Stag stalking Q’s/etiquette

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
Couple of very quick questions regarding stag stalking if possible guys?

I’ve done days elsewhere at roe and fallow. Shot a few red hinds on the hill by invite. And one stag years ago which was a spiker in velvet whilst mainly out for roe.

On the ‘off chance’ that I wanted to cape a stag, what’s the etiquette as far as getting them off the hill? Is it just an abdominal cut and back bled through the diaphragm then caped and sorted at the larder? With the trachea/oesophagus removed then? Just seems much more logistically complicated than popping a small roe buck into the back of a 4x4 if you’re miles away on a hill.

I assume if you’ve got a week booked it’s a tip at the end of the week rather than daily? Assuming the stalker is the same guy throughout?


I feel I may have answered my own questions but I just don’t want to make a hash of anything.


cheers!
 

lochty

Well-Known Member
Caping a stag, best to skin too much and let the taxidermist decide. Start behind the shoulder, split down the back of the front legs and skin everything without making any more cuts, right up to the atlas joint. Give him the whole head and let him skin it. Tips, if in doubt, ask whether you'll be out with the same stalker and what they would prefer.
 

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
Cheers guys! Appreciate it!

I’m inclined to leave the skull attached to the cape so I don’t mess anything up but this will be a hell of a job to fit into the freezer. Is it difficult to skin the head well? I know the eyelids can be tricky? And I’m guessing it’ll also be dictated by what freezer space the estate has as well whether I can fit a full skull in?

May need to practice on the next spiker!
 

John Gryphon

Well-Known Member
Is it difficult to skin the head well? I know the eyelids can be tricky?
No it is easy as to skin a stags head provided one has the correct and SHARP knife for the job. If I have any scalpel blades I will use them and going around the eyes is no different to doing any other part.
I prefer the "stocking system" where the back of the legs arent cut but the skin peeled/rolled down to the knee and being removed as a tube,there are no **** ups at all then.
My Kiwi mate caped a chamois with me and didnt even put a backline cut in and skinned it like a tube also.
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Caping a stag, best to skin too much and let the taxidermist decide. Start behind the shoulder, split down the back of the front legs and skin everything without making any more cuts, right up to the atlas joint. Give him the whole head and let him skin it. Tips, if in doubt, ask whether you'll be out with the same stalker and what they would prefer.
This covers it all.
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Cheers guys! Appreciate it!

I’m inclined to leave the skull attached to the cape so I don’t mess anything up but this will be a hell of a job to fit into the freezer. Is it difficult to skin the head well? I know the eyelids can be tricky? And I’m guessing it’ll also be dictated by what freezer space the estate has as well whether I can fit a full skull in?

May need to practice on the next spiker!
Don't skin the head let the taxidermist do that.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
I would hate to think how many stags I have capped off over the years, and will no doubt be doing a few more this coming October.
If you are going to shoulder mount it, dont drag it. Secondly dont let the stalker bleed it. If he does make sure he puts the knife in low down and straight, in and out, dont let him slice across, it will cut all the hair.

A normal gralloch and get it back to the larder, or hung up. Make sure you cut well behind the shoulders, back to the second rib. Especially if you are wanting a pedestal mount. Make sure its a clean circle all the way round. Many go off and end up with not enough on the top of the shoulders.
Take the front legs off at the knee, as one would normally do. Then skin all the way back, to the axis if you can and then cut off the head inside. You now have an intact head inside, with a sock of skin.
The taxidermist can then cape off the rest of the head.

Many people still slit right up the back of the neck when capping off. This is an old way, and something I dont personally do. You can take out the rest of the head with a small cut when finishing skinning off the head. It saves a lot of sewing up when mounting the head.

No disrespect to highland stalkers, but many just cut up the back without much care. Usually its not a perfect straight cut either. Skinning the remainder of the head is easy, but needs patience. If you dont skin off the eyes properly it makes a hell of a mess to mount properly. Also the lips need preserving and nose, and the suborbital gland near the eye.
 
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John Gryphon

Well-Known Member
Don't skin the head let the taxidermist do that.
Have you scalped a fox? Doing a stag is as easy as that but takes a little longer. Most of us are self taught and 99% of the old school do our own.
We turn the ears and split the lips and leave NO meat on the hide so it is white as and takes the salt in.
Old mate came visiting and we climbed the hill,a two k climb that was friggin tough,we slept rough as guts for the night so as to be in the zone at daybreak which to be there required another k walk in the dark across the rideline.
.He used my tripod for a rest,leaving his camera running on his own to video. The old Bushnell RF was in my hand and I ranged it at 317 yards...300 WM one shot.
Then the massive walk home lol.
I promptly drank three beers and collapsed ha ha.

geocaper.jpg
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Have you scalped a fox? Doing a stag is as easy as that but takes a little longer. Most of us are self taught and 99% of the old school do our own.
We turn the ears and split the lips and leave NO meat on the hide so it is white as and takes the salt in.
Old mate came visiting and we climbed the hill,a two k climb that was friggin tough,we slept rough as guts for the night so as to be in the zone at daybreak which to be there required another k walk in the dark across the rideline.
.He used my tripod for a rest,leaving his camera running on his own to video. The old Bushnell RF was in my hand and I ranged it at 317 yards...300 WM one shot.
Then the massive walk home lol.
I promptly drank three beers and collapsed ha ha.

View attachment 218611

Looks like you split the skin up the back of the neck, I have done them that way it's easier but a lot of our taxidermists
Want them tube skinned which probably makes his job easier but is a bit more work,.
I have never actually skinned the head wel! at least not for ttaxidermy purposes skin the heads when preparing
trophies but you can be as rough as you like when doing that.
As Lochty said we skin from behind the shoulders up to the atlas joint seperate the head at the atlas and send it to
the taxidermist like that, seems they prefer them like that as they have had so many bu@@erd by amateurish
attempts at skinning the head.
Suits me just fine it's a lot less work.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Have you scalped a fox? Doing a stag is as easy as that but takes a little longer. Most of us are self taught and 99% of the old school do our own.
We turn the ears and split the lips and leave NO meat on the hide so it is white as and takes the salt in.
Old mate came visiting and we climbed the hill,a two k climb that was friggin tough,we slept rough as guts for the night so as to be in the zone at daybreak which to be there required another k walk in the dark across the rideline.
.He used my tripod for a rest,leaving his camera running on his own to video. The old Bushnell RF was in my hand and I ranged it at 317 yards...300 WM one shot.
Then the massive walk home lol.
I promptly drank three beers and collapsed ha ha.

View attachment 218611
Yep that's the old way of doing it. Takes a lot more time matching up the skin and sewing it up.
 

dunwater

Well-Known Member
Cheers guys! Appreciate it!

I’m inclined to leave the skull attached to the cape so I don’t mess anything up but this will be a hell of a job to fit into the freezer. Is it difficult to skin the head well? I know the eyelids can be tricky? And I’m guessing it’ll also be dictated by what freezer space the estate has as well whether I can fit a full skull in?

May need to practice on the next spiker!
Leave the skull in, sever at the atlas joint if at all possible. You can cut all around the body well behind the shoulder and then roll the skin off like a big hairy sock. It takes a bit of skill to cape out a head and its easy to mess it up.
 

wildfowler.250

Well-Known Member
Leave the skull in, sever at the atlas joint if at all possible. You can cut all around the body well behind the shoulder and then roll the skin off like a big hairy sock. It takes a bit of skill to cape out a head and its easy to mess it up.

Certainly sounds the way to go. I was always worried about the skin sloughing so I usually try and get them in the freezer asap but it sounds like it will keep okay in the chiller going by the above.

The next logistics is getting it to the taxidermist. Usually for smaller deer I’ve sent frozen next day delivery as folk like Dave Hollingsworth are a good 6 hour drive away but it sounds like it might have to be a run in the car if I can’t get it into a freezer 😂
 
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