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Prepping a Whitetail cape

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Jordan Park, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

    Hey everyone! So yesterday I took my deer cape out of the freezer to let it thaw for today's work. I shot this buck Nov. 7 and decided I would like to have it mounted and also do the work myself.
    To split the lips, do the nose and eyes, turn the ears, flesh, and salt the cape it took me 6.5 hours. I fleshed the deer with a necker 600 fleshing knife and that was a nightmare! Actually pretty much the whole experience was a nightmare lol.

    I believe the hard part is done lol. But man I hope to get faster cause I want to have a future in taxidermy and have orders to the roof. Hope it gets easier!

    So how long did it take you guys to prep your first hide?

    Ps. This is my first mount ever! No experience. And sorry if my terminology is wrong on some things. :)
  2. Gurneyjockey

    Gurneyjockey Member

    You will get faster! I'm not sure how long it took me on my first one,but I'm sure it wasn't much faster than where your at. I do remember getting started first thing in the morning to mount a deer and not finishing up till after 9pm in the beginning. Just like anything else, practice and repetition will soon have you knockin them out quick. I set a stop watch on one yesterday just for the heck of it and got one done in 32 minutes, that included measurements, records, caping, splitting and turning, fleshing, salt and cutting and cleaning the skull cap. Stick with it!!

  3. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

    32 minutes to do all that is unbelievably fast! I can't imagine ever getting that fast lol.
  4. austin_0_4

    austin_0_4 New Member

    Im still new...I have only mounted a handful, but have done a fair amount of cape prep, they're all ready in the freezer just gotta get em put back together. When I did my first turning and fleshing of a hide I went into it thinking "no problem" I was quickly given an education. I thought I'd have an hour or two into it. But about 8 hours later and many holes, choice words, and band-aids on my fingers later I had convinced myself that this was impossible. Long story short, the first cape taught me a priceless lesson. After that I hung out at a butcher in the area who does deer and was able to get as many head skins as I wanted. I just took from the base of the skull forward strictly for practice turning the lips, nose, eyes, ears and so on. It took 4 or 5 of em for me to develop a feel for the skin and where the tissue lays. Im still far from pro, but I can turn out a darn nice cape in just over an hour. Unfortunately I still feel like that is way to darn long! Just keep at. To me the fleshing and turning process is the hardest part of the whole deal but doing a good job of it saves you time on the other side once its tanned and ready to mount.
  5. dwimberly

    dwimberly Member

    Oh I remember my first time fleshing. I had almost 5 hours in the first hide ever. 12 years later I must say, things are a lot better. The fastest I have ever done one is 30 minutes, but the hide has to be just right. Typically it takes me about 40-45 minutes to get everything done. Fleshing, turning, etc... Stick with it and it will come with time. Just an FYI, I use a 6" boning knife and a 4" pairing knife. No machines here. Believe it or not, I find fleshing to be quite relaxing some days.
  6. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

    Lol I'm glad to know you took as long as I did for my first and I'm even happier to know that I can get it down to an hour if I keep practicing lol. That's a good idea to practice on some butcher scrapped deer. I might try that!
  7. Jordan Park

    Jordan Park Member

    If I can get it done under an hour I would be thrilled! Fleshing was everything but relaxing for me haha!