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Taxidermy sheep help
I just received photos of my completed dall sheep from the taxidermist. He is waiting for my approval before shipping. I'd really appreciate some honest opinions from you guys. Do you think it looks natural? Would you be happy if it was your mount? What would you change, if anything? Thanks!
Great. Now I can't post the pic from my iPhone. Grrrr.
I'll try to post it when I get home.
The question is are you happy with it?
google some pics of dall sheep mounts and if they're not similar = no go.
Thats not too bad, I thought it'd be worse.
What's your issue with it?
It's not bad but to be honest something seems off with it.
The pose doesn't seem natural maybe.
It's a good mount.It's a relatively long haired animal and that may look different than some that you see.The taxidermy and base are good.
It's not fantastic but it's not terrible. Probably even looks better in person.
I'd probably go with a higher base so that the eyes are just above your eye level. It does look a little like the taxidermist has tilted the whole mount back by lifting the front legs up on the base but not adjusted the angle of the head, so it looks a bit of balance. Could be wrong, as its hard to tell from just one photo.
He seems to be very 'Alert' which is fine as he prolly was just as you let your arrow fly!
If you are happy-------->
That truly is all that matters.
Nice Ram BTW!
Good luck, Robb
That stark black background would make any animal appear not as natural. Photographers usually achieve that background with a flash. Flash can wash out the fine detail.
I think the straight neck pose suggests the ram is at " full alert " .
I don't see the family jewels from this angle , but I would hope they're attached ! Especially if they were provided. No fun looking at a ram in ewe's clothing.
Maybe Dennis will give you his professional opinion. Couple other guys on Bowsite as well have lots of expertise in taxidermy.
I'm not a sheep/Ram guy, but the mouth looks "off" to me somehow... but it easily could be the angle of the picture. Congrats on a great animal.
I think it's the angle and the background... Maybe the head is back a little to far, but that could be angle. Beautiful ram BTW! Ask for more pictures, better angle and different/ neutral background.
I agree. It's very hard to get good pictures of mounts. A lot of times the angle of the photo distorts the animal. If you did your homework when choosing the taxifdermist and you liked the other mounts of his that you have seen, you should be satisfied with yours when it arrives.
Congrats on the ram. After 10 to 20 years all you will think about is the great experience not so much the mount. Looks fine!
I didn't look at the picture but the fact that this thread exists leads me to believe you are not happy.
If that's the case ask your taxi to fix it.
Nice ram, congrats.
If there was any critique, it would be the missing (or unpainted) lips. And he'd look more natural with the neck lower and a little bit of tilt to the head.
Here's a live ram to compare.
IMHO the head looks small like that of a ewe, rather than a ram. I also am not too keen the way the lips are sewn shut, but what do I know! I would also agree with the previous post that you must not like it if you are asking for our opinion on it! Do you have a picture or two of it after the kill to compare what the finished mount is?
As stated, one photo makes it hard to tell. While it may not be stellar award-winning material, it looks pretty good from the photo. I personally don't like the "rump in the air" downhill pose that most sheep are done with, so I like this position. The habitat looks very good and the more I look at the photo the more I like it. It looks a tad more "posed" than natural, but all in all I don't see any major issues with it. They do tend to pose and posture to other rams, so this guy is just showing off that he's proud.
We get spoiled to see work such as Razza and all the extra clay work he does along with modifications to forms. This one doesn't appear to have much custom work, underneath (at least based on the one photo) but it appears to be well done.
I also like that it doesn't appear to have been bleached to be pure white. Dalls have a yellowish tinge and this one the hide is natural.
I don't like it, at all.
Nobody needs to talk you into it, you know when you look at it. You paid A LOT for the hunt, and maybe tried to skimp on the taxidermy? Taxidermist have experience with sheep? The facial expression, lips are off. I don't like the the pose, way to rigid... reminds me of those Crappy olden day stuffed heads you see in a dirty smokey Bar.
Base looks good, although it looks more like a base for a desert sheep than a dall. mouth is "tucked" too much, should show a little lower lip in front. Kind of a stiff pose but that must have been what you chose so that's on you, overall a pretty nice mount, like what has been said before, pics. can distort animals.
I have to agree with wilderness!!
The more I look at it the more it looks like a young ewe' s head with horns stuck on top of it. There is no length or width to the entire nasal area like the photo of that live ram and it just makes the whole head look "unreal"!
Head/face/lips is the major issue. What a shame.
That head is at a different angle than the live photo,making it look shorter.That manikin is well proportioned and I'd bet the head dimensions are accurate.I agree,possibly a little more front lip could show but,if you were there,it might already be.Pictures don't tell you everything.I have close to 50 years experience.
Preorbital gland area needs to be darker and lips need to be darker. These two things will make the mount look much better.
Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder
That's the only explanation why some of you ugly mugs are married!
If the picture was taken with a cell phone the subject could be distorted. When you have something mounted send a picture of a live animal and tell the taxidermist this is how I want it. Most likely the form will have to be altered at an extra charge. Don't assume the taxidermist is thinking exactly what you are on how you want it.
A good taxidermist can easily soak and change things like lips, ears, etc without any problem. This has happened to me a couple times over the years. A few minor adjustments can often make a huge change in a mount's appearance. If you aren't excited about the mount let the taxidermist know you aren't happy. You may have spent a fortune on your hunt and it may be worth the $ paying a reputable taxidermist to do your ram justice. Every time you look at your ram you want to be excited and remember the once in a lifetime experience rather than being depressed by an unsatisfactory mount.
Honestly it doesn't trill me at all. The angle of neck to body makes the neck seem abnormally long. The face is missing details around the eyes and lips as well.
Thanks for the input. It´s not that I don´t like it--it´s fine, but for some reason it doesn´t quite look "natural". I´m certainly no expert, so I thought I would ask for some other opinions. I have looked at dozens, if not hundreds, of pictures of sheep mounts and spoke with the taxidermist at length before deciding on the pose, etc. The taxidermist has a good reputation for quality work, but this is the first time that I have used this taxidermist and since he will be shipping it across several states, this is my one chance to get everything right before it shows up on my doorstep. I also agree that it may be hard to tell from the pictures. I appreciate the input from those that might have more experience than I do with this stuff.
For what it´s worth, he also did my grizzly from the same trip and I think it turned out perfect.
Out of respect to our beloved bowsite, I would post kill photos, but even though I was on an Alaska archery moose hunt, these two particular victims met there demise from a 180gr accubond coming out the end of a 30-378 Weatherby at 3350fps. A little bit faster than the 515 grain grizzly stick from my Mathews intended for the moose. I didn´t end up shooting a moose (passed up several nice bulls that I could have shot with a rifle), but these two were my consolation prizes (along with 2 unlucky wolves!).
Sounds like you had an incredible hunt. Congratulations!
First let me say congratulations on a Dall Sheep! It feels funny to be a critic as I'm not a taxidermist, but I do have a house full and my buddy is the taxidermist that does it all, and I'm at his shop all the time listening to his advice. I believe the neck is to long. If you cover the body with your hand on that picture the head looks good. If you notice the pic that sticksender compared it to, look at the neck length. It looks to me like a standard form was used and not modified which really needs to be done on a full mount to get it perfect (see any of Razza's threads). Again, congrats on an awesome animal and sorry for the criticism.
Congratulations on a memorable hunt. That bears a beast.
Congratulations on a great hunt !
I have a feeling the form your taxidermist used has a lot to do with the stretched look in the neck. Some forms just aren't anatomically correct. Your present taxidermist (or taxidermist close to home) should be able to easily re-wet the head/neck areas and alter the neck, lips, etc. Honestly, if it were me and it looks anything similar to the photo I would likely have that done.
Your bear turned out fantastic! Congrats on a great multi-species hunt!
Jims has a good point. There are dozens of commercial sheep forms available out there and as you would expect not all sculptors produce the same anatomical accuracy. Taxidermists know this well and most try to correct obvious discrepancies on the form to mate more perfectly with the cape and the customer's desires. Most customers do not realize the variety of accuracy to be found in available forms. Obviously major forms alterations (see Dennis Razza' pictorials), are much more involved and considered custom mounts which are priced accordingly. Standard mounts involve minimal form alterations and cost less. If you research it for that particular pose there are only a limited number of form options and most times with sheep each form is specific for a subspecies (Dall vs Desert vs Rocky Mt). Sometimes taxidermists will try to fit one subspecies form to another subspecies cape. I would be curious if your taxidermist had to chose a form which needed major alterations to fit or did he not feel any changes were necessary? You really need to show more photos from different angles to have a better representation of what was done. I do agree from the photo that the lips seemed pursed a bit too much and the pose appears a bit awkward. I wonder if shimming the rear of the base up a few inches would favorably change the perception of viewers. Just my 2 cents.
I am only critiquing because you asked, I think it looks bad all the way around. The base does not fit with a Dall. The eyes, lips neck and body all look very amateurish. The taxi does not appear to have done any finish work on the ram. There is no detail. The neck is comically long. It starts too low in the brisket. The pose looks awkward. The body looks like a range fattened domestic sheep. Plump and fluffy. The taxi is not very good. I would not have him fix anything. I would have it sent to you and then find a competent sheep taxi to make it right. For what its worth, I don't think the bear looks good either. The face is odd. Body looks ok. The front paw up in the air looks awkward and the base looks overly fake. Find someone with better credentials to make them look right. I bet you have very fond memories from what I am sure was a great adventure. Looking at those mounts would sour my mood. I hope you are ok with my bluntness.
100% ok with bluntness. That's why I asked. Honestly, I think it looks "ok", but not great, and I asked the question here because I didn't feel confident enough talking to the taxidermist with specifics about what needs changed. Everyone's input really helps so I have an idea about what to bring up with the taxidermist. To me it just looks "unnatural". It looks like his weight is too far back on his haunches rather than standing with more weight on his front legs.
For what it's worth, this is the picture of the exact pose I asked him to do except with a right 3/4 head turn.
Man, I am really sorry to say this, I agree with AZ-Rich, the bear looks really fake and so does the base. not impressed at all. the picture above of the sheep is WAY BETTER in my opinion.
Good Luck, and I hope he does right by you!
How far away is the taxidermist? I imagine you have a ton of money wrapped up in it. I would consider a long drive out to look at them in person.
I like the bear and the pedestal, but the picture is hard to see his face. Everything looks squished together. I would want to see it in person.
First pic: Dall Sheep form left turn.
First pic: Dall Sheep form left turn.
2nd Dall sheep form
2nd Dall sheep form
This sheep form is a Mouflon fpr comparison
This sheep form is a Mouflon fpr comparison
Tilted 6 degrees
Tilted 6 degrees
The last photo posted above is a nice form and that is a looking back (beyond a full left head turn). The whole body moves to turn left in that pose, with right front leg forward so he could not have used that form too easily without doing some major alterations. So, instead it was more likely he used something like these pictured here. The first one pictured which had a slight left turn, (45 degrees would be more of a full turn) so there would be clear alterations needed for head and neck. It also appears the front half of body and/or more specifically the front legs might have been re-positioned as well as lengthening the neck. Sheep forms usually do not have that long of a neck. Another available Dall form in second photo has a a slight right turn but look at the higher neck positioning. It is looking down however, which in most cases changes the whole effect. Of the two Dall forms the first one would have been the most anatomically correct and could have been easily made into a full right turn IMO. The last pic I just tilted it 6 degrees which make it seem more plausible.
You should ask him for more pictures with a different camera (s) and angle. There is no way he could do THAT good of work on your bear and have the sheep not turn out stellar. The sheep does not look right. There has to be something funky going on or he needs to start over. The pic of the mount you wanted and what he has sent you are nowhere close to the same quality as shown.
Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions. The taxidermist has been very open and is willing to do whatever it takes to make things right. This thread has really helped me to communicate ideas to him on what to fix. Hopefully I'll have some follow-up pics once the mounts are in my trophy room!
Is this taxi in Alaska? If so would you share his name with me? It can be via private message if you'd prefer.
I don't like the sheep one bit and the bear's face looks odd to me. Don't want to get wrapped up with this guy.
The fact that he's asking you how to fix it is perplexing. He's the expert. He should know what to fix. Hope he makes things right.
The taxidermist I use studies various pics of live animals before and during projects. Seems like a simple and basic concept, but I'm not sure they all do this. An example is the pic posted here a while back of the Mt Lion mount with the front surface of the nose painted jet black. But even after knowing how a live animal looks, it'll come down to possessing the skills and commitment to execute properly. Finding a great taxidermist is no easy task. Good luck with your mount, and let us know how it comes out.
As a taxidermist for 34 years, mounting several sheep a year, I offer these suggestions. It will never look like your intended photo without a major remount. He could drop the front down a bit, maybe an inch or two, and get the front legs more weight bearing under the mass of the front shoulders. This would require redoing the eyes to get them level. He will also need to cut the head off and level the head. The neck could be slightly shortened at that time. Untuck the front bottom lip. The taxidermist will know what this means. The fully tucked lips are not incorrect, this does happen, but it sure looks nicer having a little lip showing. The one picture show on here most likely has an open mouth.... DO NOT have him paint the entire lip line. The head is most likely proportioned correctly... although that is not something you want to hear. If he washes the neck and head, and fluffs out the hair, that will make the neck and head look bigger.
I now make my full time living as a wildlife artist and its not good... If the taxidermist did'nt see it to this point on what is "right" he never will. As was mentioned the legs are too far forward... overall shoddy looking job and I am sure it wasn't cheap for teh hunt or the mount.... it is not even close to what you asked for....if possible I would pull the cord on it and get someone else to do it...this guy will never. "get it" and if you keep asking for adjustments it is just going to lead to frustrations.... Looks stuffed...of balnace in several ways
Taxidermist made some changes to decrease the neck length, add definition to the mouth, and help stance look more natural.
I think so. The only thing I asked is if he could maybe take the slight bend out of the front knees. What do you think? Too nitpicky?
Ask for criticism, and man you sure got a bunch of it. It looks almost like a Bighorn Form to me-
I wouldn't mess with the front legs.They are fine.They can be locked or as shown,and be correct.
Looks a little better with those mods, but still its a bit off IMO. I think one thing that works against the overall appearance is the unnatural intersection of the brisket with the belly. It appears to be too acute. Plus, I think if the front hooves were not planted so flat on the rock but instead angled up a bit, (as if he was still climbing), things would flow better IMO. To do that the rock surface would need to be angled as well and not be so horizontal. For curiosity sake can you ask him what initial form he used and what alteration(s) did need to do on it.
I think it looks a lot better!
Doesn't look like there is any muscle definition going into the legs. Almost looks like round cylinders connecting to body. There also something that looks off to me in his jaw line not having any structure like it's too rounded. The neck really looks better. Good luck.
I think at this point the only opinion that matters is yours. Everyone likes something a little different. And some will find something to nitpick about. I posted a picture of a mtn. Lion I had mounted a few years ago that my taxidermist took to several shows and won several ribons on. I love that mount but it has an aggressive look and is not for everyone. When I posted some didn't like it and that was fine with me as long as I like it. also look at the goat saved thread. Dennis does amazing work but there is still nitpicking on it in 1 or 2 posts. Not everything will be perfect to everyone but as long as you are happy that's all that matters!
That's a good post,g5smoke21.How many people are nit picking that can't mount one as well,or at all?
The current pose is not anything like the pose you asked him to replicate. Sorry.
It's not nit picking, he asked for opinions, and I agree... He is the one that has to be happy. Personally I still don't like it, but that's my opinion and I am not a goat expert by any means.
Good Luck brother, I hope you get what you want!
Thanks for all of the input. Criticism or not, I appreciate it. I realize that everyone is going to have different opinions, and I'm fine with that. It has been helpful to hear the different opinions and it has given me ideas to work with the taxidermist in coming up with an acceptable final product. I agree that it isn't perfect, at least from the pictures that I have, but I do think that it is better than when we started. I am pretty happy with where it is at, and the taxidermist has been very open to working with me and making sure that I am satisfied. At this point, I'm pretty sure that it is going to look great in the trophy room when I can forget about the little nitpicky details and focus on the great memories of the hunt it brings back.