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Al Belanger on American Pickers

Legendary taxidermist Al Belanger of Andover, Massachusetts, passed away on June 29, 2015 at the age of 77. Al had been a taxidermist for over 60 years, and was an early adopter and pioneer of the use of freeze-dry process in taxidermy. He was a regular fixture at state and national taxidermy conventions and had hundreds of lifelong friends. He was also an avid collector of all things taxidermy.

When looking for a photo of Al to place as a tribute on the home page of the Taxidermy.Net website, I recalled that he had been featured in a segment of the History Channel’s “American Pickers” television show in January 2012. I went to the American Pickers website to see if the show was offered for viewing online, but it was not available.

Fortunately, I had recorded Al’s segment off the air to use a small excerpt at the 2013 World Show banquet, where short clips of taxidermy in media were featured as part of the program. Watching the program, I realized that this video segment was an excellent portrayal of Al, showing his talent, his personality, his warmth, and even a bit of his life story. I thought it would be a nice tribute to the man to allow his many friends and colleagues to see this program again.

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