How to Skin a Deer Head when Caping Your Trophy for Taxidermy

A girl with a great muley buck.

While we recommend that you only skin past the antlers to the ears and jaw and leave the mouth, nose and eyes to your taxidermist, in some cases you need to remove the entire cape. You can skin your deer for the taxidermist. It is really fairly simple.

How to Skin a Deer Head when Caping Your Trophy for Taxidermy

  1. Use a sharp knife.
  2. Start the cut behind the front legs in the middle of the body. Make a cut that circles the entire body.
  3. Make a cut in the skin around the front legs, just above the knee joints. Then you will cut up the back side of each leg meeting the initial body cut.
  4. Skin/peel the cape up towards the head until you reach the ears and jaw. From this point forward, there will be no more cuts through the skin.
  5. Where the head and neck join, cut through the muscle all the way down to the spine.
  6. Hold the antlers by their bases and twist. This will separate the head (still attached to the cape) from the deer’s body. You may need to make some small cuts in the tissue to remove the head completely.
  7. At this point we recommend that you quickly deliver your trophy to your taxidermist.

If you want to do the detail work yourself, watch the video to learn how. Take your time. Keep the hide cool, dry, clean, inside and out, and, get it to your taxidermist right away if you can. If you can’t get it immediately to the taxidermist, just roll up the hide, bag it in a trash bag and put it in the freezer.

Learn how to care for your mounts once you get them back from the taxidermist.