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Taxidermy Care

A guide on how to best look after your new or old mounts to keep them looking shiny and new for years. Caring for your mounts properly will also help them to last longer, giving you many more years of enjoyment.

Hanging Your MountHanging Your Mount

Taxidermy Care - Hanging Your Mount Taxidermy Care

Be careful with the hair! Most hooved game animals have hollow hair, not fur like predatory species, and the hair is prone to breaking. Carefully grip it by the horns or antlers and gently by the brisket (between the legs) and lift your mount onto the wall.

Be sure to use a screw - NOT a nail - with a large, flat head. Make sure that it sticks out from the wall enough to catch the screws head securely under the hanger on the back of the mount.

DustingDusting

Taxidermy Care - Dusting Taxidermy Care

Mounts tend to become dust collectors and need regular dusting to keep them looking shiny and new.

Regular dusting with a soft cloth in the direction of the hair works well or even a vacuum cleaner! Be sure to use the extension hose or dusting brush attachment.

Once again with a vacuum attachment be sure to go in the direction of the coat and not to press down on the hair too much.

You can also remove the dusting attachment and vacuum the bristles to make sure it stays clean while your cleaning off your mount.

On animals with thick, long hair, such as lion manes and bears its easier to "place and remove" the vacuum hose in and out of the hair to suck it out before brushing the hose down the hair - this ensures you get all the dust out from right in between the thick hair.

PolishingPolishing

Taxidermy Care - Polishing Taxidermy Care

Restoring the shine to the hair can be done with a "detailing cloth" or a microfiber cloth and lightly spraying the hair with Windex or the cloth until its lightly damp. Same as before make sure you follow the direction of the fur.

Make sure to keep your cloth clean and lightly damp and make sure to clean from the face down.

Antlers and HornsAntlers and Horns

Taxidermy Care - Antlers and Horns Taxidermy Care

For antlers be sure to dust them well, once again a very light spray of Windex can be used on the cloth (preferably a detailing cloth so fibres don't catch) and lightly rubbed over the antlers. You can use a microfiber cloth but be aware of sharper parts that catch the fibres, they can be annoying to pick off the antlers.

Horns are notorious for having "grabby" sharp surfaces that make using a cloth impossible. Using a vacuum cleaner dusting brush attachment is best for horns to suck the dust off of them. Using a plastic or nylon cleaning brush you can dust in between the sharper surfaces.

Never use oil on horns! It darkens the horns and can give them a splotchy appearance!

EyesEyes

Taxidermy Care - Eyes Taxidermy Care

Cleaning and making eyes sparkle like new is easy! I recommend using a makeup/cosmetics Q-tip (they have a sharp pointed end and a flat end) and using the pointed end to dip into Windex and wipe over the eyes.

Open Mouths and NoseOpen Mouths and Nose

Taxidermy Care - Open Mouths and Nose Taxidermy Care

The best way to clean open mouths is to use a can of compressed air - like the ones found in computer or office supply stores. Just be careful not to shake the can while your using it! The freezing air that can come out when shaken can dull the shiny finish in the mouth.

Blow the compressed air from the back of the mouth to the front. If it still looks dull you can use a clean makeup brush to brush out any remaining dust. The same can be done for the inside of the nostrils.

The shiny finish on the mouth, lips and nose can also be treated with a quick wipe over with Windex.