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What Did You Wish You Knew... ?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by SmokeyDoe, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. SmokeyDoe

    SmokeyDoe New Member

    So I've been lurking on and off here for about 15 years. I used to do quite a bit of high-realism wildlife art, and I've been trapping for about that long too (and hunting longer) so people keep bugging me that I should try doing some taxidermy as I've got a good eye for detail. I've always been interested, but never had the time/space to do it. Moved to a large ol' farm house 3 years ago so I've finally got the room to dive into it. I'm not looking for full time or anything, just would like to dabble with doing our own and some friend's here and there. Soon as we moved here I said that soon as I get a buck that isn't really huge enough to pay for a professional mount, but good enough to want to try and do something with, I'd try it.

    And, since I now have this guy hanging in the barn.... here goes!


    Beyond the tutorials and such, what are some tips or tidbits that you guys can offer that you wish you had known from day 1? Like is there a particular kit that's more user friendly, or particularly slick to use, or maybe ones to avoid? Maybe a certain type of eye just looks wayyyy better? Or a random tool that is a lifesaver? Is there a certain pose that looks amazing but is actually easier to do than the rest?

    I'm just tossing out random ideas there... but like with anything, I always find there are little things like "Man, if I'd only know that XYZ existed from day 1, it would have been soo much easier/look way better etc"

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't start your mount without Rick Carter's DVD Mounting a Whitetailed Deer A to Z sold at McKenzie. I wish I had that one when I first started. I would get a stout ruffer, which is a tool like a wirebrush to rough up the form. An air brush and paints along with a fleshing draw knife and a Dremal tool are some tools that you should have before you start. Critter Clay and hide past as well as some Apoxie Sculpt.
    SmokeyDoe and Johnnyclyde like this.

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A fleshing beam, needle, I use a 1 1/2" needle and 30# spider wire to sew up the seam and holes. If you plan to tan it yourself, I would get a tanning kit. Some plastic totes for tanning.
    Ricks Whitetail A to Z will show you all this and tools you'll need.

    The DVD is the most important thing you need.
    SmokeyDoe likes this.
  4. SmokeyDoe

    SmokeyDoe New Member

    Awesome, thanks for that info! I'll have to add the DVD to my order then for sure. I was actually debating about a stout ruffer after watching it on a few other vids, so I'll probably add that too. I think I'll skip on the air brush - for now. I'm pretty handy with a brush so I'll see if I can make due for the first one. Beam, needles, fleshing etc I have from doing trapping so I think I'm set that way.

    For this first one, I was thinking of going with one of the mounting kits on the market. I figured it would be a cheaper way of getting started with it (clay, hide paste etc) all in one package. If I get through this mount and still want to do more than I'll buy things separately afterwards. Would that make sense, or are the kits not very good? I've tanned a bear hide on my own years ago, so I know what I'm getting into with that side of things at least.

    Thanks for the help!
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A kit would not be a bad way to go. Van Dykes and McKenzie has some good ones it looks like. Still get that Rick Carter DVD when you order your kit.