South Oz Rods is a drop-off point for ...
Rob Murton's Fish & Game Taxidermy
If you are looking to get your trophy, whether it is a fish, or an animal preserved as a reminder of a great day out ...
... give FISH AND GAME TAXIDERMY a phone call on 042 853 2275 ...
... and have a talk to Rob about what you want done with your catch.
Rob has been doing taxidermy for many years. In his early teens he mounted his first fish, a magpie perch he speared while diving on Kangaroo Island, where he was born, and lived most of his life. He is a keen hunter and fisherman, as are most taxidermists.
Every animal and fish brought in is treated the same. Whether it is a half kilo trout or a fifteen kilo snapper, a deer head or a fox, size doesn't matter in this job. A trophy is what the customer wants, and Rob tries to rebuild a lifelike replica of the fish, and make a game head as natural as possible.
The customer can make a taxidermist's job easier by treating his catch with care after it is on the deck. With fish, if it is knocking scales off flapping around, tap it carefully on the head, trying not to damage it. The fins should be laid flat, and the trophy cleaned of any blood. Wrap the fish in a wet towel if possible, or placed in a plastic bag. Don't let it dry out. Keep the fish on ice, or if you can't get to a taxidermist on the same day as the capture was made, double bag it in plastic, and place it in a freezer, lying flat. Don't scale, gill or gut the fish.
With animals, the main aim is to get the hide off as soon as possible. Learn how to cape a deer, goat or whatever. Caping is removing the skin from near the back ribs up to the jawline. The chest is cut all the way round, and a cut made up the centre of the back, following the hairline to where the last joint of the spinal column joins the head. The legs must be cut off at the knee, and the skin carefully removed. The last vertebrae are severed and the head and cape are free. Measurements make finding a foam form to fit the animal easier. Take a soft tape and measure the distance from the front corner of the eye to the nose. Next measure around the neck under the chin, and take a measurement around the chest behind the front legs. Write these three stats down. Any blood must be wiped off. Don't wash it. If you don't know how to head skin an animal, keep it cool, and get it to the taxidermist as soon as possible, or place it in two plastic bags and freeze it.
Rob doesn't create fish skin mounts. The fish is actually a fibreglass replica of the catch. The fish's side fins are removed, and the body half buried in sand. The dorsal and anal fins are flared and the gill propped slightly open. The customer can decide whether they want the mouth open or closed, although some fish are lock jawed after dying, and it can be difficult to get the mouth open without doing damage. Plaster is poured over the fish to create a mould. The side fins are treated the same way. When the mould is removed, dried and treated, fibreglass resin and matting are used to recreate the body, and fins. After breaking out the plaster, the cast is cleaned up, side fins attached, a quality taxidermy glass eye of the right size is fitted, and the fish painted. It all sounds straight forward, but the process is far from simple.
Freshwater fish such as redfin, trout or our native species can be mounted on a timber shield for a very effective traditional look. A plaque can be added, detailing the date, species and name for effect.
Saltwater species aren't usually presented the same way. Rob makes one sided replicas, or both sides can be created, to produce the whole fish. Of course this makes the mount more costly, but the customer makes the choices. All fish come with a hanger. More natural habitats such as rock, seabed, or driftwood stands can be custom made to suit your trophy as well.
Apart from side or whole fish mounts, FISH AND GAME TAXIDERMY can create a head mount of your catch, where your fish is coming out of the wall. Made as a two sided mount, from the pectoral and part of the dorsal fin forward, they can be a very effective alternative. Fish and shark jaws can also be mounted on a timber shield, with a plaque added.
Shoulder mounts come in many shapes and sizes. You can choose for example, a deer form with a right or left turn, in an alert, semi alert or sneak posture. Or you can choose a straight, forward form, although a turned head creates more life to the mount. Pedestal style mounts are free standing, if wall space is at a premium, and Rob can create a stand with a natural timber log, realistic earth, with rocks and plants if you like that type of look.
Apart from shoulder mounts, Rob can mount your antlers, horns or tusks on a timber shield complete with hanger and plaque, or on a timber table stand. Whole skulls can also be cleaned and mounted. A fox skull, cleaned, deodorised and whitened, mounted on a small, dark stained and routed timber stand looks very classy, and is a top reminder of a hunt.
All pricing is very competitive to ensure you get great value for money.
Rob's motto, YOU SNUFF 'EM, WE STUFF 'EM, well, let's say it's direct, and to the point.