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:  Part 5 FINISHING, Mounting a World Class Whitetail Deer

: Part 5 FINISHING, Mounting a World Class Whitetail Deer

by Gene Smith

When Larry Blomquist left my shop in February of 2019 I told him this deer probably went together as well as any competition mount I had done. It should have—I already had a ton of hours fleshing, tanning the cape, and checking on the fit of the cape on the form before Larry arrived. Plus I had been planning this mount for years after seeing the photo on the cover of North American Hunter many years ago.

     If you have experience doing competition taxidermy, you know what I am talking about. If all of your preparation is done right and the form is prepared to fit the cape correctly, the rest of your mounting procedure should go smoothly.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020/Author: Administrator Account/Number of views (1407)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: 3.5
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Habitat for a Spotted Seatrout

Habitat for a Spotted Seatrout

by Mike Kirkhart

We have been busy lately doing spotted seatrout for the fisherman of the saltwater shallows. Most of these folks are fishing in grass flats with oyster beds and various tree debris with roots, or just an old snag of a piling that’s eaten up with wood worms. Most of our fish are destined to be hanging alone on a wall, but a small percentage of customers, however, want to add a habitat surrounding the area where the fish was caught to be added in. This certainly takes the end result to a new and more artistic level. The question is sometimes how do I build that with a simple but effective method, creating art and beauty without tremendous expense to the customer, and still profit for the time it takes to do the project. I’m going to share the design that has most of the bugs worked out for me in this article. It’s going to be more photos than text, so if you like speed article-reading this is going to be a good one to check out.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020/Author: Administrator Account/Number of views (1209)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Our First Ever Virtual Photo Competition With the New Mexico Taxidermy Association

Our First Ever Virtual Photo Competition With the New Mexico Taxidermy Association

by Larry Blomquist

We can blame the COVID-19 virus for the multitude of changes that have evolved in our lives and  businesses for the past 10 months; it seems like years for me.  How many times have you heard the words “virtual,” “Zoom,” “lockdown,” and “social distancing” during this pandemic? Nevertheless, life and our economy must carry on so many business owners have found or fashioned new ways to keep their businesses viable using the Internet. With the Internet and digital photography being important parts of our lifestyle today, and they have rocketed in usage during the last two decades. They have made the pandemic and lockdown more bearable than just 10 years ago.

    I was contacted by John Young, a board member of the New Mexico Taxidermy Association, who wanted to try something different for their members since their May 2020 show was called off because of the pandemic. He wanted to have a photo competition for the association members. His emphasis was to work with me on doing this and as incentive he told members if their mounts were selected they might be published in Breakthrough. Plus he had an idea that would produce prize money.

    I must say I was hesitant at first, but after considering the challenge I said yes. John and I put some information together and I suggested a scoresheet that would take into account that judging was by submitted photos, 3 to 5 for each entry, and limited scrutiny would be available for judges to see. I secured the services of three judges: Joe Meder, mammals; Dave Luke, birds; and Jeff Mourning, fish and reptiles.

    By the end of September there were 16 entries submitted, fewer than John had hoped for, but he and I agreed enough to move forward for this first attempt. I will admit it was more time consuming than I expected to develop and send scoresheets out for each entry with instructions on how to return them by email so we would have understandable critiques for the competitors. I thought the judges did an excellent job in scoring and critiquing the entries. In fact, if we had time and room I think that would have been another learning experience for our readers. I am not sure I would try this experience again, but I certainly learned from it and could do it at a faster and more efficient pace if I did repeat it. For now, I will consider it a one-time experience and stick at producing the World Show where I have 30 years experience.

    We selected six of the entries that had the strongest composition to feature with a smaller glimpse at the other ten. I definitely thought it was an experience we should tell you about and show. Thank you John Young for contacting me and exposing your idea to our subscribers.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020/Author: Administrator Account/Number of views (1296)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: 5.0
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Doin' Stuff With Old Extra Antlers

Doin' Stuff With Old Extra Antlers

by Ralph Garland

This article is filled with a lot of country/mountain jargon. “Piddlin’” is a word that was used a lot where I grew up in the country, so I’m gonna write this the way people still talk in Thorn Hill, Tennessee. This is not to belittle those people. It is to show that a small mountain community is so remote, not only in locale, but also in more modern lifestyles. Judgin’ from my travels, there are other small communities like this within a 50-miles radius, and Tennessee is not the only place like this. There are others, believe it or not.

    I was talkin’ with Larry one day and we got off on whitetail deer antlers: how they accumulate and the things people do with ’em. I told him about a project I was a-workin’ on and the next thing I knew I had agreed to write an article for him. After I finished chastisin’ my-own-self, the wheels in my mind told me, “It couldn’t be all that tough, after all, you used to write articles and you have made stuff out of antlers your-own-self.” Well, I started gatherin’ up things and soon, I had a pretty good bunch of things piled up.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020/Author: Administrator Account/Number of views (1186)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: No rating
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Preparation of the World's Largest Freshwater Turtle

Preparation of the World's Largest Freshwater Turtle

by J├╝rgen Fiebig and Marco Fischer

The stately male of the Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), who died in January 2016, had lived for many decades in a lake in the middle of the capital Hanoi. With a total length of about 2 meters and a weight of about 170 kilograms, it is the largest known specimen of its nearly extinct species.

    Nobody had ever prepared such a huge soft-shell turtle before; there was no experience in this matter. But we could rely on experience gained in the preparation of very different reptiles, including a Komodo dragon and some species of turtles, in the years before. A medium-sized soft-shelled turtle had also been satisfactorily prepared for the exhibition of the Berlin Museum a few years ago. It was soon also clear to us that for this turtle only the impregnation with polyethylene glycol (PEG) was the method of choice, especially because of the unique texture of the soft turtle carapace (top shell). The leathery epidermis of the shell and the enormous cartilaginous rear edge had to be kept as shrinkage-free as possible. The skin of the neck and extremities, which is enormously spongy when fresh, was very difficult to fix in an appropriate form.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020/Author: Administrator Account/Number of views (1212)/Comments (0)/ Article rating: 1.0
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