, many people damage their buck before they even get it out of the woods. When you are gutting the deer, always
remember to stop your cut well behind the front legs. Do not split the brisket or cut the throat. After gutting, for most people, the next
step is to drag the deer out of the woods. Do not drag your deer behind a fourwheeler; this can damage the hair, or even wear bald
spots on the shoulders and side of the deer. Get your deer skinned and refrigerated as soon as possible. If you use a reputable
butcher, they should know how to properly skin the deer for a mount. If you skin your own deer, and are unsure how to skin it, we
encourage you to bring the deer in whole to UBT and we will skin it and wrap the meat in plastic at no additional charge.
If you want a full body mount on a deer, it is best to bring the deer to UBT as soon as possible to be skinned. If you can get it to us
quickly, I don’t even recommend gutting; of course, if you are going to be any length of time (such as overnight), or if its hot, you do
need to gut it. Keep your gut incision as short as possible, taking care not to cut the genitals. If you are too far away from us to bring
the deer in to be skinned, contact us for in depth skinning instructions.
Turkeys are damaged more than any other species. Taking good care of your turkey is essential to getting the best possible mount.
Do NOT lay on, step on or kneel on the bird after the shot. You might think you are preventing damage - you are not. Turkey feathers
come out easily and if you try to hold the bird down as it flops around you WILL pull out feathers. After the bird is done flopping, handle
it by the legs and feet. If possible, carry the bird out away from your body. The traditional method of throwing the bird over your
shoulder and carrying it out can damage feathers. Bouncing and rubbing on your back can twist and break the feathers, especially on
the breast. If you have to carry the bird a long distance, I recommend placing the turkey in a trash bag, then sliding it in the back of
your turkey vest. This prevents damage to the feathers and it the easiest way to carry it. ALWAYS be careful with the tail. The tail is
susceptible to bending and breaking the main quills, and this damage can be difficult to fix. Keep the bird from getting wet, especially
the tail. Get the bird to us as quickly as possible, and, if it is fresh, we will skin the bird immediately and give you the meat!
If you are unable to get the turkey to us fresh, slide the bird in a large trash bag and freeze it, again being careful of the tail. Do not
twist or tie up the tail feathers in the bag when you seal it. Lay the bird out as flat as possible in your freezer, keeping the tail flat and
If you are out of town, and want to ship the turkey to us, contact us for detailed instructions on how to remove the tail, and packing
If you are traveling out of town on your hunt, and are unable to transport your turkey whole, it is possible for you to skin your bird. You
can watch the following instructional video on skinning your bird to learn the proper way to skin a turkey. We do not recommend
attempting to skin your bird unless you have to, and would prefer to receive all turkeys whole.
Waterfowl and Other Birds:
Always handle birds by the feet or bill. Do not carry the birds by the neck or head, and never use a game strap to haul birds you are
interested in mounting. If you kill a bird you think you want to mount, keep it separate from the rest of the birds and handle it gently.
Carry a plastic bag to slide the bird in and keep it safe. Do not worry about blood; all birds are totally washed during the mounting
process. If you want to freeze your bird prior to bringing it to UBT, fold the head underneath the wing, and put it in a plastic bag large
enough to comfortably fit the entire bird. Ziploc style freezer bags work great for smaller birds, and prevent freezer burn. Never wrap
your bird in paper - this will actually increase freezer burn! Make sure your bag is sealed tightly. The lightweight plastic bags typically
given out at grocery stores and major chains are not the best choice to freeze you bird. They are very thin and do little to prevent
damage and freezer burn. Bring the bird in to UBT as soon as possible.
Contact Mike if you have any questions on handling your game.