Deer Taxidermy

Working With Pre-Set Deer Eyes

There has been much discussion on whether pre-set eye deer manikins are better to use then non preset. If you’re using pre-set deer eyes you’re pretty much stuck with the eye position and look. You will also be using the lay method, when mounting your deer cape.  The biggest complaint I hear from other taxidermists is that they don’t like the look of the eye lid on most pre-set deer forms. There is a simple solution to this and if your un-happy with the eye lids on the pre-set deer eye forms just cut the eye lid completely off. When mounting you will just need a small piece of clay rolled up. Tuck it up and under and shape to your desire. It is best to leave some skin on the hide around upper part of the eye so you can tuck that clay inside the fold. The lower portion of the eye will be done using the lay method. You can even add more clay to the lower lid if you so desire. Option 2 is that with care and caution, you can sand and shape the upper eye lid to your content.

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When cutting the original eye lid off use a #11 scalpel blade and be careful not to scratch the glass eye

Pre-set eye deer forms are great for those who utilize the burr-to-burr incision and if your new to deer taxidermy, I highly suggest you try using these type of deer forms first before getting into setting your own deer eyes. And as always be sure to have your reference on hand when making any adjustments to your eyes.

By CJ Herring

CJ Herring has been practicing taxidermy for 22 years and resides in the hills outside of Cooperstown, New York. A crippling and disabling brain tumor took control of his life in early 2018. In 2019 CJ took a major turn for the worse and was diagnosed with Acromegaly and underwent brain tumor removal in 2020. CJ also suffers from end stage Osteoarthritis from the hips down. CJ continues to write about taxidermy and still manages the day to day operations of the Taxidermy Lab Facebook group.