1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Started another 10 footer!

Discussion in 'Reptile Taxidermy' started by psycho, May 26, 2011.

  1. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Well, another head from a 10 to 11 foot gator! LOL I just got the sucker into the pickle about 15 minutes ago. I'll start posting pics tomorrow but you won't be able to see the completed pics until after the 1st week of August. ;) ;D

    I can tell you this, the customer that sent this thing to me from Florida, well lets say it was packed right. The thing was shipped Monday and I just got it Wednesday evening and the thing still had ice crystals in the head and it took a while before I could pry the jaw open. I wish everyone shipped reptiles this good thats for sure.

    Pics coming up sometime this morning and then I have a question that I want some of you guys to answer, the guys that just soak these things in formaldehyde. :eek:
     
  2. JEEP EDSON

    JEEP EDSON New Member

    87
    0
    i wanna see this thing. word on the street is it is a pretty famous customer. ;)
     

  3. rnviper3

    rnviper3 New Member

    Did I read this right. Just the head, not the whole thing? I don't know much about gators so I will be watching this.
    Bob
     
  4. bubba z

    bubba z New Member

    I use formaldehyde for gators and velvet antlers every year . It isn't the best but it's cheap and effective. If you have any questions about it let me know psycho. I'll be back next week from a fishing trip. Going to try to get Patrick J a marlin.
     
  5. red oak

    red oak New Member

    5 gallon pail of meat out of the head? well I guess you worked hard one day this week ;D
     
  6. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Yes you read it right. Just the head.

    I'm not sure how famous this guy might be but he thinks he is! LOL ;D

    OK now back to work. As you will or should be able to tell from the pictures there is still a ton of meat to remove and yet this is what I have removed already. The thing I guess I don't understand is how you guys know there is this much meat in a head and more yet just soaking them in formaldehyde is ok to give to a customer. I know some really good taxidermist that do it, I know some that are ok commercial guys that do it, so the whole spectrum of skill level is covered by the guys that use it and it isn't something someone does because they are a beginner. I've talked to guys that said they drill the jaw out and let them soak and I know it works for them because they have been doing it for years. I guess the only question I have is, knowing how much meat is in just the head, how in the hell do you feel comfortable just soaking them? I don't think I could ever do it, no, I know I couldn't. Not looking for an argument just looking for those that do it to explain it to me so I understand how and why people do it still. Is it all the work involved removing the meat that makes people just say the hell with it and soak them?

    [​IMG]
    I have the copper jacket and lead chunk from his head!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Not even close to being done. ;)
     
  7. Good lord man!
    I think I'll stick to skulls on those guys!
     
  8. JEEP EDSON

    JEEP EDSON New Member

    87
    0
    so did they leave enough of the neck like they were told to do or did this famous person screw that up too:)
     
  9. JEEP EDSON

    JEEP EDSON New Member

    87
    0
    that looks like alot of good eatin meat right there ;D how about a pic of the snakey.
     
  10. That's some good eats right there.
     
  11. JEEP EDSON

    JEEP EDSON New Member

    87
    0
    the more i look at that gator you are going to be able to do some sweet golds and yellows etc. he was very clean compared to the 11'6'' if i remember right. i'll get you pics so you can post a before and after.
     
  12. GhostMonkey

    GhostMonkey New Member

    11
    0
    NYC
    Insane amount of work there. I never dealt with just the head as my main uses are the leather. Just curious are you just doing the head?
     
  13. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Yes this customer is just having the head done. It sounds like he has other projects "swimming" in his head already though. ;D

    There is a ton of work that goes into gators that people just don't realize. This head is a typical head of a wild gator. The zoo or pen gators get much bigger even if they are the same length and thats because they don't have to fend for themselves. If you watch this thread I will do my best to take pics and post them through the process. However, you won't be able to see the finished pics until after the 1st week of August. If I can get this big boy dry I am going to take him to a competition. I take a lot of customer mounts to comps. I do nothing different on a customer mount than I do for a comp mount.

    There isn't enough neck skin really left to put it in the pose that was discussed but I can still make it look cool as hell. LOL I just checked the hide a few minutes ago and the skin side is already turning white from the pickle. I'll post another meat picture today when I really get into it. LOL

    One of the guys on here, Greg Leonard (bwana) can tell you that when he was doing his head that he found out that it seemed to be a never ending process. However, I bet he will tell you that his gator turned out really nice. Wonder if he ever got that thing painted.

    Sounds good Jeep. I think I will be able to get the blues back into him good too. He seems to have some good colors. Kind of like ruining Christmas for you since you get to follow the post. Guess I won't be able to post final pics until it has a ribbon in the Masters hanging off of it. LOL Kind of cocky you might think but I'm just confident. ;D
     
  14. JEEP EDSON

    JEEP EDSON New Member

    87
    0
    can you post a couple of the trophy before pics. i can't do it from my computer. i think it will show what a wild caught gator looks like compared to the fat boys at the zoo.
     
  15. Bwana

    Bwana New Member

    213
    0
    Iowa
    No Dan I don't have that gator painted yet. I am still slowly puttying on it. I want it to be as close to perfect as I can get it so I'm not hurrying it. I'll let everyone know when I get it done. On one other note I painted a good part of a blugill the other day with the rub on paints we got from gator wars. Just experimenting you know and it turned out to probably be the best gill I ever painted. Those rub ons are grrrreat!
     
  16. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Yeah I'll post some of your pics for you.

    Cool glad you are getting to use the paints and are experimenting with them on other things as well. Looking forward to seeing the monster you guys did again!
     
  17. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Here are some pics after the big boy was taken by Jeep. Big difference between a true wild gator and a pen raised or zoo gator.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. lakejessup

    lakejessup Member

    219
    0
    cool stuff found out when i did the skull on my 11'8" how much meat was in the head its amazing the amount of muscle going through their jaws. neat pics keep them coming and thanks
     
  19. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    More pics uploading now. One more fleshing job and it should be close. LOL Pics to follow. Uploading now fellas and ladies. ;)
     
  20. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Ok, here he is in the pickle.
    [​IMG]

    Pulled him out and did some more work on him today. The acid is getting awesome penetration. One more time of pulling him out and doing some final fleshing and this dude will be ready to go. You can see in the pics I got another pile of meat out of this guy. There are a ton of nooks and crannies on gator head. If you look at the top of a gator head there are two round soft spots, one on each side of his brain. The hole in this one just missed his brain. The reason I bring up the soft spots is because there is quite a bit of red meat in this area too and many people miss it all together. Thats a lot of meat to miss. The next time I pull him out of the pickle you will see how white the hide has turned from being pickled properly. Actually by fleshing off this last layer of meat you can already see the hide whitening under this layer. Enjoy the pics and if you have any questions feel free to ask. I even took a picture of some of my favorite gator tools. If you are wondering about some of them, get in touch with Pescado on here. Paul sells the bigger looking fish tools that you see pictured and these things work great on big ole gator heads and small 5 footers too. Enjoy the pics. Dan

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Notice some of the tools in the pic that I mentioned above.

    Another pile of meat. You do the math and tell me how much meat is in the head of one of these suckers. That doesn't count what flies all over the damn place or the couple pounds stuck to me or my apron. LOL
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is what my arm and part of my shirt looks like and this was the 3rd time that I had already cleaned it off. LOL
    [​IMG]

    More pics to come. I promise. ;)