Shipping Your Skull to a Taxidermist

Exactly How to Ship your Skull to a Taxidermist

Whitetail deer shipping to taxidermist. You’ve spent all year waiting for the moment that you’d be able to drop of that trophy game animal, literally visualizing that moment again and again in your mind over and over and over until it seems as though the moment has already happened – and then BAM! you’ve gone out and done it!

It was a one in 1 million shot, and absolutely picture-perfect moment in time that you spend your entire life hunting trying to live out, and now you simply cannot afford to let your trophy go to waste. You know that you are going to need to tap into the skilled experience of a proper taxidermist, but you may not be sure of exactly how to go through the necessary steps to getting your game to that taxidermist properly.

That’s where is this quick and easy to follow guide comes into play. Not only will you learn exactly what you need to do on the moment after you’ve dropped that trophy piece of game, but you’ll also learn how to best prepare it to be shipped, the necessary concerns you need to be aware of when shipping, which carrier you should be using, as well as the specific things you should never do to avoid damaging or destroying your game before it reaches your taxidermist.

Let’s dive right in!

Speed is Everything

The odds are fantastic that you’re already aware of just how critical a role time will

Moose head ready to be frozen and shipped for a European skull mount

Moose head ready to be frozen and shipped for a European skull mount

play in making sure that your game trophy gets to a taxidermist in time for them to properly care for, clean, design, and mount your piece – but you may not fully grasp just how tight of a time window you’re really under.

Depending upon the piece of game that you’ve decided to send off to the taxidermist you may have as much as a week or as little as three or four days, but it’s not going to be a window of time any longer than that. In fact, the faster that you’re able to get your trophy to a taxidermist the better – as it will be in their caring (and experienced) hands in a condition as close to its natural state as possible.

Assuming you have already selected a professional service to move forward with. Lets outline the basics:

  • It might be best for you to freeze the skull with hair on as soon as you can. The hair will be a good insulator if you are shipping your head a long distance.
  • The dermestid beetles won’t usually eat rotten or tainted meat, so don’t allow this to happen!


Basic Cleaning of the Skull in Preparation For the Beetles and a European Mount

Often times you can save money if your skull is prepared in advance for the beetle taxidermist. So in order to prepare it for them you should follow some basic steps. Note: All taxidermists will accept your skull frozen with the hair on. So you will only need to do this if you have a good place to do it and are interested in potentially saving money.

  • Remove the eyes with whatever tool you have, a spoon should work..
  • Skin the skull using a sharp knife, being careful not to make deep scrapes in the bone These might be visible on your finished euro mount.
  • The removal of the brain can be tricky! The very best way is with an air compressor, it should blow the brain matter right out in a matter of seconds with good pressure. If you don’t have access to a compressor, heavy gauge wire or a coat hanger inserted in the skull will do the job.
  • Don’t let the skull get too dry, Send that thing out!

Though some taxidermists will recommend that you remove the hide from the skull,  the reality is  you can probably leave the skull exactly as is before moving forward.

Use good clean water (with no soap other detergents whatsoever) to rinse off of the skull, trying to stay with a relative room temperature water rather than one that is too hot, you don’t want to cook the meat or encourage decomposition. Dry your skull with newspaper and a clean rag that you have on hand, and then freeze it for a couple days, before you go about shipping.

Preparing the skull for shipping

shipping your skull to a taxidermistFrom here on out, it’s a relatively simple and straightforward process – but one that you’ll want to follow.

The first thing that you’re going to want to do is take out your completely frozen trophy skull from the freezer, and wrap it up in several layers of newspaper to keep it insulated and cold during transit. If your trophy skull has antlers or horns that you want protected, try to wrap the tips with some sort of foam, bubble wrap, or even rubber hose to avoid any damage to those trophies.

You’ll want to select a proper carrier to transport your trophy skull to the taxidermist, one that has a reputation for speedy delivery (and preferably an overnight service). You may choose UPS, DHL, or Federal Express but always try to select the overnight shipping program.

From there it’s entirely up to the taxidermist you’ve chosen to work with to bring your trophy back to life, so to speak, but that’s an entirely different article!


  1. Canada Goose says:

    These beetles are pretty sweet! My uncle used to have some. I have been thinking about getting into this for some time. Nice Website