First Elk, Big Problems, need suggestions!

Submitted by JOhn G on 7/6/00. ( )

I'm trying to mount my first Elk, this is also my frist attempt to mount anything with a taned skin.
I'm ordering forms from one of the top suppliers, one of which I choose with most deer forms. The first form was a little big,
ok My fault more than likely. I called and sent it back,unaltered, and ordered another. The second
came cut in half so I had to put ti back togeather to test fit it. Since the only problem I thought I had
before was the size I went ahead and mounted the antlers and dremmeled the face out. Now I'm ready to mount it.
Upon mounting I find the neck is too short for the cape. I can make it fit in the proper positions only I need about
9 more inches of neck on the form to mount it. The brisket tuff comes about 1 inch behind the back of the form.
Question is Why is there so much difference in the size of the form. This Elk was harvested in New Mexico
and the suppliers don't nescessarily show a difference between the Tule, and the Rocky Mountain Elk. Are they about the same size?
I plan to call the manufacturer tomorrow and see if I have to eat the entire value of the form I now have, but
just wanted the opinions of you guys too.
Thanks for the comments.
John G.

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I dont know for sure...

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 7/7/00. ( )

Tanned capes often seem long and thin, so that by the time you get the width out of it, you may find that the brisket rides up the form and into place. Once you get some adhesive down as a lubricant, you should be OK. I find that many of the more popular elk forms are actually a bit too LONG. Just my opinion, though.

Did you measure?

This response submitted by Troy Peterson on 7/7/00. ( )

I've had capes before that looked kind of like a giraffe, if you have the measurements from the animal you can stretch the neck back the width you need, by stretching the width it will make the neck shorter. So maybe your first form wasn't to big after all.

Try fitting it again

This response submitted by Bruce Norton on 7/7/00. ( )

Before you give up on the second form, I would try pinning
the brisket where it belongs. Then pull the cape together
and try to pull everything up in the direction of the head,
rather than towards the shoulder. This may work. Of course
you don't want any wrinkles in the hide, but I find you can
lose some length doing that.

did you let the cape sweat?

This response submitted by al on 7/7/00. ( )

You mentioned that you are new to mounting with commercialy tanned capes. It is important with some tans to let the cape sweat over night in a plastic bag after soaking.I will also stretch the cape width ways before rolling up face 1st like a sleeping bag and placing in the bag.

You can lengthen the form

This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 7/7/00. ( )

All the previous advise is good and should be well taken. Elk capes are heavy and when wet tend to stretch in length. When you stretch the cape to the proper diameter, it will probably be the right length. If you do have to lenghten the form, you can, by cutting it at the neck .Put four or five 6 gauge wires about ten inches long into the backboard side, bury them a couple of inches. Then, carefully line up the front portion and push it down onto the wires. Now you can wrap the open portion with shrink wrap or packing tape. When you feel confident it wont leak, cut a hole in the top now you can pour foam into the hole and your form will be lengthened*(hint) most Elk forms are too long in the neck to start with to help taxidermists deal with the long skin problem.
Good Luck
Tony F

I Forgot To Tell You

This response submitted by Tony Finazzo on 7/7/00. ( )

Rockie mountain Elk get heavier than Tule Elk, but
their proportions tend to be the same, so, You can use the same forms for both as long as the size is right. I doubt the supplier will refund or exchange a form that is already worked on, but if you can't use it Put it for sale on the net. Someone will be able to use it. You will probably take a loss, but that is better than eating the whole thing.
Good Luck again

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