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Where did you learn Taxidermy????

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by swb, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. swb

    swb Member

    I'm just curious with all of the talent on here whether it be mammals game heads etc..where did you get started and where did you get most of your knowledge? School , mentor, videos , books?? I know practice makes perfect ,but it would be neat to know and if anyone has pics of some of their 1st mounts to see where they started and where they are now. Don't be afraid to mention your mentor as well.
  2. juli

    juli Active Member

    Most of what I have learned, I learned from working for another taxidermist. While he is a good taxi, now that I have opened my own shop, I am starting to relearn some things he taught me that weren't all that accurate. Especially when it comes to eyeset. Unlearning habits is not easy. Just the other day I was looking at a mount I did as an employee and comparing it to a mount I recently completed. Night and day difference in many respects.

    Proficiency at studying reference pictures and applying what you see to a three dimensional object = priceless skill.

  3. swb

    swb Member

    Well said , I know there are a lot of very talented people on here . When you look at all the alteration photos it's incredible!
    It's just neat to know how their career took off.
  4. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Northwestern School of Taxidermy...class of 1971. Totally useless lessons. If it hadn't been for a guy named Kerry Carpenter, I would have never had a chance with taxidermy. You asked for pictures...here's a fine mink I mounted back then, LOL!
  5. rbear

    rbear Well-Known Member

    I learned from an incredible mentor, Jean Roll. From there practice and lots of work shops with some very talented taxidermists.
  6. swb

    swb Member

    This is sweet! Exactly what I was looking for.
  7. JerseyJays

    JerseyJays Well-Known Member

    I graduated from the Pennsylvania institute of taxidermy In 2006. They taught a very good 7.5 months worth of hands on training. darrick bantley, Mark knupp, Kimble mccoy, and deny cutright were my instructors.

    After that, I did 1 on 1 duck mount class with John Bollman (past president of the gsta) and I did a 1 on 1 turkey class with Dave Tuttle.
    And of course you can't forget taxi.net for all the quick answers you might need in a pinch.
  8. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Apprenticeship with Danny Benson for over two years. Spent nearly every weekend and one or two evenings a week at the shop.
  9. aussiesam

    aussiesam I'm an Australian.

    The library, (modern taxidermy was the name of the one book they had), and then pretty much everything else from Taxinet when i had my first computer in 2000.

    We didn't have taxidermy schools/training, other taxidermists to ask or anything like that. :)
  10. alan webfoot

    alan webfoot New Member

    Class of 69 here ,wow I remember those little booklets sent every month ,you couldn't hardly make out what was in the picture ,and those ''drawings'' forget it.


  12. tomdes

    tomdes Me my dear and Fall BAZZ!!!

    I started learning on my own from books, no internet back then.. Then I got some training from one of those half-ass taxidermist we all complain about, you know, one of the $250 deerhead guys. But that got me exposed to my states taxidermy assoc./competition, and I gained so much from these guys and gals. You can never stop learning taxidermy, this is what I've learned the most!
  13. J Cook

    J Cook Cook Taxidermy

    I hate to disagree with you, but practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect. If you keep doing it wrong, it will not get perfect.
  14. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

  15. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Trial and error. I majored in "error" and still suffer from it. As Joey stated, I "took" the Northwestern "classes" but they were already outdated in 1958. The library was a place I lived while in school and most of it came from there.
  16. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    I'll add something else. For those who are considered "good" or "talented", learning taxidermy has never stopped.

    The difference between a master 10 years in and a hack ten years in. The master has 10 years of experience, the hack has a year of experience ten times.
  17. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    A local taxidermist took me under his wing for learning antler mounts and for my first deer head. After that I would come over with questions. He gave some old catalogs to me and I ordered video tapes by Bob Elzner. From there I bought some change out heads and oil based clay and practiced eye setting. Bought all kinds of ear liners, hide pastes, tanning agents, pickles, oils, clays, learned the bondo ears and ear liner ears, I experimented over and over. Learned that Dan Chase videos were the best way to learn how to do it wrong. Bought those new fangled DVD things and got Breakthrough and Taxidermy Today. Spent at least one hour a day on here and became friends with a local award winning taxidermist and continue to purchase DVDs and read and learn and learn and learn, even though I'm winding down to hobbiest status, I'll keep on learning. I'm the kind of guy that will hear about something trivial and research it extensively just for the sake of "knowledge", (you should see me kicking it at jeopardy), so when I'm interested in something, I get ridiculous.
  18. joey P Holmes

    joey P Holmes New Member

    Books from the library (Practical Taxidermy by Moyer).

    Taxidermy Success Training from Sam Touchstone

    Borrowed copies of Northwest.

    Bits of info from supply catalogs.

    More books here and there (Archie Phillips' books and others)

    Breakthrough and Taxidermy Today Magazines.

    State/National Associations conventions and....


    PS: More books as published and Taxidermy.net.
  19. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Active Member

    Dan Chase videos.
  20. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    Kindred Spirits School of Taxidermy in Burlington, Iowa. Still go there and pick up a few tips and ideas now and then. Great instruction. Wife went there as well. Still purchase videos though for anything new. Always nice to see and try different techniques.