Before You Hunt


Animal skins are perishable goods and must be treated as such. Hoosier Trapper Supply cannot be responsible for the care of skins and horns before they reach our facility. Skins have often traveled thousands of miles over many weeks to reach us.

Climate, moisture and field care are variables that must be taken seriously to ensure good mountable specimens. We encourage customers to know and understand these factors to aid in this goal. 

Hoosier Trapper Supply is available for pre-hunt advice and will do whatever we can to ensure a quality product for you.  Call 317-881-3075 or use our contact us form.

The following is a compilation of information we wish to pass on to you before your hunt.

Field Care


For Shoulder Mounts:

Make initial cut as shown in the diagram. Cut carefully around horns or antlers and cut the skin away from the base. On antlered game, a heavy screwdriver is useful in prying skin loose around antlers.
  Cut ear cartilage from skull on the inside and clean the meat away from the base of the ear. Kin down the skull, being careful not to cut through the skin, especially around the eyes. Use the fingers of the free hand as a guide on the outside to be certain you are not cutting into the lids.
  The lips should be cut close to the skull leaving the lips attached to the skin. The inside of the lips should then be split. Also, split nose cartilage and eyelids. Ears should be turned inside out.
  Cut antlers or horns from rest of skull as shown. Remove all flesh and fat from skin and salt well. Use fine grain salt only. Be sure to salt all exposed flesh, including lips, eyes, ears, etc. Watch for folds.


For Life Size Mounts:
Make initial incision on dotted line (- - - -) as shown in the diagram. See next page for detailed instructions on skinning around hooves and paws.
On Bears and Cats, continue a center cut through (o o o o) line. This will allow removal of the head.
For antlered or horned animals, cut the back of the neck as shown above. Stop the incision at the base of the neck. Skin the animal as normal, cutting away from the incision. Turn ears, eyes and lips and remove flesh and fat. Salt carefully. Life-Size hides use a lot of salt.

Cut initial incision between dewclaws and up to base of hooves. Carefully skin leg down to hoof. Find knuckle joints on each hoof bone and cut through with knife. Do not leave toe bones in; the hair around hoof will fall out. Salt well.
For Bears, Cats and Wolves, skin along (- - - -) line. Carefully skin around leg and expose toe bones. Find last knuckle and cut through with knife. Be careful, it is easy to cut through skin around toes. On Bears, pads are larger and may require to be cut through.
Follow (- - - -) line and continue as above. If needed, this extended cut will give more skinning room on Cats and Wolves.

Field Location


North American:
Sheep of all locations: Please skin ventrally, and wash blood out of the hide immediately with cold water. This is especially important on Dall and Stone Rams. If possible, avoid blood on horns.

Bears of all types: Insist on good field care. Bears are fatty and require thorough fleshing to ensure good hair quality. Animal Artistry recommends spring Bear hunts for good mountable specimens. It is our policy not to mount upright Bears killed in the fall. This is due to thin hair on the belly and groin. If you desire this pose, take a spring Bear only. For proper perspective, we recommend measuring the carcass of the Bear for sizing. This is the true body size. Fresh skins stretch a lot and give inaccurate size measurements.
North American specimens are usually problem free. Be sure to keep skins cold in hot climates. Hair slipping can start in hours.

Velvet antlers: require special care. Once removed from the animal, they should be stored in a freezer, hanging upside down. Use extra caution not to over handle or bang against the ground as horns inside may be somewhat soft. Do not get blood on the velvet.

Many customers request novelties. Due to our workload and overhead, the following is our novelties policy.

  • Bleached Skull: Bleached only, no panel or hanger.
  • European Mount: Bleached skull with panel, your choice of walnut, oak or barnwood
  • Horn Mount: Natural tan buckskin leather covering a partial skull on a panel. Your choice of walnut, oak or barnwood with matching braid around the horn base.
  • We accept many types of novelty items. If you do not see what you want, contact us at 317.881.3075 or contact us
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