Field Preparation


The trophy should be skinned immediately. To delay until the next day may cause the loss of a valuable skin. Smaller antelope , as well as the canine and feline species , are especially prone to hairslip if not skinned immediately. (Remove all fat from cape).


  1. CAPE

    • The cape should be cut off +/- 10cm behind the front legs. Make an incision on the back in a straight line from between the shoulders to a point +/-6cm behind the horns.
    • Cut through the ear cartilages as close to the skull as possible (fig.2)
    • Now remove the rest of the cape from the skull, taking care not to damage the ears, eyes, nose and lips.
      • Ears - Do not remove the ear cartilage.
      • Eyes - Put your fingers through the eye opening from the outside to ensure that you do not cut through the thin skin around the eyes. Remove all meaty particles and membranes to allow proper penetration of salt.
      • Nose - Carefully cut the nose loose from the skull, keeping close to the skull. Now remove as much meat and cartilage as possible, without damaging the nostrils.
      • Lips - Cut loose close to the teeth, retaining as much lip skin as possible. Insert your finger through the mouth from the outside to ensure that you do not cut through the corners of the mouth. Make incisions between the inner and outer lip skin, parallel with the lip line, to allow for better salt penetration. Remove as much meat and membranes as possible.
    • Wash the cape thoroughly and allow the water to drip off. Place the skin on a flat surface in the shade, meat side up and salt with coarse salt +/- 2cm thick. Leave for 24 hours. Take care that the cape is kept out of the sun and far from the camp fire.
    • After 24 hours, shake off excess salt and allow the cape to dry.
    • When nearly dry but still pliable, fold to desired size for transport purposes, with hair and ears to the inside to prevent damage.
    • When a skin has to be stored for a considerable length of time, it is of utmost importance that a powdered insecticide like Carbaspray(Bexadust) be dusted on the skin to prevent damage by insects.

  2. HORNS - Saw as indicated. Remove all meat and salt well.


    • For tanning purposes
      • Make an incision on the stomach from a point between the front legs to the tail.
      • Cut from the first incision all along the back side of the legs to the desired length, where the skin is cut off around the legs.
      • Take care to remove the thick layer of fat under the manes of Zebra skins to prevent loss of hair.

    • For full mounts and rug head mounts
      • Canine and feline species The incision on the stomach (fig7) is extended to just below the lower jaw. Incisions along the back of the legs remain the same as illustrated in fig7, rightup to the foot pads. Complete the skinning process, skinning the body first, except the head and neck, which should be skinned in the same manner as described for capes (see 1), but without making an incision on the back, as the skin has already been cut open to just below the lower jaw. The feet should be skinned in sock-like manner, without cutting through the foot pads. Every foot bone should be removed right up to the toe nail. The skin should be washed and salted as described for shoulder mounts under 5 and 6.
      • Antelope and related species (Full mounts only) The incision on the stomach, as well as those along the back of the legs, remain the same as in fig 7. Make another incision from between the shoulder blades (fig 1). Skin the head and neck as for capes. (see 1). Complete the rest of the skinning process up to the hooves, from which all bones should be removed. Save the bones of the front legs, back legs and pelvis to be taken to your taxidermist along with the horns and skin.

    Salt penetration takes place through a maximum thickness of approximately 5mm (¼ inch). Incisions can be made +/- 10mm apart through at least two thirds of the thickness of exceptionally thick skins on the skinned side, taking care not to cut right through the skins. This may need to be done on the shoulder humps of antelope like Gemsbuck ad Eland, on the mane of Zebra and definitely on all thick parts of Giraffe, Hippo and Rhino

    A most important point to keep in mind is that all feet must be skinned to the very last extreme part of the sole or hoof, with all bones removed. Any excessive tissue or bone left behind may cause hairslip.

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