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Taxidermy Field Care How-To Guide:
Measuring for Shoulder Mount Forms
There are 5 basic measurements that are needed when mounting a shoulder mount trophy. Taking accurate measurements ensures that you will be using the best mannequin or form for your trophy. The right form can save you valuable time and energy because less, and possibly no alterations will be necessary.
Before skinning or "caping" the specimen, take a special measurement that will come in handy later during the mounting process. You will not need these to order your form, but they are very helpful in setting your horns in place on your form or mannequin. Measure from the tip of the right antler to the tip of the nose, then from the tip of the left antler to the tip of the nose. Don't forget to refer back to those numbers to get the original position of the antlers on the skull. Many armatures make the mistake of setting the horns too far forward or too far back on the form.
The next measurement is the "A" Measurement. It is the distance from the tip of the nose to the inside corner of the eye. The most accurate way to take this measurement is using a "caliper". It is a special measuring tool that is used in taxidermy to obtain the most accurate measurements. The rest of the measurements should be taken from the carcass of a skinned specimen.
The next measurement is the "B" Measurement. This is the circumference of the neck at the throat and around the neck crossing the atlas of the neck.
The "A" and "B" measurements are what you will need in order to select your form. The next 2 measurements provide information you will need during the mounting process in order to give a true representation of the the amount of swell a neck might have.
"C" is the circumference of the neck tight to the head, just behind the ears. And "D" is the circumference of the neck 3 inches down from the "B" measurement.
Measuring a Tanned Cape: To measure the tanned cape, soak the hide and lay it out flat, hair side down.
Pull the hide to full width, but don't over-stretch, and measure the width just below the ears. This measurement will correspond to the "B" measurement used to order forms. To find the "A" measurement, use a tape measure or calipers from the front corner of the eye to the front of the nose. This will be close, but "A" is best taken before skinning.
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Field Care Deer Skinning Measuring for Shoulder Mounts