I spend alot of time at my buddies taxidermy shop. It's always a good time. Listening to hunters stories and seeing some impressive animals. We are in the southeast corner of Vermont and get work in from New Hampshire, Mass, and Vermont. He has been kind enough to teach me few things...which has really just shown me what a skill and art it is to do quality work. I do my own turkey fans, euro mounts, and have learned to skin fish, and cape deer. This past fall I took a couple of does. After seeing him mount a couple hundred deer I wanted to give it a shot myself. I figured a doe would be a good one to start with. I caped it out and fleshed it. After that most things are done in pairs...turning ears, splitting lips, turning and thinning nostrils and eyes. He would do one side and let me mangle the other. After that the cape was sent out to the tannery. When returned it was time to thin lips, eyelids, nostrils, and fully turn ears. This is when a rookie like me just makes more work for himself...basically I learned to sew much more than I ever wanted. Prepping the form was easy, rasp it so hide past and cape bond well, cut a slot for lips to tuck as well as slot for tear ducts. Then it gets much, much harder...setting the eyes in clay and forming them to look correct, bondo ears (that had to be sewn in multiple places because I ripped them when turning), and then covering form in hide paste and fitting cape. Then sew some more. Now it's time to tuck the eyelids, and lips...eyes are tough...especially when you rip the eyelid while thinning and forget or don't know any better and don't sew it back together first. Again he would show me on one side and let me mangle the other for half and hour and then come fix it for me. After it dried for a couple of weeks it was time or the finish work...apoxie sculpt the eyes and nostrils, creating texture on the nose with modge podge and painting ears, eyes, nose pad, and lips with an airbrush. I can't really take any credit for the final product. He was not going to let me put a mount on the wall that looked terrible. He makes everything look very easy...it's not! I had a great time and got a great perspective on just how difficult the art really is. I know some people like to complain about prices. I can say these guys are not making a killing. Expenses are insane. The skill it takes to put together a quality mount that will last is incredible to me.