tonyd

My first try at Taxidermy

22 posts in this topic

My son and I went out today, got two decent size cotton tails. I thought I would try doing a full mount. Well my first try was a disaster, Thought my knife was sharp enough, it wasn't, Thought I knew more what I was doing, I didn't. To many rips and lost fur. No pictures, trying to forget it .My boy and I have skinned many rabbits, but for only the purpose of eating. Oh, well maybe next time. We still got lunch out of the days hunt. On a side note, on the way home, don't you hate when you see a nice Coyote in a slow walk on the side of the road no where close to being legal to get a shot. I think he was laughing at me.TonyD

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Cottontails have very fragile skin. They rip with your hands and no knife. Better luck on your next attempt.

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Yup, I would try a larger animal. My first was a coyote rug with a head on it and it turned out pretty good. Second I did a wild hog shoulder mount and that turned out pretty good too. I've done a whitetail shoulder mount that probably turned out the best out of all of them. It takes time and you need to work slowly....

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A few of my mounts that I have done. I am 100% self taught and I still need to hone my skills.post-3-1293820976.jpgpost-3-1293820985.jpgpost-3-1293820992.jpgThe hog and coyote shoulder mounts still needed to be painted.Here are a couple of more. The hog and coyotes shoulder mounts are painted here.post-3-1293821091.jpgpost-3-1293821095.jpgpost-3-1293821101.jpgpost-3-1293821108.jpg

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Personally, I've struggled with drying time. I get so excited to finish them, that I don't provide enough time for drying once the hide is on the form. Also, I am a little heavy handed with the paint. I need a lot more practice on the airbrush. But, I save myself a ton of money mounting my own stuff.

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Not sure which looks like a Martin...if one does, I really need to work on my Taxidermy skills!!!! Maybe the skull? That is a bear skull. It is not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I will say this, most of my mounts are decent, I've seen better and I have paid for worse. It takes a true artist to make the really nice mounts, and I am not there yet. I have a Mule Deer that I paid $550.00 for and he is worse than the mounts I have done. I have a Whitetail and a Javalina that a guy did and they are much, much better than my stuff. The guy that charged me $550 for the Mule Deer wanted $800 for a hog shoulder mount and that is when I decided to do it myself. I think I mounted it for $150 total cost. But with taxidermy, you are paying for the artists expertise, not just materials and labor. I would never win any awards with my mounts, but most have no idea that I did them myself.

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You did a fantastic job on that pig, that is a great looking mount. I taught myself everything i know too, not much! but enough to make some, i have just been doing ducks fave not played with big game yet but thinkin i'm going to give it a shot next year! great mounts though

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LOL...didn't even think of the guitar....No its a cheap Hohner. I spend my money on my Electric Guitars. Thanks for the comments.

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Neat stuff .I have done a few fish that turned out ok and a cinemon teal that was my best,used the duck to train a dog and the wife got rid of the fish. She said iether the dead fish or the live ones .I kept the live ones. Peeker has ducks and geese flying all over his place that he has done and two deer heads they are pretty good looking. I do good just to get a hide taned.

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Personally, I've struggled with drying time. I get so excited to finish them, that I don't provide enough time for drying once the hide is on the form. Also, I am a little heavy handed with the paint. I need a lot more practice on the airbrush. But, I save myself a ton of money mounting my own stuff.
Seriously, if you want to truely save yourself money your going about it all wrong... join an association, go to seminars, and learn how to do taxidermy correctly... Being self taught is fine. Im self taught... However you arent saving money if your wasting your trophies... Taxidermy isnt about slapping a skin on a form and poking eyes into it. we all have to start somewhere so least you are starting :smiley-funny-post-sign: If you truely want to learn.. feel free to send me a pm. I can help you.

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If I had more time on my hands, I would take some classes or go to seminars, but I just don't have the time. When I have guests over I ask them to pick out the mounts I have done and they usually can't do it. Don't get my wrong, a professional would be able to pick them out, but if the layman can't it doesn't bother me much. I have yet to ruin anything I have mounted, so I think I am headed in the right direction...This is not to say that a good, professional Taxidermist isn't worth the money...THEY CERTAINLY ARE!!!I just wanted to try my hand at it. Anymore, I can't seem to find the time to mount the coyote and hog I have waiting for me.

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Agreed. Your hog looks pretty good, as compared to the rest (though, I'm first drawn to the eyes and nostrils because they do not look real). I don't want to start commenting on each piece, but you've definitely got a ways to go. I completely agree that you've got to start somewhere, and saving money is huge, but maybe buy yourself some practice animals like coyotes, skunks, raccoons, etc., (I can direct you where to do that) and make some inexpensive attempts after you've received some instruction from a professional. You'll appreciate the results.Also, PM me know if you want some suggestions with that bear skull, it is nowhere near finished if you were going for a truly completed European mount. See all that grease in the rear of the skull near the brain cavity? If done correctly, that won't be there, and it could be white, instead of bone colored if you desire, but it takes time, the right supplies, and patience.Please, take my comments as constructive criticism. I applaud you for making these attempts, but now it's time to hone your skills. I do not consider myself a professional, but my work does speak for itself at this point.

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Completely understood. The bear skull was not finished at that point, just a test fitting to the wood. I completely understand what you guys are saying. I do not plan on doing this professionally, just for myself. Thanks for the comments, they have been well taken, for sure.

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Some of those are flat out scary! Would probably work for keeping the neighborhood kids out though. Maybe that's what they looked like before they were shot. If they were that ugly, it may have been hunter assisted suicide. Don't blame them!Thanks though, needed the laugh.

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