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What got you into taxidermy?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Cargophora, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    LOL! With some of the taxidermist work around here I would say (if I may so so) even my work is better than the so called "professionals."

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    30 years ago I paid a "Full Time" guy $400 of my hard earned money to mount a bobcat. When I took it to him it was beautiful. When I got it back it looked like it was killed using a baseball bat.
    It was horrible. I paid him, to keep the peace, and chalked it up as a lesson learned. KNOWING that was artistically inclined, having won awards for pencil drawings, I knew that I could have done a MUCH BETTER job, even with zero experience in taxidermy.
    Shortly after I started dabbling in tanning and taxidermy and never looked back.

  3. BrianHendricks

    BrianHendricks Member

    Joeym, you must be an old geezer ! It cost eleven dollars when I got it. That was only like 48 years ago. I was eleven. I don't think a month has gone by without mounting something since that time.
  4. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Maybe it was $11. It was in 1969-70. There was a 10 year period from 1975-85 that I didn't do much work at all...college, marriage, new career, and children. My interest was rekindled in 1985, and I operated on a hobby/part time basis til I retired in 2005. Since 2005, it's been a hectic ride! I would do a lot less, but my youngest son assists me, and he will take it completely over one day, hopefully.
  5. I wanted to clean my own specimens. It kinda went from there but I'm not going too far with it mostly because of lack of confidence.
  6. boogger47

    boogger47 Member

    I started with the northwestern school course in 1958 mounted my first deer head in 1959 and been involved in taxidermy ever since. It seem's like an addiction, it has made me a living but has not made me rich,but i have no complaints.I'm still trying to get better at this craft and have no intentions of quitting.
  7. twinrivers

    twinrivers Active Member

    I wanted to run my own business. Now it runs me.
  8. Dave Byrd

    Dave Byrd Active Member

    What got me into taxidermy? Dan Chase.

    Do I "love" it? No...but I really enjoy doing it.

    What do I think is important about taxidermy? The older I get the more I reminisce. Taxidermy provides a unique visual link to memories and days gone by.
  9. I also grew up drawing animals. Ducks and horses were my favorite.I also grew up duck and pheasant hunting and I was the one who either gutted them or breasted them out.Occassionally I would cut deeper to see what's inside.I was destined to be a taxidermist and when I was 18 and I saw the ducks my dad got mounted I wanted to know how it was done!That was 36 years ago!
  10. I simply just got tired of having free time and a 40 hour work week. Living the dream, baby!
  11. It was a slippery slope. I took a vertebrate paleontology class in college, started collecting skulls to draw for practice, which led to more of an obsession with skulls to be honest. Every flat surface in my apartment had a skull on it. That got me into cleaning skulls of dead things I found or hunted. Got my first colony of beetles shortly after a complaint in my apt complex of the stinky tote of water on my porch (maybe not the best place to macerate!). I've since moved into a house on an acre in a different city. I had to sell 95% of my collection to fund my move, and realized I could make some money off this, so I started cleaning skulls to sell.

    I thought it was a waste to throw away perfectly good skin or feathers while only keeping the meat and selling the bones, so I started to dry and sell the skins, too. Some people used my squirrel skins to make taxidermy mounts, and they turned out so nice! I thought it would be fun to try and make squirrel mounts of my own. The first few I did would haunt your dreams! I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it. I also tried a few birds, but I just couldn't get the hang of it. I did couple duck head mounts, a few pigeons (full body and head), some small rodents, but mostly stuck to squirrels. That's what I like best. It's just a fun hobby for me that allows me to make a few extra dollars.

    I love reading all your stories.
  12. TimberWolf

    TimberWolf Barker's Taxidermy

    When I watched my parents retire after 30 years working in a plant they never had any real hobbies so they didn’t know what to do with themselves. I said to myself I need a good hobby to do to occupy my time when that day comes. The only thing was hunting and somehow I found taxidermy while looking for things to do on the internet. A few years later after many failures and conventions I figured I might as well make a few bucks off of it an opened a shop. Now 15 years later I’m running a part-time shop that feels more like full-time most of the year and getting ready to double the size of my shop. Hopefully in seven years or so when I retire from my regular job I will go full time in taxidermy. It’s something I wish I had started 25 years ago instead of working where I ended up because even the worst days in my shop I still enjoy taxidermy more than any other job I’ve ever done.