Care of Your Taxidermy Mounts
To keep your mounts looking fresh and alive, we recommend a routine cleaning several times a year. These simple steps will help keep your trophies looking their best and lasting a lifetime.
To keep your mounts looking their best it is important to display them in a proper, climate controlled environment. To prevent fading over time, try to avoid hanging your mounts opposite a sunny window where they will be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. If possible, avoid displaying taxidermy pieces near direct sources of heat, such as furnace vents or wood stoves. Though hanging a wildlife mount over a fireplace may not be advised, we believe no fireplace is complete without one. Excessive humidity can lead to mold and mildew.
Handling Taxidermy Mounts
A taxidermy trophy should be treated and handled the same way as any other piece of fine, expensive artwork. Mounts should be touched no more than absolutely necessary. Children love to pet the animals, but the taxidermy specimens should be off limits.
All mammals and game heads sold by Safariworks are treated with a taxidermy product called Body Shine to act as a dust shield and add luster to the hair. Body Shine is designed to reflect the full spectrum of natural light to give the hair a beautiful shine. It also contains natural ingredients that help resist the accumulation of dust.
To keep your mounts looking their best, they should be given a frequent, gentle dusting. A feather duster works well, followed by a damp cloth wiped in the direction of the hair to remove any remaining dust. Avoid using products like furniture polish that are commonly rumored to work well to clean hair or fur. These products can actually attract more dust and moisture over time. Compressed air or a vacuum with a soft brush upholstery attachment also work well. Take care to work gently and follow the direction of the hair as it lays naturally.
Lightly brush the mount with a clean, soft-bristled pet brush.
Antler and Horn Care
All that is needed is an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth. If you want your antlers to have a slight luster, try Liquid Gold. Just apply to a clean cloth and wipe on. It will go on shiny but will look natural when it dries.
Clean the eyes with a Q-tip dampened with glass cleaner and then polish them with a clean dry swab.
Fish and Bird Care
To remove surface dust from your fish mounts, use a can of compressed air which produces under 20 lbs. of pressure. Any remaining dust that has collected between scales may have to be cleaned with a dampened cotton swab. To dust your bird mounts, gently brush them with a cotton ball in the direction of the feathers.
Insect Prevention and Control
Every mount sold by Safariworks is treated with Protex Mount Care to protect it against insect damage.
Insect damage has happened in the finest trophy rooms and museums. It is also easily prevented. The two insects responsible for this are tiny demisted/carpet beetles or moths. These are the same bugs found in food pantries, carpets and closets. They come in grain products such as dog or cat food. Besides eating wool carpets and clothes, these insects can ruin a whole collection of animal mounts. The larvae eat the tiny end of a hair follicle, causing hair loss. In the moth or beetle stage they are not harmful.
Prevention is always a good practice. We routinely set off bug room foggers in our trophy rooms as a preventive measure. There are “no-mess” foggers on the market that are effective. It is advisable to annually moth proof all mounts and rugs. Any moth proofing spray that is safe for clothing can be used. Spray a light mist all over the mount and gently comb into the hair. On furbearing animals, the fur can be fluffed back using a hair dryer. If you notice any bug damage or find “rice-crispy” looking sheds on a mount, take it outside and spray it down with a bug killer and seal it in a plastic bag overnight.