Don’t cut the cape too short

Give the taxidermist hide to work with – at least six inches behind the front legs for a shoulder mount. Some taxidermists even say mid-body for the circumference cut.

You can cape the animal (and harvest the edible meat) before you gut it. The cleaner you keep the area around the animal the better.

Cut up through the skin, from the inside out. Cutting down cuts the hair roots, which you want to avoid.

Do not cut an animal’s throat to bleed it if you plan to make a mount.

If you have the option logistically on your hunt, leave the feet in a bear hide, and the head in a deer hide for the taxidermist.

Avoid getting blood on the hair and fur. Blood can permanently stain hair, especially white hair or fur like a goat or sheep. Rinse fresh blood off with water immediately if possible.

Cool the hide after skinning, and use a game bag - don’t use a plastic garbage bag.

Ideally, freeze the cape or hide without salting it.

If you are going on a special hunt, talk to a local taxidermist first. Look at different mounts and think about what you might like, and consider the space on your wall where it might be displayed.