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Part 1: Form Alteration Mounting a World-Class Whitetail Deer Shoulder Mount with 3-Time World Champion Gene Smith

Part 1: Form Alteration Mounting a World-Class Whitetail Deer Shoulder Mount with 3-Time World Champion Gene Smith

by Larry Blomquist

I first met Gene Smith when he was 17 years old. He had entered a whitetail in the Novice Division of the 1987 World Taxidermy Championships®. I had the pleasure of judging that deer and awarding him with a first-place ribbon. It was easy to see that young man had talent, but I had no idea he also had the desire and drive that I would see in the years ahead. He won his first World Title 8 years later in 1995 at age 25.

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PHOTO REFERENCE STUDY: DOVES

by Larry Blomquist

Doves and pigeons constitute the animal family Columbidae and the order Columbiformes, which includes about 42 genera and 310 species.

The distinction between “doves” and “pigeons” in English is not consistent, and does not exist in most other languages. Back in the 1970s my attempts at mounting two species nearly had me at the brink of giving up taxidermy. Those subjects were a 13-foot alligator and a mourning dove. I finally succeeded mounting the 13-foot gator, but the dove… well, I finally gave up after losing nearly half of the feathers in a disastrous attempt. It was years later when I finally mounted a dove I could be proud of by starting with a perfect specimen that needed no cleaning or washing, and by cheating in some of the skinning process and relying on injection preservatives.

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Taxidermy's Ca$h Cow

Taxidermy's Ca$h Cow

by John Jennings

A cash cow is a metaphor for a dairy cow that produces milk over the course of its lifetime and requires very little maintenance. In business, it’s defined as a consistently profitable product whose profits are used to finance the rest of your business. In taxidermy, it is defined as whitetail deer. They are your most reliable source of money. With an estimated 30 million whitetail deer in the United States today, it is difficult to believe these animals nearly became extinct just over a century ago. A calamity, however, is brewing once again.

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Painting a Triggerfish: Step-by-Step

Painting a Triggerfish: Step-by-Step

by World Champion Mike Kirkhart

There are 40 or so triggerfish species in the world with 6 living in the tropical waters of Florida and the Caribbean Sea, ranging as far north as the Carolinas as the summer waters warm. Triggerfish live mostly in the shallow water around wrecks and reefs but can be found as deep as 300 feet. The queen triggerfish is the most colorful and interesting of the triggerfish.

Reference photos are absolutely necessary if you are going to paint a fish that looks natural. Gather up enough to look over, but keep in mind it’s up to you if you want it dark or light and bright or dull. My choice is to make fish bright and colorful as possible.

 

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Making Hooves Great Again: Step-by-Step

Making Hooves Great Again: Step-by-Step

by Kurt Ainsworth

One area of taxidermy that seems to get neglected are deer feet. Just a few of the problems I see are feet that are over-filled, under-filled, or teeming with shrinkage. In this article I will focus on the hooves of a whitetail deer. I will take you through my procedure for creating a cast foot, then coloring the hoof, and adding detail to the finished cast.  When skinning the foot of a deer I will be mounting, I cut around the dewclaws and hoof, right at the hard surface, making sure not to cut the hair. The only other cut will be between hooves. This will give you a mount with an undetectable seam.

 

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