Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by miketyson26, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. miketyson26

    miketyson26 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Anyone have instructions on how to skin a skull and clean it well enough to remove it from a CWD zone and take it to a taxidermist in another county?


  2. ArkGirl

    ArkGirl Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    IMG_5970.JPG I had to cape out a buck for the first time last year when we were hunting in Texas. I was nervous as this was my husband's biggest buck yet and I really wanted to do a nice job so our taxidermist Rodney Harper would not have to fix my mistakes!
    The tricky bits are around the eyes as you want to be sure to leave as much tissue as possible. They can trim up the socket/eyelids at the taxidermist. Just be patient and go slow. I highly reccomend a surgical blade to do the finer stuff around eyes, lips and at the base of the antlers.
    There are countless videos showing how to cape out a deer on you tube...but I liked this site for their photos step by step.
    This pic of my finished work shows the Y cut at the base of the antlers. That is another tricky bit to keep that Y small and get the skull out through that cut. Be patient. You can cut down the back/top of the neck if you need to...but I didn't want him to have to sew that back together on the mount.
    On the ckull plate we cut that at the eyesockets and back leaving a full skull plate with antlers attached. I scraped it clean with a dull knife.
    If I can be of any further help...just let me know. I'm hoping to get a nice buck in Texas this year and have to do this again!
    miketyson26 and brushcreek like this.

  3. brushcreek

    brushcreek Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    arkgirl does that cape have any head / neck matter inside? can't tell from the pic
  4. ArkGirl

    ArkGirl Well-Known Member Supporting Member's just an empty shell of skin. I removed any extra muscle (meat), lymph nodes etc. Looked like a deflated balloon. I even cleaned the nasal bots out. THOSE are GROSS!
    brushcreek likes this.
  5. brushcreek

    brushcreek Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    how do you get the skull and neck through that small y cut?
  6. ArkGirl

    ArkGirl Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    I worked the neck hide loose forward from the open end (from where you cut the cape well behind the shoulders). I then dis-articulated /separated the neck from the skull at the atlas bone thus leaving no neck bones attached to the skull. Then from the point of your Y incision you must work carefully to separate the skin from the skull, around the antler bases and when you get to the base of each ear...try to cut the cartilage from the skull as close to the skull as you can to leave as much of the ear base intact as possible.
    The skin has some give so you can continue to work down to above the eye sockets. I then go to the mouth and work on that area cutting along the gums to leave plenty of lip/tissue. Cut the nasal cartilage away leaving them enough to work with there, and peel the skin back to below the eyes. Carefully cut around inside the eye sockets and at that point you can free the skull the rest of the way and remove it out of the Y incision.

    (I have the advantage of many years of tissue collection on many species of animals in that likely made this much easier for me)
    brushcreek likes this.
  7. brushcreek

    brushcreek Well-Known Member Supporting Member