How to Keep Your Mounts Healthy & Happy
It’s home. It’s finally here!
There’s nothing quite like bring home a trophy, of pushing it in to place or placing it on the wall and taking that step back to feel the memory coming flooding back. We’ve all felt it. It feels exhilarating.
Then reality hits. You realize you have a lifetime of trying to keep this beautiful trophy…well…beautiful.
Step 1: Keep it simple when it comes to caring for your trophies.
If you run to the internet, you will find a hundred different ways to clean your trophy, products that promise just about everything, and even some bizarre solutions. It can be quite overwhelming and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. In the chaotic world of mount care, there’s a simple way of doing it. Yes, a surefire way to making your trophies looking as brand new as the day you proudly brought them home.
Fortunately, the world of taxidermy has changed from the mounts of decades past. Thanks to new technology, the leather has oils infused into it, guaranteed for the lifetime of the mount. It means invisible to the naked eye and under all that fur is a barrier of protection built directly into your trophy. Ultimately, you should just have to take care of the cosmetics.
Consistent care is what they need to maintain their like-new luster.
Step 2: Dust once a week.
Once a week, take a feather duster or a soft, dry rag and from top to bottom dust everything. Remember, dust and dirt are the greatest enemies of your pristine trophy. Don’t let them win!
Step 3: Thorough cleaning once a year.
Once a year (but no more than twice yearly,) it’s really time to do a thorough once over. Put on your cleaning gloves and get ready to get dirty!
Make a mixture of a few drops mild detergent to a bucket of water making sure there are no suds. For shorthaired trophies, get a rag, make it damp not soaking, and wipe in the direction of the hair. With that simple act, the yearly once over is complete.
For those longhair trophies, do the exact same thing but make sure to fluff the hair back again. Use compressed air, a shop vac, or even a hair dryer on no heat setting to blow the hair out. You might want to head outside for this step as dirt is bound to go flying.
Step 4: Touch up the features.
Once the fur is cleaned, it’s time to tackle all the other details.
- The antlers or horns will clean up well with a quick once over with a damp rag.
- The eyes are glass, so simple glass cleaner on a Q-tip will make them shine like new.
- The nose can be wiped down just like the fur. If it is missing its wet look, you can use clear lacquer, like Modge Podge.
- The habitat does best when consistently dusted each week, but for the yearly thorough cleaning use compressed air on hard surfaces like rocks and driftwood. Fair warning though, be on the lookout for the more delicate features like grasses and flowers. If you feel like the habitat is really lacking its luster, a clear coat of sealant will revive it.
As a side note (albeit just as important), birds trophies can be feather dusted. Never use anything wet on them. Give your fish trophies a good wipe down with a damp rag, paying careful attention to the delicate fins.
Step 5: Avoid the temptations of the chemicals
If you keep up with the weekly cleaning and the yearly thorough once over there should be no need for products specifically chemicals. Stay away from using household cleaners like Pledge on the mounts. They will leave an oily residue and eventually you will see your mounts suffer. Sometimes products are needed. In our Studio, we use Cowboy Magic for those longhaired mounts (especially bears) that need a little bit of luster. For those trophies needing special help with bugs, we recommend Mount Medix which uses natural ingredients and leaves a fresh mint scent. Be sure to visit their website for complete instructions before using. If you’re not certain, contact us for recommendations.
With a few tips in mind and armed with simple instructions, keeping your trophies clean and fresh looking could not be any easier. Consistency is exactly what your trophies crave, so arm yourself with the right tools and remember to keep it simple.