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Sourcing Deads in MD

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by FoxHill, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. FoxHill

    FoxHill New Member

    Hi everyone!

    I'm someone rather new to the word of taxidermy and skeleton articulation, etc.

    I've been sourcing the bulk of what I've been experimenting with through roadkill, but that isn't exactly consistent or a source of good taxidermy specimens all the time. While I've been able to harvest bones from some of my finds, the pelts are often in fairly nasty shape due to either rot or the nature of the impact (i.e. broken legs tearing the pelt, etc.)

    I was wondering if anyone in MD could offer advice as to other places to source, or how to go about asking, for instance, pet stores whether or not they'd be willing to part with their dead animals? I'm really in the dark as to how to go about it, especially since I'm new enough that I don't yet really have much to show.

    Thank you all very much for your time,

  2. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    I'm not in MD, but...
    Put your feelers out to hunters. If you don't know any, you'll know someone who does know some. A lot of hunters would be happy to share some specimens with ya.
    Trappers... don't know any? contact your state trapping assoc. Trappers won't give you specimens, but will sell them very reasonably. Tell these guys in advance to freeze them whole or contact you soon after the kill.
    There's a For Sale section on this site and you can research many of the sellers here.
    Kill them yourself!... legally hunting, of course.
    Contact "for pay" hunt clubs in your area prior/during hunting season.

    Contact your state wildlife dept and educate yourself with any/all laws pertaining to acquiring wildlife so you keep yourself out of trouble. You might wanna do that before picking up any more road kill, also, assuming you haven't already.
    Good luck

  3. FoxHill

    FoxHill New Member

    Thank you for your advice. I've posted on a few hunting forums here. I've heard from others that at times pet stores are decent sources as well (apparently many dump their dead animals in dumpsters?) but I'm uncertain how to start that conversation... same with other rehabbers and vets.
  4. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    Respectfully, I'd try to avoid picking up questionable specimens, (dumpsters, roadkill, etc.) unless you know how long since their death and environment. If your drivin down the road when its 40 degrees, do your errand and a couple hours later you're comin back and there's a dead coon layin there that wasnt there before... now you're talkin.. ;)
    You've put yourself behind the eight ball from the getgo, otherwise. Many animals will slip within hours of death, especially if they are in a warm, damp environment
    (dumpster). The longer they're there, the worse your chances of success. They may look great when you pick them up. Some are much more forgiving, but still... Ya see, you're fightin bacteria. Bacteria thrives on warmth and dampness and the more time it has, the worse it gets. Oh, and think of how clean a dumpster is. For a beginner, you really don't need the added challenge of all that... hell, nobody does. Is it guaranteed failure?... oh no, but you'd be MUCH better off finding a good source.
    Vets freeze there critters and have a service pick them up for disposal. I have no idea what legal and ethical restraints they're under.
    I have no idea about pet stores, but... personally, I'd put on a set of clean cloths and look presentable, go in person and ask politely if you might see the manager or owner, and explain your situation. Tell them that if they're good enough to help you out, you'd appreciate a phone call asap after the animal dies and you'll be there just asap... then live up to that! It will benefit you and them if you do. If they could keep it dry and cool, all the better.
    It's my opinion that you'll always do be in person. I know that's not always reasonable.
    Also, something to think about...
    There are a gazillion forms for wild critters available... not so much for pets, etc. Can you make your own form? Sure! I personally think it would be wiser to learn on a commercial form and, as you progress, make your own... just my opinion that, btw, ain't worth much... good luck to you.