How To: Narrow a Deer Head

Let’s say you try on a skin and it fits fine but you realize the skin is very snug on the head and getting the tear ducts and eyes into place will be a real challenge.  And drumming seems inevitable.  What to do…

Well, you can help the fit dramatically in this situation by simply narrowing the head…  it’s amazing how well a skin can fit with just the removal of 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch of material from between the eyes.  If you’ve been keeping track, this is number four in my series of six head alterations that I said I was convinced  you couldn’t live without (if you missed the first three, check them out under the “Taxidermy” category).

So to accomplish this project, start the same way you would to widen a head.  Mark the head as shown and then cut the head off along the line.

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Once the head is removed, saw it in half, again just as you would to widen the head…

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But now, rather than inserting spacers to widen the head, we now want to narrow it.   Do this by holding the two halves tightly together, and then cut right down the seam of the original cut. You will have to go through the headlock again so it’s good to have a fairly sharp band saw blade. Cut through as many times as needed to obtain the desired narrower width.

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You can narrow the muzzle as well in the process,  leave in to its original width, or even widen the nose if you desire, the choice  is yours.   The important thing here is to not freak out if you end up with the head too narrow.  If you mess up simply install screw spacers (just like widening a head) to get it back to whatever width you wanted.                                                            When you get the width right, simply Bondo the 2 halves back together.  And then finally,

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Bondo the head back on to the form.

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Notice in the above photo that once re-attached, the head is now slightly narrower than the neck.  Work this “lip” down with a Stout Ruffer or a rasp, and you are ready to go.  The whole process should not take more than about 10 minutes once you get the hang of it.

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It’s hard to tell you did much of anything to the form but the skin will now definitely fit better.  Cool.

Stay tuned for alterations number 5 and 6.

 

Rusa Deer and Mauritius Island

For years I have wanted to hunt Rusa deer.  They are a unique deer and I’ve always felt the need for a new form.  So when an auction hunt at the Safari Club Convention last year turned out to be a Rusa deer hunt on Mauritius Island, I was all in and we walked away with the hunt!   Read the rest of this entry »

Photography- Yellowstone in the Spring, Close up and Personal

Yellowstone is a great spot for photography in either the spring or the fall.  Since there is not much going on for antlers in the spring,  it’s a great time for bears or wolves.  Now I must admit I have not had much luck on close-up bears or wolves.  I have seen both,  just not within good photo range.   Little did I know what lay in store for us as we headed for the Park this last month, the close-up grizzly category… was about to change! Read the rest of this entry »

How to: Widen a Deer Head

This is number three in a series of six head alterations that I said I felt no taxidermist can live without.   I say this merely because in the world of everyday taxidermy you will, at some time, benefit dramatically by knowing how to accomplish these alterations.  It may not be an everyday thing, but there will come a time.  So this one is all about making a head wider than the original. Read the rest of this entry »

The Method To My Madness

Today’s skilled taxidermists have a slightly different mounting process than in days of old.  Modern foam forms with their pre-sculpted details have somewhat negated the need for the average taxidermist to know anatomy in the same way as when paper forms were prevalent.  I made some effort to show this in an earlier post called  “From Old to New” (see the Taxidermy category on this blog).

But let me say this. The process today is just different, it does not take any less skill or ability, only slightly different skill and ability. Read the rest of this entry »

You Have To Be There

I was dying to get over to a nearby lake to see if any new birds had moved in.  It was a bit early for any serious migration, but you never know.  Days passed, but I just couldn’t seem to get there. Then we got a big spring snowstorm.  Regardless, I made the decision to head that way after an early Saturday meeting at my church.  It was pretty late in the morning by the time I arrived at the lake, and a mere 22 degrees.  But what really kept me going was the nicely overcast sky.  Great light for photography even at midday.   Read the rest of this entry »

How to: Narrow a Deer Muzzle

Back in the 70’s, I can remember one of the old-timers at Jonas Brothers telling me in no uncertain terms: “You must not let the skin be your master!”. He was of course, correct. But sometimes, the skin can’t co-operate, and a form alteration can make all the difference in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

How to: Enlarge a Deer Muzzle

Whitetail deer vary dramatically from area to area, sub-specie to sub-specie, and even from deer to deer within any given region or sub-specie. Just as people come in all sizes and shapes, so do deer! This is a sculptor’s Read the rest of this entry »

Photography- A few shots from Tanzania

Photography is a great passion of mine. I like everything cameras, but I particularly enjoy bird photography.  I am a “birder” at heart, but somehow, for me, simply seeing or observing a bird is not enough. I need a photograph! And the same goes for mammals of all kinds.

So in this category, I will post all things photography. On some occasions I might post a quick morning Read the rest of this entry »

69F7324R The Barry Wensel Buck

Every deer hunt has its’ story and some stories are simply more interesting than others. The story of a deer named Hurley is truly an amazing one when you consider it lasted over a period of 6 long years! Read the rest of this entry »

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