duck head question

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duck head question

Postby sc_countryboy26 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:34 pm

Do you guys prefer to use the fake heads out on the market or do you prefer to use the eral head. I am a beginning taxidermist and I am interested in the best way to do ducks.
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Postby Pete-pec » Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:12 pm

Artificial heads are probably the best way to go, but if I was a beginner, then I'd start with the conventional method, where you rebuild the (cleaned) skull with clay, and poke a wire through the top of the head, and snip when dry. there are a number of relief cuts you can make. Along the side of the head starting at the ear hole, under the chin, along the top of the head, and some birds like Mergansers, Old Squaw, Wood Duck, Harlequin, Eider, and Scoter can be inverted through their neck. Pheasant and Grouse as well can be done without cutting a relief. The incision can be sewn, but superglue works just as well.

You can also cut around the bill, remove the head, clean it well, borax it and dry it, then rebuild it with Apoxie Sculpt, and I will guarantee that the skull will fit (if rebuilt anatomically), and that can't always be guaranteed with an artificial head. Like humans, no duck is exactly the same, but if you are mounting a mature bird, then most artificial heads will fit.

I went back, and started rebuilding my stuff, because I have the time to do so. There is some shrinkage when dried, but I like the challenge of rebuilding the bill with Apoxie Sculpt and a wet Camel hair paint-brush.

Here is a link to some of the best heads. Note the price of these heads. They're not cheap, but you could definately use these for competition.

http://www.matuskataxidermy.com/supply.htm

Go to "browse all products" then to "bird mounting supplies" then to "artificial heads"

Please feel free to give me some more questions,

-Pete
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Postby Yellowdog38 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:55 pm

Great answer Pete, while I do feel like the artificial heads are better, every taxidermist should know how to use the real head. Not that Pete, I, nor anyone else minds answering your questions, I would suggest getting the Breakthrough bird taxidermy manual. It shows step by step instructions for the real or art. head, along w/ many other useful things. It can be purchased from most of the taxidermy supply companies. [/list][/list]
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books

Postby sc_countryboy26 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 5:57 pm

I have seen books and videos on both ways. I was just wanting to get some opinions from different people. Thank you for the replies.
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Postby huntmq1 » Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:05 pm

I'm a novice and I want nothin' to do with the real deal. Sorry, maybe it's just me, but I've seen alot of funny mounts with shrunken heads.
:hammering:
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Postby Pete-pec » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:58 am

huntmq1,

Have you ever had the juncture at the bridge of the bill not fit, or the head too large where you end up cutting a relief anyway?

I use artificial heads also, but it sure sucks when you go to mount your bird and need to put the artificial head on the grinder to make it fit. I have used the real head and allowed it to shrink, then rebuilt it later with apoxie sculpt, and I can guarantee they not only fit, but they look better than an artificial. When doing a Shoveler for instance, I can still end up with the combs.

I do however have to agre with you that if left to dry, they do wind up looking less than perfect. You however you are working with a taxidermist, so you have the advantage of knowing what looks good or bad, when the average person is more enthralled with the pretty colors on the feathers, rather than all the details. :thumbsup:

-Pete
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Postby huntmq1 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:58 am

Yep I have had it happen, then out comes the Dremel or the Sculpt-all and latex glue. But, I understand what you're saying about using the real deal. The fit will allways be on. I was taught using the fake heads, so here I am. I asked about using the real ones when I was learning, I was told to forget about it, the fake ones are easier to work with, even when you need to make adjustments. You're right about learning in a shop. It's all about the details and whats going to look the best in 1-5 or 10 years and on.
You think duck heads are bad when you try to fit them, try one of the fake fish heads, esp. the trout!!! What a night mare! You look at it and think, theres no way this head goes with this body. But it's what they send you and claim it's the best fit, even with the one inch gap.
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Hey, did you grab the blind bag with the shells when we left the truck?
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Postby bird man » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:29 am

I started out using the real head but have switched to artificial and will never go back, but i know how to use the real one if i need to. I have not had many problems with the heads fitting unless it was :hammering: a young bird.
The same thing with trout heads artificial is better and easier if you get the head to match. I have had to reorder heads. :hammering:
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