1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Getting started in Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Training' started by mrsfirehog, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Just curious if anyone knows the easiest steps to take to get started in taxidermy? I have learned how to do European mounts (of course, easy), but would like to know the easiest and cheapest way to get started as money is tight while trying to teach myself. Had an opportunity to apprentice under someone, but can no longer get in touch with that person. I have ALOT of animals (deer, raccoon, coyote, hog) that I need to fletch and tan in my freezer from last year to practice on. Need to clear out for this year, hahaha. So any info would be extremely helpful along with the shortcuts in chemicals. I know that there are a lot that you can get at a hardware store instead of ordering through a dealer. Thank you in advance for any help given.
  2. RICKP

    RICKP Let'er Buck

    Buy Rick Carter A to Z video, watch it then pull your deer out and jump in... I think he Krowtans in the video, you might want to send your deer to a tannery for a while so you can concentrate on the mounting process first and not the whole "home tan" thing. I'm not "knocking" Krowtan but, you will have enough to learn and remember with the mount.
    There is a lot of good advice given on this site if you take the time to search around for it..

    Have fun

  3. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Welcome to this exciting world of skin movers. Do yourself a huge justice and READ different topics on this website, don't look for shortcuts, study reference and don't take on customers until you practice practice practice! When you feel you are ready for customers go to a taxidermy competition see how you fair and then if you do well, get as many customers as you can and go hog wild! LOL Good Luck to you and welcome again.. Enjoy your new family...

    Fleshing and tanning can be found under the tanning button in the "Taxidermy Discussion Categories"
  4. i first started teaching my self when i was 14 and the way i did it is to just order the kits frome van dykes or WASCO they have everything you need and instructions on how to do it this will help you get an idea of what you need and as fare as chamicals go and then you can look through the catalogs and kind of mix and match them when you get more serious if you are going to tan your self kroww tan is about as easy as it gets. and defanitly go to some taxidermy competitions and atend some seminares they helped me a ton with the detail stuff if you have any questions about anything youy can shoot me a email i know how much help from the experienced can help i had a lot of it. my email is [email protected]
  5. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    If you buy the so called kits, make sure that you understand some of them have all the "short cuts" covered because some only come with dry preservative and "one size fits all forms". ::) Krowtan in my opinion is for those who can't tan a hide the right way. It was developed so anyone could call themselves a taxidermist or tanner just as the kits were developed for the "snap together" taxidermist. There are people that love it and there are people that call it as they see it. I highly recommend that you do your research and learn how to do things the right way from ordering the correct forms and eyes that you need to learning how to tan a hide the proper way. If you start your career off learning short cuts then you will be nothing more than a shortcut taxidermist. This isn't rocket science and you'll get out of it what you put into it. If you learn how to do things the right way then you will be able to make better choices in your career based on experience and knowledge instead of guessing. Also as you can tell posting questions will get you a ton of opinions, some will be helpful and some will be damaging.

    Years ago we had a guy telling new people that they could boil their hides to keep from tanning them. Who knows if anyone ever tried it but you get the point... Not all advise is sound advise.

    Don't take this as a bash if you are a krowtan user (the subject has been beat to death on here), the owner of krowtan is very well known, a nice guy, outstanding taxidermist/sculptor and in my opinion has some of the best small mammal forms out there. ;D

    Welcome and good luck with your new adventure Julie.
  6. these kits were a way for me as a young taxidermist to learn the general idea of how to do this and what i needed.but then i didnt know about taxidermy.net and was teaching my self all on my own for the most part. as far as kroww tan not being a good way to tan a hide that is something youy should try for your self and make the decision on that there are a lot of people that do use it and it works just fine for them.this is a new time and they come up with a lot of new ways of doing things that do work they just arent what some people are used to. as far as tanning a hide in other manners i would agree that you should learn these methods as well i did it took me a wial to get it right but i was just a kid and also didnt have this web site for help. i would highly recamend getting some good taxidermy manuals and studying them well breakthrough is a good one. but you might want to ask psycho if he agrees with that. i should have mentioned that you probly shouldnt make these kits a perminant way of getting supplys but i didnt think of it. and psycho you might think of better ways of saying things as even though you may put crap about not wanting to affend anyone at the end of a post. that doesnt mean it wont make someone mad. i am a good taxidermist and do know what i am doing. but then again i guess some of us wont ever be as smart or good as the ones that know it all. not tryin to be a ass but i just couldnt help it. mabe some day i will be as awsome as you! and julie the number one thing is to try a few diferent ways and find wich one works best and like he said dont try to cut corners this is what make or breaks a taxidermist. also make shure you get good enough before you start taking on customers. i wasnt happy with my work for 5 years even though everybody else said i was good i had to make shure i was. good luck and if you need anymore help you can email me.
  7. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Sorry, must of struck a nerve. I'm glad your a good taxidermist, I didn't imply otherwise. All the great taxidermist I know hate their own work.

    Julie sorry this guy or gal has already shown you what can happen and does happen when someone is sensitive to their beliefs. You will get a ton of opinions as I stated already. Enjoy the site, have fun, learn a lot and then be prepared to take the clientele of the guys and gals that take shortcuts because it will happen. Do your best and you will be rewarded. There are tons of krowtan threads on here for you to read before this is hijacked into that kind of thread. Julie I apologize for this thread turning like this and it is embarrassing or should be to any professional. Sad, sad display and example for a new comer.

    I'll give you one more bit of useful information. Julie if there is a particular animal you would like to study, like whitetail deer as an example, some of the best taxidermist in the nation and world are right here on this website. They offer training classes and they are the people you want to learn everything from that you can. A great example of two very classy whitetail taxidermist are Bill "F" Yox ;) and Rick Carter! Rick has fantastic training DVDs out as well. If you have trouble with the DVDs and you don't understand or can't just get it, try to find someone that is reputable that may take you in for an apprenticeship even. Good Luck and I wish and hope you have a wonderful career. Dan Hudzik
  8. i would like to say sorry for the unprofesional way i replied to your post psycho. but i am very proud of how i became a taxidermist. and of the work i do as i am shure you are. it just mad me mad because i dont get on this web site to get judged for the way i have taught my self especialy when it is someone that doesnt know of my work. and this is why i am saying sorry this is not what this site is for. to say one person is not as good as the other because they do it a little diferent then you or i might. as i said i am very prode of teaching my self to do this. and i am shure it didnt make you happy me being an the way i was when you seen my post just the same as when i seen yours. anyway sorry to all aspecialy psycho and julie. the best thing to do when getting advice from someone is to try it out and see how it works for you. there are many different right ways to do taxidermy but there are a whole lot of wrong ones to.
  9. sarahdj

    sarahdj Active Member

    Check out the tutorial section on here. Nina I think has a really great fleshing tutorial, and there is a great one on tanning using Rittel's EZ 100, start to finish. Rick Carter's whitetail dvd from WASCO is a great start too- I have it myself. There are some really great people on here that are willing to help out when you need it. Something I learned the hard way- as questions in a very specific manner & you'll get the best answers. Vague questions seem to get sarcastic answers sometimes- all in fun, but if you don't know the person it's hard not to feel like a dope.
    There are a lot of different ways to tan and/or preserve skins- you'll find the one you like. So much of the way we do things is personal preference, and you'll fiind your groove. Keep patient and you'll find your way. Don't take any of us TOO seriously!
    Welcome to us!! Best of luck!
  10. Julie, as a fairly new taxidermist myself, the best advise I could give is patience. The way you tan or preserve a skin is totally up to you. Some of the best taxidermists in the country use DP. ( Dry Preservative ). It's not a "tan" though. As previously mentioned, Rick Carter is the " BEST " start in my opinion. His method is Krowtan. I use both Krowtan and the conventional way....pickle and rub on tan. They both seem to be great tans. You may want to start by asking your local taxidermist if you could watch and learn. Then get a specimen and go to town. Find all and any reference you can find. The first mount may look bad but don't get discouraged. If I got discouraged by poor first mounts, I would have quit after about my 5th or 6th try. It will all of a sudden become easier with practice. I wish you the best of luck. If you have any questions, this site is full of answers. Just ask. Someone will help you. And usually within a couple hours you will get a response. Oh Yeah!! Welcome to the world of insanity. LOL!!!
  11. I know this is a late reply, and I want to thank everyone for their input. Psycho and Trophy's... it's ok.. don't worry about it, that is the part of forums I don't like. Hard to interperet what they mean without seeing their face. This will be very helpful in alot of areas. Just wanted to let everyone know, I have learned how to tan and mount my own animals and LOVING IT!!! I continue to push myself in learning how to mount new animals and I will be taking in animals this fall. I am pushing this business.. I do not have the luxury to just wait a few years and hope money ends up on my front door step majically. I have been practicing all summer and cleaning out my freezer of my own stuff. If it is meant for this to work out for me, it will. As I have already had a trying summer in taxidermy. (And yes, I know it doesn't stop there) Taxidermists can't fix everything, but they are a good taxidermists when they can fix their own mistakes. I am positive this will work out just fine. And what ever doesn't will be a learning curve. I am hoping the best of luck for everyone and keep up the good work and what works for you for many years.

    With the direction of this post don't anyone take this wrong. I do understand some people on taxidermy.net claim they are an expert and can give information that isn't right (like the guy that says you can boil a hide to preserve it). And some people on here don't hesitate to to tell you, you are an idiot. So I will be careful. With this said thank you for the warning from everyone. I appreciate everyone taking their time out to post and help. ;)
  12. psycho

    psycho 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONS!

    Glad to hear it. Keep it up and keep learning. The day you stop learning is the day you need to stop being a taxidermist. There are many ways to keep improving and the next step I would recommend is to join your states association or another nearby state which you might like to travel to and go to their shows. This will open doors and opportunities for you that you could never imagine. Those who don't join and don't go to the shows and competitions are usually the ones that already have everything figured out already! LOL ;) ;D
  13. Thank you again psycho. I have already become a member of TTAI (tx). Although didn't get to make it to the June show. Hoping for next year.

    Wild Side Taxidermy
    Julie Spencer
  14. NEduckhunter

    NEduckhunter New Member

    Who cares about what you tan with. As long as the fur stays in and it doesn't stink and rot.
  15. duckhunter. very well said i agree 100%.!!!!!
  16. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Well-Known Member

    Dont start out looking for shortcuts, or "the cheapest" or "the easiest." If you do, you've already stuck yourself into a very LARGE group - just plain average, no frills, lowball taxidermists. We already have more than enough of those. Shoot for all that you can be and dont settle for average.