Ruined euro spike elk mount

sneaky

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You need 3 spikes. A set for your grandpa and one to drive through that taxis head.

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Ultraheight

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Apr 20, 2020
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@Dirtbag Antlers were not that soft when he shot it. I wasnt surprised that we lost the velvet, but to hear the antler rotted was surprising. To me that means the guy left it in the sun and rain for the past 2 years. We had the skull down to bone when he took it.

Not going to lie to my grandpa about it - he already knows its messed up. Actually really liking the idea of having a replacement doctored up to closely match the original. I think that would make him content.
Replicas can be cheap and look exactly like the real thing. They can just go off photos, similar to a fish mount
 

davsco

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just get a nice framed pic, one for each of you, he'd rather see the family pic than some spikes on a wall.
 

JakeL

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Jun 11, 2021
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Long story short - had hired a guide 2 seasons ago for my then 93 year old grandpa to get his first elk. He ended up getting one on public land with a crossbow at 53 yards. Bucket list item achieved!

Main guide had a helper guide who offered to take care of the euro mount which was very nice of him at no charge. He seemed like a stand up guy and we said sure and thanks. Got what we paid for...

After not hearing from him for 2 years, and me calling multiple times, he finally answered today. I knew the velvet went bad after the formaldehyde did not work, whatever, not the end of the world. But he told me today that the antler rotted from the inside out and was pretty well ruined. I asked for pics and told him Id come pick it up sometime next month - a 20 hour round trip drive.

Question is - should i just replace the euro spike mount with a different one? It was a big spike but i doubt my grandpa would ever know. It will end up in my hands anyway in the coming years. Also, how hard would it be to find a replacement and what might it cost?

Its a big bummer since it was a hunt that I will cherish forever. Even if its a replacement, Id like my grandpa to have something to reminisce with while hes still around. He turns 95 at the end of the month.

Thoughts would be highly appreciated. Thanks guys.
I would make something out of the ivorys. People turn them into pretty cool rings. If your dead set on having the euro I would talk to a good taxidermist. They have ways of repairing and rebuilding broken skulls and antlers.
 

nphunter

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I'm sure the ivories are long gone also, they are held in by tissue and if the skull was stripped 2 years ago I'm sure they are gone by now. I would still try to get the original, IMO the guy probably tossed them and is trying to make you not want it back by telling you it was rotten. A replica would be super easy with any spike skull since it's velvet, all a taxi would have to do is use some filler to make the shape and fake velvet it. No color matching or carving is involved.

I'd send one over but all the smaller bulls we get the antlers to get sawzalled off and tossed in the shed antler pile and sold. A real skull with a fake set of velvet spike antlers would still be cool, a lot of the deer elk and sheep in Cabelas are replicas and you would never know it.
 
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Moserkr

Moserkr

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Thanks guys. @Laramie was kind enough to donate a replacement head to me and its supposed to show up today!! Im excited.

Going to take it to my taxidermist and have him recreate the mount for my grandpa. He already has a big picture blown up and a story next to it recapping the whole hunt. To hold “the elk” again may bring back some additional memories. I will tell him its a recreation and he wont care, it will be something he can tell the story about when people ask (hes very social). Hes 95 now and not as healthy as he was just a few years ago, but thats how it goes at that age. Im lucky to have hunted with him for over 25 years already.
 

JBrown1

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Sep 8, 2021
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I'm glad that you are going to be able to have the skull redone. You should post a photo of your grandpa with the mount when you give it to him.
 
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Moserkr

Moserkr

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I will do that after its all done. The taxidermist has it now. Hoping it will be done by xmas, and planning to see him around then. His wife is not doing well right now, and hes aging faster in the last 2 years than he has in the last 20, especially the last 2 months.

He missed his first pheasant opener in south dakota in God knows how many years, and probably wont make it back this year at all. My profile pic (below) is from last years hunt in early January when my dad, gpa, and I limited with temps around 0*…. Always hoping Ill get one last hunt with him. Keep counting my blessings for the ones Ive had. Bet he wouldnt miss if we get him out there again!
 

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slvrslngr

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My honest opinion, forget about the skull and just be honest and tell your gramps what happened. I would guess that the skull isn't that important to him, the memories are what's important.
 
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Moserkr

Moserkr

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My honest opinion, forget about the skull and just be honest and tell your gramps what happened. I would guess that the skull isn't that important to him, the memories are what's important.
He knows what happened to it already. He doesnt know Im having the mount recreated as a surprise. Not sure what he remembers now though, been tough watching his mind slip recently. Used to remember who lived at what farm house 80 years ago as we drove by, now its whats going on week to week is lucky to remember.

The mount is for him, but ultimately I will end up with it. It will hang on the wall with the few family mounts ive had passed down over the years that survived non-hunting family members and wives attempts to discard them. The other mounts I have are my great-grandpa’s goose and mahi-mahi, my grandpa’s pheasant, and my dad’s mallard. Ive added a pintail my dad shot and my old dog blind retrieved, from the spot i shot my first duck sitting next to my grandpa. I like looking at them too to bring back memories. Even if the elk isnt the one he shot, it will trigger memories of the whole hunt including the fact we lost the original, and thats alright.
 

BRTreedogs

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Hey, good on ya for perseverance thru this and continuing the chase towards the goal and spending time with your Grandpa.

All of my elders besides my mom went when I was young. I don't have much regret but not paying enough attention to them is at the top.

In my experience id spend as much time as you can now. Once my grandmother started to slip like that it was fast.

Hope it all works out man. Sorry about the original mount. But at least you guys had the experience.
 
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Moserkr

Moserkr

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Thanks @BRTreedogs He always had a dream of going on an elk hunt and getting one. Didnt care about big antlers, just likes the hunt. Took me a while to find a guide we could afford who could get us opportunities close to the truck, but not like shooting a moo-cow standing in the field. A real hunt. Took him 93 years but he sure as heck did it!

He facetimes me at least once a week now which is great. Funny he knows how to do it. Enjoying all the time I can with him and all of my family.

One trip my Grandpa and my great-grandpa always wanted to do, was follow the waterfowl migration from Canada to Louisiana. Take a month or so to just hunt their way down. I doubt he will ever do it now, so its on my bucket list. Maybe my dad, my son, and I will fulfill that dream of theirs one day…

Pic of my grandpa and great-grandpa.
 

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Stalker69

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I would be pissed, and I would have drove and got the original back, rotted or not. And would have told the guy exactly what I thought of him. If he didn’t produce or show up, broken windows, flat tires at best. You can rebuild the antlers with epoxy sculpt. You have the picture it would not be to hard to do. And there is a taxidermy supply place that does artificial velvet ( not flocking) that looks good, almost to perfect. It’s kind of expensive, but a spike would be as cheap as it gets, they charge by the size. Post the “ guides “ name on here, phone number also. That’s bull shit. If you can get that skull back, I will rebuild them, and sent for the velvet. I would do it for the cost of the velvet, if you don’t like it you don’t have to pay.
 

Stalker69

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This is not a very good picture of their work, I did a shoulder mount for my son and used them. It looked far better then.
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Moserkr

Moserkr

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@Stalker69 I was pissed and never found out where he lived to even have a chance of picking it up. It was a hired hand by the guide, and theres no ill feelings towards the guide. Guide was a retired police officer/prison guard. Great guy, hard working, very thankful for all hes done for me, my family, and my friends. Hunted with him 3 years in a row actually despite losing the mount, and the hired hand was only there the one year. Bummer too cause he was actually a really nice guy as well!!

Point being I could have done all kinds of stupid stuff and wasted a lot of time being mad. Its not worth it. Im happy with where this is going and we are on the right path. @Laramie was incredibly generous to send me a replacement spike to use as the recreation. Someone on rokslide even anonymously covered the shipping and the kindness blew me away. I never expected that, and was shocked. Not going to hold anything against the guy I trusted with that elk head - for all I know something could have happened in his life that was serious.

Right now the replacement head was shipped to some place in OR or WA that does the velvet recreation, may be the place you’re referring to. My taxidermist is very good and will not cut corners. Its not cheap either lol, and its the velvet that costs the most. But it will make my Grandpa smile, and that to me is priceless.
 

Odin509

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I like the "Get the ivories". Man some people just suck. Sorry to hear about the situation.
 
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Moserkr

Moserkr

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I like the "Get the ivories". Man some people just suck. Sorry to hear about the situation.
All good odin. The elk actually had no ivories. I was there looking for them with everyone and we would have taken em. Not sure if thats common for there to be none.
 
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