I took my third buck in three years since I bought my new land. While each has been a good size, none of them was what I would consider to be mount worthy. The price around me to have a pro mount done is around $500 and up and I can’t justify that. I have a couple nice older mounts but my son and a buddy both were giving me static about mounting this year’s since I actually got it on the land where my cabin is.
He’s okay but not what I consider to be a trophy. He broke off a couple tines and would only be a 7 point if they were intact.
I’ve looked at European mounts but didn’t want to go through all the trouble of fleshing out the skull, boiling, etc. Then I saw these Mountain Mike plastic skulls and thought “what the hell, for $19 for the skull and another $20 for epoxy putty to rebuild the broke tines I’ll give it a whirl”.
Here’s what I got so for
Tomorrow I’ll try to reform the broke tines and darken things up just a bit. I’ll post the finished mount when I’m through.
I commend you that is very well thought out.
And IMHO will most likely last as long or longer than the original skull. Just a guess.
Looking forward to seeing the final craftmanship.
The way i do euro style mounts is super easy and takes a little time but hardly any work. Bury the head in the ground leaving the antlers above ground just the skull buryed. Stick a bucket or tote or something over the antlers to keep the squirrels from eating them. Pull skull up few monthes later and all flesh and hair is gone. Let it all dry good then skull can be bleached to achieve that whiter color. I still look forward to seeing your mount once finished.
Hadn’t thought of that! You never have a problem with mice tunneling up under the bucket?
I’ve done something similar to @HandyDave i find a nice big ant pile next to a tree and set it in there, wire the rack to the tree. Don’t forget to stir the ants up. It only takes a few days to a week and the skull is clean and ready to bleach.
Ive never had any trouble. I bury the tote or bucket or whatever will fit over rack down into the dirt a little as well. I guess if left for long time eventually something would get at the antlers. But ive found a couple monthes is all thats needed. Ive read that some of the taxidermy places use a fish tank with bugs in it. Just set the head down into tank and wait and watch as the bugs clean everything up. Kinda like @MrMachinist does with the ants.
I went the lazy way with a plastic one. The only thing with these is you need 3 hands to line up the antlers, drill and secure 'em.
I found that coffee grounds give a pretty close match on the tines and I rubbed some on the skull 'cause it was too white, especially the teeth.
When I first drilled and put wire in I only used copper. that was fine for the smaller tines. The big one I should have used a coat hanger wire or something heavier … It fell over. I had to slop a bunch of putty on!
So I went from this to This…
I still need to get some clear matte spray paint so I can seal the color and darken up a couple spots but over all I’m happy with the outcome and I’ll be hanging it up in the cabin.
Great job. If we didnt know you had to make a couple tines its not something you can tell by looking at end result. Really nice blending.
Thank you, if I can help anyone that wants to try this don’t hesitate to ask.