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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What sort of weights do you figure for the head and cape of a mature bull elk?
Thanks
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I didn't ask the question correctly. I was meaning the head, antlers and cape together. The only bull I've shot was a raghorn and I didn't bother keeping the cape. Just did a skull mount.
 

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I like elk!
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I just helped packed out a 340 bull,full head and cape....I'm guessing 65#'s at a minimum.
I was packing a rear quarter with trim and the head/cape pack felt heavier.
 

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75# is the number I've always heard as a good average for 6x


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It definitely quite a load... And a lot harder to carry than meat, cause it's so bulky--especially if you're not on a trail and have to work thru brush and over dead falls. But then the joy of success keeps you going!


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Corripe Cervisiam
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You don't own the antler weight app for your iPhone? Grin

I don't haul many capes out....seems to me those big ones are more awkward than anything. It really helped me to wrap the cape over the skull [rather than rolling it behind] giving a padded surface for the back of your neck.
 

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I agree, not many capes pulled out, but if I did, there is no way I'm bringing cape and skull out. I'd cap it, cape out completely, and pack the rack and cape only. You'd save a ton of weight.
 

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I'd say the head weighs 25#'s so that is roughly what you would be leaving behind....I've never skinned the entire face,how difficult is that?
 

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Good Video. The screwdriver trick is recommended by many taxidermists, but I always use a knife in the field, a little hair left behind is nothing. You can see, by caping completely, you save a ton of space, and more importantly, a ton of weight. I still don't think you'd be much over 30 something pounds doing it this way.

The toughest part of caping an elk is around the body, legs etc. Once you have the head, and cape just laying there, you're in the hope stretch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess I hadn't thought of leaving the head behind. The only downside would be that I couldn't change my mind about doing a full mount and just doing a European style mount instead.
Thanks all
 

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I've never skinned the entire face,how difficult is that?
I once thought I wanted to be a taxidermist. In the late 80's, I had a retired taxidermist mentoring me. I have no artistic ability, nor do I have the required patience, so that idea went away. But surprisingly, I think anyone can cape out the head. You just have to be patient, and willing to take the time to do it. I find this hard now, because I am anxious to get the meat out. Turning out the ears is not as hard as it sounds, but splitting lips and eyelids is a little sketchy.
 

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Former Wyoming Boy
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I once thought I wanted to be a taxidermist. In the late 80's, I had a retired taxidermist mentoring me. I have no artistic ability, nor do I have the required patience, so that idea went away. But surprisingly, I think anyone can cape out the head. You just have to be patient, and willing to take the time to do it. I find this hard now, because I am anxious to get the meat out. Turning out the ears is not as hard as it sounds, but splitting lips and eyelids is a little sketchy.
No need to turn ears, eyes and lips just to get it out of the woods.
You can leave that for later... or the taxidermist.
Skinning out a head is easy.
Take your time around the antler bases and use the screw driver trick. It works like a charm, as long as the head is fresh.
Ears... stay close to the skull with the knife.
Eyes... same thing. It helps to poke a finger through the eye opening from the out side... and pinch it up against your thumb that's on the inside, just so you know for sure that you're staying away from cutting the lids.
Tear ducts... go slow with a very sharp knife. They're deep on an elk.
Nose... stay close to the bone and cut through all the cartilage... leaving it connected to the cape.
Lips... I do this before I do anything else. Use a very sharp knife and cut all the way around the inside of the mouth... right where the lips meet the gums. Then, at the end of the other steps... it all just comes off right where it's supposed to.
Done. No skull to haul out.
 
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