Every year, we get photos from members who have taken great deer. Unfortunately, we can’t publish many of those photos in the magazine because, frankly, they’re not suitable.
One of the first things the Buckmasters cameramen, editors and writers do when preparing a buck for picture taking is to clean it up. They also take steps to prevent blood from coming out of the mouth and to preserve the cape, too.
Generally, the first task is to remove the tongue. Next, wipe away any blood with Windex and paper towels. Field wipes or baby wipes work great for this, too. If you use baby wipes, make sure to buy unscented versions. Even with these, they’re best stored in camera bags and not in the hunter’s backpack.
Keeping the deer’s head tilted back prevents additional blood from running out. Blood will drain back into the windpipe instead of the mouth until the photographer is ready to start snapping.
Windex and wipes work like magic for taking blood off a deer’s face, but this process serves another important function.
From the moment an animal dies, bacteria begins to attack its cape, especially in places where blood or fluids have saturated the hair. Windex and some wipes contain bacteria killers that help preserve the animal’s cape before your taxidermist even sees it.
So for preserving the memories of a great hunt, both in photography and for taxidermy, keep a cleanup kit handy that includes Windex and wipes.
— Tim H. Martin