I got the Van Dykes catalog in the mail yesterday and while flipping through, I found a shoulder mount kit for a coyote, pg. 308 to be exact. Well, I'm taking a taxidermy class at a local college and am in need of projects. Would this be a good idea? I'm sure it would be no problem to find a pre-tanned hide and just assemble everything, or would it be better to go through the entire salting, tanning, and mounting process? Time is somewhat of the essence but just curious of what to do. The teacher knows how to do everything as well as a few local taxidermists who come weekly, so help would be easy to find. The class only meets weekly and that's somewhat of a problem if I try to do any "homework." Maybe for the first one just buy a pre-tanned hide and assemble and then to the entire process on the next one? Please let me know what you guys/gals think. I appreciate the responses.
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You're taking taxidermy at a college?! No way?! That's cool... I didn't know that they had taxidermy on college curriculums.
Are you pretty good at fleshing and turning eyes/lips/ears/nose yet? If so, I'd take on the whole job. Tanning is a huge part of the learning process. But if not, you may take too long on this and risk a slippy hide, especially the ears. Coyotes are notorious for quick spoilage, due to them being meat-eating predators. You should take no longer than a couple hours on this head to prep for tanning. Good luck!
At fleshing and turning. Now, not saying I can't do it but with only 3 hours a week to do everything it may take me a while my first time. So would it be better to just a get a pre-tanned hide and just get the basics of mounting it on a form? Thanks for the response!
If I was you,I would start from the very beginging process. While now is your learning time. Years from now you can look back at the first mount and think,"O-MY GOD! I've come along way since the first one!". Thats why your taking the course, I would think is to learn this art. So dont cut youreself short. Jump in with both feet.
I am taking a Taxi course at a college right now. And my first mount was a groundhog the instructor's son shot. It was so small I had to make my own form out of excelsior. While everyone else was ordering premade forms. Yes it took me awhile longer. But at the same time,making my own form taught me the headaches and respect of Taxidermy. And years from now,I know for a fact I will look back at this little groundhog and laugh...then cover it up again so know one can see it.
I wish you luck in the direction you decide to go. But remember, you are short changing yourself if you get everything "pre-made"!
My first mount was a Van Dyke coyote kit. Start from scratch and tan it yourself. It does take a little time but it's worth it. I would recommend some different earliners though. I personally don't like the ones that come with the kit. Another thing is the kit has a "standard size" coyote and might not fit your hide. My coyote was a big one and it took some doing to get it to fit the form.
Well, I'm going to take everyone's advice and start from scratch. Have been putting a lot of thought into and have agreed with what everyone has said. No point in doing it if you can't do it from scratch is the point that I've come to. While I have all the help I need, I might as well go for it. Thanks for the advice guys. I'm sure I'll be back later with all my other questions.