It seems that not many of us are hunting right now (except HC who's actually avoiding real life by hiding in a ground blind pretending to be hunting). That said since guys have some "extra" time on our hands let's share some methods for keeping our taxidermy mounts looking top notch thru the years! How do you deal with dust, too much light, keeping antlers looking good and so on! Travis just had me "blow dry" my fox mount to get the dust out and "fluff" the ole boy up a bit and it worked great! My wife thought I was crazy doing the blow drier thing but that sort of opinion usually happens once a day! LOL! Bring on your methods! Taxidermists please chime in as well! C
Wet paper towel a couple of times a year for dust. Periodic inspection for bugs.
Charlie--on small mammals like fox, bobcat ect I prefer using a high air pressure nozzle instead of a blow dryer but since most folks have a blow dryer I usually just suggest that...
Most if not all Taxidermist I know use laquer paints..to clean the eyes and nose you can use windex and a q-tip..to get down into the corner of the eyes take a q-tip and pull off some cotton and roll it on the end of a toothpick..get that dust out of the inner corners..
Cigarette smoke damage...this can be a big issue. I personally use oven cleaner. Take them outside and spray them and let it foam up then whipe them down(deer heads)...normally areas like the nosepad and eyes will require repainted and anytime you rehydrate a skin there is always a chance of losing fur..so be very very careful if you ever attempt this..
Cracks showing up in nose, corner of eyes ect..This will happen to mounts alot over long periods of time where the humidity varies--Mounts don`t belong in the garage...but even in the house this can happen..any taxidermist should be able to fix this for you and it`s pretty simple...if you are a poor man you can do it yourself by buying some epoxy sculpt from a taxidermy supplier..mix the two parts and fill in the cracks...if it`s on a nose pad then use a towel or something simular to add some textureing before you paint..
Once again to dust your mounts use air pressure...go with the fur on deer or deer like critters...mammals go against the fur..
save yourself a headache and don`t request a base with snow on it unless it`s in a glass case...
Use furniture polish on your antlers a couple times a year..and finally if the old deer mount is just worn out and your not happy with it...take it to a taxidermist and get it remounted with a new cape..
Travis, any particular type of furniture polish that you recommend?
Bill--not really...I use whatever the wife has available...
Charlie--I`m taking HC goose hunting this evening..I bet he jinxes me. Got my limit the night before..we`ll see...
Take a contractor bag and turn it inside out and rub your mount down once a year. There is some kind of oil on the bag that helps keep the dust off. It works great.
Travis: Be careful on your goose hunt with HC. He is very high maintenence and requires constant monitoring. Stay 3 steps behind him after you hand him his shotgun and only give him one shell at a time. Be safe!
I think we need to get someone who works with artifiacts from a museum in here for a 101.
My wife worked with textiles and other priceless objects at the MET for several years and I will see if she can give some pointers.
Most of us might not care if our mounts last 50+ years but I'll see if she has any tips.
Use Mop and Glow floor polish for antlers. It leaves them exactly as they were when the animal was alive.
If you have your Trophy mounted on the mantle above your woodstove or fireplace insert....do not expect a long life for it. Like all fine gear, store or display it in a cool, dry place!!
Best of Luck, Jeff (Bowsite Sponsor)
my tax uses linseed oil on the antlers to refreshen them up and it last a long time before you have to do it again.
ive always been told and used air to dust off the mount/fur or use a very light brisled paint brush and gently wipe. ive been told to stay away from using water on the fur that it will attract/grab dust and break the fur/mount down faster in the long run.
Using the air compressor and blowing them off is always good.
Does anybody use the products from the Taxidermy Supply Warehouses?
Some of my stuff is hard to get to so it only gets taken down maybe every other year or so, when I do it gets a damp cloth, q-tips and windex to the eyes and sometimes a good gentle brushing.
I know that Fred Eichler worked for Fred Bear cleaning and maintaining his collection, maybe he will see this and give some of his experiences?
my taxidermist tells me to use hertel glass cleaner on a rag to wipe down mounts to make hair shiny.
Besides a dab of high gloss varnish on the eyes, blow dry furred critters like Charlie's fox. Then back comb the fur from tip of tail to the nose with a long toothed comb, and I mean really back comb it to the point of it looking like it just got a 120 volt shot through it. Now holding it by the base (Charlie) give the base a quick hard tap on the table or floor. You'll be amazed at how perfectly the hair will lay.
For haired animals like deer and elk, Lemon Pledge will pick up any dust after you've used a feather duster on it and leave a dry shine to it.
Cracks in the nose and eyes should be left to your taxidermist for waxing, and faded fur, nothing can be done for it but remount when you want that new look.
Took me over 30 years to learn those tricks.
Rule Numero Uno:
Keep your mounts away from direct sunlight!!!!!
Great Thread! My number 1 suggestion is to always be on the lookout for bugs. I found some of those moths a few years ago in my moose, was hard to get rid of them. The ears seems to be the top location, then eye lids, mouth. Look for sawdust type of stuff left over.
I have been asked by many others in the past about this so here it is. Knoblochs a taxidermy chemical company makes protex which cleans and protects from bugs. Use it twice a year and you should have no problems. Definitely no affiliation, I wish I did, but it is a great product at an affordable price and those who are interested in protecting their mounts can easily apply it. Good luck.
My taxidermist uses and has me use a product called Hair Sheen. It is a liquid that you put onto a cloth and wipe down your mounts with it, it works great on hair, eye's and horns. My wife likes the smell of it so the mounts get cleaned more often because of that.
I keep my mounts in my hunting cabin . Only has the heat on when I am there,temps drop down to single digits in the winter. So far no problems but will the temp conditions hurt the mounts?
If your taxidermsit did not cut corners and used a quality hide glue, the temp. extremes generally will not hurt the mount. Though because of humidity extremes, this hurts them more, so be ready for some issue, but if everything is right, that will be way down the road. If your have fish mounts in that cabin, bring them home to keep them out of the extremes, they will crack for sure. Here, we'll get -40 to -50 for extended periods and mounts do ok.
Where can you purchase that product ?
Hair Sheen is another product that I advocate. It works great and as rock said, it provides a good smell. The only reason I didn't mention it, is because hair sheen is best used for cleaning only and provides no protection against bug infestation. Here is the link for hair sheen though. Both in conjunction will work great, but if I wanted only one, I would go with the protex mount care. Good luck.