fleshing a deer

Submitted by kenny on 3/3/05 at 12:03 AM. ( ksp800@yahoo.com )

I have read several things about people fleshing deer in 30 to 45 mins. I think I'm fairly fast but it takes me 1 hour to 1.5 hours to flesh a deer that is spliting the lips, turning the ears, and fleshing the mouth and nose out. Am I doing something wrong? Any suggestions on speeding up. I have alway use the dry pres. method which I was trained on.

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It takes me

This response submitted by Powder jockey on 3/3/05 at 12:16 AM. ( )

30 to 45 minutes to do it from the ears down and about 2 to 3 hrs from the ears up. I do it the old fashiond way and on fleshing beam. I use DP and am faste than I used to be. 30 to 45 minutes seems to be the stuff of superman!


This response submitted by MOUNTAIN MAN on 3/3/05 at 7:06 AM. ( )

makes perfect. When i first started it took me 2 hours. Now i can
do a deer cape in 50-55 minutes. I do everything by hand (mouth
nose ect.) I use a necker knife and fleshing beam and i do around
900 deer a year and have done that many for the last 10 years.
The more you do the faster you will get.

i must be slow then so thanks to stop rot

This response submitted by paul e on 3/3/05 at 7:28 AM. ( americanmetalfab@bellsouth.net )

if we are talking whitetail
it takes about 15 minutes to take off the head
2.5 hours to the ears
another 1.5 or two for the rest
i guess i must be slow
been at this quite a while and i dont think i will get any faster
i thin again with a round after pickle thats another hour

but guys let me tell you this after using stop rot this year
i will never do another deer without using it
im in southern louisian and slippage can be common
especially when first fleshing is done
this year i put stop rot up front
i dont think i had a deer lose a single hair
i put a second round of it on cape before neutralizing
wow i got no loss of any surface skin on eyes
even being slow it apparently gives me all the time i need

My Time

This response submitted by Mike on 3/3/05 at 9:37 AM. ( )

Here's a breakdown of how many hours it takes me to mount a deer from beginning to end:

1) check in: .5 hr.
2) caping, freezing and antler prep: 1.0 hr.
3) rough fleshing: 1.0 hr.
4) salting: .25
5) rehydrating, cleaning, pickling, fleshing with machine, tanning, fine detail prep, fixing damage: 2 hrs.
6) form prep, mounting and tune-ups: 4 hrs.
7) finishing: 1 hr.
8) check out: .25 hr.

The above time factors in cleanup. On average it takes me about 10 total hours of labor to mount a deer head. I can cut it down to 8-9 hours if I do them in batches, which is what I usually do.

Step 2

This response submitted by JR on 3/3/05 at 10:13 AM. ( lshields@issnetwork.com )

Do you split the lips and eyes during step 2 before freezing or during step 3?


This response submitted by Mike on 3/3/05 at 5:43 PM. ( )

Do you split the lips and eyes during step 2 before freezing or during step 3?
I split lips and turn ears during step 3, rough fleshing. When I get the specimin in for caping, the ears are sometimes dried out from hanging around or sitting in someones frost-free freezer. On those, I wet the ear down before freezing and wrap the ears in wet rags (old, clean socks work best). I freeze the ears wet, that way when they thaw out, the ears are easier to open.


This response submitted by Mike on 3/3/05 at 5:45 PM. ( )

I also might add that I remove most of the meat when I cape the specimin. That way I have less work to do later and the cape makes a smaller package in my freezer. Without all that meat on the hide, it also thaws out faster with less bloody mess.

tanning or not

This response submitted by kenny on 3/4/05 at 1:04 AM. ( ksp800@yahoo.com )

I was wondering about tanning compared to DP. I have used DP since I've been trained. I have searched through the orange button but still don't know which is best. I get deer in and skin out in about 30 mins. then I flesh deer and put on DP it takes about 4 hrs for the mount from begining to finish. I'm not a professional but I was trained by one of the best taxidermist in my area and I want to get better.

Question Mike

This response submitted by Steve D on 3/4/05 at 7:19 AM. ( aaa_taxidermy@yahoo.com )

Just a question, 10 hours seems a little short.#5 are you including time spent checking PH levels and agitating while it is in the pickle and tan, neutralizing and damp drying or tumbling (if you do) On #6 are you including time for prefiting because of the way some of the new forms fit any form alterations needed, carding, initial grooming, and all the times you check the mount while its drying making sure no drumming or major shrinkage is happening, and minor alterations during that procsess.#7 Finishing 1hr does that include epoxy work, drying period, painting, final grooming, final mount care and nitpicking and so forth. I don't know your whole process and im not saying you don't do it in 10 hours just some times we over look all the little things we do to a mount and forget about the time that takes and it, doesn't take much to actually have as much as 15 - 20 hours into a mount. just my .02 cents worth and im sure you do a great job I just think we forget about the extra time thats involved and lost.


This response submitted by Steve D on 3/4/05 at 7:35 AM. ( aaa_taxidermy@yahoo.com )

Forgot to add I use DP on birds and thin skinned mammals But pickle and tan all my larger game, deer elk bear ect. I think a tanned shin not only looks better but stands up better HOW EVER, it is possible for bugs and beetles to infest a tanned mount if not properly taken care of i.e., rebugproofed every couple of years where they wont (or shouldn't) a DP mounted animal, heck Id be very surprised if any of my customers actually took care of their mounts (dusting cleaning ect) never mind rebugproofing. So to eliminate that problem (or at least help), just before I put whatever it is im doing on the form I dust the inside of the tanned hide with DP for bug proofing. It doesn't cost that much, it doesn't effect the mounting process, and I guess it gives me a piece of mind when it leaves my shop. Not every one will ever agree on which is best and I guess it's all what works best in your situation.

Steve D

This response submitted by Mike on 3/4/05 at 7:57 AM. ( )

Two hours on step 5 is about right if I do just one cape and it includes everything you mentioned. I don't typically pre-fit a cape. I typically pull the cape onto the form just once and mount it. About one out of every 10 times, I'll have to pull the cape back off and modify the form. I take prety good measurements though before putting on the cape and I modify forms often before slipping the cape on. I only card the ears and that takes but a few minutes. I don't mess with my mounts much after mounting when drying. I might have an one adjustment around the eyes on day two, but after that, the only tweeking I typically do is to make sure the tear ducts look good. My finishing process includes epoxy around the eyes, nostrals and lips. Then I paint, wipe pledge on the antlers, do final grooming, then hang for a couple photos. I rarely do a deer head by itself though. I do them in small batches, which saves lots of time. I've times my processes a lot and 8-10 hours is what it takes me. I'm going to mount two heads today. One will be easy because it has no holes to repair and it will only take me 3 hours or so. The other has two big shotgun slug holes through the neck along with a few nasty cuts and scars. It will take me a little over four hours for that one. I will also be rough fleshing and salting two capes after I'm done mounting the two. Then I've got to check out a couple heads this evening and go over a big order that just came in yesterday. I've also got a guy bringing in a specimine for mounting that I will need to check in tonight.

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