I recently got back an incomplete buffalo mount that has been in and out of storage for about 6 years. All that was done during this time was the mounting of the horns on a form although he insisted he had been "working" on it the whole time. I finally gave up on him and asked to get my buffalo back. The hide was given back to me in an unfrozen form and was definitely starting to smell. There are also discolorations on the inside hide which I have been told are "grey preservative marks" yet they do not appear to spread around the entire pelt like one might expect if it was indeed preserved. Personally I think it looks more like the beginnings of spoilage. How can I tell if this hide will still be usable before I drive another 150 miles to another taxidermist? The hide is frozen again now as I immediately put the hide back into the freezer in hopes of recovery. I am not a taxidermist, but the guy I got it from still insists that all inperfections will flesh out. Is he just covering his butt, or is he correct? Please help and give me opinions. I can take pictures of the hide if that will help any. Thanks.
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That is a good one. Has the hide ever been tanned? Asking someone to comment on the condition of an unseen hide invites a lot of wags, but I doubt anyone could provide an accurate assessment without inspection of the goods.
"Smell" too is not easy to identify unless one's own nose is filled with the scent. Hide odors range from a natural musk to nasal eroding putrid. Where your hide's odors fall in that scale, only first hand experience can discover.
Where are you located that you have to travel 150 miles to locate another taxidermist?
I live in Onida SD, but go to school in Vermillion SD. There are only two places that will even tackle a buffalo and they are in SFalls and one in Nebraska. Right now the hide is in Onida since it is the only freezer I had immediately available. I am having a taxidermist in Onida evaluate the hide even though he would not be willing to mount it. Hopefully I will get a good idea about if the hide can still be mounted and how much damage has been done.....Cross your fingers... Thanks for all the comments I have been getting.