Preparing a Large Game Animal for Mounting
After a large animal is killed, measure and make notes of dimensions. If the contents of the thorax are removed at once, the body will cool and stiffen in good condition in a few hours. Blood should be scraped from the hair with the hunterís knife, and any remaining, washed off. Water should not come in contact with the flesh, however, more than is necessary, as it hastens decomposition. Large animals should be skinned where they fall.
When the hunter unexpectedly kills a trophy, and finds themselves standing over a dead elk, ten miles from camp, with only his hunting knife, and the sun an hour high, it is best to proceed as follows:
If the antlers are embedded in the earth, raise them carefully with a lever, and turn the animal on its back, propping him with short sticks. Fasten the hind legs with ropes to trees or some other immovable object so that the animal is on its back and its hind legs are spread. Commence skinning, by slitting the skin from the breast down the belly to the tail; also open the hind-legs on the inside, from the incision made, nearly to the knees. Flay as far as convenient, and unjoint the hind-legs at the socket joints of the hips. Sever the tail, slack one rope and turn the animal on its side. Raise the trunk, pull the skin from under, and flay to the shoulders. Release the forelegs, remove the skin as far as convenient, and disjoint at the scapulars or shoulder blades. Continue skinning half way up the neck. Return the trunk and head, horns upward and prop in position. Make a cut through the skin across the skull, commencing at the middle of the base of one antler, ending at the same place at the base of the other. Place the knife in the middle of this incision and run it down the back of the neck nearly to the shoulders. Flay around the neck, remove skin neatly and closely from the burrs of the antlers; cut the ears through at the base, unjoint the first cervical vertebra from the skull, and sever the head from the body.
Carefully remove the skin from over the eyes, and be cautions that you do not cut through the skin below them. Free the pelt from the skull, taking the lips with it. Flay the legs down from the shoulders and hams as far as possible; then slit the legs up their backs form the hoofs nearly to the elbows and knees. Skin around the bones, disjoint the legs at the wrists and ankles draw out the bones, and the skin can be folded and carried behind the saddle or four wheeler if necessary.
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