PreliminaryTaxidermy work with near complete manniken

JJHACK

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Jun 21, 2001
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Rural Wa. State/ Ellisras South Africa
Last winter I shot a huge wild boar in the Mountains of Tennessee with my 30/06. It's ranked 16th in SCI right now. I have never before entered a tropy but this was just to big and impressive to just stick on the wall. I know that there are a lot of trophys with a lot of "status" and wild boar is not one of those that people usually take real serious. The hunt I was on was a long mountainous spot and stalk event with a lot of effort and carfull judging of the few hogs I was able to see. Plus I have this mental weakness for hunting pigs whether in Africa or the USA.
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Anyhow, I wanted this beast mounted and I also wanted to use the real teeth in the skull. I spent a while getting the teeth just right by casting the originals in polyester Resin with molds made of Latex rubber. This way I will have the exact duplicate of the original teeth in the mount. I had to then color them properly to match the originals. The photo I have here has the mouth open very wide and the teeth are covered in blood so they do not appear natural in this state. They are 3-3/4" long from gun line to tip on both sides. Funny how tiny the uppers look with the hide on the body. It's one of the reasons most experienced hog hunters will tell you if you see teeth at all it's a good pig because the lips cover so much of the teeth when the mouth is closed.

When I saw this boar with my field glasses there was plenty of tusk showing with the mouth closed. I knew right then this was one was exceptional!

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I was also not content with the angle of the head. I changed that with a bit of an angle to the anatomy of the original manniken. The mouth of almost all wild boar mounts are open way to far to show the teeth better. Unfortunately they all look as if they are smiling to me. I am using a mouth which has been modified to keep the teeth almost touching when open. I know this manniken will appear as if it's open a normal amount but when the skin is on and the hair and lips are finished this will look much different.

I just thought that some of you who have never seen the "pre" mount of an animal would like to see what it looks like before the hide is pulled over and the final work is done. I'll post a few more as the work progresses. I have the tanned cape and the manniken needs only a little bit more work with some foam and bondo. I'll finish the remainder up this week and post more then.

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I hope this annoying image staion will work with these photo's if not hit the refresh button and they may reload to show them.
 

JJHACK

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Jun 21, 2001
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Rural Wa. State/ Ellisras South Africa
I'm not from there and hunted by an invitation from another internet visitor. We were straight south of Knoxville( where I flew in) and a bit west as I recall. I think the name of the county was Polk, or Morgan. The other towns we were in were Blount and Tellico but those names may have been on signs and not actaually were we were at all the time. Sorry my memeory of this is not perfect. It's been too long and I was not really paying all that close attention because I was not planning a return trip to hunt alone, and I was with locals who knew the places to go.
 

JJHACK

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Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Messages
302
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Rural Wa. State/ Ellisras South Africa
OK the hide is on with ears and eyes, It's got a few dozen pins in the cape to help hold it in place until the glue dries and I have to paint around the eyes and the thin part of the hair near the front legs. I also have all the detail work around the mouth and lips to finish. However you can see it's really come together nice and in about a weeks time it will be dry enough to paint up and hang up.

One eye was cut when I skinned it making for a real pain to sew up perfectly and the nose was as usual beat up from his lifestyle, skinning, tanning and pulling and stretching. I used a cast nose on my last one but this one I worked at getting the nose to fit properly. It will look much better once painted black.

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JJHACK

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Joined
Jun 21, 2001
Messages
302
Location
Rural Wa. State/ Ellisras South Africa
Noonkester, but as you see it was modified a bit. I really think the tilted down head and the slightly open mouth have a better appearance.

I have participated in quite a few hog hunts with hounds. Although I have never myself killed one with dogs. I always took my camera to get the pictures of the charges when the hogs went after the dogs.

With that experience, and those photos I use that to decide the way a boar would look natural. It was nearly always the case that the boar was panting with it's mount slightly open. They tend to click the teeth together rapidly when angry or pestered by the dogs.

They also almost every time charge with the nose to the ground and rapidly raise their heads at the point of impact to rip the dogs with their tusks. Almost all wild hog mounts and forms I have seen show a hog with a head parallel to the ground and with such a huge open mount they appear to be smiling. Boar do not bite in a charge, they rip upward with their tusks, so the mouth is not natuarally wide open unless yawning.

Anyhow, I put in the time for this boar to come out as I wanted it to, head tilted down and mouth open very little( compared to standard forms, and ideas) I have also seen way to many with erect ears and mouth open. What is that about? When the dogs are fighting with a vicious boar that is charging the boars ears are laid back to it's head so close he looks as if he has none. When standing their ground or bayed up they will often have them folded back but not tight to the head. They are using their hearing to detect dogs from the rear or sides.

I have never seen a wild hog with upright alert ears in a fight. Nor have I seen one with mouth wide open in a charge. The only time I have seen a wild boar with mouth wide open is when yawning, or squeeling in pain. I suppose the only other issue with mounted hogs is that the taxidermist rarely makes certain that the uppers and lowers are lined up proper as they would be in nature. The taxidermist must make sure they are alligned to grind their surfaces together. By mounting them with the mouth barely open so the uppers and lowers match up exactly right makes the finished head look so much better and anatomically correct.
 

Idaho_Smiley

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Jul 25, 2004
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264
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Rigby, Idaho
Bear act about the same way ( meaning head posturing ) . I liked the mount :D .
I grew up in Everett wa Snohomish area .
And would you know a Butch Christianson From the Granite Falls Snohomish area .
 
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