This is as good a time as any, so let’s get on with it. Most avid hunters are currently in recovery and hunting season is but a memory. Spring fishing is about to get hot, as the last of the Arctic cool fronts have just about petered out.
It’s an opportune time to review some of the dos and don’ts of the proper care and handling of a prospective mount. This will be as brief and painless as possible, but it’s very necessary. Make no mistake — these precautions can and will affect the condition of your final trophy mount.
Since it’s spring fishing season, we’ll start with how to handle a fish you’re considering mounting.
First and foremost, be gentle. Common sense can count for a lot. Every time you remove the fish from the live well or ice chest, you’re chancing loss of scales or damage to delicate fins. Everyone wants to show off their trophy fish, but keep handling to a minimum.
Head to your preferred taxidermist or freeze the fish whole. ASAP! Don’t wrap it in newspaper or a wet towel; just slide it in a plastic bag and freeze it. Please, handle with tender, loving care.
Irreparable damage can be done in the case of delicate feathers of birds. Never place a possible mounter on a duck strap. The damage to delicate neck feathers can be irreversible. Try to pick a bird in full plumage and mostly devoid of pinfeathers. Handle the bird by its bill or feet and keep those paws off the feathers.
If the bird is placed in the freezer, don’t force its head into an unnatural position under its wing. Just slide the bird into the bag and freeze it whole. The neck will assume its natural position. Birds frozen with straight necks can break easily and cause much grief later. Treat those birds with a lot of TLC (tender loving care) and it will show up on your mount.
The mortal sin of skinning game heads is cutting the shoulder mount cape too short. If you cape your head, leave ample skin, making your cut well below the brisket. Get your prospective mount as cool and dry as is physically possible. Never make any external cuts and be gentle. These are all highly perishable products, so pay heed to keeping them cool.
Many a trophy deer has been ruined for mounting by an excited hunter with a dull knife. Take your time and know that your efforts can contribute to a slick mount you can be proud of.
Congratulations for a great effort by the McNeese Cowboys baseball team. They went toe-to-toe with the LSU Tigers recently and hung in there with a big-time win. There’s nothing like competing against some of the best for evaluating your team.
There’s nothing that comes close to the good feeling that results when an underdog has some success. The Cowboys put on a great show for an appreciative overflow crowd. This is what sports is all about.
You can throw out records, bank accounts and blue-chip athletes when it comes to athletic competition. There comes a time when you just have to dig in and compete. This was an amazing effort against all odds.
Hats off to a first-rate program and a class act in the Tigers. It’s an honor to have them on the schedule and for them to visit good old Lake Charles.
A festive crowd showed up for a battle down to the last out and surely got their monies worth. On this night, the underdogs scrapped and fought for a victory that will stand the test of time.
Thanks again to the Tigers, and best of luck throughout the season. Please, feel welcome to return for a future engagement anytime. Thanks for the memories.