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Taxidermy Tips and questions about taxidermy and the art of preserving the memory of your hunt.

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Old 10-10-2005, 08:29 PM   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Perry Hall MD USA
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Default Skinning Black Bear

If I am lucky enough to score a black bear in the upcoming Maryland hunt how should it be skinned? If its its good size and I want a full body mount should it be a dorsal cut or as if it were going to be a rug. Thanks.
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:11 PM   #2
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

EKD, I suggest that you first contact the taxidermist you plan to have do your work, and ask HIM how he wants it done. The last thing youd wanna do is take a nice bear and then try to find out who is going to do it or, on top of that, skin it the wrong way. Good luck on your bear hunt!
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:50 AM   #3
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

good suggestion
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:22 AM   #4
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

I guess we will start with Bear Rug first. The diagram is pretty self explanatory on how and where to make your cuts! Make sure you don't cut the bear all the way to the chin on the Third Cut. Make your Third Cut to the anus. It all depends on how big the bear is but you can see bout where to start and stop the Third Cut. On the Second Cut, make your cut directly through the anus. On Male Bears you will want to cut out the genitals.



OK.....now lets begin with the cut's for Life Size Mounts....... The First cut is what we call the Dorsal Cut . The cut is made along the bears back starting at the base of the neck to bout 3 inches from the tail. This is the way I skin out 90% of my Life Size animals. Small mamals and Large mamals. In most cases it just makes the skin easier to mount. DO NOT skin your bear with the Dorsal Cut if you are still undecided if you want a Life Size Mount or a Rug



Their are 2 other ways to skin out a Bear for Life Size Mounts or Rugs. Those are the Ventral Cut (Case Cut) and Belly Cut. With both of these skinning methods you can either do a Life Size Mount or a Bear Rug. Skin out the bear usuing either of these two methods if you are still undicided what you want to do with your bear. If you use the Belly Cut or the Ventral Cut, make the cut like you would on the Bear Rug picture. Don't cut the bear all the way to the chin or to the anus, stop bout 4 to 6 inches from the anus on the Belly Cut. On the Ventral Cut Do Not make your cut directly through the anus. Make it about 4 to 6 below the anus between the legs. DO NOT remove the genitals on these two skinning methods you will have to skin out the sheath and the nuts. If you cut the genitals out your bear will be lacking this detail on a Life Size Mount. The Taxidermist can always remove them later if a Rug is what you decide on.





FINAL NOTES : When you make your Incisions and begin the skinning process you will have to sever the wrist and ankle joints on the bear carcass to free up the skin. On some bears you might have to sever the knee and elbow joints. It all depends on the size of the bear.... When you get it skinned down to the head. Cut the head off the body.

Remember once you have the bear skinned out you can always remove the paws and or lower leg depending on where you end up severing the apendage (legs). You don't have to remove the paws from the skin, if you are going to freeze the hide.... You also don't have to remove the skull if you are going to freeze the hide. If it is a realy big bear I suggest removing the skull. It might take 2 or 3 days for a big bears skull to freeze all the way.

Removing the Skull it is not hard just be very carful not to cut the skin. Always cut against the skull when you skin out a head. That way you will be less likely to cut the skin when you get to the ears and eyes. You want to be realy careful when you get to the eye's as well. I suggest putting your finger in the eye and holding the skin between your fingers and pulling it out away from the skull and keeping your knife next to the skull when cutting through the eye skin. Once you get both eyes skinned flip the head up and open the mouth. Now run your knife along the gum line against the jaw.....Leave as much inner lip skin as you can because that is what the taxidermist uses to tuck into the manikin. One Inch should be plenty of lip skin. Once you free up the lip skin take your knife and cut the nose off the skull leave as much cartlige as you want on the nose it will be removed by the taxidermist later. Now you can finnish skinning out the reast of the skull.

Now you can freeze your Bear. You can leave the Paws in the hide because it will not take them as long to freeze as the skull would especially on a BIG bear. OK when you freeze the bear hide DO NOT roll the hide.....FOLD IT! ! ! Also remember you will need to get the Bear skinned out and in the frezzer as soon as possible. If the hide is left out to long it is prone to slip (hair falling out in patches). The warmer it is the quicker you need to work. Now if it is freezing out than you will have a good 2 or 3 hours maybe more to work.

Well I have written another book, lol.. Feel free to print this off and take it with you on your Bear hunt. If you are going with a guide than they will take care of the skinning and stuff for you....or they should...but if you are going out on your own or with freinds than this should help you out. I suggest bringing a good Skinning knife with you as well as an Xacto Knife with 5 extra blades... You can get them at any craft store. The Xacto Knife will aid you in removing the skull! I hope this helps!
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Old 10-13-2005, 10:27 AM   #5
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

I would deffinatly go shopping for a GOOD Taxidermist befor you go out on your bear hunt. Finding a good taxidermist take some pre season scouting as well. Make sure yo ask to see his Customer Mounts. Not his Competition Mounts, their is a wold of difference between the two. Also ask him what cut he prefers you use on the deer. Print this out and take it with you if you like that way he can show you and you can keep it with you for when you go to skin him out....
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Old 10-14-2005, 08:28 PM   #6
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

I disagree with a couple points. First off, look at the diagram on the cuts for a rug. Now, if you really DID cut that far away from the anus, where is it going to end up? Yep, youd have a big flap of skin beyond the tail/anus on the rug. Instead, make your cut along the lower part of center of the leg, go THROUGH the anus so the tail is the lowest part of the edge of the rug. Thats exactly why I suggest asking your taxidermist first...I wouldve refused a rug cut that way. We all do things differently.

The other point...My work I display IS my customer work, whether its for competition or shows, or just for the customer. Theres only one quality. The one exception might be inner ear and inner mouth/throat details. Most of the better taxidermists dont have two levels. If theyre good, theyre good! I dont think you see that much anymore, where they do a nice show piece but the other stuff isnt so good.
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Old 10-14-2005, 09:02 PM   #7
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

I agree with Bill .

I never cut a bear that way, that was the way it was done 30 years ago.
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:45 PM   #8
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Bill Yox

I disagree with a couple points. First off, look at the diagram on the cuts for a rug. Now, if you really DID cut that far away from the anus, where is it going to end up? Yep, youd have a big flap of skin beyond the tail/anus on the rug. Instead, make your cut along the lower part of center of the leg, go THROUGH the anus so the tail is the lowest part of the edge of the rug. Thats exactly why I suggest asking your taxidermist first...I wouldve refused a rug cut that way. We all do things differently.

The other point...My work I display IS my customer work, whether its for competition or shows, or just for the customer. Theres only one quality. The one exception might be inner ear and inner mouth/throat details. Most of the better taxidermists dont have two levels. If theyre good, theyre good! I dont think you see that much anymore, where they do a nice show piece but the other stuff isnt so good.
Thank you Bill for pointing that out to me. I totaly agree with you on that I don't know whatI was thinking when I typed that out for the bear rug. I must have had my mind set on a Life Size cut for some reason. I was thinking about not messing up the anus for a life size.I made the corrections.

As for telling people to look at customer mounts. I know of a few guys in my area that is about all they hang in their show room,compitition mounts and specialty mounts. I have been in their show room andI have seen mounts that they have done for customers and their was a world of difference. They grooming was not as good, the ears were not painted, and neither was the nose and one of them even had the nose filled in. Only reason I put that point in was to bring it to their attention that they want to look at a Taxidermists customer mounts not the competitiong. Like down here if their is a difference than they won't get fooled.... I hang all my customer mounts in my show room as well. I'm like you I have nothing to hide.I dont keep my customer mounts in the shop and display my comp pieces.
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Old 10-15-2005, 02:58 PM   #9
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

Michelle. I happy to see Alex and my comments helped you correct your diagram. Im sure it was just an oversight, we all do it. I just didnt wanna see someone cut it that way, and have that extra flap on their rug, and then be upset with you. Glad we could all help each other out. It makes the customer the winner in the long run!
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Old 10-17-2005, 08:50 PM   #10
 
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Default RE: Skinning Black Bear

Just to clarify, this being my first bear, when skinning the hind legs for a rug, do you want to stay on the back of the legs? Don't the hind pads face upward on the final rug, and if so, wouldn't this put your incision on the top side of the rug?
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