Selecting The best Taxidermist For Your Trophy

Just took a “Trophy of a Lifetime” What’s Next?

You have just harvested a trophy of a lifetime maybe it will even make the Boone and Crocket or Pope and Young record books, now what? This experience may not be encountered again for many years for most hunters, so you need to be made aware of the questions a taxidermist will ask you and what you need to Mounted Whitetail Deerask them before contacting a taxidermist. You also know that you will have the animal mounted by a reputable taxidermist. Selecting a taxidermist can be almost as challenging as harvesting your new trophy.

What Room will Display the Mounted Animal?

Where are you going to hang your new trophy mount? The room in which the mount will hang is a contributing factor on the pose you will select for the mount. There are so many poses available! If your ceilings are around 8′ high or a basement den, the ceilings are not likely to be vaulted. How tall are the antlers? A full upright taxidermy pose might require the mount to hang low on the wall. There are three basic form poses – upright, semi-sneak, and full sneak. With an upright form, the neck is in a vertical position almost parallel to the wall. The semi sneak form has the neck and head down at approximate 40 degree angle off the wall. The full sneak pose has the neck at almost 85 degrees from the wall. For a low ceiling, a semi sneak or full sneak may be the better choice for your new trophy mount.

Time to Interview The Taxidermist!

Now that you have decided where to hang your trophy it is time get a list of taxidermist from fellow hunters you may know. There are many questions you need to ask them when you speak to them. Fisrt 3 questions to ask are :

  1. How long have you been in business? At least three to five years of experience should be sufficient. If you are talking to a taxidermist with less experience you need to look very close to as many mounts that they have done to make sure you aren’t making a mistake!Tanned Hide
  2. Do you tan your hides or use a dry preservative? True tanned hides are the best way to go, hands down! Dry preserve is OK but will not last as long ,you will see the hide start to fade after seven or eight years
  3. Where can I see some of your work? You need to look at their work very close. Look at the eyes, is it a natural look or does it look like the animal is bug eyed? Feel the back of the head between the antlers and slide your hand down the back of the neck. Do you feel the Stitches they used to sew the hide together? Has the hide shrunk? You will not notice this with true tanned hides.

Found your Taxidermist ”Enjoy” your Trophy!

The return time of your trophy mount is not as important as the above questions if you feel you have found the right taxidermist to do the mount for you. It should still be around 1 year, but 1 1/2 years is not uncommon! The Last this is the cost of the mount. How much is it worth to you? If you think you have found the right person to mount the animal the actual cost should not impact your decision. After all you get what you pay for!!

Outdoor Survival “Your Knife” is your Best Friend

Be Prepared buy a Quality Knife!

Your knife is your best friend when you are in the outdoors and trying to survive. The survival knife is a tool that can be used in so many ways; it is the most invaluable tool you may possess. There are literally hundreds of different knives to choose from but you should be choosing one before you leave for the outdoors.

Buy a Survival Knife that fits YOU!

Choosing a survival knife isn’t easy but you must make the decision based on how suitable the type of knife is for the situations you may be encountering. Survival basically means being prepared and by making informed choices early on, you greatly increase your chances of survival. The things you should be looking for in a knife are as follows:

Size: You want your knife to be small enough to carry but large enough to be used to cut branches from trees, butcher meat and even for digging.

Sharpness: Your survival knife should be sharp at all times especially when you first purchase it, if it isn’t sharp then, then it never will be.

Balance: Your knife should have a good balance to it, meaning the blade and handle will complement each other. When you swing the knife, the weight if the blade should be doing a lot of the work. Try a few knives and you will notice how they differ in balance and pick the one that best suits you.

Good Handle: The handle of the outdoor knife should be comfortable to use and preferably made of wood as this means it won’t slip as much.

If possible try and get a knife that is fixed blade. This means that the blade of the knife doesn’t fold in. A fixed blade knife is more reliable and safer to use as some folding knives don’t lock well or can slip and cause injury. Always make sure your knife has a good sheath, leather is the best kind, and that it is sheathed when not in use.

A Good “Sharpening Stone” is a Must!

The proper care and maintenance of your knife is extremely important and should be a daily ritual when it is in use. Sharpening the blade is essential and the best way to do this is to purchase a sharpening stone. Diamond sharpeners and other type of sharpeners are good but none of these do as good a job as a sharpening stone in the hands of someone who knows how to use one. Your knife’s blade should be sharpened to a point that is not too steep and is still thick enough not to chip.

To properly use a sharpening stone, it is best to dampen it first and then move the blade over the stone in a circular motion on angled so that you are removing the burrs and chips from the cutting edge, you will feel it when you get that perfect angle. When Sharpening the blade it must be simultaneously flipped to get the best cutting edge possible. A sharpened blade should have no burrs and the angle of the cutting edge should be constant.

Before You set out on Your “Adventure”

Your knife is your best friend when in a survival situation. Choosing the right Survival knife and maintain it by keeping it very sharp knife sharpener are lessons that should be learned before heading to the great outdoors for some Outdoor Survival fun.

How To Survive If Lost In The Wilderness

Prepare yourself for an Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor survival is an exercise in preparation. Having the correct equipment and the knowledge to use the equipment is crucial to survival in the great outdoors. Knowledge and equipment go together as it is useless to have all the equipment and not have the slightest idea how to use it.

With the advancement in technology and the advancement in search and rescue techniques it is typically hours before one is rescued. With a basic survival kit and the knowledge of how to use the equipment most survival rescues should have a happy ending.

What to do “If You Get Lost” in the Wilderness!

Most novice outdoor enthusiasts do not know how to assemble a survival kit. They may go online and purchase a packaged survival kit. A packaged Bear Grylls ultimate survival kit is on of the best packages survival kits on the market. However most experienced outdoor enthusiasts will assemble their own kit.

The basic survival kit an experienced outdoor enthusiast would have would contain the following; a knife (Survival Knife), waterproof matches, a water purification bottle, emergency food, maps and a compass, you will also need a signal such as a reflective mirror or a whistle. Perhaps the best tool for survival is letting someone, a friend or relative know exactly where and when you will be traveling. Let this individual know that if you do contact them by a specific date and time they must contact authorities and start a search and rescue.

Educate yourself for the “Rugged Outdoors”!

In addition to the survival kit it is also necessary to educate yourself on additional survival skills. Take some time to educate yourself on the type of wild plants that are edible. Take an class in outdoor survival, many colleges and universities offer classes in outdoor survival. Many colleges will also offer a three day weekend outdoor survival workshop. It is imperative that you master some very basic skills such as building a shelter in the wild and starting an maintaining a fire in the outdoors.

Don’t Let your Outdoor Adventure Turn into a Nightmare!!

With a complete basic survival kit, a good quality outdoor knife and a little knowledge one can survive the great outdoors. Remember outdoor survival is an exercise in preparation.