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Taxidermist Recommendation

Any recommendations for a new/ novice/learning taxidermist in the Tally area that can de-flesh a skull and do a euro mount? I've used R&R with outstanding results, but thought I would see if there is someone even cheaper. I'm on the fence of doing this one myself or paying to have it done, but just really don't have (or want to dedicate) the time. The rack is nothing special, so I'm not concerned that it has to be an immaculate job. Help a brother be lazy here!!

Replies

  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 14,833 AG
    I have used Mike at R&R a couple of times and liked his work but not sure if you will find a taxidermast any cheaper. Call Alan Davis at Wallhangers 894-wall (9255) and see what he charges.

    There are a few on here that do their own, maybe they will chame in. Panhandler80 on here has done all sorts of skulls with great success. Congrats again :beer
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • bottomtimebottomtime Posts: 461 Deckhand
    I concur with Mike's work as I've used him before. Just trying to be cheap and lazy. Experience has proven over and over that you can either be cheap or lazy, but not both, and expect great results. I seem to recall Dewey's kid was dabbling in Taxidermy a while back, but he may be like the rest of us and time is at a premium for him now.
  • brotherinlawbrotherinlaw Posts: 3,797 Captain
    De fleshing deer head (or any for that matter)

    Step 1.Place head in fire ant bed.

    Step 2. Remove head from ant bed when they finish cleaning.
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 14,833 AG
    LOL I think boiling/pressure washing/picking it is the prefered method BIL.

    "where'd my 160" 8pt go I laid in that ant bed, I know I tied it off :huh "
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • KayakMacGyverKayakMacGyver Posts: 1,010 Officer
    I've tried maceration, boiling (actually simmering) and buying a skull kit. I also paid my taxidermist to do Alicia's first buck last year so I didn't screw it up. Here's my take on the deal:

    Maceration - The lazy man's method. That said, going this route could REALLY bring the laziness out of you and if you leave it in there too long, the cartilage will start to seperate, teeth fall out, etc. I've tried this method with a couple of small bucks I shot early on and I never "perfected it. I do have a pig skull that I did several years ago which came out pretty good, but there is still a lot of grease in the skull. For maceration, you still have to be diciplined enough to check the water, change it and then when it's time to do the "finish work," suck it up and do it. It stinks, so be prepared for that. Also, your going to need to keep the water around 120 degrees for optimal grease removal. I tried a little aquarium heater like Panhandler suggested but it didn't work. Like I said, if it's not at the top of your priority list it WILL bring the laziness out of you and you may end up with a skull sitting in water for a year or more (ask me how I know.)

    Simmering: I just tried this method for the first time about a month ago per the advice of my neighbor and I highly discourage it. It took 7 hours and the nasal cavity cartilage crumbled on me. Also, I later found out that this method can actually trap the grease in your skull. I know there are alot of folks out there that have perfected it, but to me it was way too much hassel and the finished product was less than ideal. It was my first attempt, but I seriously doubt I'm going to try it again. If you are going to do it yourself, I'd highly recommend going the maceration route.

    Taxidermist: For a great finished product with your actual skull, this is the way to go. Mine charges $100 bucks and it looks outstanding. All of the cartilage/bones are in tact and it's bleached to perfection. He also put a finish coat on it to protect from dust/dirt/etc. I talked to my taxi and wanted to know his process. While he didn't really want to go into great detail, he did say that he puts in a couple of hours of work trimming away as much as he can BEFORE he simmers the skull and that the simmering process only lasts about 5 minutes for him. I honestly don't know how that's possible, but I trust what he says.


    Skull Kit (My Preferred Method) : Moving forward, this is how I am going to do all of my euro mounts that I don't plan on having scored. $40 bucks will get you a kit that comes with a plastic molded deer skull, hardware and the hanger for your wall. It also comes with two skull caps; one to accomodate heavy antler mass and another for not so massive antler bases. You measure the spread of your antlers and then cut them off of your deer skull with a sawzall. After that I took a bench grinder and filed down the skull bone until the bottom of the antler was completely flush, like a shed would be. Then, all you do is screw the antlers into the skull cap from the underside and position them to match your spread. It's really simple and took me about an hour to complete. I have Alicia's buck (which I took to the taxidermist) and the one with the kit side by side on the wall and it's very difficult to tell them apart. You don't get ALL the detail as if you used the actual skull, but its very very close. Not to mention, it's probably going to last much longer. That said, if your worried about having the actual skull and teeth from your deer on the wall, this obviously won't suit your needs.

    I'll take a picture of it tonight and post it up here and let you be the judge.
    They Can't Us "You Should Have Been There Yesterday"...........Because We Were!
  • dewyafishdewyafish Posts: 5,025 Admiral
    My son does them on the side if you come towards the Albany area.
    There's nothing more enjoyable than suprise morning sex...
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    Unless you happen to be in jail at the time.
  • bottomtimebottomtime Posts: 461 Deckhand
    Kayak Mak may have just hit the nail on the head for me. I forgot that I was given one of the "Iron Buck" plates a few years ago that is basically like the skull kit he mentioned. This rack just may be the candidate for that thing.
  • brotherinlawbrotherinlaw Posts: 3,797 Captain
    micci_man wrote: »
    LOL I think boiling/pressure washing/picking it is the prefered method BIL.

    "where'd my 160" 8pt go I laid in that ant bed, I know I tied it off :huh "

    All joking aside, I have had good luck tying skulls up in a tree CLOSE to an ant bed. The ants will find it when it starts dripping.
  • bottomtimebottomtime Posts: 461 Deckhand
    I have put a few skulls in ant piles before, and will continue to do so when I want to stick them outside, under the barn, on the wall. For ones I want to bring indoors, doing them a little better and getting the grease out is my preference. I have one in our house that I boiled and scrubbed ( a lot of freaking work I might add), but it doesn't look as nice as the ones Mike Reinhart has done.
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