Taking Care of Your Trophy

Simply because a hide has been preserved and mounted doesn’t mean that it won’t require any further care. While trophies that exhibit better quality work tend to not require as much maintenance as those with careless or shoddy workmanship, all trophies will eventually need to be taken care of, and possibly even refurbished. However, by taking into account the kinds of things that can cause a trophy to degrade over time, it’s possible to avoid most common types of damage.

Taking Care of Your Trophy An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the best way to take care of your trophy is to keep it from needing any extra maintenance in the first place. Keeping mounts in climate controlled areas, away from dampness, and out of sunlight will go far in preserving the integrity of the hide, the hair, and the coloring. Cool, dry places away from light are the best places for trophies. Excessive dampness can lead to mold and mildew, while overly hot, dry conditions can desiccate the hide and cause it to crack or split. Dust and skin oils will discolor fur or hair, so mounted animals should be given frequent gentle dusting, and not touched more than absolutely necessary. While discoloration won’t actually damage the hair, it will make it look dirty, and it can be very, very difficult, if not completely impossible, to remove. Dirty hides don’t look realistic, so poor trophy hygiene can ruin the effect of even the best taxidermy. Like any other piece of expensive decorative artwork, a trophy should be kept and handled the same way one would treat a fine, valuable painting.

After a trophy has been damaged by sun exposure or the effect of time on poorly-done taxidermy, there’s not much that beginning taxidermy hobbyists or laypeople can do, aside from re-gluing the occasional lost eye. Fortunately, however, there are professionals who have a lot of experience in restoring old, museum-quality taxidermy pieces and antique heirloom trophies, and are able to fix some common problems old mounts run into. Cracked or split hides can be re-glued, and sun-faded fur can be dyed back to its original color. However, many of these fixes are complicated, time-consuming, and expensive, and well worth avoiding if at all possible.There’s also a limit to how many times a hide can be dyed or glued, so the longer a trophy can go between needing maintenance, the better.

Taking proper care of a mounted trophy is fairly intuitive. Excessive handling, sunlight, head, and wetness can cause the hide and fur to degrade, so they should be avoided. Keeping this in mind will allow you to appreciate your fine trophies for decades, without having to resort to expensive refurbishing or repairs.

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7 Responses to “Taking Care of Your Trophy”

  1. Vanessa Johnson
    September 17, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    We are storing our son-in-laws deer mounts. We had them in the basement for 45 days. I just noticed mold on nose and a little bit on the neck of the deer. Help how do I remove this????? Thanks for your help. We have brought them upstairs!!!

  2. Jonson Coyt
    November 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    Get wipes and clean it off , it is helpful because if you don’t wipe it , it will not leave and will keep growing . ADD me on twitter @gangnamstyler22.

  3. Kitty Winton
    March 16, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    I have 4 stuffed geese and theyre full of dust. how can I get the dust out?

  4. Mike Castro
    March 17, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    How to clean a bear mount hair?

  5. Riaan Visser
    April 28, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    I have a lion skin and head that is about 40 years old. It has been fastened to my grandfather’s wall and does not seem to have been maintained. The skin is now drying and some tears have occured as well as hair loss. What can I do to at least stop the deterioration of this trophy?

  6. Forrest Ketner
    July 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    We travel through out the lower 48 states and take care of mounts,this is what we do for a living. Feel free to check our website. http://www.trophydoc.com/

  7. Sara
    October 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    My gator head on the wall is starting to crack in certain places. I had it done by a professional about 3 years ago. Is there anything I can do? Will an oil of any sort help? It looks dry .

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