Tanning vs. Preserving

Submitted by Volhunter123 on 01/10/2003. ( )

I am very interested in learning the art of taxidermy, but I have an immediate "need to know question" first. I have a very nice deer I am going to get mounted for my sweetie. Her 2nd deer..with a 20-1/2" inside spread. The question is...many taxidermists seem to preserve the hides instead of tanning them. One I talked to in-depth tells me he des no glue the hides to the form, they simply shrink-to-fit. This doesn't sound good to me, but I wanted to hear from some experts what their opinions are. I want this mount to be done right and last for many, many years. Thanks for your input.

Return to Tanning Category Menu

Its not shrink to fit!

This response submitted by John C on 01/10/2003. ( )

No hide paste either, bet he is cheap $225.00 or so. ditch them.

Go shopping for quality, expect to pay $350.00 or more and wait 12 months.

There is enough work out there for everybody, many times word of mouth advertising is just that word of mouth.

Everybody in town can say old joe is a pretty good taxidermist. But they may not know good from garbage.

You want one that will tan the hide. Show you the difference in the eyes they use and explain why hide paste must be used.

Look for symetry, clear clean edges on the ears. Deep detailed nostrals. Clean crisp lip lines, just a touch of lip on the bottom lip shoudl show.

Nose pad details, does it look like a raspberry? or does it look like a nose, there should be several different colors on the nose pad and upper lip area.

Ear butts, deer have muscles on the top of thier running to the antler base, at the antler base 99% of the buck deer have a hairlick that shows.

You should not be able to feel the seam, the seam should not be busted open, (lack of skill and training)

the brisket area should not have the armpits (so to speak) beyond the pit of the leg.

There should not be any pin holes in or around the lip area.

Eyes, the trye soul of the deer. the bottom of ear butts should just line up about no father down than the bottom of the eye opening.

Eye openings should be equal.
The lids should have the detail of the live lid. they should lay against the glass.
The pupils should be equal and level, details in the tear duct and front corner of the eye.

Inside the front corner of the eye is a black and flesh colored membran, this is the nicotating membrean its a protective inner lid that can cover the whole eye from front to back at a slight angle.

The deer should have nice muscle detail without looking like its on steriods and been lifting wieghts.

Next ask the taxidermist if you can see his deer detail reference photos. If they say they dont need them walk out the door fast.

Compare the photos to the deer with customers name on them. Many crooked taxidermist fill the show room full of mounts they canot turn out everyday. These show mounts have been done just for show, not everyday mounts in the lest.

Good luck
John C


This response submitted by migda's taxidermy on 01/10/2003. ( ljmigda@nmo.net )

I wont waste much words on this! John C, hit it right on the nose! Well put John C

Click that orange icon to the left

This response submitted by George on 01/10/2003. ( georoof@aol.com )

And type in "wet tan, dry tan, dry preserve". Make sure you use the quotation marks. That might help you decide.

Return to Tanning Category Menu