WHITETAIL TAXIDERMY

Gagliano-start
SAL PITERA CONCEPTS

How I Do Open Mouth Whitetails
by Lou Gagliano

 

BEFORE I EXPLAIN HOW I DID THE OPEN mouth for the deer that earned me my second "Best in World" title, I would like to tell you about that deer and how I came to acquire it.

My friend, Steve Schmoyer, had originally bought a deer named "Lucky" at age 2H, and when he sold it at 6 years, he was renamed "30-30." He was not a large deer in body size, but at age 5H years, his massive rack scored 279. It was featured in Buckmasters and has been on several sporting magazine covers. Steve lives only 8 miles from me, and it is at his deer pen that I do all my studying. It was the 3-year-old son of this deer that I acquired.

I have always wanted to do a short-haired deer in velvet for competition, but I never expected to get one this way. Steve called me on the last week of August 2000, and he was extremely upset. He said that when he went to work that morning the deer was fine, but when he came home after work, the deer was lying in the pen, dead. He immediately called me, told me what had happened and had asked me if I wanted the deer. Of course, I wanted the deer, but at the same time, I felt very bad for Steve because that deer was his $20,000.00-breeder-buck. He came right over with the dead deer, and I took all key measurements for sculpting and mounting. I immediately skinned and froze the deer cape.

I stripped some velvet off the antlers to be used later, and preserved the rest of the velvet that was still on the rack by injecting and spraying it with...

...Continued in the Winter 2002 Issue of Breakthrough.

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