Whitetail Deer Taxidermy Mount Photos
The Good Stuff Taxidermy Since 1977
George Roof Professional Taxidermist
359 Cypress Branch Road Magnolia, Delaware 19962
Hours 9 to 9 Weekdays By appointment Phone 1-302-697-9606
After Steve Steinbring had worked on the manufacture of an effective epoxy hide paste, we wanted to show that we could get incredible detail by using the paste as a filler as well as an adhesive. As fortune would have it, he was visiting me doing field tests when this "scrub buck" in velvet came in. He asked if I'd play with it even if it meant an unrealistic over amplification of some of the detailing. This is the result of that test.
Connie Roof is disabled and has a permit for a crossbow. She still has to have help getting into and out of stands and she was beside herself after a long winter and equally long summer to get a deer.
I'd been watching a remote corner of a soybean field and each night the same crew of does and fawns would come out at dark. We hopped on our ATV and I drove within 100 yards of the stand. She got in and got her bow set on the shooting sticks behind the burlap camoed double treestand. I lasered the distances and found a bare spot in the beans about 20 yards away so that I could make a quick judgment so she'd know what dot to use on her scope.
About dusk, I heard the expected clamor of a deer coming out of the deep woods and peeked to find a small forkhorn with a weird configuration. I thought that just maybe he'd give her a shot. Not only did he do that, he walked right into the bare spot and began eating. Before I could tell her anything, the twang of the crossbow obliterated the quietness.
The little buck made it out of the field but even with her sight problems, the trail to her first bowkill was easy for her to follow.
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Hide Tanning and Taxidermy WHITETAIL SYSTEMS REAL DEER FORMS
Willow was an orphaned fawn that my friend, Dan, got from the state for rehabilitation. As you all know, "rehabilitating" deer is a life sentence to confinement. Once deer lose their natural wariness of humans, it can only end up bad.
Willow had an exceptionally long life (16 years) but we were sure that it was over much earlier. One November morning, when Willow was 5, my friend called me in a panic. It seems that he'd become inextricably tangled in the chainlink fence that surrounded his one acre pen.
Dan was a schoolteacher and had to be in class, so I was left with the job of freeing him.
I grabbed a 2x4, some straight galvanized wire and some wire cutters and headed out. I was sure I'd be able to pry him loose after perhaps cutting a few strands and I could repair the hole with the wire.
The rut was full blown and Willow now weighed about 250 pounds. He had no neck and his body went straight back to his butt. He was foreboding in appearance and down right scary with his attitude at best. I knew this could prove dangerous but I had to try.
When I arrived, I saw he was not too wound up, but my arrival seemed to agitate him more. I tried from outside the pen to pry him loose to no avail. I then did a very stupid thing by entering the pen. When I got within about 6 feet of him, he lifted the entire fence up out of the ground about 2 feet and with a sudden lunge backwards, tore free of the fence leaving a gaping hole. He ran away but I was concerned he might escape through the hole. I grabbed the wire and loosely wove it through the opening. Then my sixth sense kicked in and I sensed imminent danger from behind. I turned with the 2x4 in hand just in time to parry Willows charge at me. Like a cat, he turned and headed towards me again. I swung the board by reflex and caught him square on the forehead. He was dazed a bit and I saw his eyes refocus. He charged again and this time I hit him as hard as I could between the antlers. He went down like a shot.
My shock at what happened distracted the danger I'd put myself in and I suddenly thought I might have killed him. When I saw his sides swell as he inhaled, I ran towards the shed door that led into the pen. It was like a bad dream and I slammed the door behind me just as Willow hit it in a full charge. Splinters flew everywhere and I rushed to get outside the second door. As I got through and was now on the other side of the fence, Willow came around to attack me through the fence with such ferocity that I was worried about him getting retangled. I grabbed the water hose and starting spraying him. It only made matters worse until the ground beneath his hooves started sliding in the mud it was creating. Finally he calmed down and backed off. I repaired the fence from the outside this time and left.
From that day forward, Willow hated me with all his being when he was in hard horn. When I stepped out of a vehicle and he heard my voice, he came to watch me. If I walked up to the pin, he'd lay his ears back and sidle up to the fence in his stiff legged gait before charging me through the fence. Dan and I would laugh about it but we knew the seriousness of Willow's intent. We knew if he ever escaped the pen, we'd need to shoot him quickly before anyone got hurt.
During his 14th year we thought we'd lost him in the winter, but he recovered and actually had a nice rack that had, to that point depreciated. When his 16th came around, the rack was a pitiful caricature of the once majestic animal. That November Dan was on a sheep hunt in Alaska when his wife called early one morning. She'd found Willow dead in the pen. When I got there, it was evident that he'd been in a fight with a wild buck through the fence and had gotten tangled in that chainlink one last time. A gum tree growing in a strategic spot kept him from spinning free, and he'd literally blown his heart up fighting the fence. I caped him out and we buried him ceremoniously with his own headstone outside the pen that had been his entire life. He was free at last.
Dan and I discussed the mount and he told me, "Mount him like you remember him." And that's the rest of the story. Willow will forever be in that aggressive posture with his hackles raised and his eyes whitened by madness. Even with his tattered final rack, he still portrays the soul of the animal who made such an important contribution to our lives.
WHITETAIL DESIGNER SYSTEMS