More info on the deer mount you have been critiquing (long)

Submitted by mrcobaltblue79 on 9/20/04 at 11:48 PM. ( It's in the post )

Some of you had some questions about this deer. Was is tanned or not, what type of form, etc. I will give you the background on this deer.

A friend of mine shot this deer at least two years ago. It has been
sitting in the freezer of the "taxidermist" in our town. (Just so you know,he has got several deer mounts from locals towns peoplein his freezer that have been sitting there for over FOUR YEARS!) Anyway, My friend and I knew that nothing was going to be done on the deer so I tell him, I will do it for you for the price of the materials just to get someting to practice on. He says "okay".

I get the deer and start thawing it out when immediately I start to smell the "I think this hide is rotten" smell. I call My friend and he NOW TELLS ME - Oh yeah I let him hang in my garage (heated) for two days before we caped him out (not to mention that the cape was soaked with blood).
I told him the cape may not be any good but that I would try to save
it anyway (I REALLY wanted to practice). I "Stop Rotted" the cape and began to turn the ears. They were freezed dried like you would not believe. The "taxidermist" that previously had the deer had frozen the hide in a REAL thin plastic bag. Normally I can turn an ear in 5 minutes, one of these ears was so dried out it took me an hour and a half to do it (and all during that time I was injecting it with "stop rot").

ANyway, parts of the hide were very rotten and after tanning the hide, the hair was starting to come loss all over the place. In fact, large patches of hair began falling out of the ears so I could not really handle them like I wanted to. I ended repairing ALL of the hair that slipped in the ears and they look so good (to me, considering all of the problems) that I don't believe the average joe would even know that they had been repaired. There is a lot more to write but you get the idea.

I mountedthe deer and really could not groom it becasue of the slipping. I bagged the face and put a fan in front of it. OH Yeah, that long incision on the back of the deer was made by the other "taxidermist". I am very slow at sewing them up and it took me a really long time to get that thing closed up decently.

The deer cape was indeed tanned. The form I used was a McKenzie form. I DID NOT use an epoxy type hide paste on the face because I explained to my friend that if this cape ends up falling apart we want to be able to take it off of the form and get another one some where.

Overall, considering all of the problems and headaches I had with this, it was one GREAT learning experience and the mount (in my opinion) turned out looking fantastic from what it could have been.

Thanks, mrcobaltblue79 @

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I have had a couple like that

This response submitted by Don on 9/21/04 at 12:43 AM. ( )

Hats off to you for the fine repair work, it looks good. I had one like it this year and since it was only my 12th shoulder mount I got kind of scared. Ears were slipping, brisket area was slipping real bad and to make matters worse it was a friend/hunting buddie. When he picked the cape up from the butcher (almost 10 days later) It was balled up, un-frozen and had a stink to it. I told him that if it were anyone else I would have rejected it. But he wanted it mounted anyway so I took a shot at it. Anyway, mounted it, lost way to much hair in the brisket, made it a neck mount, cut close to the shoulder, fixed it to a walnut slab and aded some dried wild grass to the neck area and it turned out to be my best yet (and he was happy) But to do this for a customer wouldnt have not been cost effective unless they wanted to spend allot more $$ The moral of the story: learn when you can and charge when you have to.

bad capes...

This response submitted by Drew on 9/21/04 at 12:57 AM. ( )

It is a great learning experience working with messed up pieces. I think a lot of taxidermy has to be learned the hard way. That being said, I also learned I won't mess with a bad cape. If I am in doubt, then I am telling them they need a replacement cape. Especially for whitetails which are a lot cheaper than a good mulie cape. I still think you did a nice job.

My latest mount (for a friend) was shot in the head. I prepped it out but I was not the one who caped it. It was a bloody, gooey mess. I sent it off to the tannery anyway, and after soaking it up, it started to slip. So I got a new cape from my other buddy. It was caped by yet another friend and the cut went off course down along the side of the mount. I think I repaired 10+ holes, the lower eyelid was cut all along the lash line, both ears needed repaired, talk about a pain! I then epoxied in all the finish work only to find my Sculp-epox went bad some how and never dried. So then I had a sticky mess picking it all back out! Finally did the paint work tonight and I am amazed how nice it looks.


This response submitted by t on 9/28/04 at 3:47 PM. ( )

Hey Checkout this guy stuffing his face with some roast pheasant.He also has a thing for "glass stuff".

That's right Mr. "t"

This response submitted by mrcobaltblue79 on 9/29/04 at 12:16 AM. ( )

Yes t, I am indeed "stuffing my face with some roast pheasant".
I am a high school teacher and this picture was kind of a running joke between a couple of students and myself. To make a long story short, a student gave me a pheasant to eat but he did not believe that I actually cooked it and ate it. These pictures were the proof. As for the "glass stuff", I have a thing for "dug stuff" not "glass stuff" even though it just so happens that most of the "stuff" we dig is made of glass. This is an interesting hobby of mine that can be very profitable if you know what you are doing.

Now, do you have any comments on the DEER that I finished?

Take care,


In all seriousness

This response submitted by T on 10/8/04 at 10:38 PM. ( )

your deer is done very well. It looks better than the last deer i mounted. Although it was only my 5th deer so far. I'm kinda in the same boat as you with getting my skills just where i want them to be.
As for my previous post, I was just trying to crack a joke thinking somebody would get a laugh. I have total respect for your other hobbies. Good Luck in Taxidermy!

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