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Discussion in 'Taxidermy Forum' started by will_manuel, May 20, 2021.
I'm no taxidermist or expert but that looks incredibly good for a first bird.
Put your next one in a “live” position and you will be better off. Looks too alive for a dead mount.
The only thing I've noticed is that wings are too symmetrical and the eyes need to be closed more. Dead birds hanging have one wing offset and skewed from the other. imo.
That is a good first mount. Best advise so far, is to actually hang a fresh dead duck and take a bunch of pics and use them for reference. Focus (study) one area at a time, ie tail, legs, wings, back, neck, head.....and then as a whole (alignment, gravity, etc....) Remember it's a 3ish pound bird, which is different than a couple ounce foam body. Try not to use other taxidermists mounts for your reference. The "inside" is still going to be the same whether a dead mount or "live" mount, so remember to keep a slight "S" curve in the neck, yours looks a bit too straight. I would also suggest pulling down the skin a bit below the breast to make the neck fuller and put the feather line in place. Notice on a real dead duck (or sleeping) how the eyelids actually close up from the bottom. The bill you used is for a feeding or calling pose, and as has been stated, is too open for a dead mount pose. As for feet being too dark, the bottom of the webs is going to be pretty dark which is what shows in your mount, so that's not a problem. I don't know if you injected them with anything, but they could be a bit fuller looking with proper injection. But as said earlier, very good for a first attempt.
If my first mount (14 years ago) looked like yours, I'm sure I would still be at it.
From all the videos I watched, everyone was showing how fast you must work when injecting the feet. I went to fast and didn't injected enough into the feet and couldn't fix it. I finished a speck the other day and it was a lot easier to see how plump to make them. I couldn't find the picture of it, but I did use my own refence photo of the exact dead pintail. In the picture his mouth is open which is why I went with an open mouth. (its a really cool pic there's a drop of blood falling from his mouth) But I do think it's TOO open. I don't want to bother you but could you show a picture the S curve? I'm not really sure what your talking about. I did see what you mean about making his neck fuller when I was mounting him. I think the neck looks not fluffed because of the big body I used. It stuck his head out and makes his neck look very long and skinny. The skin was very tight on the body and I couldn't really move it around too much with it tearing. Sorry for jumping around that's just how my brain works. Thank you for taking the time to respond, very appreciated!
Here's a multiple dead mount I have drying in the shop.....just pinned a body with the neck to one of the geese to show you what I mean. It is a slight "S" but still there and not straight like an arrow. And yes, better to have a too small body than too big as you can't do much when everything is tight.
Can't add too much .. Brad is one of the best and his info is spot on ..
But for your first bird ... its great ... IMO de fating , washing and drying properly are most important to a good mount .. and I see you did a good job there , sprig have a long neck and for a beginner aren't the easiest.. far as I'm concerned it's fine just need to pull the neck skin down toward the head a little more ... I do a lot of deadmounts and a single bird is tuff , add another and it will look better .. I won't do a one bird deadmount .. unless it's rare .. like the white wing speck or a Turkey ..
Good job , keep at it the more u do the better you'll get ..
That's the plan. I want to put a wigeon on the left side of it. Never shot one so it will probably end up being a gadwall but who knows. The whole mount is kinda special so hopefully its a wigeon. The pintail isn't anything crazy but it was just a really fun and memorable hunt. I built the board two years ago from my grandpas old barn(longleaf pine) and also the call and shells were his. So it would be kinda cool to have my first wigeon up there. I'm going to post my speck soon I'm not really happy with it but its another bird that I would like to get critique on since I'm doing everything from youtube videos.
Sounds like you're well on your way .. I do a ton of Deadmounts from Turkeys to Pheasants and waterfowl .. love real barnwood bases ( I have an entire barn full ) What I love about Deadmounts is.. you can always add to it .. Trust me I've been mounting birds for close to 30 yrs .. I had a full deadmount from birds I'd ruined over a few yrs .. looked good till my pup got hold of them...
no matter how good you are you will mess birds up .. so don't sweat it you'll get better with every bird .. I still mess up( ruin) a few every yr guaranteed .. granted most are problem birds to start .. One thing to remember start with a turd , you'll end with one as well .. We aren't magicians although some hunters seem to think we are .. Like I said before , the skin cleaning stage is imo most important , starting with a clean grease free , dry , fluffed skin is key to great work .. I wash them until my dawn soap wash stays clean then rinse till no bubbles come from skin.. toss it in spin cycle and hit it with the pet dryer .. ready to mount
I still turn out birds I don't like once in a while , but as long as the customer has a smile I know it was good enough ..
Wigeon are beautiful ducks , still looking for my Euro.. have a hybrid and Storm already ..
Here's a rooster deadmount just mounted yesterday along with a pair of geese I did few weeks ago ..