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meat measurement vs tanned measurement

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by GC24, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. GC24

    GC24 New Member

    i am going mount a deer head using a wet tanned cape for the first time. i thought i would take a meat meas. and then a cape meas. after the tanning. how much shrinkage will i have and will i be able to get the cape back to the meat meas. with out a stretcher or should i compromise and order the form a little smaller. all advice is greatly appreciated Thanks in advance Greg
  2. Keystone

    Keystone New Member

    You shouldnt have any trouble at all using the meat measurement.

  3. Don't order your form until you get the tanned cape back.
  4. Curt

    Curt Family Life member of the NTA

    When ever possible I grab a neck meat measurement. I just hang on to it until the cape is tanned then I compare the two measurements and have never had a problem getting the two to match. That said, I still hold off ordering forms until I complete the process just to be safe. I know my luck, so I just wait.
  5. JLong

    JLong Member

    Iv always used meat measurements with no problem, only if its an in between measurement will I go with a slightly smaller form on most occasions but an extra half inch bigger usually isn't a problem either.
  6. If you are mounting meat - then use the meat measurement. Me, I always mount the cape and it is what it is. The cape measurement is what matters. They are usually close, but that can depend on the tan and how thin the hide is shaved.

  7. fozziebear

    fozziebear Active Member

    Sounds to me that you might be a beginner. If this is true then you want to make things go as easy as you can. No need to fight the mount any more than you need to right. If I were you I would use you tanned cape measurements, after all, thats what your gonna be use'n to mount the deer right. Like someone else stated, its a great idea to GET both measurements to compare when your done tanning. I myself like to order my forms just a bit smaller than actual size, many will pry dissagree with me but it sure is nice to have a little play to work with instead of it bein tight from the get go and it hasn't even started to dry yet! Oh and if your not a beginner dont take offence to it, it just sounded like it to me. Good luck
  8. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    That is one of the most misinformed statements I've ever read!

    All headforms are sculpted using measurements taken from the carcass ... the "meat". Where in the hell do you think the sculptors take their measurements from? It ain't the skin!!! Therefore, measure the neck meat, order your form, stretch the cape, mount the thing.

    The face is measured over the hair. Why? The facial skin is thin enough that even the clay sculpture is close to the "skin on" measurements ... maybe a millimeter or two shy of the actual outside measurements to accommodate the skin. The rest of the specimen is measured over it's skinned carcass ... its meat.

    Doesn't matter if it is a headform or a lifesize ... the animals measurements are taken from the carcass ... the meat.

    If you have neck meat in the cape, measure it. Don't pull the tape measure tight, but do measure the neck meat. If there is none, stretch and measure the cape. The most important measurement to match is the face ... as close as possible. The neck can be increased up to an inch or two, but no more, or you will distort the white neck bib, and run into more problems with fit than you need.

    Best of luck to you.

  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Is that live meat measurment, or dead relaxed meat? I am sure sculpters fudge on the dead relaxed meat measurements to get their form size, none of the forms I use look like dead meat to me.
  10. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    If you can't mount a deer using carcass measurement, what the hell is wrong with you. Sorry but I have measured deer from the carcass and after they are tanned, NUMEROUS deer, a tanned hide will let out if tanned well but commonly your talking an inch to an inch and a half of let out on the tanned skin. So whats the big freaking deal about carcass measurements or tanned measurements? If an inch to an inch and a half matters on the neck of that deer to you or your customer then stick with measuring tanned hides. Why do people find it so hard to measure a carcass and order the right form? My son is 8 and could do it.


    This is going to be as good as a krowtan thread....
  11. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    The skill of the sculptor brings life back to the "dead" measurements. A sculptor does not assume what the animal measures live, as there are formulas to determine that.

    Also, the more competent sculptors make it a point to get to their subjects and study them enough to determine what the live animal should look like ... what muscles flex and relax in what movements.

    The summer months allow great study of anatomy, while the fall and winter animals allow them to observe the differences from season to season. It's what sculptors do, or should do ... study their subjects. A lot of Taxidermists could stand to do the same.

    There is no guessing.

    You measure the neck meat for ordering a headform.

    You measure the whole animals carcass for ordering a lifesize mannikin.

    If you don't have the animals carcass, as in the case of African, South American, or other foreign trophies, then you stretch and measure the tanned and relaxed capes and lifesize skins for size, and order the correct or nearest to correct size headform or lifesize mannikin.

    For Whitetail Deer it is a simple as measuring the animal ... skin on for the face, skin off for the neck.

    If you are a Taxidermist in the field while hunting Mule Deer, Elk, Moose, etc. ... even African, you bring along tape measure, calipers, measure your trophy and jot down the measurements.

    Taxidermists that take in whole or caped Mule Deer, Elk, Moose, etc., measure the same as for Whitetail ... skin on for the face, skin off for the neck.

    What is so difficult to understand? You either want to do things right, or you don't. The decision is yours.

  12. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    I think the poster didn't want to sculpt a form John.
  13. If I'm selling Summer Sausage by the inch.......... Do I measure it before I put it in the smoker,,, or after I take it out ?

    Just askin' !? ;-)
  14. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I am not going to disagree with either way, I just have a question for those that rely on only the meat measurement. What measurement do you use if the animal was hung by the back legs? You know that the fluids are all influenced by gravity and end up in the neck, swelling the tissue quite a bit. As far as the original post I recommend taking both when possible. When you take the meat measurement it forces you to look a little closer at the anatomy of the animal and I feel that is always a good thing. The tanning job also has a lot of influence on the stretch that you can get out of cape.
  15. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    We always invert the green hide and lay it flat take the measurement from it. If the tan is done correctly. You should have no trouble using that measurement.
    We take in quite a few run down post rut bucks with loose fitting hide. Meat measurements at that time of year can leave you small. We order our forms from the green hide measurement with no problems.
    Disclaimer: This works for US. Not saying it is correct, or the best way.
    Good luck with your mount!
  16. GC24

    GC24 New Member

    Yes Fozzie as you can probably tell by the question i am a beginner. I have mounted about 15 deer heads to date using DP. Each head did improve to the untrained eye. After finding this site and reading all the tips i went back and looked at all the mounts with a light and it scared me, I can see all the mistakes that i have made. My biggest mistake would be not using reference material when mounting the deer.I know there are personal preference with every thing and i am trying to get opinions from the experienced veterans. I would like to mount the deer as close to the origanal size as possable. Being that i have never mounted a commercially tanned cape i don't know how much shrinkage there will be. so i will combine the info i have received and take a meat mes. wait to get the cape back, stretch it measure the cape and then order the form. Thanks all for the reply.
  17. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Measure the meat over the Atlas muscle and it will fit. That is the ONLY measurement I use when ordering a form. I can say I have not had a problem for 20+ years.

    When you don't have any neck meat it's a little more difficult but experience is really the only teacher for a good fit in this case.

    HOWEVER, the quality of the tanning service is a BIG piece of the puzzle.
  18. John,

    So, did the scluptor or taxidermist take his measurements from a deer that was hanging from the hind legs for 3 days and the neck/head is all swelled up with fluid? Or did he measure the neck after it was hung by the antlers and the neck is stretched somewhat? You said yourself the tanned cape can be stretchd an extra inch or two. So what the hell good is a meat measurement on the neck if the hide can be made bigger? I have had commercially tanned hides that had very little stretch and would never get back to the carcass measurement. I have also had others that had lots of stretch. So if you order your form based on the meat measurement and you get a tanned hide that has little stretch, you won't make that work with your perfectly measured carcass. I stand by my statement that you have to work with the cape you have. That usually matches your meat measurements, but not always. And explain to me again how you can take one measurement tight behind the ears (because my customers don't usually bring me a deer with 6 inches of neck meat in it) and make that one measurement work for both a pre-rut and full rut deer?

    Personally, I do my own tanning now and have numerous forms in my shop and I test fit every deer cape on a form after I tan it. Then I know what form it fits when I place my order and there are no suprises with fit when I start my mount.

  19. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Here's some food for thought. Take it or leave it, it's my opinion only.
    If you have enough meat in the neck to get an accurate measurement, then measure over the hair before skinning. Pull the tape fairly taught so you squeeze the hair a bit. Take note of this measurement.
    Then measure the eye-nose. Go to your catalog and peruse the forms. You want to place more emphasis on the eye-nose and get as close to the over the hair measurement as it allows. You are trying to replicate the thickness of the neck, right? So once you shave the skin and mount it, it should come pretty close to measuring the same, over the hair, as the deer was before skinning. When I do it, it works perfect nearly everytime in that when I go to my catalog, the forms correlate almost perfectly to the combo of eye-nose and taught...somewhat squeezed...over the hair measurement.
    You guys do it how you wish, I don't dispute your methods...this is just my way.
  20. DRon

    DRon New Member

    Amen Bucknut