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arrowflipper's picture
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Open or closed

I know taxidermy is a personal preference, as seen by the huge variety of mounts out there.  But most of those differences are in how the animal is looking, facing or turned.  A few elk are mounted with an open mouth, but very few.

Where I see the open mouths the most is with cats and/or bears.  For years, when I was a young fella, I didn't know that bears ever had their mouths closed.  Every mount I ever saw had the bear in an open-mouth snarling position.  Most cats (bobcat and cougar) are the same.

When I got my bear, I wanted him to look as natural as possible.  I opted for a closed mouth mount.  He looks like he did when I shot him.  How many bears (outside of the movies) have you seen snarling and running around with their mouths open?

Which do you prefer.... open or closed?

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
I have a BB head mount with

I have a BB head mount with an open mouth and the ears laid back and am sorry that I had it mounted that way. If I ever do another mount, it will have a closed mouth.

elkkill06's picture
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Location: Fruita Colorado
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Depends !

For me on the bears and cats I have to say as far as a rug, open mouth all the way ! :thumbsup1: When it comes to a lifesize or half mount I like both open and closed mouth mounts.

My big boar.

My female bear

I had one bear rug done with a closed mouth and gave it to some friends of the family. Not my favorite.

Quinton

 

arrowflipper's picture
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thanks

Thanks for sharing your reply and the pictures.  I don't know that one way is "better" than the other.  It's more of a preference.  I like your animals.  Congratulations.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Damn, missed this post

Damn, missed this post Quinton.  Those are some grea animals!  Love seeing your trophy rooms.... Wink

I really like the middle dee rover the TV.  Great buck, great pose.

ADKBEAR's picture
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Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
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Closed

I agree with you Aflip I have a nice BB sholder mount (big white patch on its chest) and I had to argue with the taxy to mount it with the mouth closed (looks great but I found a new taxy anyways).  My new "girl" (taxy) says she can get a "huffing" or partially open mouth.  I might look into that since that is commen when sitting over bait and their are multiple bears around.

I also have a huge Bobcat that I rugged and kept the mouth shut.  I think it is a much more natural look.

arrowflipper's picture
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glad to hear

I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone on this.  I just remember as a little kid, how I went to the neighbor's house and the bear looked like he wanted to eat me.  It gave me the impression that all bears went around snarling and trying to eat people.

I love the look of my bobcat sitting on a limb.  He looks alive and natural.  I've seen several bobcats in the wild and not one single one of them was snarling at me.

Thanks for the reply.

hunter25's picture
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Overall I would have to say

Overall I would have to say that I prefer an open mouth. The only thing I have had done is my mountain lion and a badger I did go with the open mouth on those. In a life sized mount there are a few situations where a closed mouth might look right for the situation though. Such as a bobcat or lion resting on a limb or something.

My lion was nearly asleep on the limb way up the tree when we caught up with him and a mount in that pose would look really nice, he did however send a few snarls down in our direction so that is not out of place either. I think many people go for the most striking pose they can get rather than the most realistic.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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The open mouth is kinda cool,

The open mouth is kinda cool, but like you and others said, it's not very natural.  You don't really see them walking around snarling all the time.

niceshot_smitty's picture
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Location: Los Alamos, NM
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I like the close mouth look. 

I like the close mouth look.  i just guess its up to hunter.  i would just like to kill a bear!  what do you think of shoulder bear mounts?

arrowflipper's picture
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haven't seen

niceshot_smitty.... I haven't seen too many bear shoulder mounts but I do like some of them.  Certainly not all.  Most of what I've seen is just not natural to me.  Maybe others think they are great.  Some of what I've seen have the front legs on as well.  If not, it seems there isn't much animal there when you go only to the shoulder.  I would have to say that I prefer the rug concept.

With that said, if I were to get a small to average sized bear, I would do what might be considered a shoulder mount.  I have seen one or two of these and I love them.  The taxidermist finds (or makes) the end of an old log that has the entire center rotted out, leaving a big donut shaped slab of wood.  The bear is mounted in the center as if it's inside the log with just the head and front legs sticking out.  It's a very cool look, but wouldn't work too well on a big old bruiser.  Actually, the smaller the bear, the better it looks.

But, on most of those I've seen, the mouth is closed.  I did see one recently that had the mouth open and I didn't care for it.  I just haven't seen all that many bears going around snarling and showing their teeth.

I guess it's time I went back out and found myself another bear.  The first one I got was made into a rug and was later stolen when my house was broken into.  The second one is laying on the back of a leather couch in my rec room.  I get lots of compliments on him.  Mouth is closed and he looks like he's just laying there asleep.

 

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