Place the entire fish in a plastic bag and lay on a smooth flat surface in the freezer. After frozen, a small amount of water can be added to the bag, then sealed and return to the freezer. If you choose to have a reproduction made, follow the steps outlined below:
Measure the entire length of the fish.
Measure the girth of the fish at the widest point.
If possible, take several color photos from different angles.
A professional taxidermist should skin coyote-size and smaller mammals that are intended for life-size mounts. If you are unable to immediately take your trophy to your taxidermist, allow the animal to cool, then place in a bag and freeze. If you are planning a hunt for larger mammals, please contact me, and I can advise you on proper skinning procedures for your trophy.
Slit the hide in a complete circle at the midpoint of the rib cage. One foot behind the shoulders. Then cut around both forelegs above the knee.
Make twin cuts under the chest. Start from the first circular cut around the rib cage and continue along the back of one leg to join the cut you made above the knee. Then do the other leg.
Peel the skin forward up to the back of the ears, using your knife as little as possible to avoid nicks. Holding the skin out of the way, cut through the neck 3 inches behind the head-neck junction. Twist off the head, complete with antlers and cape, and get it to the taxidermist as quickly as possible. Place it in double garbage bags and freeze it if you can’t get it to the taxidermist for several days. Don’t attempt to cape out the head itself unless you are an expert. One mistake could ruin your mount.