Contributors to this thread:
My Canmore Bighorn Mount
I promised to post some photos of my Canmore ram from a couple years back once he was mounted. I know it's been a while and I apologize for the delay. I've attached a link above to the thread which includes the story and a bunch of photos from the hunt, in case some of you new guys may have missed it. Here's photo of the ram, with my guide, Alan Douglas.
I thought it might be interesting to follow through the process of what it actually takes to create a mount like this.
I'm really fortunate to have Jim Kelly, a talented taxidermist, living close by. Jim and I planned, for quite some time, what to do with this piece, wanting to do something special for this animal.
My "Trophy Room" is really just an average size Living Room, but it does have high ceilings. This mount had to be life-size, and with the room's layout, I really thought a downhill pose would look best.
My wall space is limited and this presented a challenge, but Jim came up with an idea to hang the mount in a spot that I never thought would work, and would have never even considered for a life size sheep.
It's a really small space on the stairway wall above my TV. I didn't think there was enough room but if we hung the mount here, there would be no wall behind him, and I was instantly excited about the possibility of seeing the finished ram from the many unique angles a traditional wall mount would not have afforded.
Imagine a life size ram here:
Busta Ribs, I remember reading about your hunt very well! One the the best stories I've read on bowsite! Looking forward to seeing your mount proudly displayed on your wall!
I picked out a form that I thought I liked, and one Jim agreed was relatively anatomically accurate.
But then I attended one of the national sheep hunting conventions and I saw a sheep mount that I fell in love with. It was a much harder downhill pose, and the body angle matched the stair wall angle perfectly.
The only problem was, the form only came in a right turn, and we needed a left turn.
Here is the new form:
"Slicing" the form into many pieces, like a loaf of bread, and re-arranging the slices, Jim was able to turn the ram to the left to suit our needs.
I hadn't ever seen your sheep hunt thread before but that's an awesome story and looks to be a really cool mount by the pics you've posted thus far! Should go good with the cool layout your home has...
I agree-one of the best threads and stories ever written on Bowsite. Inspiring to say the least.
Looking forward to this finished piece. I know how hard you worked for that ram, and how bad you wanted it :)
Delivering the cape was a sobering experience, and it took me back to that bitter cold day on the mountain, tending a big fire, and trying to get the ram thawed out enough to skin.
Frozen fingers and frozen sheep legs are a bad recipe for a clean cape, and a lot of sewing would be necessary. Jim nearly declared the ram "un-mountable"!
Of course, he's so anal that anything he doesn't personally cape is nearly un-mountable!
Front legs, before/after sewing:
The back legs were also pretty chopped up:
And so was the face and the Ball bag:
He spent days sewing the cape back together, and complained the whole time. I just told him to shut up and sew, that's why you make all those big taxidermy bucks Buddy!
Of course there's a big broadhead hole, I shot him with a Schwacker!
Taking a break from the skinning, next up was laying out the base structure. This was going to be one heavy piece, the horns alone weighed at least a hundred pounds, at least they felt like it when I spent the better part of a cold November evening carrying them off the mountain.
First step, straighten out the leg rods. For the money these things cost, you'd think they would come plumb and parallel!
Next step, lay out the wood framework:
Starting to look like something now, but are you sure it's strong enough, Jim?
Setting the head angle. Told you those horns were heavy!
Sorry for so many posts! Damn iphone!
Busta, I was waiting for this because the story was incredible.
I'm sure you won't forget, but the photo of you leaning over on the sticks with the skull supporting the pack was reality, one that I may never know.
Great write up again, looking forward to the finished product,
Chris...That story was one of the best ever here and it is one that inspired me to go Sheep hunting. Though my first 4 sheep hunts will be with a rifle, the Canmore bowhunt is on my radar and WILL be one I do in the near future.
Ok. I can see the face getting banged up, and I'm sure skinning frozen legs is a bitch. But the ball bag is screwed up????? Really???
Chris, your Canmore story inspired me to NEVER want to go to that place in November! I'll hunt sheep here in warm, sunny CO, thank you!
Looking forward to the rest of the pics. Thanks for sharing.
Dang it-- I should-a-had your Taxi stitch me up after my kidney surgery!!
Looking damn good so far.
Good luck, Robb
That was a great story , I remember it well. Even I heard the whining about that cape!!! Looking forward to the finished product.
What a cool thread! Great ram. Can you post a link to the original story? What did that baby score? Big ol deep drop on him!
The original story is a big part of the reason I pulled the trigger on the Canmore hunt and will be there Nov 2014. Can't wait to see the finished ram.
You have a very good friend as a taxidermist if you can take him a skin like that from an animal like that !! :) Love the ram and you had a world class hunt taking a world class ram. Congrats. The form mod looks great and your base is in a really cool place! Looking forward to seeing the finish mount.
As I mentioned, this thing is going to be heavy and it must be structurally safe/sound. If it fall's off the wall it could kill someone.
Some reinforcement of the form was necessary. First, stiffen the back leg:
Next, reinforce the neck.
At least I know the head's not going to fall off!
Ha congrats on a great ram! Im duper jealous... Now skip a few taxidermist in Progress pics and get to the finished pics! Killin me ;-)
I cannot wait to see the end of this project. Bob.
Chris, you are having a grilling party this year so we can all see it in person, right??
Looks good so far.
Like said, one of the best hunt stories on Bowsite. Love the taxi play by play, too!
SDHNTR, link is in the first post.
Fabulous original story and great job of showing the detail going into the mount! The mounting process appears to be very well thought out (maybe even going over board a bit! ;^) ). Congrats again and can't wait to see the final product.
Extremely well done. Congrats on a beautiful trophy!
that looks to be the perfect location for your bighorn!! cant wait to see it in its final resting place
Chris, Just went back and read your Canmore Adventure....one more time! I think that is my third time! Well done......we loom forward to the final "monster mount!"
Yup, been waitin for this one. Awesome story, awesome ram and surely an awesome mount!
Very cool ! If I remember right my horns weighed about 36 lbs. I reinforced mine as well. Better save than sorry.
Very cool....and congrats. If I ever shoot something worthy of a Jim Kelly mount I'll be a happy camper....
chris u best support them big horns thats a great canmore ram ..
Its good to see the mad man jim doing his magic on your ram !
jUST wait till Jim does the rock work for this mount !!
Just like everything in life, it's the little details that make the difference between good and great.
It's always a good thing when you get to look up ones nose.
Of course, the animal has to have nostrils!
And lips don't hurt either.
This won't work.
But it's nothing that can't be fixed.
Jim makes all his ear liners.
Prepping the cape, let's mount this thing already.
Setting the horns:
To me, this is the most critical point in the mount, setting the eyes. I don't care how big the animal is, or how great the mount is done, if the eyes are not perfect, it's going to be the first thing I notice.
Sculpting/setting the eyes:
On goes the cape, finally!
I told you the eyes make the mount!
what a ram looking great . I see one of my deer in the back drop .
Chris how high is this mount going to be !
What a fantastic thread. Incredible animal and a great peek into what goes into a full-body mount.
"Flat out awesome!!!!" +1
Incredible... I love this thread. Ed F
Fantastic! Jim and his crew are awesome. Good for you. Shick
A true artist at work! Busta, thanks for sharing such an interesting thread with us.
It keeps getting better!!
These threads showing the taxidermists process are Great .. thanks for sharing, congrats on a beautiful ram , the hunt And the mount. Brian
That's unreal. Beautiful ram. These threads encourage me to never question a good taxidermist's price.
Thanks for sharing the pics, that is quite a process!! No matter what anyone says, taxidermists truely are artists.
So much hard work! Looking killer!!!!
Time to start sewing this thing up.
Thought those legs couldn't be fixed?
Let's make sure his hair game is on.
How big is it Jim?
Next, the rock base. Start with some pre-cast rock panel.
Cut it into hundreds of pieces, and re-arrange.
I really want to thank Jim for letting me take all these photos and for allowing me to post them on a public forum. I remember attending a sheep convention a few years back with Jim and we noticed another taxidermist's display contained a mount with some interesting pre-fab rock work. When Jim asked the guy what the material was he became indignant and abrasive and spouting off about "Trade Secrets"! Obviously, Jim has no issues with me showing the world how he works his magic.
This ram is really the finest trophy I will ever take and I really couldn't be happier with the way the mount turned out.
I hope you guys like it.
A few more from the multiple angles this unique location provides.
View from my old man easy chair.
Congratulations Chris! Great animal, mount and thread! Thanks for sharing! Mike
Excellent Chris! Congrats on a beautiful ram and mount! Jim did a fantastic job! JJ
Wow, just wow! Awesome mount and trophy...
Bad Ass is an understatement. WOW... Ed F
Great thread Chris. Now I can get back to real work instead of checking this thread every time I walk by my computer or pick up my cell phone. Now if we can get Waterfowler to pick up the pace!
Yes it is an AWESOME mount! The multiple angles lets you enjoy it from all sides! The snow is a nice touch to remind you of how cold it really was, heh heh... Thank you!
Stunning, Thanks for sharing all the pics. Congrats!!
That's one awesome trophy and a great mount. Congrats!
Great work on a tremendous trophy. This really helps me appreciate what goes into the taxidermy process. Good ones are true artists.
That is absolutely incredible! Fantastic animal and thread. The hunt report thread is one of the best ever on this site, BTW. Congratulations!
That frontal shot is EPIC! Very tastefully done!
C'est magnifique!!!!!!!! Great thread.
BR, congrats on your beautiful sheep!!!! Thanks for sharing the mounting process, your guy did an unbelievable job!
Stunning what a great way to honor a beautiful ram. Start to finish simply a hard earned well deserved trophy. Thanks for sharing!
Great story thanks for sharing the pics
Dude, I thought your goat mount was unbeatable. This one tops it. Love the pose and especially where you have it located. Nicely done you savage!
Wow awesome so jealous!!!!!!!!! U da man
Chris, That's one of the better works of Taxidermist Art I've seen. A big Kudos are in order for your friend Jim, as he created for you a really magnificant and unique mount that has it all. Of course a huge congratulations to you on such a great hunt and lifetime trophy. I myself only have one BH (Desert), but dream of getting a Rocky Mtn or Stone someday. I am very inspired by what you both have accomplished. NICE!!!
Wow wow triple wow...great mount and shows why good Taxidermy is so expensive...
Can't believe how perfect the angle of the mount matches the angle of the staircase.
Truly awesome trophy and mount. Perfect spot also!!
Man thats awesome Chris. Perfect choice of location for the mount.
Great ram and taxidermy. Hopefully Jim's openness will lead to more business for him. Is that normal for it to take over 2 years since the hunt?
Breathtaking thank you for sharing!
Putting one of these threads together takes time. It took about 18 months for Jim to mount my ram, I think. But I've been super busy with work for the past 6 months and just got some time to post this.
Jim's turn around time is not normally two years, or even a year and a half. This one took a little more time because the cape was in such bad shape and because it took me a long time to decide on the position, form and location of the mount.
Jim may take a little bit longer than some but the quality guys are always going to be in higher demand. But trust me, it's worth the wait!
Thanks again guys for all the kind words. And thanks again to Jim Kelly for such a great job.
Besides being a great taxidermist, Jim is also a very passionate and accomplished sheep hunter himself. This is one of the reasons he's so good on the high-country, life size mounts.
Chris, congrats on getting him home, enjoy and relive for years to come.
"View from my old man easy chair."
Or the view from your "Treestand" touch it...and I will come to anchor!!!
Gorgeous just gorgeous !!!!!!!!!
That is one of the nicest mounts I've seen...... it looks like the sheep are even happy to know who will be working on them....... Terry
Great Thread! Congratulations to you all around and thanks for taking the time to post all the great pics, very enjoyable!
Pretty dang cool Taxi job and a perfect location to put him in your home.
Good luck, Robb
When i brought my ram to Jim he started on it ASAP. Had it done before i had the coin saved :) I never seen a guy work as hard as JIm long hours/ weekends.
Busta, I thought I seen everything but what is that in the first pic above the stone sheep???
That's a giant Tur (pronounced "tour"), killed in Azerbaijan.
A great Tur hunt can still be done for around $8k and compared to a North American sheep hunt, is still an unbelievable bargain.
They are not very bow -huntable, though, which is unfortunate.
I'd love to do that someday.
What a great animal.....and an outstanding thread!
Thanks, Yeah never heard of that one.
That is an incredible mount, thanks for sharing!!!
Simply beautiful mount! Awesome Chris!
Great sheep Chris! Wonderful mounts! JJ
Whew! Bomber Tur!!!!
I am glad this came back up because I missed it....AWESOME!!! That is one of the best ideas I have seen for a mount location and some exceptional taxidermy! Congrats and thanks for sharing the process.
GannettRidge 's Link
This coupled with the original hunt/kill thread are two of the top ten threads of all time on here... GOOD STUFF!
What an outstanding hunt and a great trophy. That is a truly beautiful mount. Thank you for taking the time to share throughout the entire process.
One word.. WOW.... Great job on the thread
"I am glad this came back up because I missed it....AWESOME!!!"
Incredible thread Chris. Thanks for sharing!
What more can I say that hasn't been already said...great hunt, top shelf guide, awesome taxidermist and mount, great story, priceless memory to have forever!
What a phenomenal looking mount! Wow, just wow! Your taxi is a first class artist, and what a magnificent sheep you gave him to work on.
Did you cape it with a chainsaw? :^)
Tough to come up with the words as to how awesome this thread is......congrats doesn't seem to do it justice! WOW, WOW, WOW! You da man......
Oustanding work! Everytime you look at it, you will remember the good and tough times of the hunt.
Wow is all I can say. Who you gonna get to mount that big buck your gonna shoot over here in November?Ha ha. Maybe I will be sending one his way. That is awesome
Incredible mount! Now I understand why the full body mounts on habitat are so expensive. This thread gives us all a real appreciation for how much work goes into these high quality mounts and those little details make the difference between an okay mount and a work of art like this one.
Wow, these threads showing the taxis at work are awesome!
I am wanting to hunt the Rocky Bighorn and looking at Busta's mount makes me gitty and drool a bit. Awesome.
The NWT is calling........Very nicely done Chris and Jim!