Field Review: Texas Axis Deer + Field Care for Mounts
Andy Husek 06.23.20
As much work that needs to go in to the “Before” part of a trip, just as much effort should go in to the “After” part of the trip. If successful we want to make sure we take care of the animal in order to preserve the long last memory. If you are planning to have taxidermy done there are some things you definitely need to think about even before you pull the trigger.
Last year about mid-summer, I decided to head down to Texas for a hunt to pass the time until fall rolled around. Plus, I have never hunted exotics and I had really heard amazing things about Axis meat, so I was sold! I would be using he 110 Storm from Savage chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. This gun was new to me, but I am very familiar with the Savage Accufit system. Right out of the box, I can check the comb height and length of pull and quickly change the inserts so that I have a custom fitting gun at a fraction of the cost of a custom rifle.
Here are a few other features of the 110 Storm that are definitely worth mentioning:
- User-adjustable AccuTrigger
- AccuStock rail system secures the action along its entire length
- Detachable box magazine
- Stainless steel barreled action
- Gray synthetic stock
- Soft grip over-mold fore-end and pistol grip surfaces
- New Model 110 design and ergonomics
- Drilled and tapped for scope mounts
Now, you need to be careful in general with your animals no matter where or when you are hunting, but seeing how we were in Texas during the summer, some extra precautions were definitely necessary to ensure nothing spoiled because of the heat. Below are a couple good ‘rules of thumb’ to follow in all instances to ensure your taxidermist has exactly what they need – in the condition they needed it – in order to successfully mount your animal to be proudly displayed in your coveted man cave.
- Gut the animal immediately and when doing so make as few cuts as possible on the hide. Depending on the animal and the type of mount you are going to be doing there are several different ways to remove the hide. Especially if you have to quarter the animal in the field to get it home or off a mountain. Do your research and look up some articles of videos on how your taxidermist will want you to remove the hide so you know before you go.
- Use a proper knife! Just because grandpa gave you the biggest and baddest knife he had does not mean it is the right tool for caping your animal. Ideally something shorter and stout with a slightly round point is what you want for skinning and caping the animal. And make sure it is sharp BEFORE you get in the field. An easy way to do this is to look in to one of the newer knives on the market with replaceable blade.
- Just like the meat keep the hide cool or frozen if is going to take you a day or two to get your trophy to the taxidermist. This was especially true for us when we were in Texas. Cool it down fast in order to prevent the hair from slipping and falling out!
- Take your time, ultimately all of the hide has to come off of the bone but you need to make sure you can do so without rushing and slicing a hole every two minutes. Your taxidermist can fish some things but they are not a magician so take your time and enjoy your success! Take a break midway through if need be, this is just as important as anything else in the process.
- Lastly, call your taxidermists, ask questions, let them tell you exactly how they want it done! Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and have the discussion with them. There may be a particular way they want it done or who knows, they might even tell you to just drive straight to the shop and they will do it for you so it is done right! I know this has happened on more than one occasion because it is just easier for them to do it the right way the first time instead of trying to fix someone’s mistakes!
I am super happy I took the time to do all of this research before I went to Texas, and completely thrilled with the way my mount turned out!