Life Size Walrus by Summit Taxidermy
In 1996, a good client requested a price to
mount a life-sized Walrus. As a resident of the
North West Territories (now Nunavut), he had
been selected to participate in the first sport
hunt ever conducted for Atlantic Walrus in
I began by researching the availability of
forms and found only a single paper form, made
for a Pacific Walrus. We decided that in order
to acheive the accuracy and quality he desired
I would accompany him on the excursion, to
obtain reference photos, video footage and
measurements. This experience was invaluable as
it afforded me the unique opportunity to see
the subject animals first hand, at very close
The reference material I compiled disclosed
considerable differences between the two main
species of walrus.
The Pacific are appreciatively larger than
their cousins, grow bigger tusks and have a
reddish skin colour.
The Atlantic are generally a more brownish
colour and most have very few, if any
"nodules" on their necks. If any of these
nodules do exist, they are much less
pronounced than they are on their larger
When I returned home, I set about constructing
this manikin from scratch. In fact, the only
items in the entire mount that I did not build
were the eyes, which I had custom painted by
With this life-size walrus project, I also took
on the considerable task of tanning the hide,
an undertaking I would only recommend to the
most serious and dedicated. The reasons that I
did this were two-fold:
First, I wanted to avoid the problems I've
encountered with epidermal slip while
working on African hides.
Second, I did not want to remove the
Gladly, things worked out well in both
After completing the life-sized mount, I
decided to construct a walrus shoulder mount
form, as we had some to do in our own shop.
This resulted in the creation of the Walrus 101
form which is displayed on our forms page.
This project proved to be an invaluable
learning opportunity, that I'm happy and proud
to have been involved with.