Can a guy rehydrate a black bear mount that was done about 3 weeks ago, and what procedure would you recommend. any advice would be appreciated. I need to remount it. Thanks
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But I'm not sure anything could be so messed up that you'd think it would be WORTH trying that. If there's a good hide paste, you're likely to pull hairs through the skin or even tear it. I really don't know how you'd get all that animal wet enough to rehydrate it completely. I suppose you could sink it in a lake, but this sounds like a monumental undertaking worth more as a less than it would be for doing a remount.
It depends on. What are your plans? Remounting? Altering the pose? To small of form inside? Was it commercially tanned? What hide paste was used? Was it doral cut or belly cut? How good was the mannikin prepped? Many hide pastes now will not rehdrate after they dry and the leather will tear before the paste lets loose. It makes it very toughe to remove skin from the form. If it was more of a dextrin base paste, no problem. Cut your seam open start squirting water on the flesh side of the hide with a spray bottle and pull open the hide as it rehydrates the skin and paste. Dorsal cut will be harder to get in there and get thing apart and opened up because you are working from one cut. Belly cut you can open the legs and belly, giving you a lot more access to the inside of the hide. Wetting the outside can work also but the thick hair will hold alot of water. I don't like getting them that wet and let it sit that long. I try to avoid it if possible. If you do wet it down from the outside. Get it wet then let it drain most of the water off. Wrap it in plastic or a poly tarp and let it sit over night. The water will sweat into the hide and should come loose. A lot depends on the hide paste used. I have a customer that has plenty of money and decided to have me remount his lifesize mt goat. It was only mounted for 2 months. He got it early season so the hair was shorter. He decided he wanted a long haired one like you normally see. He had me locate and purchase a long haired goat skin that matched the size of his. He had no problem paying to mount it twice plus the cost of other hide and tanning 2 hides. I wetted down the old skin from the inside and outside. I let it sweat and tried to remove it from the form and I hoped to save it to reuse. The hide rehydrated but the hide paste would not let go. I don't remember the brand I used. It was the white stuff like Buckeye or McKenzie has. I had to tear and pry the hide off in chunks. I had foam pull loose from the form and I had spots where thin layers of leather still stuck to the form. I had to use a flat bar and screwdrivers to pry it loose. No saving the old skin. Proceed with caution if you used that type hide paste or the epoxy type. They work greatto hold the hide in place but not if it has to be removed. No problems with drumming either.
Yes it can be done.I've done several and I've seen several done.Bears may be one of the best to do this on they are pretty durable.I even once re-mounted a 10 year old grizzly mount.That won't always work out but mine did.As Dean said,Get it wet from the outside,then cover in plastic.You have to realize that the epidermis only lets a little water through from the outside,so this will only slightly rehydrate it.The next morning,cut some stitching and soak inside the skin with water,pry some loose,soak and pry.Any hide paste will come loose,some easier than others.If you stay at it,you will be surprised how fast it will go.It's been a while since I've done one,so I can't remember exact times,but I would guess maybe a half day or a little more to get it off.Much quicker than putting it on.After you get it off,clean all the clay and paste from the skin and freeze till you get your form ready.If you re-mount on a different form,it will have some "memory" for the original one and will want to keep that shape somewhat.This phenomena gets way more pronounced as the mount ages and as fresh as yours is,it won't be a big deal.If the process freaks you out,get a friend to help.It will go faster and smoother and will be less stressful.I would not recommend doing this on a weekly basis but it is good to have the skill in your bag of tricks.After doing one,you won't be afraid to rehydrate and fix an eye,earbutt or lip,like I hear frequent questions about.Even if you start it and are sure it's not do-able,you can close it back up and no harm done.Good luck with it an let us know how it goes.
Call when you get ready, I'll give you a hand.