How to Prep a Deer for Photos

By Tracy BreenDecember 3, 20191 Comment

It is pretty rare for a deer to be dead for more than an hour before pictures of it are posted on social media. If a big buck is killed, the hunter usually quickly takes a few hero shots and hits share within minutes of finding his trophy buck. Hours later, the monster buck takes on a new life. He is insta-famous and shared all over the place. If a buck is a true monster, chances are within a few days his image will have been seen by thousands of hunters and in many cases, non-hunters and anti-hunters.

Think About Who Will See Your Photo

Deer hunters are use to seeing blood, guts and tongues hanging out. Most hunters think nothing of it. But out of respect for the animal and to represent hunting in a positive light, as much as possible, all of us should do our best to clean up our animals after the kill and take pictures that show a clean, good looking animal. In the video below, Shannon Young who works for Roger Raglin explains how to make a buck looks his best.

Gabe-Buck-with-ScentFIRE-(3) - how to prep a deer for photos

This is a nice, clean image that few could complain about. The bow is strategically placed to cover up entry wound and all blood is wiped away.

Tongues and Eyes

Shannon talks about purchasing a set of taxidermy eyes and inserting them into the eye sockets of the buck. Taxidermy eyes are inexpensive and can make a dead buck looked bright-eyed instead of looking like an animal that has been sitting on the side of the road for a week.

Next, he removes the tongue from the mouth of the buck by cutting it off. I am always amazed at how many “trophy” pics I receive from hunters with the bloody tongue of the animal hanging out of its mouth. Let’s face it, our eyes are drawn to the tongue when we look at an image like this of a buck. Cutting it off is quick and easy and makes the animal look a thousand times better in the photo.

Nate-Buck fourth arrow - how to prep a deer for photos

Tongue removed and blood cleaned up from the body and face make this photo clean and presentable.

Less Blood, Better Photos

Next Shannon uses wet wipes and wipes all the blood off of the face of the animal. People don’t like seeing blood and some people think seeing blood is repulsive. Cleaning up the blood off a monster buck before shooting a video or taking a picture of it makes the animal look much better.

Rob-Buck-Wyndscent - how to prep a deer for photos

Some fresh eyes and attention to the blood on this buck would have made this unique buck photo even better.

Check out the video below from our friends at Fourth Arrow for a closer look at how to prep a deer for photos…

How to Prep a Deer for Photos – Conclusion

It is the duty of every hunter to be a good ambassador of hunting.  One way we can do this is by cleaning up our animals before we take pictures and post them on social media for all the world to see. Remember, hunters aren’t the only ones that will see these photos. Let’s do our best not to turn a non-hunter into an anti-hunter with photos we take and share.

Tracy Breen
Tracy Breen is a full-time outdoor writer and marketing consultant in the outdoor industry. Over the past twenty years, he has been able to hunt and fish all over North America. Tracy was born with cerebral palsy and often writes and speaks about overcoming physical obstacles, chasing dreams and living life to the fullest. Tracy writes for a wide array of publications including Outdoor Life, New Pioneer, North American Whitetail, Buckmasters, Petersen’s Bowhunting and Bowhunting World to name a few. Tracy resides in Michigan with his wife, Angie and their two boys Thane and Hendrik.
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