Any advice for Crocodiles

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Jim Leifeste, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Jim Leifeste

    Jim Leifeste New Member

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    I'm about to head back to Africa to hunt for a nice crocodile, but I have no clue what to do with it once its down. I know I want a plane skull/euromount to display in an entertainment center, but I have no clue what to do with the hide. I am no a huge fan of life-size croc mounts as they always seem to look artificially wet or seem to look dry and dusty. I think it is very difficult to create a natural looking croc. In addition to that, I just don't have the space for something that big. I was thinking about having them tan the leather for boots, so I wouldn't want them cutting through the belly. I also know that its a different tanning process than regular hide. If anyone has any advice on what to do for prep in the field and what to do with the hide, please let me hear it.
     
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  2. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    The belly is best for making boots and such and yes you are correct, it is a different tanning process. You can have them cut the belly out of the croc first and will still be able to have a rug or something with the top and the horn attached.
    It is possible to tan the horn for leather work but...... on a potentially large croc I’d be willing to bet it wouldn’t be usable for much of anything as it’s so dang hard. I have small croc horn that I make gun slings and such from but the are from small 4/5 foot crocs and they are hard enough believe me.
    If it were me, I’d do a cool euro and have the belly tanned for leather. The back with the horn attached can be rugged with wall hangars.
    Holler at me if you’d like some help. I am starting exactly what I am discussing with an almost 11 ft gator at the moment.
    If you’d like me to send you a quote on that work I’d be glad to. If you want to use others by all means do so but please check pricing, there are many places here in the south that are reasonable with that kind of work. If their plan is to send it to somewhere like the wildlife gallery (they won’t do the belly for leatherwork but will do the top for rugging) to get it tanned it’s going to be extremely expensive.
     

  3. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I've seen a pretty cool crocodile rug hung upside down on a ceiling;)
     

  4. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Not something I'd get into but MOST croc leather are from 5' crocs.
    I Only mount full life-size crocs here.
    INFO:
    The size of the scales on a BIG Croc belly are 2-3"+ square not ideal for boot making.
    Croc farms harvest crocs at 5 at most 7 foot long age , small scales for greater look in texture and soft still and usually not blemished from scars and fighting and attempted canibalism.
    These are sold for the garmet and leather industry and what you see made on market are these smaller scale skins
    Have them EURO boil the skull in africa, NOT JUST SALTED. FULLY CLEANED for EURO
    Its terrible hard to remove the skin off the skull after dip pack and no matter how much you rehydrate it Dermacid BUGS won't touch it to eat the flesh,
     
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  5. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    As most have said, the size of croc you will shoot is way too old to be made into good leather. Boots and the like are generally made from the little guys.

    I had the same problem, and solved it by having the skin tanned as one piece. But the thing is so big it can really only sit on the floor, but it's so hard that if you walk on any of the ridges or the tail by accident, you're going to be uncomfortable for a while. I really don't know what to do with it now . . . So I really don't have a good answer for you. My suggestion, given the price of tanning such a skin - usually by the foot and it isn't cheap - I'd save the money and put it towards more animals.

    On the other hand, a bleached croc skull is a neat trophy.
     

  6. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    If I was to shoot a croc I would want the skull as a stand alone euro type mount.
    The hide would be a wall hanging.

    As others have mentioned above, to put it on the floor is not practical as a rug because they are extremely hard and uncomfortable surface to walk on so the only other option would be to get it up on the wall, maybe in a staircase where folk can see the size and admire the texture without doing themselves damage.

    Perhaps the belly leather might lend itself to larger items of leather work such as bags or a gun slip rather than footwear.

    I had the opportunity to see a croc hide at Kings Taxidermy in Otjiwarongo last week and there is no way it could be used as a floor covering unless you want to put it where you don't want anyone to walk....
     

  7. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    In light of what others have said . Take plenty of photos, enjoy the experience, find a nice base to highlight that Euro Mount It’s a croc it’s gonna be cool and if you don’t want to spend the extra on the hide put the change toward more hunting.
    Maybe eat some fresh croc meat, The hide would be a great trophy but not if it’s impractical for you.
    I still think it’s about the memories and the experience.
     
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  8. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Jim, I euro mounted my croc skull and had the skin tanned which was a waist of funds, IMO. I haven’t received them yet, but the photos of the skin don’t look usable. Just too rough. It might work on a pedestal, or other place where it’s cut up and attached. JMO
    0091F309-F1EF-4611-823A-0884BF3A0681.jpeg AB77249D-87FC-457B-9118-224A0B840198.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  9. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    How about doing something like this with the head?

    alli.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2019
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  10. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    My advice is shoot it until you run out of bullets!
     
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  11. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Very good point on the belly leather, a 15’ croc is going to have some huge scales and your spot on with the skull too. That flesh and such is like concrete after it’s been salted for months.
     

  12. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    This is a gator clock I did for an AH’r. A similar thing could be done with a croc euro if your wanting something a little different.

    459CD3AD-9CFA-420C-9386-06BFF1880177.jpeg E602E9C7-D26F-4DE6-BD4D-09FBE5A91204.jpeg 378061E0-132B-4032-84B3-65544E111004.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2019
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