I have been taught that whitetail deer antlers (start of the main beam) are almost paralell to the nose. Is this th same for mule deer or are they tipped forward more? I have one that shed its antlers after he was shot, so I have the skull plate . I would like to do it for competition because there is no seam and I need the correct angle
of the antlers
Return to Deer Taxidermy Category Menu
Yes I have seen some that are, some that lay under that plane and some that look tilted forward.
The correct angle is the one that looks best, fits the cape best when all you have is antlers and a cape.
I am not a commercial taxidermist so I only do about 10 heads a year for friends and family so I have lots of time to do my mounts. I measure the antlers while they are on the deers real scull before I flesh it. I also take a couple of pictures before I flesh the deer and use the real deer as a reference in conjunction to live reference photos.
It takes maybe 30 seconds to take the actual antler measurements from the carcass deer before skinning. A measurement from the tip of each main beam and each brow tine (or first point) to the nose tip and you will know exactly where the antlers should be. If your customer wants an odd shape rack to set differently that would be his/ her decision. However, your job as a taxidermist is to replicate THE specimen brought to you not one YOU THINK would look better. It just blows me away at how few taxidermists believe carcass measurements mean anything.
I stick my foot in my mouth at least once a day! Just to remember what hidepaste tastes like.
I am not sure I follow your no seam logic however. How do you plan to attach the antlers to the skull plate and then mount with no seam? Detachable antlers perhaps?
It applys to whitetail and should be the same for mule deer. Is position as important as As presentation? I use to set the antlers on the form exactly as they were on the deer.
I took the measurements as you do. Often times if a deer had a crocked rack, that is how I mounted it. But a lot of times the customer would comment that the rack was crocked. or laid back to far. It lead me to realize that most, not all but most customers do not realize the position, or flaws in the antlers. They are still star struck when they bring the deer in. By the time they see it again their memory has faded and their imagination has made the rack near perfect. I place the antlers on the form. And look at them from ten feet away. a wedge of 1/4 inch plywood here or there can improve the look immensely. Even if it is not how they naturally were. sometimes it presents them better, and makes them look bigger. Maybe this is not the philosophy of everyone. But I have had no complaints. and a lot of repeat business. You will have to decide for yourself. it has worked for me.
With a shed, I would do the same, just attach the shed to the skull in a manor that Gives it the best appeal prior to attaching the skull plate to the mannequin
When you don't have anything to fall back on like measurements or photos, or you dealing with sheds, look at how the antler burr sits on the head. If the front is tipped to far back, the antler will be tipped to far back. The same holds true for the back of the burr being tipped to far forward then antlers are tipped to far forward.