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bswiv
March 28, 2009, 08:13 PM
Tried something for the first time this year. Usually we just sell the heads from the gators we catch in the fish market. Normally we get $10 to $20 in the raw for them depending on the size.

This year we saved the head off of one of the larger ones and tried mounting it ourselves. A friend has been doing his for a few years and gave us some close supervision and directions so that we did not trash it.

Process was fairly straight forward. We boiled it in the bottom half of a 55 gallon drum with a solution of Sal Soda that came from a taxedermy supply house. Darn thing was so big that it would not go all the way down in the drum so it took longer than it should have.

We'd boil it a while then scrape and cut and spray it off then boil it some more. Had to get all the meat, connective tissue and skin off the head.This took about 3 hours from start to finish.

Next step was to soak it for a day in a tub of high concentration peroxide. Got the peroxide from a beauty supply shop.

Once it came out of the peroxide we rinsed it off and set in a safe place to dry for about 2 weeks.

The boiling made some of the teeth come lose and also caused a couple of the bones to delaninate. Suposedly this is normal. Took some of the gel super glue to reset the bones and teeth.

To get the upper and lower jaws back together we used a couple of screws and some epoxy in the joints.

Last thing was that my buddy who is a cabnet maker sprayed it with some fancy catalized laquer to protect it.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/gatorhead010.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/gatorhead011.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/gatorhead015.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/gatorhead019.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/Finishedgator014.jpg
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/broke20ga035.jpg

bswiv
March 28, 2009, 08:16 PM
And the gator that donated the head...........

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/100_1959.jpg

OLNfan
March 28, 2009, 09:02 PM
good job!! I like it, big sucker! Glad I live in B.C. Canada haha wouldnt want to run in to that. We've still got snow right now summers goin to be here in two months so itll be gone ha.

BradyM77
March 28, 2009, 09:15 PM
Holy Godzilla! I scrolled down looking at the skull and didn't think it was all that big. Then saw it on the boat and WOW! What did you use to take that dinosaur out???

Kreyzhorse
March 29, 2009, 06:55 AM
Nice. That came out really well.

BIGR
March 29, 2009, 10:46 AM
Nice job. What did that big sucker in the boat weigh?

bswiv
March 29, 2009, 11:30 AM
That one was well over 600 pounds. We caught 2 that were bigger.......
This one was 764 pounds....me and Louann caught it.
http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/100_2007-1.jpg
This one was 839......Me and a couple of friends caught it. Both of these were over 13 1/2 feet long, the bigger very close to 14. And the bigger one is in the top 5 the FWC has on record sense they started keeping good records in 1977.......the other one is in the top 10.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y64/bswiv/100_2042.jpg

fisherman66
March 29, 2009, 11:37 AM
That came out great. It doesn't hurt to have a beautiful model showing off the finished product (I wish my better half would entertain the idea of hunting with me). Thanks for sharing the process. I might try a Euro style deer mount in the future if that technique works. I would guess I should protect the antler if that's the case.

4INCHSMITH
March 29, 2009, 11:53 AM
Man, must be tuff livin' in the land of the lost with all those dinosaurs;).
Nice gators:)

BIGR
March 29, 2009, 12:29 PM
Dang, another reason not to swim in unknown waters........:eek:

hogdogs
March 29, 2009, 12:36 PM
That really turned out nice and WHITE!

BigR, Funny you mention swimming in unknown places... One day in Daytona junior talked me into taking him and "sissy" swimming with his buddies "at the pits"... Gators abound but clear out with all the kids around. Junior was wearing swim fins and another teen swam under water and grabbed his ankle:eek:...
Junior tried to swim/run in 7 foot of water and actually had his body so high out of the water his hands wouldn't reach the surface. He was literally above his waist and fully "ON PLANE":D I broke the dern lawn chair I was sitting in as I laughed my self silly peein' my pants (literally) with tears pourin' from my eyes!
I had to get in to "do my laundry"!
Brent

SHOOTER13
March 29, 2009, 01:00 PM
WOW...I've seen me some big gators when I was living in Florida in the mid-70's...but nothing like those living dinos. Nice catch!! Buddy of mine lived in Naples and I drove Alligator Alley ( SR84 / I-75 ) quite often...even saw a panther come outta the swamp once...while drivin' home at dusk.

Are you...do you sell the heads? I'd sure like one for my den...

bufordtjustice
March 29, 2009, 01:07 PM
WAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY cool mount. Thanks for posting. Maybe you could also share some gator tail recipes!?!

Gbro
March 29, 2009, 01:48 PM
bswiv,
I see the hornet nest in the background, everything work out ok with it?

Nice looking trophy, What would it be worth in the white like that now, Ball Park?
I spent the day yesterday with a grandson trudging through the Alder Swamps here, and no gators could we find!
We did break through the ice many times too!
We were on a shed hunt, came home empty handed but with memory's that will last a long time.

VaFisher
March 29, 2009, 07:18 PM
Man that looks like tons of fun. I sure would like to get around to doing the same some day in the future, maybe after this Country money worries get better.

bswiv
March 29, 2009, 07:30 PM
Gbro:

Hornets nest.......... http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=333832

FrontSight
March 30, 2009, 07:14 PM
holllly Cr*p!!!!