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Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by davehyer, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    I go through the same crap every year. I mount a deer head for the show and when I get done mounting I look at it and think, yeah that looks pretty darn good. I come back the next day and make some minor adjustments and then I notice a little thing that I over looked before. Oh well, that one little thing will be ok I guess.

    next day look it over some more, and Sh_t !!! I didn't see that, then repeat this for a couple more days and think, man I should just pitch this pc of sh_t in the garbage!!!! Its not issues with drying or shrinking either, its stuff that should have stuck out but I just didn't see it.

    Didn't see the forest for the trees I guess. I usually don't ever do my show mounts unitil about 2 weeks before the show so I never have time to go back and fix anything. That's just my own ignorance there, I know better but some how it just sneaks up on me.
  2. big dan

    big dan Member


  3. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    Same here bud.

    So here's my new competition attitude. 3 things.

    1. TIME You mentioned this, and it seems to be many other peoples crippler as well. Of course there are other areas we all need to work on but time is hard to come by. I always think three weeks is enough. It never is. When I see those little things you mentioned, I stop and take the time to fix each one. then when it gets to show time, there's not enough time to finish at the quality I had originally planned. So for me my new rule #1, start early and work on a competition piece throughout the year until complete..

    2. PREPERATION It might help to use extra time to plan out the piece and the actual procedures needed to accomplish the final product. Get your ducks in a row so to speak.

    3. PROPERLY INTERPRET REFERENCE It seems that when I get dinged by a judge on anatomy they are just about always right. I get back home and look through my reference and there it is. Staring me right in the face, and I wonder, how in the heck did I miss that. It's also a good thing because it always sticks with me and it does not happen a second time. proper interpretation of reference in the beginning might delete alot of those little things popping up later.

    Of course there are many other things to consider but I might add continueing education. The more we know about the specimen, proper techniques and habits the less mistakes we should make, in theory..

    Best, Steve
  4. davehyer

    davehyer Active Member

    I agree with everything you said Steven.
  5. silverbuck

    silverbuck New Member

    Very well said !!!
  6. HAPP

    HAPP Active Member

    I totally agree. One other thing.... try taking pictures of your piece, print them, and study them. For me, things stand out in the pictures that I don't see otherwise. I guess I'm blind in one eye and can't see out of the other.
  7. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    Something else that might help I should have added to #3 PROPER INTERPRETATION OF REFERENCE.

    Break up the animal into regions and study those regions individually. Most of us already do this, eyes are region, ears are a region and so on. Well you need to take that to another level. Micromanage those regions by dividing them into smaller regions and learn the purpose and function of each, not just what they look like or where they are anatomically. For example, regions within the eye region would be upper brow and eye lid, lower lid, lash placement, oil glands, lacrymal crease, nictitating membrane, caruncle, and so on. you could even divide those regions again and study them. Allot of people, including myself fall short due to lack of knowledge on how to interpret reference. Micromanagement, at least for me, yeilds a better understanding of why things are where they are.

    Best, Steve
  8. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Something I'm wanting to try this fall is have a deer mount prepped before deer season starts, then mount with a fresh head on the bench to refer to. It's difficult to see depth and subtle shapes in pics for me.
  9. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    Absolutely. Proper interpretation does include 3d reference as well. Just make sure to use it along side 2d reference. Some people reading this may not know that dead reference means muscles have shrunken and are sagging somewhat due to loss of blood flow. I didn't think it mattered a whole lot until I was dinged by Rick Krane for not rebuilding the pectoral fin juncture on my competition fish in masters. He knew I had molded a dead specimen by the "sagging" in that area.. I didn't know enough back then to sculpt em' back the way they were before death. I sure do now.

    And you're right Jared, the key word being "fresh" the fresher the head the better. It will help with that sagging issue.
  10. Doug Motgomery

    Doug Motgomery Active Member

    The best thing I did was put a big mirror in my shop. Put your mount looking in to the mirror and then stand behind it, it will tell you every thing that's wrong with you mount.
  11. B Jones

    B Jones Memeber of - NTA,UTA,AIT.Proud Member of NZTA.

    That's good advice there Doug. I know when I stand sideways in front of the mirror it tells me everything I don't want to know as we'll.
  12. tem

    tem Well-Known Member

    ;D X2
  13. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    Ha!! I just spit water all over my keyboard... Thanks Brad.
  14. Riverland

    Riverland New Member

    take a photo and look at it . smart phones and digital cameras make it easy. you can put next to your 2d reference to compare.
  15. Excellent advice guys! Steven, those are pretty much the same guidelines I set for myself for future competition pieces.