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Freeze Dried Alligator Gar Head

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Lee Lackey, Sep 15, 2022.

  1. Has anyone ever tried freeze drying an alligator gar head for mounting? And if so did it work?
     
  2. Kastaway

    Kastaway Taxidermist, Pioneer of Freeze Drying 1969

    Did a lot of them. No problems.
     

  3. Thank you for your time much appreciated!
     
  4. Penczak

    Penczak Active Member

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    I think you would still have to skin it, Remove the brain and big head bone and as much meat as posible. Re-fil the cheeks with miche. What about the gills?

    I've mounted several. But I've never freeze dried one. I'm just trying to imagine it. Sounds like a good idea...
    Joe would you mind posting a pic?
     
  5. I have never mounted one before, I always turn them away. This time my brother went out bow fishing at the coast and asked me to mount for him. So I cut the head and fins off, drilled holes in jaws and brain cavity. Power washed the skin clean and power washed the head clean. Soaked it in dawn and power Washed it all again. Head, skin and fins are very clean. Then I put it all in freezer to mess with later. How are they typically preserved? I had considered freeze drying head but now that’s it’s cleaned off there’s not much left to it. Seems like I could soak in denatured alcohol or formaldehyde but I’m not sure what the best route is.
     
    Penczak likes this.
  6. Penczak

    Penczak Active Member

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    132
    Last one I mounted was about 18lbs. I carved and sanded a foam body. treated it just like I would a bass. I boraxed the heck out of it. I leave excess borax in the fleshy areas.
    Used homemade plaster miche in the head cheeks and fin areas.
    Then stick it in the drying room for a couple of weeks. It dried out hard as a rock. It probably does have some grease in the jaw bones and big areas. But I've not had any complaints.
    Some people want their skin mounts.
    I did a 77 lb drum where I cast the head right behind the gills. I used plaster and sand to cast one side. Then flip it over and do the other. (Then cut the head off and give it to the chinese resturant);)
    I mounted the rest of it using the skin. It's on a foam body I carved. It's hanging in a resturant that I go to alot. So I see it all the time. It's been 20 years.
    That is the old fashion method, that's how I learned.
    But I'll tell you, the prices of wholesale fish reproductions are going absolutely crazy.