Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Discussions about learning taxidermy & picking taxidermist.
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:17 pm

Image

A few months ago Dan asked me if I would do a shoulder mount of the white doe he shot in Sept. 2009. I was honored that he asked me to do the mount and jumped at the chance. What taxidermist wouldn’t want to mount such a unique trophy?

When Dan first asked me to mount this deer, he indicated that he thought it would be really cool to do a post where I show the process of mounting the white doe from start to finish. I agreed to do this and now that Dan and I have everything in place, we’re ready to start.

Here is how I envision this working. Over the next 2-3 months I will post pictures with a short explanation of what I’m doing in each picture. Please bear with me as my time to work on the mount is somewhat limited and it’s possible that I may go a week or two w/o posting any new photos and explanations. I thought that it would be best to have one post that is locked for the text and photos of what I will be doing and another regular post where people can post questions and/or comments.


User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:34 pm

Preparing The Skin For Tanning

At this point in time some of the work has already been done. In Sept. 2009, the day after Dan killed the deer, Lee skinned the deer for Dan and it was frozen. Dan gave me the deer in May 2010.

First I thawed the deer and gave it a quick inspection. Everything looked fine except for a broadhead entrance hole where the neck and the front of the left shoulder meet and an exit hole in the right armpit. Both of those holes will need to be repaired after the cape is tanned.

Image
Image
Image


I examined the nose, lower lip, eyes, and ears. While there is some color loss to these areas after death, I took some pictures so that after the mount had dried and it was time to paint, I would have some good reference for where the dark brown to black spots were on the nose and lower lip and also to show where the brown and rusty brown colors were around the eyes.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I used a scalpel to split the skin around the eyes, lips, and nose. I also removed any meat from those areas.

This is the inside of the eyelids.
Image

Nose and nostrils turned inside out.
Image

I used my fingers, a set of ear openers, and a scalpel to turn the ears inside out. I then trimmed the meat from the base of the ears.

Image
Image

I used the scalpel to trim a little bit of remaining fat from along the back and brisket of the cape.

Then the cape was salted two times in the first 24 hours.

First salting
Image
After ~10hrs.
Image
Second salting
Image

When it was no longer dripping/oozing water/body fluids it was folded in a box and allowed to dry more.

Image
Image

The cape was shipped to Wolf River Taxidermist Tannery LLC in Shiocton, WI. They do an excellent job and I send all my capes there.

Here is generalized summary of what happens at the tannery. The cape was rehydrated and put in a pickle solution. The pickling solution plumps up the skin. The cape was then removed from the pickle and someone shaved it on a high speed rotating wheel that has a sharp edge like a knife on it. Any remaining flesh and fat on the majority of the cape was removed by the wheel as well as the upper portion of the plumped up skin. (The tannery does not shave or flesh areas such as the area immediately around the eyes, nostrils, and lips. These areas will need to be shaved by the taxidermist prior to mounting.) The cape was then put back in the pickle for a while. The cape was removed from the pickle and put in a neutralizing solution. Then a tanning oil was applied. Next the cape was tumbled in sawdust or corn cob grit. It was then put in a plastic bag and frozen until it could be shipped back to me.

I received the tanned cape today. The next post will be about prepping the tanned skin.
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:06 am

Preparing The Tanned Cape For Mounting

Upon receiving the tanned cape, I used a scalpel to remove any excess material from around the eyes, nose, lips, and lachrymal glands (improperly called the tear duct by most people including almost all taxidermists). The lachrymal gland is located in front of both eyes – it’s a little slit about ½” long and has a slight S-shape to it. One very important thing to do here is to completely remove the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes. This is one of the major mistakes that a lot of taxidermists make – they don’t remove the oil glands. If you don’t remove the oil glands you get shrinkage and it can be difficult to control that shrinkage while drying which ultimately affects the shape of the eye and the eyelid skin will pull away from the eye which will require epoxy work later on. As you will see later on, I don’t use any epoxy around the eyes because I thin them properly and remove the oil glands. This takes a little time to do but the results are worth it.

Shaving around the eyes – the white deer pictures were a bit fuzzy so I’m substituting a mule deer eye here where I have removed all the tiny oil glands from under the edge of the eyelid. The oil glands would have sat on the small little circles around the edge of the eye.
Image

Here are the eyes from the outside. I have already trimmed the skin around the eye on the right. I still have to trim the skin on the other eye.
Image

Outside of the nose. Note how after tanning the skin lost the fleshy tone.
Image

Inside of the nose. Note how thin I have shaved it. You can see the dark spots on the outside of the nose. Shaving the nose thin is necessary to once again control shrinkage so the nose has a fuller more life-like look to it.
Image

Inside of chin. Note the hair/whisker follicles. You don’t want to cut these or the hairs will fall out. An accurate mount has a lot of whiskers.
Image

Here I have thinned and trimmed the upper lip but not the lower lip. The lower lip was thinned and trimmed next.
Image

After thinning the eyes, nose, lips, and lachrymal glands, I removed the cartilage from the ears. I will be using plastic earliners. With earliners the cartilage needs to be removed. If a taxidermist uses Bondo for the ears then the cartilage is not removed. I prefer earliners since I believe they produce a thinner, more accurate and realistic looking ear. Some taxidermists can do excellent Bondo ears but most can’t and the ears end up way too thick. Another reason I believe earliners are superior to Bondo is that if bumped, Bondo can break or crack whereas plastic earliners are more durable and a bump won’t affect the earliner at all.

Ear cartilage before removal.
Image

Removing ear cartilage.
Image
Image

Here are the ears with the cartilage completely removed, and the eyes, nose, and lips have been shaved and thinned.
Image

Next I trimmed the edge of the skin along the incision that went from the back of the head and down the center of the neck and back. This will make the sewing job less noticeable.
Image
Image

Because I didn’t skin this deer I didn’t have an eye to nose measurement or a neck measurement. I used a tape measure and yard stick to get an eye to nose measurement and a neck measurement just below the ears. I recorded the measurements and will use them to order the correct size manikin.

Next I folded the skin up, placed it in a plastic bag, and put it in a freezer.

Now I need to order a manikin, eyes, and a few other supplies.

This will probably be the last post for a week or two.
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:58 am

Ear Liners

While we’re waiting for the manikin and some other supplies to arrive, I put together this short post about ear liners.

Here is a set of plastic ear liners. The ear liners will replace the cartilage of the ear that I removed after the cape had been tanned. The top ear liner (frontal view) is for the deer's right ear and the bottom ear liner (back side view) is for the left ear.
Image

After removing the cartilage I test fitted these liners and they fit nicely. They will be used in the mount.

When the ear liners are removed from the mold they have a waxy release agent on them. I wiped the liners down with lacquer thinner to remove the release agent. If the release agent isn’t removed, the hide paste/glue used will not properly bond the ear skin to the liner. Prior to mounting I will also scratch up the liner for even better adhesion.

Remember that a taxidermist is trying to accurately recreate the specimen so that it looks alive. One area that many taxidermist that use Bondo for ears fall short is that with Bondo ears, the ear tips can curl forward if the taxidermist isn’t careful while the Bondo sets. Ear tips that curl inward are not correct for a standard shoulder mount. Because of this, it is very easy many times to just look at a mount and determine if Bondo was used in the ears. Here is an example of Bondo ears that curled inward. This case is a bit extreme but I just wanted to make a point and it can easily be seen in this photo.
Image

If you look at a live deer, the ear tips gently curve back. Here is a picture of a doe and note how the tips of both ears gently curve back. This can be done with Bondo, however I prefer the ear liners since the backward curve in the tips is already in the ear liner.
Image

In this photo imagine you are looking down at the top of a deer’s left ear. Note how the tip gently curves backward.
Image

That’s it for now. When checking out taxidermists for your next deer mount, keep this info about deer ear tips in mind so you get accurate ear tips on your next mount especially if your taxidermist uses Bondo.
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:12 am

White Deer Eyes

I recently searched the internet for some reference photos of white deer. I found some photos and a book about white deer in the Boulder Junction, WI area. The book is White Deer: Ghosts of the Forest - photographs by Jeff Richter, text by John Bates. I checked the local library catalog on-line and the book was available. So I went to the library and checked it out. The book has some nice pictures of the white deer near Boulder Junction. The text discusses the history of white deer in that area as well as albinism. Here is a link to the publisher of the book. There is a short (~6 minute) video at that website about the white deer and the author and photographer.

http://www.naturespressbooks.com/WhiteDeerbk.html

One interesting thing I read was that albino eyes do not always have pink/red irises. They can have blue to bluish gray irises as well and still be an albino.

I did not skin out the head on Dan’s white deer so I didn’t get to see the eye color. Dan told me that the eyes were a bluish color. I checked with the major taxidermy supply companies and the only bluish deer eyes they carried were for fawns. I had to order the bluish eyes directly from Tohickon Glass Eyes. Tohickon is one of the leading suppliers, if not the leading supplier, of glass eyes to the taxidermy industry.

While we’re on the subject of deer eyes, I think the following information is important for the non-taxidermist as well as deer hunters in general.

In general, the pupil of a deer eye is horizontal or parallel to the ground. The pupil remains horizontal even when the deer lowers its head. When a deer raises its head above a horizontal plane (for example to look up or nip off a leaf above its head), the pupil generally (there are exceptions to this “rule”) stays in line with the bridge of the nose for lack of a better description.

For a standard deer shoulder mount where the deer is looking out at you, the pupils should be in a horizontal position. If the pupils are not horizontal they were not installed correctly by the taxidermist. You can check to see if the pupils are in the correct position on a mount with normal, dark brown eyes by using a flashlight. When checking out work from your existing taxidermist or from a potential taxidermist you might use in the future, take a flashlight and examine the pupil orientation to see if they know what they are doing.

Here are the eyes that will be used in the white deer mount. Note that the pupil is elongated and almost horizontal in this picture (it’s not quite horizontal due to operator error by the photographer).
Image

Here is a normal, dark brown deer eye and with the flashlight you can see the pupil is in a horizontal position.
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:31 am

White Deer Manikin

When Dan gave me the deer we talked briefly about manikins. There aren’t a lot of doe manikins on the market and it seems that only some of the major suppliers carry them. McKenzie has a few doe manikins but they also carry the Ben Mears, Matt Thompson, and Buckeye doe manikins. All of the doe manikins were standard wall mounts in the typical poses – upright, semi-sneak, and sneak. One of those would have worked fine, but for this nice specimen I suggested the McKenzie wall pedestal b/c IMO the pose would show off more of the shoulder. I thought that the more white showing the better. Dan was agreeable to my recommendation. When asked about ear positions Dan said do what you want, but don’t put both ears forward.

Here is the manikin.
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:33 am

Prepping Exposed Back of Manikin

On wall pedestal manikins there is an area behind the shoulder that will be exposed on the finished mount. This needs to be covered with something that gives the mount a professional look. There are many materials that can be used to cover this exposed foam such as leather, fake rock, etc. For this mount I chose black naugahyde which is a fake leather material. I chose black because of the contrast it would have with the white deer.

First I used a black Sharpie and a ruler to mark a line ¾” in from the edge of the manikin. A slot about 1” deep will be Dremeled along the black line. After the mount is almost complete, the skin will be folded around the edge of the manikin and tucked into the slot. Any skin that wraps around to the plywood back will be stapled. The naugahyde will be glued to the foam and the edge of the naugahyde will be tucked into the same slot the skin went into. One edge of the naugahyde will wrap around to the plywood and that edge will be stapled just like the skin was.

I used a piece of paper to make a pattern of the area that will need to be covered with naugahyde.
Image

The pattern was used to cut out the correct size piece of naugahyde.
Image

Here is the Dremeled slot for tucking the skin and naugahyde.
Image

The naugahyde has been set aside until the skin can be put on the manikin.
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:36 am

Widening Nose and Muzzle

Many McKenzie deer manikins have narrow noses and muzzles. I took some nose measurements from the tanned cape and found that I needed to widen the nose and muzzle a little. I used a hack saw blade to make a cut straight back from the nose toward the eyes. A shim was pushed into the cut to make the nose and muzzle a little wider. I used masking tape to hold the nose at the width I needed. The entire cut except for a little space near the nose was covered with masking tape (this step is not shown here).
Image

Two-part urethane foam was then mixed and poured into the cut area. The foam expanded to fill the void space. After curing, any excess foam that oozed out was removed.
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:04 am

Nostrils and Nasal Cavity

At this point I used a level to make sure the back of the manikin was vertical and the eyes were horizontal.

The next step was to create a nasal cavity. Many taxidermists don’t do this b/c it’s faster (i.e. more profit for a taxidermist) to not mess around with a nasal cavity and most customers don’t care about or even notice a nasal cavity. They will just cut a slot in the nostrils or remove a little foam, tuck the nostril skin in that area and then push some epoxy putty or wax over it, smooth the epoxy or wax and call it good. Some might think I am too detail-oriented but IMO a nasal cavity is part of an accurate representation of a deer and should be part of the mount.

The method I’m showing here is one of a few different ways to go about making an accurate nasal cavity.

First I drew two lines with a black Sharpie on top of and behind the nose. This is so I can realign and reattach the nose in the correct position later. Next I cut the nose off behind the nostrils with the hack saw blade.
Image

Here is the nose cut off. The nostrils need to be carved. The manikins need to be made this way (no nostrils/nasal cavity) or else it would be impossible to remove the manikin from the mold.
Image

Before carving the nostrils I got out some nose casts for reference.
Image

I drew the back of the nasal passage on the foam using a nose cast for reference. Then I Dremeled out the nasal passage. While doing this I referred to some nose casts to make sure the overall shape was accurate.
Image
Image

Next I mixed up some epoxy putty and added some color to it. The epoxy putty was used to rebuild any areas that I might have over-dremeled. I also lined the nasal cavity with the epoxy and smoothed it out. While doing the epoxy work I again referred to some nose casts to make sure the overall shape was accurate. I then reattached the nose with hot melt glue and filled the seam from the cut with epoxy putty.
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:35 am

Eye Area and Lip Line Prep

Using a very thin curved knife blade I cut a slot that angles upward in the lachrymal gland. During mounting, the skin of the lachrymal gland will be tucked into the slot. The slot should be as thin as possible. A common mistake in this area is that the taxidermist makes the slot too big and as the skin dries and shrinks the skin won’t stay in the slot. Then after the mount dries the taxidermist jams a bunch of epoxy putty or wax in the gap that opened up and calls it good. Deer can open and close the lachrymals at will so technically a slightly open or an open lachrymal gland could be correct depending on what the deer is doing in the mount. In general for commercial mounts the skin around the lachrymal glands should be hair to hair w/o any hairless skin showing however a small amount of hairless skin is probably o.k.
Image

I used a very thin knife blade to cut small triangles of foam out of the front corner of each eye. These little voids will be filled with clay but the purpose is to allow for a slightly deeper front corner of the eye. I used a small knife to stab the foam around the outside edge of where the eye will go. This was done to give the hot melt glue something to grab when I attach the glass eyes to the manikin. IMO the area next to the lachrymal glands and below the front of the eyes in this manikin was sculpted a bit too deep for my liking so I added some epoxy putty to fill that area in so it looked more like my reference material. A black Sharpie and a level were used to make small reference marks that I will use when attaching the eyes to make sure the pupils are horizontal.
Image

I used a metal tool to make a thin slot along the lip line. The back corners of the mouth were opened a bit more to accept the extra skin that will bunch up there in a closed-mouth mount. The lip skin will be tucked into the slot during mounting. In this case, just like the lachrymal gland, the thinner the slot the better. A common problem that many taxidermists make is that they cut the lip slot too big and the lip skin pulls out as the mount dries (though lips pulling can also be due to using a manikin that is too large for a particular skin). Once tucked, the lips should not move or pull out as the mount dries.
Image

Sometimes small areas of the manikin get damaged slightly during shipping and also a few bubbles may be present in the foam that originated when the foam expanded in the mold. I used epoxy putty to fill these void spots. Every little imperfection doesn’t need to be filled especially on a later season, long haired deer but since this is a mid-September kill and the deer has short hair, any imperfections on the manikin could show through when the mount is done. I want a nice smooth surface under the skin.
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:44 am

Ears and Ear Butts

Since this was a mid-Sept. kill the ear hair is very short and it will be possible to see the inner ear detail. Therefore I added inner ear detail to the ear liner. On later season deer the hair is much thicker and it’s difficult to see in the ear. If this was a later season deer I wouldn’t have done this step. I had some inner ear inserts that I popped into the ear liner. I used epoxy putty to smooth the transition from the insert to the ear liner. Earlier I had removed all of the cartilage from the ear including the cartilage at the base of the inside of the ear. When mounted, the skin will be put over the plastic inner ear detail which is a recreation of the cartilage at the base of the inside of the ear.

Image

Image

What are ear butts? Ear butts is the term taxidermists use when talking about the muscles and cartilage at the base of the ears.

The ear butts are another feature that many, many taxidermists fail to recreate accurately. There are commercially available ear butts in forward and back positions and they work fine when someone wants those ear positions. For ears in other positions, for example somewhere between forward and back, a taxidermist has to sculpt the ear butts. IMO sculpting ear butts correctly is probably the most difficult part of deer taxidermy. The only way to really understand what is going on with the ear butts is to spend time studying live deer, referring to dead heads so you can sculpt the muscles and cartilage correctly, and to also use ear but casts and photos. It takes a lot of work and studying to really get a handle on doing ear butts correctly.

First I needed to position the bottom of the ear liners where the ear canals would be located on a live deer. Normally I would get this location by taking measurements from the head after I skinned it out. B/c I didn’t skin this head out I would either have to guess where the ear canals go or use the next best thing and that is a frozen doe head from a similar sized doe. I had a couple of doe heads in the freezer that I had shot. I skinned one of the heads to get the approximate ear canal locations for the white doe and to study the ear but muscles in preparation for sculpting the ear butts out of clay. (I want to mention that I don’t do this with an extra head next to me for every deer I mount – far from it. I just want to make the point that in order to mount deer ears correctly it takes time to study and understand what is going on with the muscles under the skin. In order for the ear muscles to look right they must be reconstructed correctly in the first place.)
Image

Image

After the ear canal locations were set, the next step was to use a clay that when dry has almost no shrinkage (I used Critter Clay) to sculpt the muscles and cartilage that attach the ear liner to the head. To accurately sculpt the ear but muscles I kept referring to the skinned doe head. The only real purpose of keeping the head was for something like this.
Image

After the ear butts had been sculpted I let the clay harden a bit but not get totally hard. A thin knife was used to cut off the ear butts off of the head of the manikin. Each ear was set aside until it was time to put the skin on the manikin.
Image

I used a stout ruffer to scratch up the plastic ear liners and the foam manikin to allow better adhesion with the hide paste.
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:48 am

Sewing
I used a yardstick and a black sharpie to mark 1-inch increments down the main incision from the back of the head and down the back of the neck and to the shoulders.

Using a small triangular needle and white braided Fireline (15 lb. test/8 lb. diameter) I sewed up the broadhead entrance hole in the front of the left shoulder.

I used very small stitches ~1/8” apart. I did this to make the cape have a “short” incision. I can put the cape on the manikin and only have to sew several inches. I had to be careful to make sure hairs didn’t get caught in the stitches or the hair won’t lay right – it will stick up and look bad. For me it’s a lot easier to do this than sew the whole incision while on the manikin.
Image

Eye Set and Sculpting Eyelids

The day before mounting I used hot melt glue to attach the eyes to the manikin making sure the pupils were horizontal. Then I sculpted the eyelids with low-shrinking Critter Clay and let it firm up. Then I covered the eye clay work with Saran wrap over night.
Image
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Fri Jul 30, 2010 4:07 am

Putting The Skin On

I used a paintbrush to apply Buckeye Supreme hide paste to the manikin. Then I slid the cape onto the manikin.
Image

I turned the ear skin inside out and made sure all the ear skin was covered with hide paste. I turned the ear back to normal. Then “painted” hide paste on the ear liners and inserted the ear liners into the ear skin.
Image

I used hot melt glue to attach the foam at the base of the ears to the foam of the manikin. Next I adjusted the ear skin to make sure hair patterns were in the correct locations.
Image

I adjusted the brisket/armpit hair.

The muzzle skin was rolled back and I added some clay to the nose and more hide paste to the muzzle, nose, and lip line.
Image
Image

The skin was pulled over the nose. I tucked the front of the nose skin first, then the back corners of the mouth, then the rest of the skin between the nose and back corner.
Image
Image

Then I tucked the middle of the bottom lip, then the backcorners of the top lip, then the area in between.
Image

There is a cowlick at the back corners of the mouth that curls around and angles slightly forward. I made sure there were no wrinkles in the corners of the mouth.

Next I tucked the nostril skin and pushed Saran wrap into the nostrils to hold the skin in place while it dried.
Image
Image

I made sure the nose pad and hair patterns around the nose and muzzle were positioned correctly.

The next step was to adjust the skin around the eyes. First I made sure the front corner of the eye was in the correct location – the pin was just to hold the front corner in place while the rest of the skin was adjusted, it was then removed. I used a small semi-stiff flat bristled paint brush to adjust the eyelids. I put in an upper eyelid crease above each eye. I tucked the skin in to the lachrymal glands in front of the eyes. Then I went back to the eyes to make sure the upper eyelashes were angling downward and the bottom eyelashes were angling upward. I did the same with the “feeler” whiskers above and below the eyes.
Image

Using the needle and white Fireline I sewed up the remaining incision from the top/back of the head and down the back of the neck several inches. I made sure the seam was pushed down flat. Even with a careful sewing job hairs along the seam still stood up. I used some hair spray and hair gel to make the hair lay down. I then put some screen over the seam and used small T-pins to hold the screen in place. I did the same over the broadhead entrance hole. The screen will stay in place for at least a week until the mount is dry.

I went back and made sure all hair patterns were correct and adjusted whisker and eyelash angles again.

Next I used thin pieces of cardboard (like that from a cereal box) and some binder clips to card the edges of the ears. This will make the ear edges thin and crisp. These will stay on the ears for a few days until the ear skin dries.
Image

Then I cut the excess skin around the back of the mount. Part of the skin was tucked into the slot in the foam that I had dremeled earlier while the other part of the skin was stapled to the wood backboard using ¼“crown staples.

I put some rubber cement on the foam back which was roughed up before mounting with the stout ruffer. I put the black naugahyde that was previously cut to the correct shape onto the rubber cement. Then I tucked the naugahyde into the slot and stapled one side to the wood backboard.

Over the next few days I checked the mount every few hours at first and then a couple times a day to make any adjustments and make sure hair patterns, inner ear skin, whiskers, eye lids, eyelashes, etc. were drying in the correct locations and hadn’t shifted.

Image
Image

After about a week of drying I removed the screen over the seams, the carding from the ears and the plastic from the nostrils.
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:16 am

Now that the mount was dry I started the finish work.

First I used epoxy putty to transition the nostril skin to the septum inside the nose. This area will be airbrushed later.
Image

Epoxy putty was also used to fix some small cuts in the inner ear skin. I believe this cut/hole was due to a scar in the ear that tore a bit while removing the cartilage. It has been filled and smoothed with epoxy putty. Once it’s painted you won’t even know it’s there.
Image

Epoxy putty was used to build a caruncle in the front corner of each eye. The caruncle is the small bump in the front corner of the eye – it changes shape for example when the deer closes it’s eye it gets scrunched up and when the deer is alert it gets a bit stretched, but in general it kind of has a triangular shape. In this picture notice the caruncle (it’s a grayish color here) in the front corner of the eye and also notice that the lachrymal glands (the slits angling downward in front of the eye) are very tight. Deer can open and close the lachrymals glands at will but it’s generally accepted in taxidermy to make them as closed as possible. Many times you will see the lachrymals filled with putty because they weren’t thinned properly before mounting and opened up due to shrinking while drying or the taxidermist used a tool that was too wide to push them into the foam making them open up.
Image

Next I wiped some flesh colored airbrush paint on the nose pad. After a few seconds I wiped it off. The paint was wiped off the high spots of the nodules on the nose pad and left in the low spots between the nodules. Now that I could see the outline of the individual nodules I used Mod-Podge (it’s like Elmer’s glue) to rebuild the nodules. The Mod-Podge goes on white but dries clear. I also used the Mod-Podge to rebuild the nodules on the portion of the lower lip that shows directly below the nose pad. I also used the Mod-Podge to rebuild the little bumps (oil glands) on the eye lids. Recreating the oil glands isn’t really necessary on a commercial mount but it only takes a couple minutes to do.

Here is the nose with the flesh colored paint in the low spots outlining the nodules.
Image

Here is the nose with some Mod-Podge applied to rebuild the nodules.
Image

Here is the nose with the Mod-Podge dried. The nose is now ready to be painted.
Image
User avatar
Mountain Man
500 Club
Posts: 960
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: SE Wisconsin
Status: Offline

Re: Mounting Dan’s White Doe

Unread postby Mountain Man » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:12 pm

More Finish Work

I have to apologize for the smaller pictures in this post. I had been using Flickr but they decided to change something on their site and I haven’t figured out how to get the photos like they were before so now I’m using Photobucket for this post.

The next step was to airbrush the inside of the ears, the nose, around the eyes, and any other skin that was showing (mainly the muzzle, some areas below the eyes, the backs of the ears, and the armpits). This deer also had some scars and places where the hair was very short that needed some touching up.

A basecoat sealer was sprayed on any skin that was to be airbrushed. Then a light coat of white and then flesh was applied. While applying the white and flesh to areas with hair I used a toothbrush to back brush the short hair so the paint would get down to the “dead looking” skin that was an off-white to almost a yellowish color.

While doing this a lot of paint gets on the hair but it’s not a problem. I used a toothbrush to brush the paint right out of the hair.

Here are some pictures of the armpit area after painting, and the side of the muzzle immediately after painting and then after brushing the paint out of the hair.

Image
Image
Image

Next I toned down the ear color a bit by just misting dark brown.

Image

Next I painted the eyes. Over the flesh colored base I applied a chocolate/rusty brown color. There are a few more steps shown in the photo below. I also added the nictitating membrane which is commonly referred to as the third eyelid – it is located in the front corner of the eye (though you can't really see it in this picture). In a normal colored deer the nictitating membrane is almost black in color but in this deer it was somewhat clear with a few dark brown to black spots. Many taxidermists don’t add this feature since it is almost unnoticeable but a lot of the good taxis do add it since it’s an easily observable feature on a live deer and it only takes a few minutes to put them in. The final step here was to give the eye a bit of a natural wet look by adding some triple thick glaze between the glass eye and the eyelid.

Image

I also added some of the dark brown to almost black spots on the top of the muzzle.
Image

Here the paint has been brushed out of the hair leaving the dark spots on the skin below.
Image

We're almost done! I just need to paint the nose and put the hanger on. Stay tuned for the final steps.


  • Advertisement

Return to “Taxidermy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests