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Why Do You Do Taxidermy

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by 13 point, Dec 27, 2019.

  1. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    I’ve seen thru different post/threads some saying , they love it , they hate it but it’s a job , some stating they just roll the mounts out for a pay check and not caring what it looks like or how long it will last . So I’m just wondering WHY you do it and have you settled or do you strive to get better . There is no wrong answer because it’s how you feel . Good or bad . Thanks for sharing.

    I do it for the love of it , I’m always striving to better myself, my goal is to place top 3 at the worlds In whitetails and big game. I want to put the best product out there possible, if it’s not right , I will take it apart and redo it , I don’t like loosing or wasting money but i never want to have that I don’t care attitude. But that’s just me
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Because I love dealing with customers and I want to get rich.

  3. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    True story. A fella comes in today that I had not seen in years! He used to work for me when he was a teenager painting houses 28 years ago! I didnt even recognize him till he said who he was! He is working at a steel mill now making over $100,000 a year and if he watches what he is doing will probably retire a millionaire! So with that said.....I have no earthly &^%$ing idea why I do taxidermy!!:rolleyes::oops::(
  4. Micah Howards

    Micah Howards Active Member

    I love doing taxidermy, I have always wanted to take a dead animal and make it look as awesome as it did when it was alive. I want to get better for sure, and I hope to someday do a lifesize mount that would get within the top 3 at the world taxidermy championships!
  5. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    B1D2F78F-5FDA-4720-ADE3-09E703B0CC25.jpeg 90E88335-C4EE-42D6-8F3A-24F820BCB111.jpeg Because my youngest son needs a job! He's been mounting deer for me for 4 years, and does a really neat commercial deer head. I wish he would find a career in something besides taxidermy...but he loves working with his pop!
  6. Jon S

    Jon S Well-Known Member

    Always a hobby for me. I used to do heads and small mammals for friends, not anymore. Now I only do fish that I catch. After 30 years or so I finally can do a fish mount I don't mind looking at. I also paint, so with both the flat art and the fish painting it is a constant learning process, which is why I like it.
  7. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    When I was 5 yrs old, my dad took me with him to a guy's house. It had dear heads and bear rugs in the living room. I was so impressed with what I saw that I told my dad in truck on the way home that I would do taxidermy when I grew up. There was never any doubt from then on. I had a "calling".

    I started doing it for money because I needed a second income. I will continue to do it for myself in the future simply because I don't want to pay those super high prices taxidermists charge( sarcasm intended, but, I really don't want to pay several hundred dollars more than I can do it for) and I'm used to the quality I produce.

    I recently retired from taxidermy and thought I wouldn't be doing it at any capacity, however, I got a couple of turkeys this fall and ideas started popping into my head and now I have to get those turkeys mounted to get them out of my head. It gets crowded in there.
  8. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Taxidermy is my escape from the worries and concerns I face each day teaching. I love teaching mathematics but it can be stressful with all the state testing, dealing with some students and other things that go along with the job. (By the way, teaching is also rewarding sometimes as well!)

    When I am doing taxidermy I don't think about my job. I am fully engaged into the art of recreating a critter in still life form. Many have asked me to do work for them, and offered to pay as much and more than the local taxidermy shops but if I do sooner or later it will just become a job. I don't want it to, I want it to remain my hobby; something I enjoy doing. That is why I do taxidermy.
  9. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    Fascinated from an early age. I think I was 4 or 5 when my Dad took me to the NY Museum of Natural History which had a big impact on me. Always loved the natural world and every creature there was to know. I recall studying encyclopedias as a overcurious kid always focusing on the strange and unfamiliar animals. As I grew I realized I’m a natural born hunter and fisherman which continues today. Along the way I was skinning muskrats and other critters I trapped and hunted trying to save the pelts. The NW School of Taxidermy manuals were poured over by the time I was 9 or 10. There was a gap in taxidermy from teen years until several years later as education, jobs, career and family were center stage. I started back into it with many of my own ducks for my collection. Then being friends with a few excellent taxidermists I learned many tricks of the trade and assisted with mounting my own big game trophies. I keep expanding with all the African trophies I was bringing home; always pushing to challenge myself with customizing forms and Africrap capes. Even before I retired from my career my quality and experience was recognized by fellow hunters and that started my road to starting a small business. I never intended to be so busy or rely on the $. I do it because I love the whole idea and appreciate the animal and the level of challenging work/talent involved to bring it back to life. The money I make simply helps to fund my hunting habit. I would have never tried to support my family over the years as a taxidermist. As many have expressed here, it’s a really difficult business for creating any level of wealth or financial comfort. So for me it’s always been love of the animals and the art.
  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    IDK! Maybe because my career as a porn star never panned out??? lol. J/K. If I can remember back far enough I think I had the passion earlier in my "career". But, after 25 years of doing anything I tend to lose interest. Now, I do it part-time otherwise my wife would make me get a real job! I just do fish replicas now so it's really not taxidermy at all. So, I guess it is an artistic release and with my low numbers/part-time it still maintains my interest. Sometimes. Sometimes I really have to motivate myself to turn the lights on in my shop. I admire those still with the passion after doing this for so many years. I guess I've never really figured out what I want to be when I grow up! ;) But, as far as jobs go, this isn't a bad gig and I could NEVER, EVER work for somebody else again!
  11. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Actually Marty, you are working for someone else! Everyone who wants you to do a replica is your boss telling you what they want. (Just messing with! I know what you mean.)

    FishArt and Micah Howards like this.
  12. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I love taxidermy ,I wish when I was younger I would've moved somewhere it would've been better suited for a full time bussiness.I know full timers that say it's a hard way to make a living, but I ran a drill press for three years running the same part now that's tough,someday I hope to do well in the masters at the world show,I'll keep trying to do my best till I'm a broken backed old man.
  13. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I made a very good living at taxidermy. I ran it like a big business from the git go. Even when I was very part time I made a great wage and good profit.
  14. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    I do taxidermy for a living its our soul source of income my wife works in the business with me
  15. Tami L.

    Tami L. New Member

    I became a taxidermist to originally mount my sons first buck. I am a hunter as well as my husband daughter & 2 sons. I was a sgt in our local jail for 15 years and got hurt badly had to be medically retired at 38 I have to work. I will live my best life (I love the art involved in my job) recreating beautiful life like critters. I went to school for this and fell in love even more after completing my full classes. I also noticed the younger generations with little to no hunting desire. Hunting & fishing kept my 2 oldest (and so far my 14 year old) out of trouble while so many classmates are or have ended up in jail. My oldest 2 are active military (I couldn’t be any prouder of them) they have taken interest in learning this profession makes this Mama’s heart so happy they want to continue my legacy. I also decided I want to see the kids in my area stay out of trouble so I choose (small town)to do their first trophies at cost as long as they are active participants in the entire process. I’m fulfilled doing this, I love donating a fish mount yearly for raffle to support our yearly vets fishing tournament that has no cost to them. I now have several customers and am going into actual business, after ppl have see my mounts (I’ve had several done by other taxidermist past that are awful) looking forward to redoing these. So I’d say this is the most fulfilling way of working again, giving back to our brave men & women who have or are serving. I’m blessed to be able to give back and do my part to keep these young kids involved in our sport that I’ve seen dying out in my area. I realize I am a business now, I enjoy being able to give back while actually earning money. Taxidermy has truly helped my spirit of paying forward, doing my best work while contributing to my household. I will always be striving to become the best and entering my work into competitions but to never forget to give back. I love this, seriously this is the best “job” I’ve ever had! Whew darn near novel lol. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge
  16. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    I can't stop smiling.
    rogerswildlife, swampfox2 and 3bears like this.
  17. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I'm glad James, that was my point. Good to see you are still alive and kicking.
    James Marsico likes this.
  18. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    Jim said to me one day ,"if I hit the lottery for a million " , " I'm going to do taxidermy till the money runs out".
  19. Mines a simple answer,
    I don't take orders very well and everbody else is wrong, :D so working for someone else is just about out of the question!
  20. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Why do I do taxidermy...my wife won't let me quit! I told her that I'd close the shop, and we could spend every waking minute together...she wouldn't have it...LOL!!!