I have been mounting deer for two seasons and have done about 40 heads during this time. All have been white-tails. An individual called me today about mounting a mule deer. Before I say yes I would appreciate advice on any differences between mounting a white-tail vs. a muley. I assume the basic techniques are the same but are there any situations that would give someone like me with limited experience any problems? If I say yes I want to do the very best job I can and would like to be aware of any differences with a mule deer. Thank you. Jim
Return to Deer Taxidermy Category Menu
I am located in the East so I don't get many mule deer. Without mentioning names, the first form I used was awful! After shopping around,I found that Joe Coombs' mulie forms are very acceptable in my opinion.
If you have done 40 whitetail and your Customers have been happy I say go for it,I have been going deer for 16 years, and a deer is a deer In my books. Some breeds are bigger than others like caribou and elk and some are smaller like blacktail but Basicly they are all the same, So I say GO FOR IT Steve Snelgrooes
Go ahead and check the archives, we did this same thing a few months ago. I know there was some specifics posted. You might scroll back to June or July in Gameheads (I think)category and check that way, instead of the search button. Happy reading, and go for the mount, mulies are nice too!
John C and I discussed this a few months back and I will share some of his wisdom, that he shared with me. Basically, the mounting process is the same. The ears on a Mulie (MUDE) of course, are bigger and MUST be split to the outer edge because any puckering later will really show on those big ears. The ears butts also need a lot of clay, so be sure to use about half again as much as you would for a Whitey (WTDE). I use bondo for my ears and use the MUDE Accu-ears from Research Mannikins to get my inner ear formed...they work great.
The orbital glands, eye-brow ridges and tear ducts are bigger as well, so be sure to stuff some critter clay into them to build them up...and use good hide paste.
The nose pad will also need some added care and some clay work underneath to give it the proper profile and nostril flare.
The lower lip on a MUDE is not generally exposed, as it normally is with a WTDE, but you can show some of it and still be accurate.
Not sure if you Mod-Podge your nose details or not, but you need to do something to show the crease between the nostrils (its deeper on a MUDE). You can either add silicone underneath or use a dremel and some clay to get the added depth.
Now, forms...I am located in British Columbia so I get WTDE, MUDEs, Black-tails and MUDE-BTDE hybrids...I use both Joe Coombs and McKenzie depending upon what my measurements are. I have think that Coombs forms have nicer (personal opinion) facial detailing and thicker necks, while the McKenzie forms allow for longer more slender necks and a more relaxed facial expresion and better nostril detail...so it depends on where you are, what time of the season the deer is taken in and what forms fit your deer best...I don't think you can go wrong with these ones though.
The ears are of course critical, what you will find is that muley ear cartiledge is much thinner than a whitetail so when you think you are getting close to the edge be careful you may find you still have a 1/4 inch or more to go yet. As for forms - I have received the most compliments on the deer I have mounted on Joe Meder semi-sneak offset whitetail forms altered with the McKenzie muley change out heads, if you have a rutting buck they look great!