Contributors to this thread:
i went to a buddies place yesterday to see his big buck he harvested last year. He had just returned from the taxidermy shop with his pride and joy a 156 5/8 10 point and when i looked at it i couldnt help but laugh it was the worst mount job ive ever seen i wish i had my camera to show all it was a sad sad site. lets post some pics of some really bad taxidery work here to show how talanted the really good taxidermist really are.
Hey Brian who did the mount? PM me if you do not want to say publicly.
Never underestimate the value of your taxidermist. Find a good one. Stick with them. Develop a relationship. Promote them to your friends to bring them work. Show off your mounts and make sure you plug your taxidermist.
With mine I pick the form and then tell him to do what ever makes it look the best.
My guy has done 10 different mounts for me - never been disapointed.
Another thing with this art is you get what you pay for - cheap price ='s cheap out come. One of the mistakes often is the form being two small for the cape. Or another is the noise isn't done right and you'll get a hog noise look. Now and then it's the fault of the hunter that didn't take proper field care. Do you have a picture of this thing, from there the probilem could be I.D.'ed maybe?
I suggest that it isn't wise to announce your reaction about your buddy's mount. It is his pride and joy and I'd let him announce the complaint if he isn't happy with it.
Joe, thanks man, thats is why I do what I do, for a smile on someones face and a memory not to put in the closet. Your awesome man. Thanks
there is a lot of bad stuff out there. particularly cats. people's mounts are like their kids though.......they are all beautiful to them..........even if they are ugly.
Taxidermy is definately one of the cases where you get what you pay for.
Here are a couple pics that a fellow posted on my home state hunting website. He actually posted these as an advertisement for his taxidermy work, with an offer to do shoulder mounts for "only 275.00".
Somehow I don't think you're kidding......
You know, this just bugs me. I'm a full time taxidermist and i put my heart and sole into all my mounts. What kills me, is that hunter has to look at that mount for the rest of his life. And what did he save $150-$200 for somthing that looks like a donky. Realy, take that side photo of that mount and cover the antlers with your hand......Tell me what you see...........lol. Here is some of my work.
i don't know wild north. haven't seen many live ones looking like that either. seems a little baggy on the skin there. i do like the bugling deer pose though.
There is a story behind that deer, and thats why he looks the way he is. And no that is not baggy skin on his face. It is the detail from the form.
boy those are some sad mounts. i would be sick if my prized trophy came out that way. like stated above you get what you pay for.
wow wild north win's the prize for ugliest mounts hands down. for real though, who did those?
Detail from the form???
Seriously, the first deer looks like his face is melting and the second one looks like he's getting his nuts chopped off. Sorry to tell ya, but deer don't look like that! I wouldn't pay ya for work that looked like that, no way...
I don't want to hurt any feelings but i've never seen a deer with 3 lines running behind their mouth. I think some taxidermists try to exagerate muscle groups and veins.
I think I would take apart my mount and just look at the antlers and skull plate if a mount turned out like that. I know I would appreciate it a lot more.
HE HAW HE HAW.SORRY MAN BUT IF YOUR GONNA KNOCK SOME ONE ELSES WORK,YOUR WORK BETTER BE TOP NOTCH.IMAGINE HAVING THAT THING ON THE WALL LOOKING AT YOU.SCARY..
"i do like the bugling deer pose though."
"the first deer looks like his face is melting and the second one looks like he's getting his nuts chopped off."
LOL, too funny. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder.
Wild norths work is awesome...to say the least, it is a shame what the public has come to accept. As long as it has two eyes, 1 1/2 ears and a set bone on its head they're happy. If you notice the hair length is short and therefore the detail of a deer will show thru. I too am full time taxidermist with 15 years experience and fight the 200.00 guy that makes deer look like anything but a deer. I guess if it is acceptable to you for your hard earned money and trophy of a lifetime, your choice. Based on the negative feedback towards WNs work you all need to study deer a little more closely like those of us who are passionate about what we do.
St. Croix that is fricken hilarious!
The detail of Wild Norths work is outstanding. You can spot quality work from the eyes, nose, and ears easily. But, IMO, the first deer does look a little off with too many "wrinkles"/muscle tone, and the second deer looks more like a braying donkey than the truly bad work above, but that's just the pose. The detail is extremely well done though. Wild North, you are a fine artist and taxidermist for sure, I just can't say that I like those two examples.
I too, am not fond of the pose of the open mouth deer, but aside from that fact, the quality is obvious. Very good detail work. As for the three lines behind the jaw - those are generally very visible on nearly all commercial manikins, and if you will look at live photos of very short-haired deer you can sometimes see them. I do agree though that many of todays mounts are "over-detailed" but this is due to customer demand. It is unbelievable how almost all hunters have no clue what an animal really looks like. I could go on but I will save my time.
well done job on the eyes wild north...
Here is a live picture of a deer "melting away". I hope the link works, and for those that really want to learn about live deer and what to look for in quality taxidermy there are lots of pics of different poses and activities of live whitetail deer.
If the link doesn't work, just go to www.realdeerforms.com and search for reference photos.
Now that there is funny!! Kinda makes me hold my nuts...To each his own.
I've got about 20 whitetails mounted from Mid sept summer coated bucks with velvet to late november norhern Saskatchewan bucks, and several states in between, And while detail will stand out on summer hides, I haven't seen anything to that degree until now. People used to love getting the big neck muscles bondo'd up to make the neck look like mike tyson on steroids. they looked like straps of tenderloin just under the skin of the neck. I thought it just looked silly.
You guys are being way to hard on wild north. While I might not prefer the forms his deer are mounted on, the quality of the detail works on the ears,eyes,and nose is unmistakeable.
Here is a pic of one of my WT that the taxidermist did a poor job lining up the shoulder points on the form. Prob not a big deal to most, but it is to me - especially when its my 1st P&Y.
SOmetimes there is too much detail...even in summer capes..seeing the veins in the face on summer capes is kewl but seeing the muscles behind the jaw is overdoing it a bit..more subtle would have been better IMO...ears appear to be set too low with not enough muscle built up going from the skull to the upper part of the ear..eye work looks perty good to me...
Kind of like tattoo work. Shop around! I would be pissed if my trophy came back looking like a child did it. Bottom line. I know I wouldn't be able to look at it, and it probably wouldn't even go in my garage. I'd take the horns off and just look at them too. Those are some crazy pics! Whew! Painful.
i like wildnorth attetion to detail but just not a fan of deer with all that detail ,im sure on a avg form his work would look very good .
Okay, I can see the difference in the two peoples work, I do believe the form is responsible for the ripple effect. That would be between the customer and business owner to discuss. The first guys work however, is a different story. I plan on getting into this field someday and I'm sure there is a learning curve, just like any fine art. It truly is an art. I give these guys props for being handson people. They obviously love thesport and wildlife or would never pursue something like this. I've only done skulls sofar, hope my real stuff turns out hood someday.
It's interesting to see the various opinions on the same mounts.
I'm a self-taught taxidermist who enjoys doing my own, and an occasional friends, mounts. I don't get paid for my work, nor would I want to. Some of my first mounts are almost embarrassing to look at now that I've done a few.
This is my last effort on a deer my Cuz shot in 2008. I still see mistakes, but I think it's my best yet. I'd like your opinion. Be honest, I have thick skin. Thanks.
hands down you get what u pay for and all taxidermists will have a bad mount or 2. i have been doing taxidermy for over 20 years and i have one i did 9 years ago that im taking apart because i cant stand looking at it. but i also have deer that i have done for others that i cried when they left because they looked so good. Grey ghost-i didnt know you were into it? just remember, only summer coats show fine detail and too much is just that too much. if you pay less than 350 your probably going to get a poor or average mount.
Darren, your samples have OD'ed - over detailed. That's the bad news. The good news is you obviously have the skill to get such detail. Scale it back a little, dude, and your deer will look great.
"I'm a self-taught taxidermist who enjoys doing my own, and an occasional friends, mounts"
G.G. Can I be your friend?
GG- the nostrils need to be deeper and darker. Outside that it looks really good.
I like the vein look on African game. They use rope underneath the cape which is glued to the form to create the "vein" look on the face. Hoping to have that technique done on my Kudu I kill in August.
GG I concur with Mathews Man - It looks great just open up the nostrils
GG, is the inside of the nostrils white? If it is i would change that
Not too shabby of a mount, but here's a little constructive criticism from someone who's mounted a few.
From the first photo:
The main body looks really good with the exception of the "arm-pit" area. That little cowlick on each side that is coming outside onto the shoulder should be located on the inside closer to the briskit.
From the second photo:
I'm going to assume the nostrils are that white from the sunlight on them. The nose actually looks pretty good. They should be flesh-colored deep inside, but the hair is white as you get closer to the outside of the opening. One little tip for the nostril area is to brush the inside of the nostril with a wet-look gloss to make it look moist. The gloss will also darken those "bright" white nostril hairs.
Ears and earbutts look good.
Eyes need work. The lower lid is too low, particularily in the back. You shouldnt see that much white back there. Study reference photos a little more.
Also on the eyes the lashes should be angled down, not up. Again, study reference photos.
Overall it's a pretty darn good looking mount. It really does look better than some of the "professionals" work out there. Keep it up and I think with a few more under your belt you're work will look exceptional!
There, now that being said, would you care to critique my mule deer hunting? ;^)
If I got a deer back and it looked like the one WildNorth posted,I'd demand my money back....HOWEVER,the customer probably asked for that ridiculous form and was even HAPPY with it. I think WildNorth is probably a very good taxidermist,but he should have posted better examples of his work. I have been around alot of deer,both alive and dead,and have never seen those muscles...very ugly forms to me,but good detail work (and I danged sure can't do it). GG,I like yours very much.......but I agree about the nose needs to be opened up and blacker in the nostrils.This is a pic of the MOST distinct muscles in a face,and it ain't near as bad as those forms WildNorth is using....most deer have almost NONE of those muscles showing.
Damn nice GG.'looks good from the pics. Dont know aboutthe pros tips or anything but I believe I'd be happy with that from here.
Gravity works in blood vessels too, if a deers head is lower than its heart its going to engorge the veins and make them pop out, if a deer head is higher than its heart blood flows better and its going to flatten them out more. Think about your feet if your standing the veins on the top of the feet stick out, if you elevate your feet above the heart they flatten out.
I can see right off the bat that wild north does very nice work with that first mount. Go look at McKenzies forms, the sneaks all have that three line definition on them. I'm not a big fan of them and have them shaves down. Because on early velvet deer they stand out to much. The bugling one thou has me wonder what kind of goofy inside joke I'm missing, but still nice detail.
Taxidermists are artists, palin and simple. Either you have it or you don't, Oh and by the way GG I think you do a darn goo job for being self taght man! Looks better than 1/2 the stuff I see on the net thats for sure, nice job! Just work on the eyes a little like the others have said.
I was at a buck contest the other night and I couldn't believe all the 09 deer that were mounted up already and looked terrible. Pickle tanning city. This was a 170 class deer that was destroyed there.
I just had this buck done and maybe its just me but I think it looks a tad better than the one I posted above and probably costed me $150 more. You have to look at it the rest of your life, I figure that costs me about .31 a month or so "at least I hope it does LOL!"
The mounts that Wild north had posted up are very professionally done some guys just don't see that in his mounts the attention to detail is there and also the last one posted by 5575 is exceptionally well done, beautiful mount both wild north and 5575 the other 2 mounted deer need way more work to be anywhere near the same class as wild north and 5575.
I hope you didn't do the bottom work, now that's a looney toon if I ever did see one, 5575......LOL, just kidding, that cat shows another example that you know what your doing and is exceptional beautiful mounted lion
Thanks for the good critique. You hit on many of the same mistakes I see.
At least my Cuz was happy with it. Of course, the price was right (free) so he knew to keep his mouth shut. ;-)
I'm flattered that you'd consider me a qualified judge of your mule deer hunting, Thanks.
MB I'm not a taxidermist, I just like good work. The cat was done by one of the best out there, I believe his name is Phill Soucey "sp" out of Libby MT. He's the master of cats for sure, but very high priced.
There was a thread on bad taxidermy on the MM forum awhile back and it was hilarious. One coyote in particular was maybe the funniest thing I have ever seen.
Wish I had the technology skills to find and post those pics....
Your welcome. You're one of the few I would give a critique to following a "I have thick skin, I can take it" disclaimer. Typically that means "I fancy myself as thick skinned but I'm not, and if you don't tell me my work is great I will throw my hair-ribbons to the floor in a hissy and call you a know-nothing hack! ;^)
I bet he was happy. IF my first critter I paid someone to mount looked that good I would have never gotten into it. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which angle from which day youu want to look at it, my first critter I paid to have done looks like that second mtn. lion from 5575's post. Not that I ever wondered, but now I think I know what a mtn lion would look like if he were shot up thee rectum with an ice-cold arrow. These days I only mount my own stuff, and for close friends. There are as many, if not more "bad customers" as there are bad taxidermy jobs out there.
5575, I'll bet your taxidermist loves you! Seriously!
Watts the cats aren't mine although I wish they were! someday.... I do have a great taxidermist and was one of his first costomers, he usually has 1 or two of my critters a year there. But he is getting so pupular that it takes him 1 1/2 -2 yrs now and his prices are starting to get darn pricey. GG, your friend is very lucky indeed!
Here's a fantastic linx by the guy from libby. A dream animal and mount I'd love to have some day!
Good point about the disclaimer. It's similar to someone saying "It's not about the money...." LOL!
Actually, I think I'm my hardest critic. Here is a field pic of the same animal. As you said, nostrils and eyes need the most work. I need to flare the nostrils a bit and spray a hint of flesh color on the inner most skin.
The eyes are always the most difficult. In real life they are more squinty than most taxidermist make them, myself included. 5575's second pic above is a good example of a nice relaxed eye/lid positioning, IMO.
I'm also not happy with the new nose texturing tool I used. It's a little too uniform for my tastes. I'll probably go back to the old manual way of doing it.
Feel free to share any of your trade secrets. ;-)
I always thought there should be a seperate "taxidermy" thread on Bowsite. A place where we can show off our new mounts, critique each other's (and others) work, recommend taxidermists, and share tips and trade secrets. Maybe we can talk Pat into it. Good work fellas.
It would be nice to have a taxidermy form wouldn't it!
One thing I have my taxidermist do is use these Eppley replacement noses, I think they add that little extra something I guess.
The same can be accomplished on most forms with a Dremel tool and a little airbrushing. That's a great image to see what it should look like before mounting, though. Thanks.
Was your buck above killed in early season, or in the south, perhaps? It has a much finer coat than the November bucks we kill in KS.
Also, I like the positioning and detailing in the form your taxidermist used. You don't happen to know which one that is, do you?
I think the bottom example of the 2 cats is very lifelike. It's exactely how my wifes pet cat looked after I stuck a hot poker up it's rearend.
Man what beautiful mount of the lynx. I'm going to get some photos of my taxidermist we used he one the best for Bears and Deer in Manitoba
Some of you guys have no clue what quality taxidermy even looks like. You come on here telling someone there mount looks like crap when its ten times better than anything thats been posted. Wild North posted a picture of some exceptional taxidermy work. Some of you don't know what your even talking about. That deer probably has short summer hair and the detail shows more than a deer that was short during the winter months. I'm not a fan of the veins and all that, but I KNOW that sometimes these can be seen on a short haired deer.
And I totally disagree with the statement "you get what you pay for" Thats the biggest bull that I have ever heard. You don't get what you pay for. Some taxidermist can charge $300 and have a mount that wins in a competition, compared to a guy who just throws them together and charges $500. Do some homework and look up what a quality taxidermy looks like.
Don't come on here preaching what looks good and what doesn't when you don't have a clue. Do some research and look on the forums on a well known taxidermy website. Look at the ears, eyes, nose, NOT THE ANTLERS, on a quality piece. Find a qualified taxidermist that does great work before you shoot something. And when you do shoot that animal you want to get mounted, call your taxi first or know what he wants. Have your taxi cape it out before you go drive around for a week showing your buddies. Some of you need to take a dose of reality before coming on here and bashing quality work and not knowing what your talking about.
While I know what an opinion is worth, I've got 3 rooms full of trophies, Lion, Leopard, buffalo, and about 15 other African animals, as well as grizzlys, black bears, mt. goat, dall and stone sheep, 4 elk, canadian moose, shiras moose, cougar,numerous mule deer, numerous antelope, multiple bobcats, 2 different specie of caribou, and at least 20 whitetail. And probably a few more I can't think of right now. I think I have abit of knowledge about taxidermy. And yes, 99% of the time you usually get what you pay for. AS I said, you do get more detail on a summer coat, I've never seen it exagerated to that extent.
I do a little taxidermy for myself and family (self taught) and I use the replacement noses for deer or elk. they add the correct nasal opening and depth. This is a early season Wisconsin deer. I agree with Gray Ghost that the eyes should be more squinty than what a lot of people may think. This is a McKenzie form and I laid the ears back some.
Ever notice Ted Nugent's trophy room? Think he needs to look for a better taxidermit.
No far from it, I shot him in November with a muzzle loader in Manitoba. He's a darn good artist and dakota archer chill out buddy, you don't have to freak out. I like to hear what others have to say, as for wild north I also said he does real nice work.
When your taxidermists work is on the cover of Breakthrough Magazine I think you kinda know what your looking at.
Here's one of my short haired early sept deer GG. And this work is not by a world famous taxidermist, actually he's about 25 yrs old. He was trained by one of the best thou. Sorry its not the best photo of him.
TS, self taught and work like that..awesome!
Here are some mounts my taxidermist has done, he's known as the sheep guy. Guess you a person can see why.
Damn nice GG.'looks good from the pics. Dont know aboutthe pros tips or anything but I believe I'd be happy with that from here.
Were those done by Duwayne Dewey?
Shot a nice 130 buck about 15 years ago and when I got it back from the taxidermist he had a smile on him! The kids got a hoot out of that and named him Mr. Bucky. I thought he looked better in the back of the pick-up when I brought him home after shooting him!!
The name begs the question: Is it the fly-fishing streamer, Coues whitetail, or are you that old gray haired guy at the office who silently slips up on you while you're screwing the pooch and says "HEY, what cha doin?" :^) Had to ask.
I'll be happy to share what I know with you. I'll look to see what I have in the freezer and maybe I'll do a thread on mounting a deer. I know I have a couple or bears in my freezer and a big whitetail that I killed that I want to do a 1/2 lifesize mount of, but I'll have to see. The initial fleshing and salting is very important so I'm hoping I have one that's green in there. I'll let you know.
WOW ....some funny stuff here! I haven't been around much lately and bashing like this is one of the reasons why. I'm no taxidermy judge or anything but do have 15 whitetail shoulder mounts on my wall...only one of those was done by Wild North and it's the best one by far.
See you all in a couple months when I check back in.....back to the Traditional sites for me!!!...Ryan
See ya later Ryan. Maybe you should take a lesson from GG above and come with some thicker skin. And it wasn't even you getting the criticism.
I just finished reading the entire thread and have to agree with the majority - Wild North is a very talented taxidermist, but the forms and pictures that he placed on here do not match up with customary visions of either live whitetailed deer or even mounted deer. I'm sure judges in a taxidermy competition would be amazed by his work, but I have to agree neither are for me.
You have to admit though, when you join into a thread that just wants see and laugh at some 'bad' taxidermy jobs and you insert some off the wall photos to show everybody how good you are you're going to take some heat. That's all that happened here, nobody has to crawl back into some traditional forum hole or anything.
Actually, in my neck of the woods we call our Mule deer "gray ghosts". I've had some success hunting them, so that's how my handle came to be. Unfortunately, It's now becoming an accurate description of my hair color, as well.
Speaking of which, one of the best Mulie hunting books I've read was called Hunting the Gray Ghost, or something like that. I'll try to locate it and send you the authors name.
I'd contribute to a deer mounting thread. I've got the cape and antlers of this deer, I killed in '08, ready to go. I wouldn't want to ruffle the feathers of the working taxidermists on this site, but I bet Pat would consider making it a feature article on the front page.
Or, maybe a "Live Mobile Deer Mounting" thread. ;-)
Beautiful work, my friend. And not too shabby a buck, either!
But he looks a little out of place in that stark white office. ;-)
The deer that I posted pictures of was actually a bow kill from a close family friend. Some guys at work wanted to see it so I put it in the guy's office and took some pictures of it there. The mount is in my friend's trophy room now where it belongs. Thanks for the compliment.
"I wouldn't want to ruffle the feathers of the working taxidermists on this site"
It's the ones who aren't working who are the ones to be concerned with. ;^) Personally I don't think any will mind. If anything, this will show some of the "bargain hunters" that there is more to this than just ripping the skin off some critter, stuffing it full of "stuffing" and slapping it on the wall.
Okay, I do have the bear that are green/frozen, and have a prepped and tanned 1/2 life-sized hide to work with. Let me check with a couple buddies and see if I can't come by a green/frozen whitetail cape and we'll see where we can go from there.
Cool. My cape is frozen. It still needs to be turned, fleshed, and tanned.
For tutorial purposes, it would be nice to demonstrate the caping process, since that's an exercise many hunters shy away from, but it doesn't sound like either of us will have a fresh kill to work with. I suppose that could be a separate thread next season, sometime.
Anyway, I've enjoyed our chat. PM me if you'd like to combine and coordinate our efforts.
Well I know what I did wrong now....
"Well I know what I did wrong now...." Must be why you have it hanging out on the porch.
In the past, when I was picking a taxi for work, I looked at thier work only. I never asked price until I decided who I wanted to do the work for me.
Dirty D's Link
Really nice job on your deer. I am no expert but if I would do anything different then what you are doing I make sure that when I set the eyes I have more clay above the eye then below. If you were to take a caliper and measure the width of the head by the eyes I think you should have a bigger measurement above the eyes then below. I also like to see the brown fur along the top and bottom of the ear come into the inside of the ear slightly. All in all I would be proud of the deer that you did. We get a lot of satisfaction out of mounting our own animals. Cool stuff.
5575 Awesome looking mounts, especially the sheep!
Dirty D's Link
Don't know if it's any help but a few years ago my buddy and I mounted a couple whitetails and he put together a how-to manual. Hopefully the link to Google docs will work. He has a bit regarding caping and the graphic pictures to go along with it.
Taxidermy.net has a lot a good tutorial information as well.
One more try with the link.
If it doesn't work I think you can cut and paste.
what is the going rate for a deer mount in your neck of the woods
The cheapest guy around here (that still does high-quality work) charges around 350. The rest of the high-quality guys are in the 400-500 range.
Those prices are for deer shoulder mounts. I have no idea what they charge for other species.
Snapcrackpop, thanks for the laugh this morning! I will put one of my deer on here that probably looks worse!
He's in the basement drying. I tried to move the eyelids up a little bit after seeing this thread.
I might try another DIY for my kid first deer this fall....
Hey GG, pretty nice mount, the only thing I would say is to look at the eye lashes of 5575's mount...they should angle down instead of up. Joe Jonas Jr taught me taxidermy 20 years ago and he would call the lashes up style the "Gretta Garbo" look. All top notch work, 5575.
Thanks for the compliments and advise.
I buy all my taxidermy products from Jonas Bros. Since I find that physically matching the skull cap to the from provides a better fit than using measurements, I always make the 2-hour trip to their facility to get my supplies.
They usually let me wonder around the back production area while I gather my stuff. This allows me watch and talk to the other taxidermists. I've learned a ton by doing so.
If you learned the trade from one of the Jonas", you learned from the best.
GG, I was fortunate to grow up in Broomfield where Joe had his shop...I started as an apprentice right out of high school (1985). In 1994 his shop and Jonas Bros merged to the Broomfield location, and then a few years later moved to the Louisville location where they are today. I still get a lot of supplies there, though I think Joe Coombs mule deer and pronghorn forms are much better. Brad
here are a couple poorly preserved specimens :-)
Hard to find a reputable taxidermist who would "mount" such specimans to begin with. ;^)