Best way to stretch a deer cape?

Submitted by Brian on 10/23/05 at 2:04 PM. ( )

I don't know if it is something that I am doing wrong or a beginners mistake. It seem like every deer I mount, nothing fits together like a puzzle. I always have to alter the form a little bit. Shave some here or add some there and sometimes add or minus alot. I have done a half dozen deer so far and not one has been relatively easy. I have gotten consistently better and the last few have turned out really nice, but they have been a bitch to get the cape fitted right. The biggest problem I seem to have is that on the last three I mounted, the neck on the form isn't quite long enough. The head and beginning of the neck fit fine, the shoulders fit fine, I taxi the brisket into the right place and what I end up with is a bunch of hide bulked up right at the base of the neck in front of the shoulders. So what I have done is streched the hide as much as possible width wise and added a couple inches to the neck usually. The mounts have turned out great and they don't look like a giraffe or awkard, it just seems like something isn't right. I am in New England and all the deer I mount are harvested in Maine, New Hampshire, and Mass. Do these deer have longer necks then the forms most supply companies offer? Is there any way to stretch the hides better. They have been wet-tanned by the Wildlife Gallery and are not tubed. I have four more deer to do this week and it gives me headaches when I get one done and the same thing happens on the next one, the neck is too short. Any help, comments, or ideas would be awesome.
Thanks Brian

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Sew them up so they will be" tubed".

This response submitted by George on 10/23/05 at 3:02 PM. ( )

Then go to the archives and type in "stretching a deer cape" and read all about my way of doing it. Glen Conley actually goes into seizures when he reads how I do it, yet TO DATE, he hasn't come up with any better alternatives. LMAO. Good luck.

P.S. If you really want to shorten your search, click that orange SEARCH icon and then type in "inner tube".


This response submitted by Glen Conley on 10/23/05 at 3:16 PM. ( )

I didn't put him up to that either. I did have to keep an eye on this post to see when you were going to catch it! Ohhh, I got tears in my eyes!


This response submitted by Mr.T on 10/23/05 at 5:30 PM. ( )

Welcome to the club. I have learned that none of them go together like a puzzle. Get used to fixing and changing forms. I cuss and swear at every mount I do. But am very proud of each mount when they are done. They do get easer to do. If it were easy, everybody would be doing taxidermy. Every deer is a different size shape and color. Be careful not to over stretch the cape. I'm with George, again, to sew the cape up the back so you will be putting it on the form like a sock. Leave 8 to 10 inches down open so it will fit over the form. I place a plastic bag over the form; this lets the cape slide on easer, then just pull the bag out through the nose. Slide the glue in under the cape with long rubber gloves, and then finish the job. If I need to stretch the cape some, I put in on the form and slide a hockey stick handle up the edge of the neck and pry a bit, moving the stick around the form, side to side, and up front. This gives me enough stretch and they sew up nice.

In my experience

This response submitted by Steve Collins on 10/23/05 at 10:02 PM. ( )

I have seen what you are talking about. The first two bucks I have ever taken and had mounted by someone else 4 years ago were deer that were taken from the same property exactly one week apart. 1 deer weighed 135lbs the other 140lbs both were 2 1/2 years of age with neck sizes behind the ears that were identical. Now, when I got them done and up on the wall the 135lb deer has a nice full brisket approx 6-8" long while the other has a shorter brisket around 4" long. Both mounts look outstanding but the differences are noticable to a trained eye. Both were mounted on the same form , a McKenzie semi-sneak, one left turn one right. My thought is that not only are deer different from one state to another but they are just different period. Noone can make a form for every different size or measurment from e-n to neck circumference to head width and length or neck length. I would say that if the brisket are is really that far off you will have to add to the form. Hope this helps

taking more pictures and measurements lately

This response submitted by paul e on 10/24/05 at 10:52 AM. ( )

taking pictures and more measurements tells the tale later on
of what happened and going to happen

You guys really try to make this complicated

This response submitted by George on 10/24/05 at 12:16 PM. ( )

It amazes me to constantly here "semi"educated people touting how deer differ from state to state. EXCUSE ME? A single deer DIFFERS FROM HIMSELF during the course of a single year. Pre-rut, rut, and post-rut doen't even include early season specs. Take the measurements and mount the deer. This "trained eye" is pure bullsh1t. Even "trained eyes" seldom agree otherwise there'd only be one supplier of deer forms. With the bantering between myself and Glen Conley (and make no doubts about it, I accept Glen as knowing a helluva lot more about the physiology of the animal than I do) I've reminded him that I can find a picture of a deer to fortify any statement I make. I hear someone say the taxidermist made the deer look goofy. That's quite possible, HOWEVER, if you look in Leonard Lee Rue's "Deer of North America", be so kind as to tell me how you'd react if your taxidermist presented you with a mount that looks exactly like the live deer Rue pictures on page 146. The first color picture depicts a "parrot beaked" buck, but guarantee, the "trained eye" would dock you if you entered a deer looking like that one.

Too many of you are making this complicated. The skin is ELASTIC and will conform to any form that's within a few fractions of an inch of your measurements. Often times, "adding to the form" creates a bigger eyesore than having used the form intact.

i agree to a point

This response submitted by paul e on 10/24/05 at 1:15 PM. ( )

i may be wrong
but i like to know all the unknowns before i mount the thing up
i dont like suprises if i can help it
most times after a test fit i just mount the sucker up
but if i get a odd measurement like long or short nose ,long or short brisket or what ever i like to know
that may well determine what form im going to buy
if its a little shorter neck and swelled maybe a ben mears,if its a little more stout maybe mckensie
the size may even change what glue im using
if i get a little bigger face matching a little smaller form i might be inclined to go with the epo waterbase instead of the epoxy
i guess maybe im nit picking but
i guess its all good

p.s. do you think you and glen can banter a little more
not much going on down here after katrina
you guys been better than t.v. lately
paul e


This response submitted by MIKE WIALND on 10/24/05 at 8:17 PM. ( )


I believe that is what I said George

This response submitted by Steve Collins on 10/25/05 at 9:20 PM. ( )

That deer are just different period. Quoting what I wrote above.

"My thought is that not only are deer different from one state to another but they are just different period. Noone can make a form for every different size or measurment from e-n to neck circumference to head width and length or neck length."

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