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Chris, you are in a unique position of being financially successful in a rapidly growing, ever expanding field, that is shaping the future of this planet! Why in the world do you want to lower your financial status by becoming a taxidermist? To someone in your position I would recommend pursuing taxidermy as a "hobby" - I don't mean not charging a fee for your services, but using it as a secondary income. If you are making good money now - and you're in the computer-world, so don't try to tell me otherwise - you really want to be wary of chucking it all for this business! Also you should know, that a commercial taxidermist is not going to pay you to learn the trade. By official definition an apprentice is 1: A person learning a craft under a skilled worker; and 2: Beginner. Traditionally, apprenticeships are NON-PAID "positions", and most of the time you will begin your education by doing the REAL grunt-work ie: sweeping the floors, generally cleaning up after the Master, salting hides, etcetera and so-on. You stated that you deer fleshing skills leave something to be desired - this is not going to endear you to anyone who's income comes largely from deer. No one is going to risk the mangling of a customers deer trophy to a neophyte - a novice. If you really want to learn, my best advice to you is to pay for your education by attending either one of the many taxidermy-based schools out there, or find an individual who teaches this field. In todays economy, it doesn't pay for a comercial taxidermist to take time from his busy work schedule to train someone from scratch. If you come to someone armed with more than just the "basics", you will stand a better chance. If I seem a little bitter on the idea of apprentices, it is because I have been twice burned. The first idiot was a total waste of human skin - but he was the son of one of my wife's co-workers...ALARM-BELL!!! The second guy was training for almost six months when he decided to bow-out!! Wanted to hunt instead of work!!! These days, I teach courses to wanna-be taxidermists. I have found that if one pays for their education, then one pays attention, and ultimately learns. If you like, check out the course information on my website: http://members.aol.com/ArtistExpr Good luck to you!
I know that these messages were posted a while back..but Chris, if you see this please contact me.
I would like to talk to you.