Rusa Deer and Mauritius Island Part 3

Recently I received a finished production form of the Rusa deer that I sculptured in part 2 of this series.  I have since mounted the deer, so without further ado, lets begin part 3 with a look at the finished mount:

Since the Rusa mounted up pretty much like any deer species,  I have decided to include only a few highlights of the mounting process.   In fact, my plan is to include more pictures than words, so we will see how that goes…  but to start off with I wanted to provide the following picture of the form so you can see the results of that effort:

To get the mount underway I first set the skull in Bondo on the antler notch of the form.  It fit quite well as you might imagine (since I used the skull of this same deer to sculpture the form).  I then roughed up the surface of the form as per usual and installed speed septums.

Below is a closer look at the nose (a post coming soon on septum options):

I fleshed the cape in the usual way and for the ears I decided to remove the cartilage.  There are several different method possibilities with the ears and I will look more into those choices also in an upcoming blog.  But for now, please note that while I did remove the cartilage, I did not remove the the ear-butt itself.  Rather, I left it intact so that the inside of the ear butt would have its natural look, and, I would not have to later rebuild the inner ear.  It would have the same look as if you did not remove the cartilage at all.  You can see what this looks like in the next photo.

The ears were not particularly “soft” after tanning so after I removed the cartilage I roughed up the remaining ear with a Stout Ruffer being careful not to cut through the ear.  Then I traced the cartilage on a set of celastic whitetail earliners and cut them to shape:

Next I set the ears in position on the head and sculptured the ear butts with water clay. See below:

By pre-shaping the ear-butts I now know the ears are in the right position and that they have exactly the right amount of clay build-up.  I carefully cut the ears out of their location with a knife, the plan being that when I mounted the skin, the the ears would fit right back exactly where they were supposed to.

You can see that the ears are “cut out” at a pretty good angle so that they should easily fit back into position.

I set the ears aside and turned my attention to the eyes.  I chose the lighter colored Joe Meder eye as a good match to the Rusa color, and set them in the form eye socket.

After leveling the pupils I modeled the eyes.  The following series shows the process:

So I was now ready to cover the form with paste and proceed with the mount.

Here is a TIP that I think will help you immensely in manipulating the skin on the form.  Lay the cape out flat on the floor, skin side up, and when you apply paste to the form, also smear paste on the cape as well!!  This REALLY helps in your ability to “slide” the skin around,  especially and particularly on a short cut cape, but on a long cut like this one as well.  If you try this once, I doubt you will ever go back to putting paste only on the form.

I also put paste on the earliners and inserted them into the ears on the skin.  I applied the the skin to the form,  sewed it up and finished it off as you would any deer mount.  More pictures of the finished mount follow:


  1. Mark Kronyak

    Beautiful Denny!!

    1. Dennis Behn

      Thanks Mark, it was a fun project.

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