Deer hunting is one of the most popular categories of outdoor sports, but there are a few technicalities involved which you will learn as you go along. You will be confronted with the issue how to cape a deer from your first successful deer hunt.
You may be in the company of an experienced hunter who will show you what to do. However, you may not have this advantage. We bring you this step-by-step guide that shows you how to cape a deer even if you have never done it before. It is simpler than you imagined.
It is important to retain the head, neck, and shoulders, extracting them from the rest of the carcass and preserving them properly until you reach a taxidermist. Protecting these parts is very critical to the entire caping process which is the reason for this useful guide.
We often make mistakes with the most obvious things, so it’s always a good idea to follow a set procedure, especially while doing something which you cannot redo. You can ruin a perfectly good cape without adequate knowledge. If you just follow these simple steps, you will be able to get the perfect trophy made:
Make the first cut around the midsection of the carcass, preferably around the center of the stomach.
Now cut the skin from the center of the back to the base of the head. You will have to make a short incision if it is for an early season mule or whitetail due to the relatively shorter fur.
This step is only necessary on velvet-covered antlers. Part the hair between the skin of the head and the velvet and cut directly between them, separating the velvet and the hide.
Now you can start removing the skin from the sides starting at the cut on the abdomen and moving towards the head.
Using a thin, sharp knife in your right hand, pull the skin with your left hand (if you are right-handed, or else reverse this) gently scraping the area just below the skin with your knife. The skin will begin to part from the flesh.
Roll the carcass over and repeat the same process on the other side.
Tip: Place the hide back onto the side of the animal before rolling it over to keep the flesh clear of dirt.
Sever the head by making a cut at the last vertebra.
Skin the neck part and cut the ear at the base of the skull. Cutting the ear a bit longer than required is a safe option to take.
To remove the antler skin, you would have to cut with your knife upside down while cutting towards the antler base as you pull away from the skin from the bone. You will find a screwdriver useful for this.
Take special care while cutting around the eyes. Avoid cutting the back corner of the eye by inserting your finger behind the eye socket to carefully feel where you need to cut. Make sure that you don’t cut the eyelid.
You need to use your finger again while skinning the mouth. If you cut the corners of the mouth, it is hard to fix later on. With the mouth, leave about 3/8 to 1/2 inch of the gum tissue on the hide. The taxidermist will then use this skin as a filler by the taxidermist.
Finally, when you reach the nose, cut it off at the point where the cartilage meets the bone and gently remove it.
Your cape should now be ready for transportation to the taxidermist or to be preserved by freezing or salting if you are not going to the taxidermist immediately.
Pro Tips and Tricks
After reading this step-by-step procedure on how to cape a deer, you should be more confident of doing an efficient job. You should not be hasty while caping a deer. You require loads of patience, especially if you are doing this for the first time.
This job is something that you cannot redo, where each step is irreversible. Therefore, you need to be sure of each action – to coin a clichéd term; it’s not rocket science. But then again, it’s not that simple, either.
We hope this guide will help you to cape a deer in the correct way so that you end up with a trophy that you can be proud to possess. Please share your opinion with comments and feedback on our feedback section, and if you have any questions, we will get back to you.
I am Kevin who is a founder of deerhuntingfield.com; Here at Deer Hunting Field, we want to teach and educate. Hunting is a passion which has existed in mankind since almost the beginning, and with the advent of the internet, we can now share information, tips, and more with each other faster than ever before. This is a crucial part of our philosophy.