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Strange Problem with a Deer Head

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Shaggy, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Shaggy

    Shaggy Hey Folks, It's Dog Gone Good!

    A customer brought this buck into me to mount. My God I couldn't believe the size of the head on this thing. But the E x N was only 7". The head was all swollen, so much so that he eyes were even swollen shut. And of course he thought that he was doing me a favor and cut the neck off right at the base of the skull! Then I go to cape it and it is nothing but blood everywhere, even trying to turn the the ears! I couldn't make a small cut without blood coming out. Heck, I couldn't even pull on the cape without blood coming out. Just a mess. It must have taken me at least 3X longer to deal with this thing. He shot it with a rifle head on, just above the swirl on the brisket.

    Now for another issue with it. Of course the neck was just huge he told me! I told him I would be surprised if it was as big as he thought and it would maybe have an 18". It's a Canadian deer, and I have found alot of the neck measurements are about the same size as here, it's just their beautiful hair that makes them look bigger. Well, I threw it in the pressure tanner and sure enough, fits on a Jody Green with an 18" neck. Boy does it look small, and I know that's what the customer is going to say too. This cape doesn't seem to have the stretch that most of my hides do. I washed the daylights out of it before tanning, but I wonder if all of the blood had an adverse affect on it or what.

    Just curious if anyone has had this happen before, and if there were any thoughts on what happened and what I can do about the cape.



  2. Curt

    Curt Family Life member of the NTA

    Sounds to me like the deer was hung upside down shortly after it was harvested. I get several a year like that but I never have as bad of a blood problem as you explain. I also pressure tan my hides and never had a problem with stretch. All you can do is measure the neck after the tan and put it on the form that fits. Just going to have to tell the customer that the size is what it is or it would not have gone back together.

  3. Dave H

    Dave H New Member

    probably hung upside down with ice in the chest cavity. I have had several.
  4. Head Hunter

    Head Hunter Member

    I have had this same scenario- the deer I had had been hung head down in a meat locker for two weeks. He was also a bloody mess and began to slip as we caped him. We lost that cape. The comment about the bag of ice in the chest is also intersting.
  5. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    That bag of ice will do it.
  6. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy Hey Folks, It's Dog Gone Good!

    Thanks guys - No ice, but he did say that it ran into water after shot and it was laying in it for a few hours before they got it out. Maybe something to do with it. But Jesus, blood pouring out in the ears!??!
  8. I have a regular customer that always hangs them from the hind legs. Same every time! Nose fills with blood and you could put a softball in it! I hate when they hang them up side down and the blood pours to the head! Ask him if he had it hanging by the back legs. Bet you a hundred to one he says yes.....
  9. this is what usually happens when they are hung and rinsed out with a hose. did you get a watery slime when you skinned the head?
  10. Uncle Harley

    Uncle Harley New Member

    Hanging them by the legs will do that? I have always hung deer by the back feet and sprayed them out and never seen such a thing but I always cape them out right away so mabey that is why?????
  11. strutinh

    strutinh Member

    shouldn,t hurt anything, just blow dry while drying to fluff up to make alook bigger, I have never seen one with that much blood just water from ice, and about the hanging by head or back kegs, I hate when customers hang anything from head, it,s mose season hear this week and I see more rotten moose and deer from hanging by head!!! there is a REASON they hang from back legs!
  12. Harley, Your right if they bothered to cape it out the same time they hung it up the head wouldn't swell. It swells by the capillary action funneling the water/blood into the head. I have seen a coyote that was all swollen like that from a snare wire. It also happens with Lambs and calves who are mispresented during birth and the head stays outside while everything else is inside(front legs back). The tounge and head swell like that. As for the blood, if the Animal didn't have an fast bleeding bullet wound (like a heart/lung/liver shot) but instead was shot in the head or neck and never bled then hung upside-down that would account for the blood pouring out the ears. I hate neck/head shot deer as all the blood that would have gone out with a lung/heart shot, ends up as a nasty puddle on me, the hide and the floor.
  13. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I have hung them up by the back feet all my life, never had that happen even after hosing them out.
    I caped out a head last week just like this one, the hunter hung it nose down, and had two bags of ice in the rib cage over the weekend before he took it in to the meat shop, then I got it from the butcher. It was a gusher to skin out.
  14. Henry J.

    Henry J. New Member

    I had a guy bring one in like that and he said it has a 33'' neck, make sure it's the same size when i get it back ! he was not joking and i could not tell him it was from the water ! It was 130 lb. with a 33'' neck .
  15. David H

    David H New Member

    Not saying so from hanging upside down but we always did and always will. Anyway he probably had the bullet go in the neck and into head or a high spin shoot.
    I had alot like that and I personly shoot some myself and had this happen. If you just let it soak in some ice cold water for a day the blood will draw out. I also throw in some salt and DP. Just fleshout and tann and you should be ok. If you have the form are someting close just throw it on too check. GOOD LUCK.
  16. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    If the head and neck got so big due to water, or hanging upside down...it was big, correct? With that in mind, why cant he get the neck skin to get that big again??? If just water could get it big before, that means the skin stretched or let out. Why not again, for the mount?
  17. Just because a person who is allergic to bees gets stung in the face and it swells up, doesn't mean that it should be that size. Its the same on the deer. Yea the skin can stretch WAY more when it is fresh, Heck I can take a raw elk cape with a meat measurment of 30 and stretch it to 40, Doesn't mean that I should put it on a 40" form cause it won't fit once its tanned. The water that caused the swelling basically Ballooned the animal like an airhose would. To get the skin to that size again on a form you would have no detail and one hell of a problem with stiches pulling, loss of detail. Unless of course you like the beesting look?
  18. Shaggy

    Shaggy Hey Folks, It's Dog Gone Good!

    God, thanks for that answer. I have been a little worried. Besides, what is huge to a hunter may not really be huge in reality.

    I called the customer and explained what I had, and like I had told him before he left my shop that I would bet the neck would come in around 18" and that is what it was. He said he understood and to go ahead and mount it up. It is a beautiful cape, so it should look Ok.

    Thanks everyone.
  19. Shaggy

    Shaggy Hey Folks, It's Dog Gone Good!

    Well, since it was out and ready I scammed another customer's form and mounted this deer up. Probably one of the best hides I have worked with really; very surprised. Everything went pretty well (which was nice as I seem to have something come up on the last 3-4). I just LOVE these Canadian deer for their capes! I put it on a Jody Green. I'll try to take a picture of it later even though it is still wet. It will probably look better now than later anyway!

    Thanks everyone.

    Here is the mount after I finished putting it together.


  20. HAPP

    HAPP Active Member

    I had a guy bring his daughters deer in and was giving me all the measurements. Of coarse I WROTE THEM ON THE ORDER! I had to laugh because he said the neck was 33". I mounted this deer on a 23" form. When he came to pick it up I had the tape handy. Of coarse he spoke of the measurements (with a bad look on his face). I handed him the tape and asked him to measure it. He wrapped the tape around the lower neck above the shoulders and got a 36" reading. HE SMILED!!!!!!!! I thought,..............PAY ME THE BALANCE!