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Can you get more stretch out of a late season deer cape?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by WillyD, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. jhunter13

    jhunter13 Member

    All I know is that since I am still new at this I measure the meat then the cape after it reurns from the tannery. If it is 1/2-1" bigger when tanned I know I wont have to fight it to fit the form I ordered off my neck measurments. I measure both becuase I am new and paranoid that I made a mistake.
  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Well then you should eliminate half your paranoia. Forego measuring the meat if you're sending your capes out. Measure the hide when you get it back because THAT is what you're going to have to work with. Even if it IS smaller than your "meat" measurement, what would you propose to do about it? Bitch at the tannery? Nah, not a good idea and you lose every time on that one. Try to stretch it so that it matched your meat measurments? You might get an inch out of it, but if that hide was pickled and tanned, about one inch is the best you can hope for.

    And I'm sorry, I think that "meat measuring" is just a crock. I've heard this story before and expect the hue and cry I'm going to hear, but I THINK IT'S A CROCK. If you cinch that tape tight under the chin at the jaw break and behind the Atlas and you match that measurement up with your form, you're going to be right there. But back to the meat thing. Do you measure the front corner of the eye to the end of the nostrils on the meat? Hmmmm, if it's so accurate, why not? Nope, you measure OVER THE HIDE, don't you? And just how many of you actually remeasure the form before you pull the hide on? Remember, we're dealing with expanding foam and a sculptor's imagination. Are you really SURE that 18 inch neck isn't 18 1/4 or 18 1/2?? How about 19? If you're that anal (read "particular" if "anal" bothers you), then why do you trust the form but don't trust the hide?

  3. jhunter13

    jhunter13 Member

    George , I haven't had one come back smaller. If anything they come back 1-2" inches bigger. I measure E to N over the hide, then the neck measurments without the hide......and yes, I measure the forms also, and they vary way more then my hide does but it seems to all work out.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Your hides come back from a professional tanned BIGGER? In all my years I have never heard that.
  5. jhunter13

    jhunter13 Member

    I was taught to use baking soda and water to relax the cape, then stretch. This measurement is 1-2" bigger then my meat measurments.
  6. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I test fit after shaving. Looks like an 18" form would work from the photo...but it's really hard to tell.
  7. Yes many times a post rutt cape will let out, measure after you tan it and thin it. I have capes let out several inches many times and if you put that cape on on a form to small its going to look like crap.
  8. WillyD

    WillyD New Member

    This has been entertaining!!! I'm going to tan him first and thin him down and see what I come out with before I order my form. I appreciate all the good info.
  9. cwt

    cwt Active Member


  10. oldboar

    oldboar Taxidermy...do the impossible:)

    I guess I want to throw some fuel on the fire a bit.

    There are a great many who will preach about not giving the customer a mount that is unattractive, etc. Example a "Straight ahead pose".

    Yet, will state..."It is what I measured when it came in the door". Not going to measure it after tanning....too stubborn!!!

    WTF? I'm one of the slowest taxidermist on this site. And even I can measure a cape after tanning in less than 30 seconds. C'mon really, you really don't want to take the time to check? C'mon man!

    I have checked before and after measurements for years. Why?

    First of all, capes can and will "let out", some more than others....and that makes my job easier, as I don't "roid" out my deer, but I do like a swell that is full and attractive. So do customer's:) And, I'm not fighting a skin to make it "gigantic" trust me. But if I can go the next size up on a form...you bet I will!

    Second of all, not all tanneries neutralize to completion. You can at times smell the fumes coming off of some of the "big name" tanneries, and I know I have done enough...that I can tell they need to be neutralized a bit more....ESPECIALLY in the heaviest leather region (Swell and back of neck). Neutralize for an extra 10 minutes, and those skins will let out ALOT! Without this knowledge, guys aren't getting the maximum "taxi-ing" of the skin, or size.

    B1itch if you like, but I very rarely mount a rut deer from Wisconsin that doesn't a minimum of 21" at the swell. And, I am talking 1 1/2 year old deer...lots of them through the years. Yeah, they're quality mounts, seams don't bust, don't budge etc.

    Just an opinion.....everyone should find there own way. But ignoring something that is right in front of you after tanning, isn't the way I want to disseminate information.

  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Jim, just where did you read "I'm too stubborn"? You're starting to sound like a CNN announcer creating your own headlines.

    Never ONCE said I didn't know how to measure a hide after tanning. Never ONCE claimed not to have done it on professionally tanned capes. And never ONCE had one of my "over the skin" "in the door" capes NOT FIT THE FORM I ORDERED. But you see I don't send my capes out to be tanned and I've learned to trust the method I use. Has nothing to do with slow, fast or halfassed, just the method that's worked for over 5 years WITH ME. Hell, I don't care if you measure your capes that silly assed "3 inches down on the meat" (though my butcher never leaves that much meat on the capes I get in.)

    I neither "roid" or "anorexia" my deer. I juggle what the client wants with what I perceive but I DON'T let him tell me how to do MY job. If he doesn't like the way I do it, he's welcome to go someplace else. In this business, nothing is "right". Because that's YOUR OPINION doesn't always make it the right one, just YOURS. If it were any different, the cliche "There's more than one way to skin a cat" wouldn't be valid anymore.