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SSGJB's picture
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Cow hide ?

I am pretty new to elk hunting. I just thought of this the other day. What do you normally do with a cow hide? Like here in WI we can take deer hides to a butcher shop and get a set of leather gloves in return. Can you do the same in CO? Just curious want to do the most ethical thing when it comes to the animal.

exbiologist's picture
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leave it

Unless you want to haul out another 50 pounds of wet elk hide, leave it in the woods.  This ain't Wisconsin, and we don't drag our animals out whole.  Only on my first elk did I take the hide and never will again.  I don't want to add 2 miles and 50 pounds to the work, but you're welcome to it.  The ethical thing for your back is to recycle it into the earth.

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Here's a question for you

Here's a question for you then Exbio.  What do you do if you plan on mounting the head, if it's a nice bull?  Will most taxidermists have extra hides that they can throw on there?

It's an interesting dilemma for me, because I am an out of stater.  We are not allowed to bring anything from the skull or spine into California, except for a clean skull cap attached to the antlers.  So, I have no option for doing a full mount, unless I leave it in Colorado with a taxidermist there.

Would you just cape it from the shoulders up?  Just my luck I'll get a 340 class 6x6 and have to just hack off the rack...... lol

COMeatHunter's picture
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Really?!?

I'd check the law again and make sure it covers mounted heads.  They are trying to limit CWD transfer into the state.  A mounted head has no brain or spinal tissue remaining and thus would be of virtually no risk to transporting CWD into the state.  It could be a poorly written law, but it shouldn't apply to mounted heads.

What if you were moving to California?  Would that mean you need to leave all of your taxidermy behind?  It just doesn't make sense to me.

You will likely need to have the head mounted here in Colorado and then have it shipped to your home in California after it's been mounted.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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No, you are correct, and

No, you are correct, and that's what I meant.  Maybe I should have said "fresh" skull or parts of the spine.  That's whay I mentioned leaving it in Colorado to get taxidermied.

I cannot cut the head off an freshly killed elk, whole, and try to bring it back to my home in California to have mounted at my taxidermist.  I can, however, bring back the antlers with a clean skull cap attached. 

So, if I want a fully mounted head, I have to do it somewhere else, and when it's done, bring the finished product back here.

COMeatHunter's picture
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Cool

That makes more sense.  Maybe I just read the previous post poorly too.  Either way, that's cool you'll at least get to take the huge 6x6 home next year after you kill him and have him mounted!

Here's to next year.:thumbsup1:

Critter's picture
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Vermonster:  There are a

Vermonster:  There are a couple of ways that you can take care of the head and antlers and getting them back to your residence.  One of them would be to have a taxidermist here in Colorado take care of the work and then crate and ship them to you.  Doing it this way it will cost you a couple hundred more dollars to get the head home.  Another way would be for you to cape out the head and just bring the cape and antlers home to your local taxidermist.  One other way if you don't feel comfortable with caping out the head would be to take it to a taxidermist here in Colorado and have them cape it freeze the hide and then let you take it home to your local taxidermist.  Or you could just bring the antlers home and buy a elk cape off of the internet for a mount, or even you local taxidermist will have resources to where he can pick up a cape for you. 

ndemiter's picture
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caping off the skin from the

caping off the skin from the skull is what i do every time. saves on all the extra weight. it's really too complicated for me to post in the  forum, but i may write up a tip about it later.

caping is easy once you understand the anatomy of the game animals, what cartilage you need to cut through. it's not necessary to turn the ears and the nose in the field though.

all you need is a small knife and a wyoming saw. these two things are the most important tools you have for any western big game hunt.

check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQHjp6TLVN4 

 

this is what i do, and then i saw the skull cap off with a hack saw/ wyoming saw.

SGM
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I just wrote a Hunting Tip

I just wrote a Hunting Tip called Use the Hide. Not sure about a butcher shop but any taxidermist shop will tan the hide for you hair on or off for leather. I was told on my post that some will even trade a hide for some gloves. An elk skin will cost you about $250 but that can change depending on the  taxidermist. They make a great throw blanket or home decoration for sure. Good luck and let us know how you do on the hunt.

SSGJB's picture
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I realize that shooting an

I realize that shooting an elk is not like shooting a whitetail. But i was just curious. Now that you put it that why that they weigh 50lbs, unless i eat my wheaties in the morning i don't know if i will bring it out. But then again i think it would be pretty cool to have one tanned. I have to actually shoot one first then i'll worry about the hide. Thanks for the replies guys.

exbiologist's picture
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yeah, sorry

Wasn't trying to be crass or anything, but given the logistics of most elk hunting, you likely won't want to go through the extra effort of getting it out.  

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