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Rework Bear Mount?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Dragonslayer, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer New Member

    I've recently completed a shoulder mount black bear with a partial open mouth (panting) pose.
    I'm pleased with everything except the ears which should've been countersunk MUCH deeper into the form. (but they're in the correct postion)

    The ears are so high that they look more like a whitetail - it's embarrassing!

    The mount has been drying for two days and basically everything is set and dry.

    Do I dare pull the staples, peel off the dried hide, rehydrate and attempt a rework?

    I used Buckeye hide paste and I'm uncertain in it will soften up with water but this is really bothering me.

    Any practical suggestions on rehydrating?

    If I can just soften things up enough to get to the ears, I'm confident I can make it look proportionate.

    How about soaking (form and all) in cool water with a bactericide just to be safe?

    Any other options?

    I'd really hate to send this out the door with "dumbo ears " -but I'd also hate to completely destroy the mount by attempting
    to "fix" it.

    I'm all ears...(pun intended)
  2. timwilly

    timwilly I lost my agenda !!!

    I'd pull the staples and get the hide off of it and redo it. I'd rehydrate the hide and bag it overnight first then I would pull it off the form.
    you could wet him from the back of the eyes to the back of the cape perhaps, bag him overnight and pull hide off the next day. I wouldn't soak the whole form and all. It will rehydrate, just don't rush it too much. In 2 days he shouldn't be all set and completely dry yet. Better to jump on it right away and not let it set any longer.

  3. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer New Member

    Thanks for the quick response- It's appreciated as the clock is ticking...

    What process would make the most sense to soften up the cape?

    Would I be safe to use a spritzer bottle and just wet down the cape on the form from the eyes back and then bag it?

    Should I add a bacteriacide to the bottle as well as a safeguard?

    If worse comes to worse, and I end up completely removing the cape from the form and starting over, what do I use to remove the glue from the cape? (Buckeye Supreme Hide Paste)

    I've used Bondo for ears so they're not going anywhere and I used clay on the ear butts so if I can get to the ears, I can set them deeper in the form by hollowing out the "socket" depth and either rehydrate the clay or replace it entirely.

  4. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer New Member

    Thanks so much for the advice.
    I rehydrated from the eyes back, bagged and let it sit overnight.
    This morning I pulled the staples, peeled back the hide and countersunk the ears 1 1/2 inches into the form.

    Everything came out real nice.

    This was a 360 pound animal and the ears were way too prominent for an animal that large.

    Now things look proportionate and the customer will be satisfied.

    I attended taxidermy school three years back but hadn't taken in any work previously because of the investment in "nuts and bolts" taxidermy supplies.

    It's taken me this long just to purchase the basics.

    Now I've finallly relented to my wife's nagging and started taking in a limited amount of work at a cut rate price for now until I gain more experience.