Guess the age of this taxidermy


AH enthusiast
Jul 2, 2014
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South East Missouri
Hunting reports
Eastern Cape of South Africa
The top two pictures are a set of elk eyes
The bottom picture is a whitetail eye
One mount is from a "world class" artist
The other mount is from a backwoods taxidermist that lives near me but won't or can't answere the phone.
Match the mount with the taxidermist/artist and throw in an age of the mount just for fun.

My apologies for the cell phone quality deserves better detail

Left Elk Eye

Right Elk Eye

Whitetail Eye
There are a lot of reasons why your mounts may be showing some cracks. While it certainly isn't a good look some of the issues may be the responsibility of the taxidermist and others the responsibility of the owner or a combination of both. I'm guessing that the elk is a lot more recently completed and featured on your thread a few months back. Tanned capes are leather and leather does expand and contract in differing environments.

Taxidermist issues can include:
  • insufficient drying time before the finish work was completed
  • cape not thinned enough around the eye area which increases contraction and expansion of the skin
  • not enough glue applied
  • Epoxy fill technique that doesn't allow for slight expansion/ contraction cracks to remain out of site eg: make the slot deeper so that if contraction and cracking occurs is is out of site deeper in the preorbital gland.
  • use of cheaper tanning chemicals/ improper tanning - although this would be rare if a commercial tannery was used.
Client issues:
  • Not displaying mounts in a temperature and humidity controlled environment which means that the trophy room must be a controlled atmospheric room. Significant increases and decreases in temperature and humidity will cause the skin to swell and/ or shrink which can lead to visible cracking. Very few trophy rooms are a temperature controlled environment due to cost.
  • Hanging trophies in a location where they are subject to abnormal temperature fluctuations which includes in proximity to windows especially if the sunlight comes through them.
  • Hanging trophies near abnormal heat sources like fireplaces or air conditioning vents, or open windows
  • hanging trophies outdoors in rooms where there is a significant exposure to outdoor temperature and humidity variations
  • storing trophies in garages and storage sheds.
  • Storing trophies wrapped in plastic
  • trophies in proximity to high levels of moisture either in the atmosphere or adjacent to or in damp areas of a house including basements.
While I don't know the particulars of your situation or who may be at fault it is worth considering how you can best care for your trophies when they are at home. If I had a customer notify me of this situation I would rectify it asap and explain how this can be prevented/ minimised especially if it is a recently completed mount.

There may also be other reasons for this that I haven't outlined.

Hopefully your trophies can be repaired with a minimum of fuss and bring you continued joy as reminders of your time out hunting.


If the elk is from the shop/studio I think it is from,I would have expected more in the line of quality! the eye anatomy is way off and looks like it will only get worse with time. compare your eye with a picture of a live elk!!
If the elk is from the shop/studio I think it is from,I would have expected more in the line of quality! the eye anatomy is way off and looks like it will only get worse with time. compare your eye with a picture of a live elk!!

PM me and I will tell you if it is who you think it is.

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