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Any tips on mounting Gar?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by CC Taxidermy, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. I have a 48 inch alligator gar to mount.Anyone have any helpful advice on skinning and mounting.His scales are like armour.
     
  2. Marc A

    Marc A Beaver Creek Taxidermy

    I did one a few years ago. It was a smaller on than that, but I cut it down the belly, skinned and stuffed with fish fill. The rigidness of the shell allows for this. You may have to use a dremel tool with a cutting blade on yours.
     

  3. Jim L

    Jim L New Member

    Tin snips will get through the armour. They have some tough skin, so there is no scale loss.
     
  4. Ron Kelly

    Ron Kelly Active Member

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    We clean ours with a pressure washer, pickle them for 3 days and mount them with sawdust. Works great. After the fish is dry, empty the sawdust out of a hole in the backside and finish as usual. Light as a feather and holds its shape very well. We have done them to 7 feet this way with no problems. Clean the head with a chisel. Ron
     
  5. would you use the same techniques on a long nose gar? Or are they a lot different?
     
  6. clarkshilltaxidermy

    clarkshilltaxidermy New Member

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    We have always skinned and fleshed and what you do is take a neede and thread and sew the skin back together in a 5 or 6 in section and fill with great stuff foam that comes in a can. Then sew up a few more inches and fill with foam. Do this til the fish is full. It works great.
     
  7. Kerby Ross

    Kerby Ross KSU - Class of '83; U.S. Army - Infantry (83-92)

    Dogtrapper

    When using foam, no lumps or uneven areas ?

    Just curious.

    Thanks

    Kerby...
     
  8. clarkshilltaxidermy

    clarkshilltaxidermy New Member

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    No because the skin is so hard that even if the foam is uneven it dosnt show. The skin dosnt shrink either so it dosnt show anything.
     
  9. jemmick

    jemmick Active Member

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    Wouldn't ya know ,it is never to late to teach an old dog new tricks. And I spend all that time carving out a body!!??? ::) there's a couple of ways I haven't trid yet, any chance it would work on say a musky??!! :eek:
     
  10. clarkshilltaxidermy

    clarkshilltaxidermy New Member

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    I dont know about a musky. I have only done it on gar. Bubbas taxidermy put a post about it on here a couple years ago before i even rgistered on here. Thats who i got the idea from and it works great. It would probley show shrunken spots on any fish that didnt have a hard shell like skin. But like a gar it will look just as good as a carved body. Thats what i did before i figured out this method. I would spend allot of time carving. But this way is MUCH easyer.
     
  11. Ron Kelly

    Ron Kelly Active Member

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    I know it sounds a little antique and shows my age doing taxidermy, but we use sawdust on alot of our fish. All gar can be mounted this way. I have done Muskys as well as Pike, Walleye, Stripers, redfish, Bass, and all of our crappie and bluegills are mounted this way with one small difference. I put a layer of joint compound against the skin. When dry, the compond is rock hard and holds the form very well after the sawdust is removed. On a gar, the compond isn't needed. At the price of fish bodies today, I can justify doing some species this way . Once you get accustomed to the process, it is very easy, costs virtually nothing, and does not take much time. I have won competitions with such fish in the past. We have literally mounted thousands of fish using this method over the years. Ron
     
  12. clarkshilltaxidermy

    clarkshilltaxidermy New Member

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    Ok you have got me intrested now. I do tons of crappie each month. So you are saying that you use sheetrock mud (joint compound) on the inside of the fish on the show side. Then fill the rest with sawdust? What keeps the sawdust in the fish? I guess you are using the half cast method?
     
  13. hey ron that would be something good to put in the tutorial section
     
  14. Thanks to everyone for posting.You made my job alot easier.I was not looking forward to mounting this gar.But if you turn the guys fish down you wont get his deerhead.
     
  15. DJdave

    DJdave New Member

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    Do you buy ginnepig saw dust ?
     
  16. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    l cat litter, the clay stuff. Fill the fish, close the seam, shape and let dry. Remove the litter and seal the inside with "sanding sealer", fill with expandable foam then seal the outside and finish.
    If you do this the draw back is shaping the fish not to get flat spots....I used a pvc pipe inside the fish's mouth into the body to the tail. The pipe is heated and flattened at the tail end and has holes drilled for air to help drying and you don't need as much litter. The pvc "arm" is supported so the fish hangs horizontal, gives the fish that FAT BELLY look. You will have to baby sit the fish as it dries.
     
  17. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    That my be a a good thing...? How much per inch did you charge...? $20.00 per in or more I hope.
    Should come to you because your doing "GOOD" work not because you did or didn't do his Gar.
    I took everything and anything in when I started and regret that. I would do what you like and be the best at it. The stuff I didn't like doing I "over priced" so they would take it and some times all there work to some one else or pay "a lot" [then the $ made me like it].
     
  18. 12 year old post
     
  19. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

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    York, SC
    upload_2021-7-8_17-56-56.jpeg
     
  20. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Still very relevant today! I lay gar in a sandbox and to a half cast mount using poured foam. It's shape as you go. A wooden 1 x 2 is left protruding from the body so that the head can be rigidly re-attached. I've done gar as large as 65 lbs using the method. "Buckfever" had a great tutorial on his gar mounting method once. I hope it's still out there somewhere.