advice needed on elk mount.

Submitted by bowhunter on 4/11/06 at 4:39 AM. ( )

Hi, I have mounted a few deer including exotics and have made many alterations to forms. However, I am mounting my first elk but cannot work out what is going wrong. I altered the form making the knech and shoulders smaller in diameter and I also shortened the nose. (the original form is a joe coombs pedestal - 32 inch kneck, but the cape is 30 inches). Now the cape fits the form in diameter but not in length. I increased the length of the kneck by 1/2 an inch to make up for the reduction after cutting etc. But the test fit of the cape suggested the kneck on the cape was about 9 inches or more too long for the form. When I increased the length of the form a further 4 inches it looks out of proportion. I'm really confused can anyone please help with suggestions.

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This response submitted by Frank E Kotula on 4/11/06 at 6:35 AM. ( )

Ok, probally in reality you should have never added 4 inches to the form. My opinion here is that when you altered to head to fit the neck, you took off a bit to much and that gave you more hide to make it look so much longer. This is why you added the 4 inches to try and make up the difference. Go back and remove this 4 inches.

All you had to do is and I'm not sure on all you took off in width and hight, is taxi the skin to where it belonged. You over stretched the hide by pulling it down father than needed.

Take a pin and place it through the brisket and place it in the form as to where it belongs. Now taxi the skin in the right place by pulling up the hide and fitting it to where it all belongs. By your own atlerations here you may have take a bit to much off.

Now if you find that you have way to much skin in the chest and neck area, that means you took why to much off the form. Instead of trying to go back and foaming it back in I would try clay and build it back from there. Or you could take it apart and put back some of what you took out.

The form isn't ruined yet, but now you need to put the puzzle back together again and start refitting.

Frank thankyou for replying

This response submitted by Bowhunter on 4/11/06 at 6:31 PM. ( )

Thanks Frank for taking the time to assist me with this problem. I really appreciate it.

I removed the 4" of extra kneck length and once again the form looks fine. I aligned the brisket and shoulders and pinned them in place. (The skin is actually very tight and I probably will have to reduce the size of the shoulders on the form to avoid drumming around the brisket.) Next I taxied the skin towards the head and I know everyone suggests that the skin can be worked into place but there is so much of it. The folds are massive. It is weird because the kneck circumference on the form is only an inch smaller than the skin.
If I add more bulk to the kneck I fear the cape will be too tight to sew.

I should point out that the cape was commercially tanned and tumble dried and was left in that state for 2 years before being rehydrated. To make matters worse it wasn't thinned as much as I would have liked or expected.
It is a large mature 320 class bull, that was taken in sep. in British Columbia. He was bugling his head off. While the hair is not overly long the body size was big. That's what puzzles me the most. The cape should be larger than it is.

Is the form a 90 degree turn?

This response submitted by Todd on 4/11/06 at 8:11 PM. ( sawtoothtaxidermy )

If so, You will have a LOT of skin bunched up on the inside of the turn. I just did 2 like that. Keep taxiing the skin til the wrinkles are about the same size and the hair overlaps nicely. As the hide drys keep pushing those wrinkles down. I used a small ball and peen hammer and gently tapped them flat while grooming the hair with my hand for about three days. It turned out great. The wrinkles that you do see look natural.

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