by Larry Blomquist
In the last issue we featured a 14-page reference guide of the major grouse species of North America. Over the next several issues I will target some of the common species that taxidermists are likely to receive. Of course, many of these grouse are regional in their distribution, but with the popularity in game bird hunting as strong as ever, taxidermists in any area of North America should not be surprised if one of them finds their counters.
This feature offers reference of both the greater and lesser prairie chickens. My photo sources offered excellent photography of both subspecies, but the most diverse selection was of the lesser prairie chicken. I would like to note that subspecies are so similar that reference of either will work for both.
To get the rest of this valuable reference article on greater and lesser prairie chickens, subscribe to Breakthrough, or order Issue 124. Call 800-783-7266 or subscribe online.
After enjoying the myriad of live reference pictures in Breakthrough’s recent photographic reference articles on the grouse of North America, created and written by publisher Larry Blomquist, this issue seemed to be the perfect venue to create a grouse mount using these marvelous upland game bird reference studies! Using the reference and mounting an actual prairie grouse, good friend and great bird taxidermist Eugene Streekstra took control and parlayed these useful pictures into a beautiful, hand-created greater prairie chicken piece. Eugene had recently traveled to South Dakota and was able to collect several of these magnificent prairie grouse. With his many years of hands-on bird work, he proved to be the perfect candidate to put together Breakthrough’s great reference pictures, with his years of experience and knowledge, to create a fantastic booming and strutting greater prairie chicken mount.
For the purpose of saving space within this article, the complete skinning, fleshing, and washing process will not be detailed, however, I will begin with how the specimen is treated as the entire assembly process begins.
To read the rest of this valuable procedure article on mounting a prairie chickens, subscribe to Breakthrough, or order Issue 124. Call 800-783-7266 or subscribe online.
THE 2016 BREAKTHROUGH AWARD WINNERS
Australian Assoc. of Wildlife Artists Tony Bianco
Canada Taxidermists Association Ken Noyes
National Taxidermists Association Tim Gorenchan
New Zealand Taxidermists Assoc. Ben Carillo
United Kingdom Guild of Taxidermy Jack Fishwick
United Taxidermists of America Rodney Schreurs
Arkansas Mickey Bowman
California Ken Walker
Colorado Josh Gustard
Florida Doug Montgomery
by Scott Lennard
Do you ever get confused when trying to select the proper size lifesize form to fit a skin? Welcome to the world of taxidermy! As they say, “If it was easy everybody would be doing it.” When a taxidermist graduates from mounting shoulder mounts to lifesize taxidermy, the degree of difficulty ratchets up a notch. I hope I can offer a few tips to help with selecting the proper size form (mannequin) which will greatly reduce some of the challenges. What I have to offer is part voodoo, part science, and part educated guess. As Yogi Berra said, “Baseball is 90 percent physical and the other half is mental.” This sounds similar to taxidermy, doesn’t it? All kidding aside, let’s focus on some areas that should help you in choosing the proper size form.
To read the rest of this valuable article on measuring for correct fit, subscribe to Breakthrough, or order Issue 124. Call 800-783-7266 or subscribe online.
By Brian Noody
Editors Note: In this series of articles, Brian Noody tells us his story and techniques used in mounting his entry, a walleye, for the 2015 World Taxidermy Championships. This walleye was the second highest scoring fish entry in the Master Division of the 2015 competition in Springfield, Missouri.
To read the final installment of this 5-part walleye article, subscribe to Breakthrough, or order Issue 124. Call 800-783-7266 or subscribe online.