being a taxidermist- difficult or easy?

Submitted by jerry on 02/12/2004. ( )

hey just got done with school and was thinking about becomeing a taxidermist. ive heard people say that i wont make a living and some say that i could do real good. all that aside does one need to have an artistic talent or can pretty much anyone do it with the right schooling? im signed up for taxidermy school and not sure what im getting into but am looking forward to it. i guess im asking anyone about what its like and can anyone do it? thanks

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This response submitted by Tenbears on 02/12/2004. ( )

Not everyone can be a taxidermist. However let me go on to say. Desire is 70% of the battle. If you want to do something bad enough, you can do it. You may have to work harder at learning but in time it can be done. I have taught taxidermy for many years. And have had people that would never be Taxidermists. Not for lack of trying, but mostly because of lack of patients. The come here with wheels of fire, thinking they will impress me straight away. then when they find things difficult, they become frustrated. I had one student that when I was teaching him how to split and thin lips, he became so frustrated he threw the cape down, and walked out. I never saw him again. I wish you all the success in the world. Taxidermy is the most interesting of all professions


This response submitted by Christina Jones on 02/12/2004. ( )

I agree with Tenbears, it is not easy. He is very right when he says patience is a huge part of it. I (honestly :) am one of the most patient people you will ever meet, and learning taxidermy pushes me right to the limits of my patience. When you are learning (anything, really), what you think are going to be the simplest tasks take you soooooooooo long. Each step that I do suprises me by taking 5 times-at least-as long as I think it is going to.

That said, there is a HUGE feeling of accomplishment when you complete your work. You wind up with a piece of art that will hopefully last lifetimes. Each new project I do goes a little quicker, and on each project, that little "lightbulb" in your head goes off, and you think, "Yes! That is what they were talking about!"

I love to learn...there is a never ending world of things to learn about Taxidermy, and ways to learn it (books, videos, people, classes, internet, nature)I cannot imagine that you can ever learn it all, and that, to me, is one of the most fascinating things about taxidermy. I should think that you would really have to have lost your "joie d'vive/mojo" for Taxidermy to become stagnant.

So, if you love to learn, if you have the patience of Job, if you love natural beauty and you are an artist at heart, I believe that you cannot find a more rewarding avenue than Taxidermy.

Good luck to you!
C. :)

This response submitted by Mark on 02/12/2004. ( )

Ten Bears is right, but I believe understanding how to run a business is a key step toward success. You can be an awesome artist, but without the basic foundation & knowledge of running a business, your chances of failure will be high.

Kenneth Bauman's articles "How much to stuff that deer head" and "When I retire..." may help.

If you haven't read them you'll find them on

Successful taxidermists are normally successful business owners first.

Just my humble opinion,

I think...

This response submitted by marty on 02/12/2004. ( )

...Diligence may be a better word. If you are determined to succeed and keep plugging away, you can be successful. The reason I say this is because I am NOT a very patient person at all. I'd say if you have one or the other, or both you can succeed.

Artistic ability is a plus. But, by paying CLOSE attention to details and acquiring vast quantities of good reference, most anyone can learn taxidermy as long as they also fit the above criteria too...

As any profession

This response submitted by Christian on 02/13/2004. ( )

You will have to be patient. I do taxidermy as a hobby and I am a professional chef. I did my apprentiship in France and have been cooking for 28 years. Like any trade that requires skills and artistic talent you will have to learn the basics first and WILl require a lot of patience. But then later the beauty will be that you will be so confident and so good at your trade that nothing will look too big.
You are young enough to try anything and you will have at least a good idea of what taxidermy is by going to school.
It's funny how I asked myself the same question about being a chef 28 years ago! I wanted to be a taxidermy but we did not have any school at the time!

Another chef/taxidermist

This response submitted by Gary Bruch on 02/14/2004. ( )

I got into taxidermy because I thought the hours would be better and also hoped I would make better money. I was wrong on both, however I truly love the creativity that can come from taxidermy. I do miss doing Ice Sculptures and vegetable carvings though.

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