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Latest Deer - Please Critique

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Nina Lukaszewicz, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Nina Lukaszewicz

    Nina Lukaszewicz Outdoor Dreams Taxidermy

    I just finished this one last night. I tried to get good pictures but they didn't turn out so great. I know I need more angles of the deer for a good critique, and I'll post them when I get home from school. This is about my 15 or so deer mount....I'm not sure, maybe more? I don't keep track of them any more. lol.

    Anyways I know I keep having problems with the lipline shrinking, I try and try on every mount and I always get this problem. Also the noses on my deer need work. But what else stands out to you?

  2. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    Pretty mount Nina.
    I'm awful new to this , have only done 5 or 6 myself so I have no room to pass judgment other then I think he looks really good. :O)

  3. Nina, I was always having problems with my eyes, they would start to open as it would dry. I now make sure all those areas mouth, eyes, nose are fleshed realy good and then when I'm ready to mont I use a good hide paste but on the other areas in question, eyes, mouth, nose I use a two part epoxy hide paste and never had a problem again. ,
  4. Your lip line could be pulling because you're making the lip slot too wide. Next time, if your not already doing this, use your lip tucking tool to make lip slot. Angle the tool upwards and only go in about 1/4 inch. The thin slot allows the foam to lock the lip skin in place. I also brush a thin layer of hide paste in the slot as added insurance. Don't go overboard with the hide paste or you will have a mess.
  5. joeps

    joeps Active Member

    looks like your antler plate is set to far cack rule of thumb 2 finger widths back of eye to front of burr. , also looks like the butts are placed to far back and a little on the big side, all in all looks good tough to really tell from the pics though.
  6. paul e

    paul e New Member

    looks OK Nina
    but ill give you my opinion
    the earedges look a little thick but the pics are not real clear so they might be ok
    the antlers look like they are leaning to far back and to far
    if i may keep the ridge on top of and in between making a good transition
    and take a few measurements like from the eye to the burr and from the nose to the burr
    and the nose to the tip of each antler
    these will help you stay at the correct angle and measurement
    pretty good though i think
  7. honda

    honda New Member

    I cant see much of the nose so i cant say anything about it. I don't know if its just the pic or not but it seems like the skull plate is slanted to one side and the antlers should be tilled just a tad more forward. the second pic shows that there isn't the smoothest transition from the manikin and the skull plate that was attached. almost looks like a slight rise just in front of the antler bur. But then again pic don't always show it like it is. one last thing, it looks like your eyes are open ever so slightly to much.Great job you are going to make money doing this kind of work. You have what it takes
  8. Matt

    Matt New Member

    A few tips I could give you on your lip line is not to cut your slot too wide or too deep, and after you get the lower lip tucked, pull the skin up from the throat to allow for drying. If you tuck your lip line and then push everything to the throat, it will pull everytime, but if you pull some slack up to the chin, you will have very little pulling.


    Hey Nina....Pretty good mount, but needs some work on the lips as you said (have to shave paper thin), and also put some buckeye glue,killer glue,etc in your lip slot to lock those lips in....Ears need a little TLC, and also eyes(expression)...A cheap reference eye cast and reference photos works well to "make your mounts come alive"...Also, so you get used to eye sets, McKenzie sells a whitetail eye set tool by Erich Carter which is awesome!! Only $21.00 or so!!
  10. Bionicrooster

    Bionicrooster New Member

    looks great Nina, if you were in NJ I would have no problem bringing a head to you.
  11. You're kidding right.

    Since you posted this on this forum, I'm assuming you want the truth and not some pamper job. If this is your 15 odd deer, then you need to step back and get some training. You're right the lips are horrible looking. Pre streach the snout and lower jaw before mounting. Then these areas very well and use a narrow slot. I use a drill bit for the corners of the mouth and a lip tucking took to cut the rest of the slot. I use ample Buckeye glue on all facial areas. The ears look ragged and are not possitioned properly. Did you card them? The antlers are possitioned wrong. The throat patch looks to be pulled down too low. I'm sure there are some other major problems that I can see on the photos. Basically, you need to study your reference a lot more and get a few modern videos to study up on some beter techniques and detail work.
  12. Nina, dont need to step back and get any training.

    Nina you need to keep moving forward and each time work to improve over the last mount. Repeat and increase the quailty. I think and feel you are on the right track.

    Most of us never had the money to go and get training! I know I did not! not until after mounting maybe 450 deerheads.

    Nina, joining your state association and attending their seminairs will help along with competing. But also posting pics here and taking the constructive cirtiques will help maybe just as much.

    The white patch looks about where it should be, it certainly is not pulled horizontal and over-stretched for a huge neck.

    Trophy Special-lips As for carding deer ears??? WHo in the heck cards ears, do it right and you dont need to card them. When the earliner fits the ear and you use the right glue, you don't need to card the ears. Hell even with bondo when done right you don't need to card the earLOL.

    A drill bit will open the lip slot to much, so just cut it with a blade and gently file and rasp to the correct with of your choosing.
  13. Nina Lukaszewicz

    Nina Lukaszewicz Outdoor Dreams Taxidermy

    I understand that I need to improve, and I thank those of you that took the time to give me an honest critique.

    John, I am already a member of the Pennsylvania Taxidermists Association...I went to the convention last year and it was really fun. I took a deer head and listened to the judge go over my score sheet with me. I have to say that helped so much more. I definitely plan on going again from now on, this year I am taking a few more deer.
  14. whitebuffalo

    whitebuffalo Theres no graduation day in the outdoors

    Hey Nina, I like to measure to at least for antler tips before I cape a buck. I just add the measurements to my receiving sheet and when it comes to mounting time i get these with in a 1/16 inch or right on the money. Keep working at it.
  15. boone

    boone New Member

    Hi Nina....Nice deer! Ears are rough and set may be off a little, antler set definately slightly off, lipline off and a bit rough. Cant tell much from the pics on the detail areas (eyes, nose, brisket/armpits). The neck and shoulders look good and soft! Darn good for #15 or so.
  16. 458okie

    458okie Jeff "458okie" W.


    First of all, very nice job and I agree with John C about experience, which is the "ultimate mentor" in this art and sometimes Frankenstien biz we call taxidemy...just kidding! Not! Actually, I was filleting the nasal cartilage off a deer nose when some kids walked in and went "ewwww!" So, I guess there is some Frankenstienish element to our art. At least the goulish part of caping and splitting lips, etc. is such.....even though it is routine in the world of taxidermy! :eek:

    ....and learning as one goes...or something to that effect.

    Read my comment on "What Bit for Lip Slot" to help answer your lip question. Hey, that "first mount pic" I dug out and posted has AWFUL lip pulling and eye shrinkage......it will get better as you go. 8)

    For a young lady, I like your spirit and eagerness and willingness to learn. It is encouraging to see young folks taking up the art of taxidermy. Stick with it even when you go through spells of discouragement...we all hit the "mundane" periods and blahs in the biz.

    Heck, I'm feeling older even though I'm 39! Heck...not for long...gosh, I turn 40 in January! :eek: But you are learning as a youth and have so much of an advantage BECAUSE of that! An advantage because imagine all the experience you will have ONCE you hit 40 (gawd forbid!).

    Your father and family must be so proud of you! Plus it is obvious that you have found a wonderful fellowship of "brothers and sisters in the biz" in this forum.

    Take care,

  17. NICKYG


    Hey there!!!

    It's great of you to try to help a girl out, but please don't DISCOURAGE HER, or "Tear apart her mount" Like trophy specialist...Be honest,fair,and give her pointers and suggestions, don't try to hurt feelings.... Did the trophy specialist read her profile??? I believe Nina is only 15YRS old, and she is doing a heck of a job for her age, but sure, we can all use some improvement....Remember your first buck mount?????? I'll tell ya what.......Didn't look much like a living deer to me.......

    NINA..... Some helpful suggestions from Yaak River Wildlife Mounts in Montana is: Dremel your lip line with a "lip-locker" dremel bit available from MC Kenzie, so your lips stay tight...Shave them extremely thin, also...Put some BUCKEYE SUPREME, killer glue,etc. in the lip slot so that when you roll in your skin, it stays PUT!! Use lots of reference photos of a live whitetail deer....I like to use a stout ruffer, and also slim ruffer to ruff up my ear liners, then use Buckeye Supreme paste to secure the ear in place...Make sure you use reference, and roll those inner white hairs to where they belong...Deer ears are nice and crisp, and make sure your ears fit right, first of all, then press that ear in place when you have your glue on the ear liners...Work them good, and after you mount the buck and have things situated, card your ears for a few days for a crisp ear that your customers will love!!!

    Reference, reference, reference....And also a good expert video from Scott Brewer, Roger Martin, Joe Meder, etc pays big dividends!! Best Of luck!! You can do it!!! ;)
  18. No I did not look at her profile and I shouldn't need to. She asked for opinions on her mount and I'm not going to insult her by treating her like a kid. My comments were meant for an adult, which if I were in her shoes, that's what I'd want. She mentioned that she had done some 15 deer heads. With that many problems this far down the road, I'll stick with my suggetion to step back and do some studying before the next mount project. With all the high quality taxidermy videos out there these days, you can gain expertise much quicker than by trial and error. You can buy videos watch them several times, take notes and then sell them for nearly how much you paid for them by advertising them on this site. Keep in mind that every highly flawed peice that you put out may haunt you down the road should you decide to do taxidermy professionally.

    Also, don't listen to anybody that tells you not too card the ears. You want crisp, straight looking ear edges and not ragged looking ones. Carding accompishes a natural looking ear edge.
  19. Bionicrooster

    Bionicrooster New Member

    Actually I am serious. I have quite a few deer mounts and have pretty much stopped getting animals mounted these days. I wouldn't mind at all taking a decent buck to someone like Nina who I think has a very good artistic quality and let her mount a head for me. I imagine it was easier for you, never had to practice, first mounts just came out awesome eh?
  20. Dave H

    Dave H New Member

    Keep doing what your doing, and go to the shows and you will learn as you go. I think that for your age, your doing a real good job. Keep it up , and don't let the super hero's like trophy specialist get to you. I will guarentee that if he posted a mount that he did ,we could all find something wrong with it.