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Commercial Mounts

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by tmpatton22, May 20, 2015.

  1. Just out of curiosity I was wondering what everyone did on their commercial mounts. Such as septum or replacement nose. How good of eyes do you use and other things like that.
  2. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    That's a tricky question. On the one hand, 99% of customers won't notice the difference either way. The problem is, most taxidermists who think like that end up compromising in areas customers do notice. For me, I use cheap eyes unless I am turning the eyes. I don't like any while showing when looking straight ahead on most animals. I use milk jug septums on everything because it speeds up my finish work and gives a nice look if someone looks in.

  3. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    The difference between commercial and competition is twofold - the standards by which the work is judged are from two different perspectives and in commercial mounts you need to turn a profit, whereas in competition mounts you spend whatever is necessary in time and material. In commercial work you will still find a lot of variety in techniques and materials used because each taxidermist is going to use what he or she feels he can use to save time and money to produce a quality product, pleasing to his customers, at a price that he/she can turn a decent profit without pricing him/herself out of the market in which they find themselves. I Speaking of the eyes, I find it interesting that the majority of the clients I have talked to prefer the darker, cheaper eyes. Their response is it looks more natural. That probably won't fly on a competition mount. Eyes, ears, antler position, nose, and grooming are the main points I find customers notice. They rarely look inside the nose. I find that I am my worst critic and I catch myself working harder and longer to satisfy my own standards rather than the customer's. (which isnt a totally negative thing) The two things from the majority of customers that trump everything else is price and turn around time. Personally, I epoxy inside the nose and use cheaper dark eyes... I spend extra time in antler placement, eye shape and finish painting.
  4. jk

    jk Active Member

    It really depends on what type of customer you are marketing. I try to produce a mount that is fairly close to competition quality. For instance I took one of my own mounts that I did just like my commercial pieces and entered it into state show last year. The only difference was that I put it on a floor pedistal. It scored a 90 in the professional division. To be honest I think most of my commercial work would score in the mid to upper 80's. That is what I shoot for and I charge accordingly. I am not the highest paid taxidermist but I am in the upper 20% in our area and I make no excuses for this. I use earliners on all my deer, Alpha nose on OTS or speed septum. I use 10-15 dollar eyes. I am at $550 a WT head and that is fair for me.

    I try to educate my customers on what a quality mount looks like and I point out what makes my mounts worth the money. If they are looking for a cheaper mount then they go other places. "If they want a competition quality mount at a fair price" I am happy to do their work. Your product has your brand on it, and it says something about you as an artist and craftsman, if you build your brand and really sell it, you can really charge whatever you want, within reason. Sorry, got on a rant

  5. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    J - I totally agree with you. A lot depends on who you are marketing. I appreciate your striving for high quality work, but what I find interesting are the guys who spend tons of time and money to get lots of blue ribbons, but who turn out MUCH lower quality commercial work. I do still maintain that the majority of clients don't appreciate some elements of a quality mount, even when you point it out them. I do strive educate them, and to surpass customer expectations with the product that leaves my shop, but I have found that is not always very hard to do, so I have a certain standard I expect of myself...even though most clients can't see the difference. I had a client say he wanted those "good eyes"...not the "cheap" ones...of course when I asked him to select the ones he wanted, he chose the dark plain, less expensive eyes, to which I replied, "yes sir!"
  6. Thank you guys for the input. I was just curious. I put decent $15-$18 eyes in my commercial mounts and the alpha nose from OTS if they have the size form I need but I think I do that more for me because my name is on it. I agree with what you all have said most customers don't know the difference which is fine I guess. I think generally speaking all taxidermist are there own harshest critiques. I don't know any taxidermist that finish a mount and is totally satisfied with it.
  7. J Cook

    J Cook Cook Taxidermy

    Better eyes,nictating membrane,septum, and nodules back on nose.
  8. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Cheap eyes set correctly are way better than expensive eyes set incorrectly. I use $5 eyes on all commercial mounts and finish the inner nose with colored apoxy. Never have used a septum.
  9. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Active Member

    I use brite tech economy medium dark eyes, bondo ears and All Game mixed with acrylic paint for the inside of nostrils. I don't use replacement noses, third eyelids or septums.
  10. . Pretty much same but no bondo
  11. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I use expensive eyes. add nictating membranes and nose nodules, but do like was mentioned above with apoxy and red flocking for the inner nose. I use ear liners or sometimes bondo. The details of eye shape and setting, antler angle, finishing paint color, etc., are what makes it stand out to customers. I doubt if I used a fake nose or septum that a client would notice if I didn't point it out. I recently got back a pig I had mounted many years ago because a gun store closed down. I had it in my shop, but am embarrassed by how it looks compared to how my pigs look now. I used to use the real nose and it just was very average. A client came in and saw it and I was explaining how I do much better work now and had one on the wall that I did with Rick Carter that was 1000% better. The person couldn't tell the difference.
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    After doing taxidermy for about six years or so, I became friends with an award winning taxidermist. When I went to his shop, I was floored. Looking at his deer heads was amazing. I had never seen a mounted deer head that was actually alive looking. My video tapes and a week with a local taxidermist had nothing like this in their instruction. When I asked him what he did to pull this off, he asked for an example on his deer that made it different. I couldn't come up with a single thing. I just knew the over all packaged smoked anything I had seen. I later discovered that, even though I had no idea of what a nictatating membrane was, it made the eye look complete and added to the package. He also built up the nose nodules, shaped the nostrils correctly, didn't over do the muscle detail and used layers of washes for coloring on the fleshy parts of the face instead of just brown on the eyes, black on the nose and no paint in the ears. Although I couldn't see those as individual items and I really didn't know what some of those things were or that those things made a difference, along with his ability to do the basics exceptionally well, all I knew was it makes a difference. He said it was there when it was alive and that made it able to be alive, so he put them back in. And it made a difference. I do the same thing and I can't tell you how many people have said I don't know what it is, but you deer heads look like they are alive and not like all the "oh, look, a dead deers head on the wall".