Women taxidermists

Submitted by Crystal on 2/6/06 at 9:37 PM. ( brokenarrow@allwest.net )

My husband and I run a taxidermy business and we are only in our second year, but this year business has really picked up compared to our first year. We are starting to get our name out there, and our customers have been really happy. They have been recommending us to others, and as a result, business is pretty good. My husband has a full-time job, so I end up doing most of the work. He helps when he can, but with a full-time job, it's hard for him to do much of the taxidermy work. He deals with the customers though which is great. We have two boys, but we want one more child...soon. My question is can you do taxidermy while you are pregnant. I searched the archives and didn't find a whole lot of information. My work has improved so much in the last year and I have discovered I am obsessed with taxidermy. I love it. I was just curious if there were any other women taxidermists who had gone through this and if there were just certain things they couldn't do, or if they had stayed away from all of it during their pregnancy. Any input or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Im not pregnant

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 2/6/06 at 11:16 PM. ( )

But if you trust MY judgement, I would think that you would wanna consider the types of chemicals we use with hardly any protection as it is, like all the solvents, etc. Isnt there something about the bacteria from cats, too?

Up to you...

This response submitted by samantha on 2/6/06 at 11:38 PM. ( )

I gave up taxidermy during each pregnancy and for the first 6 months of the delivery.
1 reason was because i was worried (probably too much), about the chemicals.
The other reason was - its a baby - its doesnt happy very often - cherish it.

think i'll go back to work now..

This response submitted by samantha on 2/6/06 at 11:40 PM. ( )

Gee - bad typo's today.

Should read "first 6 months after delivery" & "it doesnt happen very often"

Just delivered...

This response submitted by taxidermygirl04 on 2/7/06 at 12:07 AM. ( taxidermygirl04@yahoo.com )

I just had my baby on December 29, and I worked up until the end of my 8th month... my Dr. said that it was fine to still do taxidermy as long as I wore gloves and didn't touch or smell any harsh chemicals. I would say just don't over do it, do what you feel comfortable doing.

Hats off to you women taxidermists

This response submitted by Frank E Kotula on 2/7/06 at 5:56 AM. ( basswtrout@msn.com )

I don't know how any one of you can run a business with babies at your feet. Dang I can still remember our first and my wife stayed at home with them till they could go to day care.

You have more than a full time job with babies with you. That's why they call it women power and you do deserve that!

Good luck and many happy years with them and like Sam said cherish it cause before you know it their 19- and 21. WOW how fast they got there.


This response submitted by Forrest Sue on 2/7/06 at 8:14 AM. ( forrestzoo@earthlink.net )

I use to write a nature column for our local paper and had the chance to interview 2 people on zoonosis. I think I am loosing my spelling capabilities cause that just doesn't look right.. Anyway, I had also talked to the state veterinarian about bird (avian) flu when it first came out as well as CWD. The vet asked me several questions about the anilas/birds I was mounting & the length of time I had been doing taxidermy and he said I had PROBABLY already exposed myself to the "major bugs" out there already. And he emphasized that wearing of gloves and masks while doing birds and just gloves with mammals was probably my best bet for safety. Both asked about my last tetanus shot something that I required of anyone that wanted to come work with me to learn. I can't tell you how many times I have cut myself (badly) doing this. Stupid stuff like wire through the palm, working with papercuts, etc. And both emphasized using CAUTION when skinning etc around the critters anal area.


This response submitted by Crystal on 2/7/06 at 9:38 AM. ( brokenarrow@allwest.net )

for all the input! I really appreciate it. I think I'll try to plan it so the first three months will be during our slower season and then have a long talk with the doctor and go from there. I really appreciate the responses. I really love this job and the best thing about it, I do it from my home so I get to spend a lot of time with my kids.

Ladies, a SUPERB job and I agree with Frank

This response submitted by George on 2/7/06 at 9:44 AM. ( georoof@aol.com )

This is an exceptional thread and should be a must read for the distaff side of our profession. I hope Ken can find room for this one in his Breakthrough article. He can just leave us guys out of it and it may well prove invaluable to someone else. I'm thankful it will now be achived.


This response submitted by Mary Hilliard-Krueger on 2/7/06 at 11:00 AM. ( halflingrugger@cox.net )

I was pregnant with my first child, 18 years ago,while I was in taxidermy school and pregnant with my second while I was employed at a large shop doing finish work and rugging. I used all the aforementioned protection, respirators, gloves, etc. and deleivered beautifully healthy children. One thing not mentioned, but I'm sure understood, be very careful lifting and get help with large animals you are mounting. I was mounting an elk during one pregnancy and while preparing to secure the rack onto the form, it slipped and as I instinctfully went to catch it I pulled an abdominal muscle that put me in the hospital for observation, as the Doctor feared I may have tore the placenta from the uterine wall. I hadn't ,thank goodness , but just be carefull of things you do instinctfully on a daily basis that you need to think twice about while pregnant.
I loved to hear the kudo's from Bill, Frank and George to us women taxidermists. Women in our Industry and any other who work and raise a family sometimes don't get the recognition for thier juggling act that they so deserve. I remember about 10 years ago I had a local Banker bring me a large elk backhide to be made into a nice leather bordered rug. I phoned him the week before it was to be completed to let him know I was running one week late on it. He read me the riot act, I was floored. I asked him if he was married, to which he replied ,yes. Then I asked him if he had children, to which he replied, yes. I then asked if his wife worked, to which he replied ,NO. I then asked him if his wife cleans his house, cooks his meals, takes his children to and from school, does his laundry, does the grocery shopping, takes his children to the Doctor and Dentist when needed,etc., etc., etc., to which he answered yes to all. I then stated well I do all that also and own and operate this full time business! He paused for a moment and then apologized and said a week later would be fine! When he came to pick up that rug he was kind and gentlemanly in behavior towards me. I applaud George for recommending this issue to be followed up in Breakthrough. I think it would be a fine idea to have a column for us women of the Indusrty to have a place to share!
Crystal, good luck to you with your next pregnancy and in your chosen career of taxidermy.
Kindest regards,

I have to agree with the ladies and gents

This response submitted by Dawn on 2/7/06 at 12:52 PM. ( )

I have often thought that George should put a seminar together for the Nationals on how to run a household - be a mom - and a good taxidermist at the same time. Don't call on me George - I am still juggling. (lol)

Anytime I am not in the shop I am busy being a wife and mom. My day as a woman taxidermist is never ending. I often bring work home with me to finish drying or finish painting. My living room and dining room have often doubled as my second taxidermy studio so that I can keep up with my taxidermy jobs and ensure I am home with my son when he is ready to go to bed.

As well as title of taxidermists we women wear many hats: Camp Cook, Laundry Service, Taxi driver, Housekeeper, Accountant (personal and business accounts), Nurse, etc., and that is just the beginning. We won't even get into the duties of the Wife (lol).

So I too thank all of the gents on here who recognize what women bring to the industry as well as what we do for our families.

For all of the taxidermy gents out there who are fortunate enough to have wives out there who are also full time moms and wives - I have one thing to say to you all - Diamonds make nice Valentines Day Gifts.

And George - I am waiting for the seminar...........


This response submitted by Marzer on 2/7/06 at 2:31 PM. ( )

...I know that's you! LOL Diamonds.....how about a custom recurve or a muzzleloader( wait I got one for my Birthday) or some scent lock hunting clothes .I know "you" could use some heated socks and fur lined long underwear..you freeze baby ,lol! Or power tools ,a new pick-up or a lab puppy!

I would say no...

This response submitted by BWS on 2/7/06 at 3:20 PM. ( )

Don't do the taxi work while preggo. I quit the first 3 months and the last 3 months. Doc's said that is the most critical times to avoid chemicals and such.

And, i wish more people understood the role of a woman taxidermist..LOL...(especially the customers) Like those above i do taxi, fur dealing, accounting, housewife chores, raise goats-chickens-etc, girl scouts, hunting trips, and help the ole man in construction projects.. and have a 3 yo and 6 yo. I survive on roughly 3-4 hours of sleep per night.

Hats off to all the other ladies out there doing the same thing!

Brandon Wildlife Studio

about chemicals

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 2/8/06 at 12:03 PM. ( )

Im very surprised a doc would say yes, as long as you dont touch or smell any harsh chemicals...WHAT?!?!?!? Smell harsh chemicals? Didnt that ring any warning bells for anyone else? Try this...when you are in your studio, do you notice the smell of body filler, Bondo, and the styrenes in it? Be honest now. No, you dont do you? Yet when someone walks in, they always say, "Wow, were you working with fibreglass today?" You answer no, that you werent. Hmmm, he smells it like its in use, and you not only havent used it that day, but you dont smell it either. Now thats a warning.

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