If you think they are stuffing it, better think again. For more than 20 years, all big game trophy fish mounts have been produced using composite materials. There is no need for any part of the actual fish. Even the teeth are cast using dental acrylics.
Your fish could have been released alive.
How could anyone having a trophy made not know this? Well, often taxidermy contracts are written by commissioned sales agents who might just happen to be the captain or mate on a fishing charter. A dead fish and the impression given that it will be actually mounted helps to lock in the sale, and the payoff to the agent using your deposit.
If you ever go charter fishing and feel that you are being pressured into having your fish mounted, remember this advice. Don’t allow your catch to be killed for mounting purposes. Insist that the crew releases your fish alive, unless it is something that you plan to eat. And, if you sign a taxidermy sales contract with an agent, be sure to read the fine print regarding crating, shipping and other miscellaneous fees. Notice that some taxidermy contracts state “Deposits Not Refundable.” You could be in for some unanticipated surprises!
Also known as “Release Mounts,” composite mounts are far superior to traditional skin mounts in both artistic quality and durability. You can even send a photo of your fish to have your mount authenticated by a marine artist who can match the colors and other unique characteristics of your trophy fish. You can Google “fish mounts” for more information.