|My 2012 Colorado 4x5 bull.|
Nine months after dropping off my elk to be mounted at Authentic Taxidermy in Chino Valley, AZ it is finally in California and on the wall! It has been a test of patience and getting the puzzle pieces to fall into place, but it is here!
Last Fall, I met with taxidermist Troy Smith of Authentic Taxidermy the day after I shot my elk. Now, I would have loved for a full shoulder mount for my very first bull elk, but I didn't see the value in spending that kind of money when we live in a small house. There just wouldn't be enough wall space or money in my bank account. I opted for a European mount as I had never had one done, it was less expensive and would look great on the wall! Troy explained it would be a couple of months, possibly three, before I was able to pick up the finished mount. A month later I got the call that my mount was ready! I was excited, but also at a loss. It was the middle of deer season in SoCal, so I asked if Troy would hold on to it until January as that would be the earliest I could pick it up. He said it would not be a problem.
I didn't fill my tag in California and I couldn't get the mount off my mind. I also know that I would have to drive the seven hours to Chino Valley to pick up the mount and then the seven hours back. It would be a full day, miles on the truck and cost plenty in fuel. I called Eddy at Piranha Custom Bowstrings and discussed it with him. I mentioned I was going to have Troy ship it out to me, but it would have cost me a couple hundred dollars. That was the same as the fuel costs, but no driving involved. Eddy came up with a different plan, but it would involve me being a bit more patient. Eddy had family coming in from California and on the way back through Arizona they would be able to stop and pick up the mount. The only problem is that wouldn't be until June! I figured I had waited this long, why not wait a few more months.
When June finally arrived I was counting down the days until when I could meet up with Eddy's sister-in-law. When the day finally came I could hardly believe it. Was it really happening? Was I really going to get to hold onto the elk mount that I worked so hard to get? Sure enough, I met up with her and there was my elk mount. Troy did a fantastic job! I couldn't believe it had been nearly ten months since I had filled my tag with this beautiful animal.
Before I go on, I want to say thank you to Troy Smith for not only doing top-notch work, but for being so patient with me. Cheers! Thank you to Eddy Erautt for making the calls, connections and helping me arrange a pick up! Thank you to Vicki Erautt for bringing the mount back for me and being so helpful. Thank you!
My wife was ecstatic to see the mount! Ok, not really ecstatic, but she was happy I finally had it home. She never imagined how large the elk mount would actually be and it took some searching to figure out where we would hang it. I do have to say I have a great wife for not complaining when I wanted to take up a wall in our bedroom with an elk mount. I am sure she would rather have cool photos up there, but she knows I worked really hard for this and accepts the fact I am a bowhunter.
Now it is on the wall and looks great! I am so thankful to have been able to take that journey to Colorado and hunt elk last year. I am hopeful for my friends who are going this year and hope that I can fill an OTC elk tag next year. I may have to put an addition on my house if I get another bull though... we will just have to wait and see!