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Basic mount or wall pedestal to start out?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by lilcajun, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. lilcajun

    lilcajun New Member

    I am fixing to do my first shoulder mount. I've helped with a couple in the past, and I think I'm ready to dive in on my own. The ones I've helped with, were done with dry preserve. I am sending this cape off to get tanned instead to try something different.

    My question is, for my first mount, would it be a bad idea to do a wall pedestal instead of a regular shoulder mount? I don't want to get in over my head just starting out. I was thinking a simple semi sneak shoulder mount on my first one. If I'm confident with that one, I was wanting to do a wall pedestal for my second. I am mounting two of my own deer that I killed this year, so hopefully I can build up some confidence. I've been wanting to get into this for quite a while, and I think this is my chance. Ordered my first taxi item earlier, a table top mannequin stand. Looks like its going to cost me a bit to get everything I need, but I think it'll be a good investment in the long run. Not wanting to get into it full time. Mainly just something else to keep me busy in the summertime as well as another way for me to pay for my hunting addictions!
  2. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Active Member

    I think you would have a better time doing a standard shoulder mount....I personally can't stand those wall pedestals but that's neither here nor there.

  3. I would go with the basic shoulder mount to. That's what I mounted my first one, they are a little easier to mount in my opinion.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    My vote is for regular shoulder mount also.
  5. lilcajun

    lilcajun New Member

    Sounds good. I should be doing my first solo mount in about 8 weeks once I get the hide back from the tannery.

    For you guys that have done basic shoulder mounts as well as pedestal mounts, do you think it is feasible to be able to do a wall ped on my second solo mount? I'm not sure how much extra work goes into a wall ped over a basic mount, which is why I'm asking. I really do like the McKenzie 6900 wall ped, and was hoping to mount my biggest buck to date on that form, but don't want to get in over my head.
  6. I don't know why some folks make such a fuss about wall peds. They still hang on the wall and there isn't that much extra work to do. The fit and finish of the scalloped portion of the form is probably the most technical aspect of the wall ped and there are many ways to skin that cat. Go for it
  7. TripleC

    TripleC Member


    First, great question for a beginner. I was in your same boat a few years back. Heck, I still classify myself as a beginner. I opted for a wall pedestal mount as my first one. I had read on other posts to go with a standard shoulder mount, but the posts really didn't provided an explanation other than it was the preference of what certain people liked or didn't like. I had always wanted on a pedestal mount and I had a deer that was nice but wasn't a monster by any means. I figured I would give it a shot. Disclaimer - None of this is meant to sway you from a wall pedestal. Just what I learned from my own experience. From a mounting perspective I would say from the jaw line up there is not a lot of difference in the two different processes. What I found out during the process (and after the fact) was how difficult it can be to get the hair patterns to line up on the shoulder, brisket, and the neck was on the wall pedestal. A lot of this had to do with the fact that, like you, I was just starting out and didn't have a baseline to go off of for hands on and visual knowledge of the process/hair patterns. Watching videos and going to seminars doesn't get you the hands on piece. The other portion of the process is finishing the back, which was actually the easiest part for me. Since you have time search for the different methods out there. George posted a good one the other day on some one else's post. In the end, I am happy in the fact that I was able to actually complete the mount. I even took it to the state competition, specifically to get a judge to help point out the issues with it. This was key to improving, but have thick skin if you ever choose that path. This opened my eyes up to areas that I overlooked or areas I thought looked good. I often contemplate going back over the mount to fix a few things, but I always opt not to do it, probably more sentimental reasons than anything.

    If I had it to do over again, I might have bought a hide/antlers and completed a shoulder mount for my first one. It just takes some of the attachment to the animal out of the process, since it wasn't one you or your family member harvested. Speculation on my part, since all the ones I have done have either been mine or my kids. Reference photos are a must, aside from the close-ups of the eyes, nose, ears, etc., find some that also show the deer in the pose you are wanting to recreate. Look at how the skin aligns on the shoulder, neck, etc.

    Another tip that I got from one of Gene Smith's seminars is to get a change out head, cheap eyes, ears, and some modeling clay. When you have time or watching TV, sit there and practice sculpting the eyes and ear butts. You will be surprised how you will improve without ever doing a complete mount. Invaluable for me, particularly since I do this more as a hobby (or a necessity with three kids that love to hunt) at this point in my life.

    Whichever route you choose, best of luck. Let us know how it turns out.