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Merwin: Bare Bones Taxidermy

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August 19, 2009

Merwin: Bare Bones Taxidermy

By John Merwin

As fish mounts go, these are definitely unusual and maybe even a little gruesome. A small Florida company called Helter Skeletons produces full-skeleton mounts of various gamefishes that are some of the most eye-catching things I’ve seen in years. The largemouth-bass skeleton shown here is one example. Can you imagine something like this rising from the lily pads?

The makers explained that they’ll take your fish as shipped to them frozen, clean the carcass down to the bones, give the skeleton some sort of light-epoxy treatment to hold everything in its proper place, and return the mount in an attractive shadow box, ready for display. The actual cleaning work is done by a horde of carrion-eating Dermestid beetles, which eat away all the flesh. Such beetles are also used by regular taxidermists in producing some animal mounts. For an interesting example, check out a Montana company called Big Sky Beetle Works.

Predictably, and like regular taxidermy, none of this comes cheaply. Helter Skeletons prices their work by the inch, with a 10-inch fish, skeletized and shadow-boxed, costing about $290. The company has some work for sale from stock and also does custom jobs. As a conversation piece to hang on the wall, I find this to be really tempting.

 

Comments (16)

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from Jason Norris wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I would like to see what a pike,muskie or a gar look like in bare bones.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

To see a lot more different fish types in skeletal form, click on the Helter Skeletons link in the first paragraph.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Jason,

Check their website, they have a bunch of photos.

Holy cow, see the teeth on some of those? Really gives you an idea of what is going on inside the fish.

Sean

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Intriguing. I could actually go for a couple of these. Makes even a carp or sheephead mount worthwhile.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from micropterus wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

That is very cool and I always wanted to do something a little different. I would be happy with one of these, however, if I were to catch a monster bass, I would probably have it traditionally mounted, but this would be very cool for something odd.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwatkins wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

That is cool, but a little weird and not sure if it is worth the price.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Wow, VERY different. I like it though, I wouldn't mind having one myself, I bet it costs a pretty penny though!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisher girl wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Those are really cool, I wouldn't mind having one myself!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Love the picture of the fish bones,and thanks for the link!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

not for me. nice but still alittle creepy to me. I have relitives that stop by often, most of the time they bring young children with them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jtboles wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

something with big teeth and lots of them would look kinda cool like that

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hawg daddy wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

i would love to get one done like this.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

THATS A CAPITAL IDEA!!!THANKS FOR THE LINK.ODD,EERIE,AN AWESOME.WHAT BETTER WAY TO SHOW HOW SOMETHING IS PUT TOGETHER."IE"WICKEDCOOL.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kbkayakin wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Now that is something! Just when I thought I had seen it ALL! It looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie! "The Nightmare Before Fishing."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

John,
Very cool, I'd like one.

MLH,
Sheephead, there is some disagreement between me and my fishing buddy on these fish. He says they're a drum I tell him no way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Definitely an "A+" for originality. That is something that I have never seen before. Still a nice way of showing off your fish and having a pretty neat looking display.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from Jason Norris wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

I would like to see what a pike,muskie or a gar look like in bare bones.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from johnmerwin wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

To see a lot more different fish types in skeletal form, click on the Helter Skeletons link in the first paragraph.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Jason,

Check their website, they have a bunch of photos.

Holy cow, see the teeth on some of those? Really gives you an idea of what is going on inside the fish.

Sean

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Intriguing. I could actually go for a couple of these. Makes even a carp or sheephead mount worthwhile.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from micropterus wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

That is very cool and I always wanted to do something a little different. I would be happy with one of these, however, if I were to catch a monster bass, I would probably have it traditionally mounted, but this would be very cool for something odd.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dwatkins wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

That is cool, but a little weird and not sure if it is worth the price.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hunt_Hard wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Wow, VERY different. I like it though, I wouldn't mind having one myself, I bet it costs a pretty penny though!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisher girl wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Those are really cool, I wouldn't mind having one myself!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 2Poppa wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Love the picture of the fish bones,and thanks for the link!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ggmack wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

not for me. nice but still alittle creepy to me. I have relitives that stop by often, most of the time they bring young children with them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jtboles wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

something with big teeth and lots of them would look kinda cool like that

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hawg daddy wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

i would love to get one done like this.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JOHN ANDERSON wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

THATS A CAPITAL IDEA!!!THANKS FOR THE LINK.ODD,EERIE,AN AWESOME.WHAT BETTER WAY TO SHOW HOW SOMETHING IS PUT TOGETHER."IE"WICKEDCOOL.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kbkayakin wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

Now that is something! Just when I thought I had seen it ALL! It looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie! "The Nightmare Before Fishing."

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 34 weeks ago

John,
Very cool, I'd like one.

MLH,
Sheephead, there is some disagreement between me and my fishing buddy on these fish. He says they're a drum I tell him no way.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

Definitely an "A+" for originality. That is something that I have never seen before. Still a nice way of showing off your fish and having a pretty neat looking display.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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