GAME BIRD TAXIDERMY   Leave a comment

You have had a great hunt and took some beautiful birds.  Want to have one or two mounted by a taxidermist?  Who do you trust with your prize?

Great taxidermy can be expensive causing some hunters go bargain hunting.  It isone way to a bad deal.  There is a big difference between a taxidermist and a
great taxidermist.

Visit all the taxidermy shops in your area.  The more mounts you view the more discriminating you become.  A person dedicated to producing a quality mount does
good taxidermy work.  Some will specialize in certain types of work i.e. deer heads, duck mounts, small game, etc.

Good mounts must be: 1) researched, 2) mechanically sound, 3) of good materials, and 4) anatomically sound.

To be mechanically sound, the taxidermist uses good quality forms.  Inferior forms are available but they are usually not anatomically correct.  The use of a
quality form does not guarantee success but the use of poor quality forms generally will mean poor quality mounts.

Good taxidermists think for themselves.  They do not blindly use only forms from one company without making some changes.  The person doing quality work changes the form to make it even more life like.  He uses experience and observations from time in the field observing the bird alive and in its natural habitat.
Taxidermists are naturalists at heart.

A perfect form will not in itself produce and acceptable mount unless the skin is properly applied. Proficiency requires considerable practice.

Any person can sew onto any regular or irregular shape skin with finesse if the person is good at sewing. The fact that a skin fits a form gives no
creditability to the mount.  It only proves the form is approximately the same size in surface area.  The artist will change the commercial form to fit the
trophy and not the trophy to fit the available form.

Other factors are the use of quality eyes.  Domestic made eyes are not generally as high quality as those imported.

Once the eyes are in place and form sculpted to the correct shape, the taxidermist must consider the hide.  The skillful repair battle scars and shot
holes.  Injuries to the hide and feathers disappear in the hands of a skillful taxidermist.

Once applied to the form the skin must adhere to all parts of the form.

The eyes and nose are epoxyed, waxed and detailed.  Using paper Mache and putty in these areas lessens the quality of the mount and tends to make it less life
like.  Paint adds color.  The quality of the application also is a sign of quality work.

The bottom line centers on the use of quality methods and workmanship of the highest caliber.

Patience in selecting a taxidermist can pay a lifetime of enjoyment.  If you already have the bird but have not done your homework in selecting a
taxidermist, it probably would be a good idea to keep it frozen in the freezer while shopping around.  Wrap it in cloth to prevent freezer burn.

Any bird worth taking is worth preserving correctly and naturally.  If not then perhaps you should not take it at all.

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