Need Advice on Pre-Rut WA Blacktail Form

Submitted by Greg Pennell on 10/4/99. ( )

I'm having trouble finding a form for the WA blacktail I shot this bow season. The nose to eye is 6 3/4", but the neck is only 15". Should I buy a larger (neck) form and alter the neck or use a small mule deer form? Any advice from you blacktail experts will be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Greg.

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A Good Option

This response submitted by Rod on 10/27/99. ( )


I have had similar problems. I am only an amateur but I feel very confident in this advice, only because I have gotten great advise from others on this forum and through lengthy phone conversations.

My first bit of advice is to only use a Blacktail form. Research Mannikins has a large selection. I used a mule deer form on one of my large Blacktails and it doesn't look right. It all depends how close you want to resemble the Blacktail specie.

You basically have three options:

1. You could get a short snout form with the proper neck measurement and then lengthen the snout with two-part foam.

2. You could either make or get a change out head with the correct 6 3/4" length and cut the head off of a 15" form and replace it with the change out head.

3. However, this is what I would do. Research Mannikins (1-800-826-0654) has a form on page 55 of catalog 20. The nose measurement is 6 1/2 X 17.

I would take a rasp and carefully remove some of the neck foam evenly all around the form, being sure to keep as much of the original sculpture intent as possible. Try and get the neck close to 15" but a little bigger is probably ok.

Try and stretch the neck portion of the cape to fit the slightly larger form. Now don't go crazy!! You can get away with a little stretch but your best option is to get the form to the proper dimensions. This will be a little easier if you tube cut the cape off of the deer.

Now, you can either try to lengthen the snout 1/4" by cutting it and infilling with two-part foam or just take up the extra 1/4" into the face and neck. When you rehydrate the cape do not stretch out the snout area and you might be surprised that the 1/4" might have magically gone away. If not just work hard at redistributing the extra hide around the face area. An extra 1/4" shouldn't be too difficult.

Also, it might be advantageous to order a full-sneak manikin, this might make it easier to redistribute some of the hide.

If you have any other questions please feel free to email me.

Also, any pro's out there that disagree or agree, your comments are greatly welcomed!


OH, and another thing!

This response submitted by Rod on 10/27/99. ( )

I just found another form from Jonas (1-800-525-6379) on page 15. It is a South California Blacktail with a measurement of 6 1/4 X 15. No work to be done on the neck but the snout should be elongated 1/4" to 3/8". You don't want to elongate the snout too much. The girth of the head to the snout length will look out of proportion! Trust Me!


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