Altering a Whitetail Deer Form

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Altering a Whitetail Deer Form

There is a misconception amongst most people that the deer forms manufactured and shipped to taxidermists today are all one size fits all. That any pose so desired is available. This could be so far from the truth. Half of the work involved in mounting a deer head is sometimes put into altering the form or as some refer to it as altering the deer manikin. If you mount deer chances are you will be altering a whitetail deer form at some point of your taxidermy career.

When I use the term altering a whitetail deer form I am referring to the work and process that is done in changing, reconstructing the original physical appearance of the delivered deer manikin. There are many reasons on why a taxidermist must alter and change the appearance of a deer manikin that they are working on. The form may be too big or too small.  The turn in the head may not be as much or too much of a turn. The nose on the deer may be too long or not long enough. Perhaps the nose on the deer is too wide or too narrow. The list goes on and on.

Altering a whitetail deer form maybe intimidating to some and in some cases overwhelming. You may have to remove the entire head or actually cut off the whole neck of the form. Sanding and sculpting is a requirement for anyone who attempts to alter (modify) a whitetail deer manikin.

It is very important to test fit your capes to the deer form before mounting up. Chances are at some point you will have to alter the deer form to get the cape to fit properly. Sometimes we taxidermists goof and order the wrong form. Instead of sending the form back while wasting time and money, we will just fix the mistake by altering the deer manikin.

I personally have done dozens of whitetail deer form modifications over the years. Anything you can think of being done to a deer manikin to alter it probably has been done by me at some point. I have taken shoulder mounts and turned them into wall pedestals. I won’t even mention all the nose length modifications I have done. Changing the pose of the deer has been done more than once. The list goes on and on. I will also guarantee you many other deer taxidermist can relate to altering a deer form.

Altering a deer form is not rocket science. If you think you are going to just throw a cape on every single deer manikin delivered to your shop, and be done with it, I got news for you. You need to be handy with a saw and knife and have sculpting capabilities.

Just recently I completed a whitetail form alteration on a McKenzie 6900 series wall pedestal. The deer manikin had a hard right turn look and I made it into a full straight look. You can read all about it along with the step-by-step procedures I used by visiting Whitetail Form Alteration By CJ Herring

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CJ Herring

With over 20 years in the industry CJ Herring has dedicated his life to the art of taxidermy. He is a taxidermy journalist and contributing writer for TTN News and is the founder of the Taxidermy Journal. Licensed and certified CJ has experience in all phases of taxidermy. From small animals to full body mounts along with birds and fish. CJ specializes in turkey taxidermy, whitetails, cold and warm water fish taxidermy, along with any and all small mammal taxidermy.

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