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My first contribution to the firing line!

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by SWIFFY, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. SWIFFY

    SWIFFY Member

    Hello folks! Ive been lurking on here for a few months now, asking a few questions, getting some great information! Thanks everyone for that! Ive been doing taxidermy for hobby for about 14 years now, but just a few heads a year usually. At the very least, Id like to say this site has really inspired me to get into it a little more. There are so many great minds with great ideas on here! I look forward to being a part of it!

    Just recently I finished my 2011 Minnesota buck that I shot this year. Im pretty happy with it and I wanted to share it with you folks here. I killed a much larger buck in WI with my bow this year as well and have it to mount next! Its a "slob" and I want to make sure I do it justice! Thanks for the help and new creative ideas... fire away!

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    Now I know I have plenty of things to improve on! I just figured i'd let you guys beat me up a little! I think the best advice i heard from someone on here so far was how knowing what to improve on is half the battle, if we think we have it figured out, thats when were stuck with problems. BTW... This was also my 1st attempt at a wall habitat which I am very pleased with, however much of it is "real" and I realize that seems to be a no-no in this artistry. I'll get better ;)

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,452
    2,529
    MN
    With the pics you provided the biggest issue I see is ear placement. Check your references, the ears need to move up and forward. The color around the eyes looks a tad dark. Looks pretty good otherwise. 3bears
     

  3. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    i agree, the ears position are an issue and the paint around the eyes is way to dark...
     
  4. IDForkHorn

    IDForkHorn Common sense just isn't that common anymore

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  5. SWIFFY

    SWIFFY Member

    Would it be rediculous to resoak the head, open the Y and redo the clay in the ears? I guess I was well aware of this especially on the left ear and its driving me crazy! I didn't use my reference until after the fact and relized, they look awful. As far as the eye skin... I agree they look dark but I used the field photos of the deer and they were unusually dark. I used tie-in brown, chocolate brown, and dark brown. Maybe too much dark brown.

    Anyways, would you soak and redo the ears or leave it and look at it as a "hard knock" that will be paid special attention to next time? Everytime I look at the mount (which I really like) ALL I can stare at are those ears (which I really don't like)!
     
  6. KatieC

    KatieC Active Member

    I had the same issue with my second deer head, got the ears too far back. I decided that it would drive me crazy if I didn't at least try to fix it, and I'm sure glad I did! It was only my second deer mount and was far from perfect, but it was much better to put in the effort, resoak, open up the head, and fix those ears. Now I'm happier with the deer when I look at it. I'm a total beginner with taxidermy so if I can do it I'm sure you can.
     
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    6,452
    2,529
    MN
    You may not have to open it. Rehydrate the earbutts and surrounding area with damp towels and bag it til soft enough to relocate them and rework the clay that is there. If that isn't good enough then open the seam. As far as the paint around eyes, start with light colors and use dark colors sparingly to shade to match your references. I guess what sticks out to me is the abruptness of the dark color. In my opinion, it would look better if the dark color faded out as you go away from the eyes. Good luck, 3bears
     
  8. Mountainman Vic

    Mountainman Vic New Member

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    It might just be the pictures but the ears don't seem very crisp either. (especially the right one)???
     
  9. SWIFFY

    SWIFFY Member

    Crisp? Not sure I follow. As far as drumming, no. They are thin and tight. I used celastic earliners and majic smooth and its seemed to work great. What am I missing as far as not being crisp?

    Thanks for your comments!
     
  10. eliscull

    eliscull Nov. 2011

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    NJ
    I believe when he said crisp he is referring to them not being clean,smooth,or having a sharp edged to the ear. I'm not saying they are bad myself just what he meant by crisp IMO. I to am new at this and have done the same thing with the ears. A helpful tip I was told is that the inner ear V should be about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 inches away from the back edge of the eye. I don't have fancy names for all this but it helped me out a lot. Plus with the ears I found when you have them positioned right the ear is closer to the main beam and the antler base. It was pointed out to me when I cape out the hide look how close the ear butt is to the antler base. It wasn't till then I noticed how far away I was putting my ear butts and after that things fell into place better. As for the field photo if you are looking at a photo that was taken after you shot it the hide does tend to darken up a bit. Hope this helps and I really like the scenery with it. How did you do that? Not sure if it is one of MCK made branch "logs" or not. I'm liking the moss on it the most...how did you do that?
     
  11. SWIFFY

    SWIFFY Member

    Thanks eliskull! I think you are right. I guess im feeling like ive alway just done things the same way because people have told me they "look nice" and yet i've failed to paid attention to what a deer ACTUALLY looks like. Even now I look over the field photos or the trail camera pictures of this specific deer and things are obvious that I did wrong because I didn't look at the reference, of this deer or any deer for that matter. Im frustrated with myself now... I think i will resoak and fix the ears and repaint the eyes.

    For the scenery I just found a mossy peice of bark I liked and a root where I killed the deer. I let them dry good and attached them together to some 1/8 inch plywood. Then I used a $5 can of expanding foam. Sprayed and then shaped with a knife. The foam also adhered the bark/stump to the root and the plywood etc. I then painted and attached the moss which Ive just collected from the woods and dried. I had left about a 6x8 inch part of the plywood clean so I could screw it to the back of the mount. Its lightweight and it worked really nice! I suppose I have about $6 in it so... im happy with it! Thanks