Bears, wolf, lynx and other similar animals should be skinned in the same manner as illustrated, whether the skin is intended for a rug or a life-size mounting. The preparation of skins for rug mounting requires considerable care and effort. Skin animals as soon as possible; as bacteria will start to grow within four hours of expiration.

Important: If a freezer service is available, we suggest the head and feet be left intact as in most cases, this delicate work should be left for qualified taxidermists.

Skinning Step-By-Step:

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Never cut through the lower lip.
  • From the center of the throat, continue to cut straight out to the end of the tail.
  • Leg cuts are made from the center of the pads up the back of the legs to the center cut.
  • Skin out the legs and sever foot at ankle joint leaving foot intact. Then skin out body.
  • If you choose to skin out feet; skin out the feet to the last joint leaving the claws attached to the hide.
Bear Skinning Diagram
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Skinning of the head requires careful attention to the lips, eyes and ears.
  • Sever head area from carcass and fold back skin over skull to assist in the removal of the scalp.
  • When ear cartilage is reached, cut the ear cartilage from the skull on the inside. Turn ear inside out and cut away flesh at the base of the cartilage. Skin out the back sides of the ear to approximately one quarter of an inch of the edges.
  • Skin down the skull, being careful not to cut through the skin, especially around the eyes. Preserve the eye lids; use the finger of your free hand to guide the outside to be certain you are not cutting into the lids.
  • Lips should be cut close to the skull leaving the lips attached to the skin. The inside of the lips should then be split.
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It is preferred that all hides be frozen as soon as possible after skinning. We do not recommend salting.

When Packing: The un-skinned areas, head and feet must be placed on the external portion of the folded skin to ensure that freezing will take place.

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Best practices

It is best if you let the taxidermist skin the head as soon as possible. If you can't do this, skin the head according to this diagram. Be careful around the horns, eyes and lips. Always leave more skin and flesh if you are uncertain how much to leave.

Deer Shoulder Mount Diagram
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Do not cut throat.

Life Size:

Best practices

A dorsal cut is best. Start the cut just behind the head and neck union. Cut straight down the backline to the upper base of the tail. Tube out the head and legs.

Bear Dorsal Cut Diagram
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