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Couple Concerns With Recent Elk Shoulder Mount, Looking For Advice

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Ryan Sayers, Apr 1, 2023.

  1. Same cape as one dropped off

    2 vote(s)
  2. Different cape then one dropped off

    1 vote(s)
  3. Hard to say on cape

    2 vote(s)
  4. Base pin to remove one complete antler

    6 vote(s)
  5. Cut off one or two points, reattach with pin and glue

    0 vote(s)
  6. No modifications and leave in garage

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ryan Sayers

    Ryan Sayers New Member

    I dropped off my elk hide, head and antlers to be mounted at a local taxidermist. Not on here just to complain but want your guys honest opinion on how to proceed and what my best options are now.

    At the time of drop off I asked him if I could get a detachable antler setup to get mount in the house and I was told it was not necessary and that the mount would fit. Upon going home I questioned this advice and measured the space the mount needed to pass through - it was a 36 inch wide hallway so I texted him with the measurements and asked him to verify if the mount would actually fit. He said it would fit and not be an issue. Well long story short the smallest dimension is 40 inches wide and is not close to fitting where I need it go (elk is a 6x6 measuring approx. 324 inches). My buddy is encouraging me to get a removable antler with square type pin at base of one of the antlers, but the taxidermist said that wouldn't work due to the size and weight of the antlers and my best option would be to saw off an antler point or two to get it into its space then reattached with pin and glue. What would you guys do in this case? (I was also told I would have to pay extra for any more work done, but I feel like the job wasn’t done to customer request and a potential swap out of capes leaves me feeling even less inclined to pay anything more than what I already have).

    Also my cape looks different than what I dropped off, the one I dropped off had a nice dark neck and the mount is much lighter and hide appears shorter. Also I tubed out my hide, which he was happy about (less sewing he said) but the mount I received is stitched up from the head all the way to the back of the mount. I asked if the cape lightens or changes appearance - the taxidermist said no but it looks significantly different to me. Apparently my hide got misplaced at the tanners for a few weeks with the bear hides but they got it back is what I'm told. I'll attach some pictures, but what do you think - does the cape lighten and change appearance with the tanning and mounting process or did I get a different cape of another (younger?) elk? This is my first shoulder mount and feel somewhat disappointed and discouraged. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
  2. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I’ll say this , I have taken pretty big elk and moose thru a standard 36” door , as you just have to pivot it thru but they do go thru . Not saying yours will but I’ve done it with 380 class critters. If he is telling you that a doweling system won’t work then he has no clue on how to do it in the first place . You should never have to cut points off your rack . That’s BS . But doweling will cost extra. As far as your cape , the only thing I can say is to find a special mark on the one you shot , maybe a entree or exit hole that would have to be sewn up and look for it on your mount . If there not there then ask how the hell it just disappeared. Color could possibly change a bit after the tanning as it’s been cleaned up a bit . That said it won’t be extreme. From what your describing , I’d be concerned.
    John C and George like this.

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Telling you that the antlers could not be pinned is BS. I have a 60+ inch moose right next to me with pinned antlers. I'm betting more that he doesn't know how to do them. You asked for it to be done and he argued no. NEVER cut off points!! Can't imagine that he even said to do that. He needs to finish the job as you specified. You do a V cut under the burr and inset a 3/4 inch piece of square stock into the bottom of the antler that now will fit into a corresponding hole/slot in the skull.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2023
    James Marsico likes this.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I think I'm reading that the hall way is the problem. I agree wIth the others on this. Feild pictures usually don't do the cape justice. I would like to see a pic of more of the mount all the way to the backboard. I would also like to see a better field pic that shows the whole head from nose to back of shoulders. The mount looks like it has a mane standing up on the seam like a pronghorn does.
  5. Ryan Sayers

    Ryan Sayers New Member

    Yes, correct the front 36” door was ok but the 36” hallway is the problem. I will attach a couple other photos showing more of the animal. Yes I thought the top of the neck/mane looked strange and that’s when I felt/saw the long stitch line, which kind of surprised me since I tubed my cape and did not cut it. I tried to flatten the ridge line but it won’t budge and looks a little off to me.
    F04DC537-F823-4361-ADE3-69E0DE9B6CDE.png D814D2AA-A113-47D2-87B8-8146C48FF8D9.jpeg 9412060C-8D07-4C8C-8B15-2D17DF8A0316.jpeg 47404FBE-D3B4-411C-8A39-16A3DB25DF44.png CBACEC47-F087-456B-9193-6B57F203819C.jpeg
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    It could be that the taxidermist has the neck hair slicked down causing it to look less dark. The forehead hair patterns look similar from the field pic and the mount pic. That seam just seems weird to me.
    Jean M likes this.
  7. Jean M

    Jean M Well-Known Member

    I agree with Tangle. The forehead patterns, as well as shape of light colour around eyes matches up, the difference in overall colour may be attributed to light source being completely different in each situation.
    Plus the hair on the neck in field pictures is still fluffed up, where on the mount it's very slick. It looks like an early season animal that doesn't have a big thick hair coat on his neck yet.

    It could be possible that someone along the way decided to split the cape because they thought it was easier to flesh, thin or mount on form.
    Maybe he fixed the antlers permanently to form, then realized it was a tubed cape. So rather than remove the antlers, he decided to cut the cape.
    Maybe the form was too small and instead of modifying it he cut a narrow strip of hide of the back of ths neck, who knows?

    I don't have experience with mounting elk, but if this taxidermist can't pin the antlers, maybe he didn't either.
    rigbobby likes this.
  8. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    i think that ridge down the back of the neck is from the stitching. hair got caught in the thread and bunched up.
  9. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    The pedicles look short and the hide looks like it’s pulling away from the burr already. Ear butts and ear has issues.
    Not a high end mount !
    Sea Wolf likes this.
  10. Ryan Sayers

    Ryan Sayers New Member

    Those are all good points and could explain why the hide has been cut and stitched. Kind of sucks how rough the seam looks with the hair sticking up. Any way I can calm the hair down to make it look better?
  11. Ryan Sayers

    Ryan Sayers New Member

    Yah it’s really too bad that some of these issues exist. The taxidermist is suppose to come to the house next week. Anything I should mention or ask for? The mount wasn’t cheap and if there are things that can be done to improve it even at this late stage of the game I am all ears!
  12. Ryan Sayers

    Ryan Sayers New Member

    Thanks for all the information guys, I really appreciate it! I just have a couple follow up questions:
    1) when the taxidermist comes to the house next week (to determine best option for getting mount into house), anything I should mention or ask for?

    2) He has told me more than once that a base pin and full antler removal is not possible especially at this stage. Is this true? I would really prefer that option vs cutting a point or two off and the base pin/full side removal seems to be the popular option on the forum here.

    3) With the seam on the back of the mount causing a ridge or ‘mowhawk’ appearance, is there anything the taxidermist or I can do to improve the look? I have tried brushing it down some here but it doesn’t appear to flatten or change anything.

    4)If I go with the base pin option to remove antler, I’m getting the impression I’ll have to get another taxidermist to do the job. What am I looking at for approx cost?
  13. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Tanning cost is 20% more for tubed capes. I cut all of them open when sending to a commercial tannery.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2023
    James Marsico likes this.
  14. Ryan Sayers

    Ryan Sayers New Member

    That's good to know for the future, I thought it would be better tubed but it took so long to do and if the hide may get cut later in the process anyway I might as well just cut it up the spine when field dressing.
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    That and a bad job doing the seam at the back of the neck.
  16. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    It is better tubed out and makes a better mount. My tannery doesn’t charge that and even if it did you would safe that in time not seeing it back up . We all do things differently. Ask him why he was happy about the short cut like you don’t know about the long cut it is now and see if he stumbles on his words . By the looks of that mount it isn’t very good . Don’t let him cut your points off to get inside, remember this also if it does make a record book of some kind if you cut anything before your score is locked in to include doweling it , it won’t qualify. So get it scored first . I’ll say this , by the looks of it , there is nothing he can do with his lack of knowledge that is going to make you happy . I know your saying he is supposed to come over to see about getting it inside your trophy room but I’d really be surprised he he shows up be be honest.
    Richard C likes this.
  17. Ryan Sayers

    Ryan Sayers New Member

    We did measure it at the house here a couple times and came out to 324” both times but may not hurt to have it professionally recorded. I will reach out to other guys in my area and see who can do an official score, full removable antler and how much it will cost.
  18. cynpeterson

    cynpeterson Active Member

    2) He has told me more than once that a base pin and full antler removal is not possible especially at this stage. Is this true? I would really prefer that option vs cutting a point or two off and the base pin/full side

    This is absolutely false. It's a pain in the ass- he'd have to rehydrate, undo the stitching and pull the face down. I've helped do this to fully mounted deer that have fallen off the wall and busted the skull cap/ripped antlers out. There is no stage that's too far for this unless something is bad about the cape (took too long to mount and is now delicate)
    James Marsico likes this.
  19. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    A taxidermist friend of mine does many 60 plus inch Moose with detachable antlers. It’s just a lot more work but he does charge for it.
  20. Penczak

    Penczak Active Member

    Cutting points off is the stupidist thing I have ever heard.
    I had a customer take out a window and the window frame to get it in the house.

    If a customer wants removeable antlers I'll give them what they want. It would cost $200 extra when brought in to mount.
    If brought in after it was already mounted to have the horns made removeable. $350.00
    James Marsico and Ryan Sayers like this.