I killed my first elk this year. I caped it out right after I shot it. We were on a pack in trip so the cape didn't get to the freezer for about three days. We didn't have any salt with us. I made sure there were no big hunks of meat on the cape but I did not turn the eyes, lips or ears. I hung the cape in the shade, it got to 50 deg. during the day, and opened it to get air to it. I thawed the cape this weekend, I rough fleshed it with a mini flesher before I salted it. The neck area was extremely dry from hanging a couple days. I wet it with a damp rag to make it easier to rough flesh. Not sure if this was the right thing to do? Was opeing the cape to get air to it before freezing the right thing to do? I did'nt want to leave it meat ot meat because I was afraid of it spoiling. I am getting ready to rehydrate it and pickle now. Thanks for any advice? Also I am going to pickle 24 hrs, shave, pickle couple hrs, nutralize 1 hr, tan lutan f 48 hours, oil and mount. This is what I do for deer. Is this good for an elk cape too?
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Should be fine. I would leave longer in the pickle. This is neccasry due to the thickness of an elk cape especially around the neck area. I would pickle 48-72 hours shave and then back ihn the pickle for 48 hours and maybe even then shave some more. This may seem like overkill but none the less. thats what i would do. pack salt next time. lol
Im very new to taxidermy myself but Ive heard the suggestion made by other more experienced on here to pack in a bottle of stop rot.. much lighter than packing in a heavy bag of salt.
DEFINATELY leave it in the pickle longer. I leave my green stuff in the pickle for about 3-5 days after rough fleshing, then I flesh it again and leave it in for about 2 days more. Elk are REALLY thick, so leaving them longer is probably a really good idea.