Field Care

Before We Get Your Trophy

A quality mount starts with proper care in the field before your taxidermist ever sees your trophy. Remember these key guidelines to provide us with as many details as possible to create a trophy of a lifetime.

  • The measurements from your trophies in the field help us prepare for the actual mounting. They give us ideas on various ways the mount could be prepared.
  • In most cases, a photo of your trophy is also very helpful. We can determine certain unique characteristics of your trophy that could otherwise have been easily overlooked.
  • Every bit of information you can supply will insure the most accurate detail to be applied to your trophies.
  • Several cats, baboons and jackals require special skinning and field preparations. Call us before your hunting trip, to get detailed information on the field preparation of a particular animal.
  • It is also important to measure the doorway of the room and the room that will house your trophy.


How to Measure Your Trophy

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A. Eye to nose measurement

B. Neck Circumference

C. Belly circumference

D. Tip of nose to base of tail. This measurement is one of the most important in reference to all life-size mounts


Question: What should I do first, after the hide (caped) and is off the animal?

When this process has been completed you should lay your skinned animal hide in a cool place and let all the remaining heat evaporate from the hide for up to an hour. Following this process you should fold the skin hair out and very importantly make sure the head is on the outsider side of the skin. Then bag and freeze immediately.

Question: If I cannot freeze the skin how do I preserve it for the Taxidermy?

We always recommend freezing. However, if you do not have the availability to freeze you need to take some precautions prior to salting. You must remove as much meat and fat from the hide as possible. Ears, nose and mouth should be split and turned inside out, which your guide/outfitter or PH should be able to assist you in doing.

Question: How do I preserve a bird or fish in the field for mounting?

When prepping small game and fish we recommend just freezing them. Do not field dress or cape. If freezing a bird make sure the head in placed under the wing to ensure all features of the face are preserved.

Question: When salting my trophy what type of salt should I use?

Non-Idolized Salt The finer the salt the better it can be rubbed into the flesh. Medium grain salt can be used, but under no circumstances should table salt be used.

Question: How should I remove dust from my trophy(s)?

If it’s an animal with hair you should use an air compressor at 40psi, if air compressor is not available use a common household hair dryer with cool heat. For feathered trophies you should use Mineral Spirits on a cotton ball and gently wipe the feathers staying away from any painted areas. You may also use a feather duster. For fish you can use a damp lint free towel & wipe down with water.

Question: How soon will my hide begin to spoil?

The animal’s hide will start to decompose the minute the animal expires. The weather will also have an effect on how fast the decomposition will start. Bacterial growth starts at forty degrees Fahrenheit.

Questions: How do I determine the best position of my trophies’ head?

Putting a turn in a mount always makes the mount look more natural other than positioning the mount straight on. The direction of the mounts head is at the discretion of the hunter. Just remember that it is always the animals right or left.

Question: How do I ship my mount?

When shipping your mount if it is frozen make sure you ship it UPS on a Monday or Tuesday, using second day air.  See our “Shipping Trophies” section for more information.

Contact Info


Safari Specialists
True-Life Taxidermy Inc.
562 New Vernon Road,
Middletown, NY 10940


(845) 733-1313



  • This Taxidermist beside me is the man that I have hired to do my taxidermy work. I have sent my treasured Musk Ox, the biggest Musk Ox to ever be hunted to Bob Vitro. Believe me I have kept my Musk Ox and have looked everywhere for the right person to mount it. Taxidermy is so important this is why I have chosen True-Life Taxidermy. I use True-Life Taxidermy and so should you.

    jim shockey
    Jim Shockey
    TV Host
  • If your looking for one exceptional taxidermist/outfitter that books worldwide take it from one who has hunted from Africa to the Arctic Circle with Bob- from taxidermy work to booking hunts his knowledge an expertise can not be beat, True Life Taxidermy ( Bob Vitro ) from Middletown N.Y.does it all.

    Michael J. Delfino Sr.
  • I want to thank you and your team for the great work you have done for me. The mount will give the memory of that day for as long as I live. It is rare in this day and age that one can get the professional experience you get when dealing with you and your staff and I thank you for that.

    Dan Evangelista
  • Bob Vitro is certainly the most outstanding taxidermist that I have ever worked with. His mounts are extraordinary with more attention to detail than I have ever seen. He is also an incredible outfitter, especially his Kansas white tail hunts.. as good as it gets.. and his African Safaris.

    Tommy Mottola
  • I’ve been using Bob Vitro and True-Life Taxidermy for over 10 years for all my mounts from Alaska to Africa and everything in between. Bob and his staff have such an amazing attention to detail that each piece of his work seems to come to life again in my trophy room. When non hunters just stop and stare you know that the work is indeed artistry.

    Bob recently set me up on a Colorado mule deer hunt knowing I was looking for something special. The outfit he recommended was thick with very big deer and I connected with this 180’s buck late in the hunt.

    From dangerous game in Africa to sheep hunting in Europe and Asia and bears in Russia and Alaska Bob knows the outfitters that get it done. He is mounting trophies from around the world and sees where the best come from.

    Jim Kachidurian
    The Kent Group Associates, Inc.
  • Through your talents and artistry, I am able to live the pursuits everyday. I will always be in your debt. The memories become so vivid, and the honor, respect and attention you have given to my specimens supersedes all expectations.

    The compliments I have received from our peers, as well as professionals that accompany us is added tribute to your allowing the experience’s reincarnation. My sincerest thanks, and wishes for continued excellence.

    Joseph P Giordano
  • I always look forward to booking the next exciting hunt with Bobby Vitro. His expertise and knowledge in booking hunts with a high success rate and great hospitality make me a returning customer. I pick an animal, my favorite being Whitetail, and he gave me a number of locations that are known to have trophy bucks. Then from there, based on my personal preferences of climate and hunting conditions, I would make my decision on where to book. The process is always smooth and he always has up to date information on where the trophies are being racked up.

    Peter Campisi
  • I met Bob Vitro six years ago when I booked my first safari to Africa. With his wealth of knowledge on the continent, I was confident that it would be an experience of a lifetime…and it was! Since that trip, I have returned to Africa several times all with the support of Safari Specialists. Bob and his team were instrumental in helping me to achieve my goal of harvesting the “Big 5,” and they continue to assist as I book trips in the United States and abroad. In addition, he has skillfully mounted and hand-delivered more than seventy-five animals for my trophy room, which he helped to design. Whether it is a full body mount, head mount or rug you are looking for, Bob will deliver a first-class job every time. His expert knowledge and eye for detail are second to none and I wouldn’t use anyone else.

    Jerry Burke
  • I wanted to take a moment to express my sincerest thanks for an outstanding job you gentlemen did mounting my rainbow trout. This trout was a trophy of a lifetime on such light fly tackle and being caught in a New Jersey river. I was hoping to catch the moment when I had her in my hands and reflect on the vibrant colors and freshness of the fish. To say the least, you fellas’ did just that! I cannot complement you enough on such a fine job. 

    A few friends have seen the fish already and also my wife and all have remarked how it “looks so alive”! I agree. You have my deepest appreciation for such a fine paint job! From this point on, I can assure you that all of my taxidermy needs will be through your shop. Keep up the fantastic work!

    Stew Lampe
  • Bob Vitro and his True Life staff are avid sports men , who understand one remembers the hunt through the trophy. We use Bob for all our store displays, Cav. Ugo Gussalli Beretta’s Museum collection and our clients trophies from our hunting agencies as well, I also have been using True Life to complete my new trophy room (another field that. Bob prides himself in) These are the people to trust your memories to.

    Peter L. Horn ll

Useful Info


In most cases, a photo of your trophy is also very helpful. We can determine certain unique characteristics of your trophy that could otherwise have been easily overlooked.


Remember, your trophies can be shipped to Safari Specialists True Life Taxidermy Inc. from Any place in the world. Simply get the expeditor’s business card and forward it to Safari Specialists True Life Taxidermy Inc. and we will handle the rest!

Field Care

The measurements from your trophies in the field help us prepare for the actual mounting. They give us ideas on various ways the mount could be prepared.