Mountain Goat - Cape care from the shot to the taxidermist


Well-known member
Dec 27, 2018
Bozeman, MT
I am forward thinking here but I would like some advice on how to care for a mountain goat cape from the time of the shot to delivery to the taxidermist. My plan (if I am blessed with a harvest) is to skin the entire goat like one would for a full-body mount. I am leaning towards a full body rug to hang on the wall (like you would with a bear) or Euro the skull and take the hide and make it into a throw blanket/rug. Not too keen on full body or shoulder mount

I see conflicting info out there on salting the hide or not to. Is salting a thing? I would be very uncomfortable caping out the face in the field. What kind of time do I have if I left the hide on the skull and delivered it to a taxidermist for that portion before spoilage or hide degradation begins?

When I get back to my truck should I place the whole cape in a cooler on top of block ice, with the hide being in a game bag?


Well-known member
Mar 17, 2017
Talk to the taxi.

Research the correct cuts you need to make. MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH THIS.

Upon the kill and skinning you want to keep it as clean as possible.

Do not expose it to direct sunlight for long periods of time or water. Bacteria will build. Hanging the hide from a branch for a bit to get good air flow is your friend

Don't instantly roll it up and place in a cooler. Hold a lot of heat.

Goats don't have the same tear and eye duct detail as deer and elk. Just follow the bone, if your still uncertain then leaving the skull in will be fine. Just pop it off at the first vertebrae

Don't over think it.


Well-known member
Apr 19, 2022
I know this thread is aging a bit but having just gone through this here's a few of my tips/lessons for any future goat hunters with similar questions -

-Find your taxidermist before you go for something like this. Or at least have it narrowed down and know their preferences. That was very very helpful to me. Not only did he know when i was coming off the mountain but gave me some tips below.

-Take your pics and then kick it in the head so the flys get of the ears/eyes/nose etc. Quickly cover the head with a gamebag so they cannot lay eggs in those areas.
-Lots of folks accidentally leave the top neck joint/vertebrae. It just cooks and created bacteria so take all the vertebrae to the skull base.

Those are the two big tips he gave me before I went that I would have easily overlooked but found very useful. Others learned post/since/elsewhere in life

-Ventral cut is easier IMO and if you are leaning run thats your ticket. Some even said that's fine for a MG lifesize with all the hair. Dorsals are harder but sometimes preferred for the full body specially the thinner skinned/hair... but do whatever your taxidermists wants for the species you got and product you desire. So important to call them in advance I think.

-Def do not roll the cape right away w/o airing out to some degree like mentioned above. And when you do keep it leather to leather. I prob rolled mine a little fast trying to get of the sun 65 degrees... Dry is Dry which can also be bad. I was fearing that and rolled too quick. I had mine at the taxidermist within 24 hours of harvest but didn't air it enough and it was starting to show bacteria on the meat I left around the shoulder area being in a hurry. Lucky nothing major and was only starting on excess meat vs leather but surprised me as I had it on block ice in ~4 hours and at his shop 23 hr. He quickly stripped it more and saved everything for me just fine.

-Call the shop on the way... 1 to make sure they are around. 2) He was waiting for me rather than me surprising him with an animal. instantly was ready to inspect and act as necessary.

Good Luck to all!

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