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Bear Skin Rug without Head
Perhaps it's blasphemous, but I want an actual bear skin rug in a low traffic area of the house. Has anyone gone this route? How'd it work out? Since it'll go on the floor I'm thinking no head or claws, but with the backing/felt to keep it flat.
Any recommendations on a taxidermist? I'm in New Mexico but hides can be shipped pretty easily.
Lots of good taxidermists in NM. Where are you at and I can give some good recommendations. To start off, I'm in the northwest in San Juan county just west of Farmington. I actually think a rug like this would be just fine especially if that's what you want and you're happy with it
On your headless bear rug idea, what are your plans for head and claws?
butcherboy: I'm in Albuquerque.
Buffalo1: The plan would be to do a European mount of the head, basically the same as if the "head" were in the rug. I'm not sure about the claws. They would probably end up on my work bench with the other cool stuff: elk ivories, arrows broken by an animal, turkey beards, etc. Perhaps I'd find a way to mount them with the skull.
I recommend Bill Bowen with Lasting Impressions Taxidermy in Albuquerque. He is a member of the NMTA, and UTA. Current president of the NMTA and also a national judge. Great guy and does really nice work.
The skull is not part of a rug, just like a mount. They call this a garment tan and I would leave the full hide intact, including the head/face. I'm actually going to do the same with my next bear, but it won't go on the floor.
I'll look into Lasting Impressions Taxidermy. I know I've heard Bill's name brought up in other threads. Imperial Taxidermy in Santa Fe is the other one that has stuck in my head for central New Mexico.
I recently saw some mounts (example included) of bear paws/claws at the Buckhorn Saloon in San Antonio, Tx. I thought this was a neat way to display. Might give you an idea to use your paws/claws.
You could do a head mount or euro mount with your skull. Either one is neat and relatively inexpensive taxidermy costs .
NOTE: Sorry for the "crooked" photo. Can't figure out how to edit photo on the new system yet. Imagine in your mine the photo rotated 90* to the clockwise with the base of the shadowbox on the bottom (rather than on the side). Thanks.
Thanks for the ideas and recommendations!
Most "rugs" use a form for the head. Just do the rug with out the form? I don't know why a person would remove the head from the hide? To me that would look a bit odd? The skull you can make a euro out of in any case.
I could see removing the claws and making a necklace or something with them, some beads and such and hang on the wall? Sounds doable....
Speaking of doable..... if you can't get some romance on a bearskin rug on front of a fireplace you might just give it up..... =D
Bearskin rug without the head & claws is a furry coaster. I have three rugs and can't imagine without a head & claws. You'd be sorry.
+1 knife2sharp, did that with my spring bear from this year. Should have it back any day now. It will make my daughter very happy in her room until she has one of her own.
AS TD states, why remove the head? Just have it tanned and keep it flat without a form inside. Skull isn't needed for any mount or rug, so you can still do that Euro. Keep claws on the hide IMO.
It will get worn with any traffic, so be ready for that.
I'm not personally a fan of huge bear rugs with felt taking up an entire wall of a house. If I ever get a bear I'm going to do a tube skin like coyotes/foxes etc. and hang in corner like that.
The garment tan is an interesting idea. Does anyone know how flat they lie? Based on the deer and elk hides I've seen tanned I suspect their is some wrinkling based on the way the hide is cut. On a true rug I suspect the wrinkling problem is partly fixed by the weight of the backing and partly by proper cutting/trimming of the hide shape.
Brotsky, I'd love to see a picture of your hide when you get it back.
I'm not sure where I saw this, but I kept a photo of a "flat faced rug." It might have been in the Alaska Outdoors Forum under Trophy Care and Taxidermy Forum. It might be something to consider.
Another photo... close up of the head.
Another photo... close up of the head.
Dwight Schuh did an article in Bowhunter Magazine a few years back where he did a "tube" skin of the hides and had them tanned. This allowed him to hang several color phase trophies in a small area while appreciating the fur. They could be draped over some furniture for example. This method kept the skin of the face and nose.
Helgermite: Dwight's article you refer to is the one that gave me the idea that's what I'd do if/when I ever kill a bear.
Best be a good size bear Carl.... or folks might think you shot somebodies dog...... =D