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Hallmarks of an Exceptional European/Skull Mount
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wooden
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May 18, 2017 - 7:04 pm
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So there are lots of articles and discussions about what to look for when evaluating the quality of a taxidermist's work for something like a shoulder-mount. I feel like I know the basics of what to look for there - and can spot a mediocre/sloppy mount pretty easily. I'm no expert, but things like no whiskers, poor job/positioning of the ears, the nose, and/or the aftermath of a lousy job tanning to name a few are a turn-off for me. 

To me, the value that a quality taxidermist brings to the table goes far beyond doing the dirty work, taking the time to do it, and having invested in the equipment - he/she brings my trophy to life in a way that I simply could not - short of pursuing taxidermy as a career.

But I haven't been able to find much on european mounts. Are they just THAT simple? What differentiates an exceptional european or skull mount from a mediocre one? I see a lot of professional taxidermists doing them, so, what differentiates an outstanding european/skull mount versus a so-so one?

Or is it simply that the taxidermist deals with things like brains, flesh, offensive smells, insects, chemicals, time, etc. - that most customers (or their wives) would rather not deal with?

For the purposes of this discussion I would like to keep it limited to things that pertain to the skull/antlers on a "traditional" euro/skull mount, and not take into consideration the less permanent/more optional things like plaques, hardware, custom-painting, etc.

What will a good mount have that a lesser mount will not?

What are the telltale signs of an obvious DIY/hack job?

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TANGLEWOOD
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May 29, 2017 - 3:12 pm
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Improperly done skulls can get yellow or discolored grease spots.

It can have little bits of dried tissue that was left on the bone and can have a smell. 

Teeth glued into improper places or depths and missing teeth.

Missing nasal bones and sinus bones. Some people produce quality euros that the sinus bones were removed, however, I am partial to leaving them in.

There was a time that did a lot of euros and getting the grease out was the biggest challenge and keeping the sinus bones intact can be a pain.

I had a company that does skulls only inspect some of my skulls and got a thumbs up, so I started offering them to customers.

Somethings in taxidermy are unpleasant, however, euros, for me, were most unpleasant from start to finish.

At first I did leaving them in a cage or plastic bag, not great.

Boiling, hard to keep the sinus bones in.

Beetles are great if you have room a means to be a bug farmer.

Maceration was my chosen way. 

Degreasing is something that can be tread of it's own. Super important!

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