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Would Going To A School For Taxidermy Be A Good Investment?

Discussion in 'Training' started by opelrini, Dec 14, 2021.

  1. opelrini

    opelrini New Member

    I’m 27, and have unfortunately never been in any sort of college or any schooling outside of high school. I’ve always had a passion for this whole world of art, I love gathering bones as well at making wet specimens, when it’s fresh enough. Is this something that you can make a living off of? It’s literally my dream, but as always, money is an issue. I don’t want to pay for school if I’ll end up having to go back again for something else that I can make into a career, if that makes sense. I guess I’m just really trying to figure out what I am going to actually do with my life, and if this would be a smart option. ANY responses would be fantastic! As well as advice, tips, etc. Thanks cinema hd for your time! Look forward to hearing from you guys.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2021
  2. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    I don't know if you are a male or a female but, if you were my son or daughter, I would be asking you to see your Air Force recruiter. That will give you a career path for you to enjoy taxidermy on the side. In four years when you are discharged, use your GI Bill to help pay for Taxidermy School if you so desire. You may find that the Air Force becomes a career and you can then afford to do your taxidermy hobby on the side as you grow your collection of display mounts. It is difficult to start "making a living" off taxidermy. You have to have work you can show to get clients interested in choosing you. It is a difficult start, not impossible, but difficult.

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Here is my experiences for what they are worth. I was at the top of my game in another artistic industry but it was too hard on my aging body and wanted/needed a change. I had been interested and fiddling with actual taxidermy, mounting skins to try to recreate an animal to the best of my abilities for 30 years or more but not to make a living. This may cause some ripples but playing with bones and preserving wet specimens is not taxidermy. I found a school that fit my experience and taught me what I expected from it but also allow me to make my living doing what I had for so long. I then continued to advance my skills as a taxidermist part time until I had more work than I could do as a side job. Now taxidermy is all I do to make my living. Is it worth it? for me yes, but it all depends on you. If you want to succeed, you will need a work ethic that exceeds many of the 9 to 5 crowd. You must first be a successful business person to run a successful business, it matters not how good of a job you do as a taxidermist, if you cannot run a business, you are chasing your ass. Believe me, I'm plenty aware of it but also find my self at times circling my ass.
    My advice would be to take some business classes on line or at your local community college and watch videos and read all you can about taxidermy tips and tricks and then start mounting critters and see if you even care to do taxidermy or are just dreaming. taxidermy can be very rewarding but customers not so much. They are the determining factor in the whole equation, if you cannot handle customer relations the good and the bad you won't make it a sole proprietor. Like I said earlier in my ramblings, it all depends on YOU.
  4. GotHonks

    GotHonks Well-Known Member

    taxidermy can be very rewarding but customers not so much. …. This one says it all for any kinda work your in … People are idiots these days … 3Bears hit it on the nail … if you can’t run a business first forget taxidermy as a living .. it’s why I’d rather have a regular paycheck from a M-Th 4/10 work schedule than try and run a business and do the taxidermy as a hobby …I suck at doing the books , I have adhd which doesn’t help matters but so far It’s worked out for me for many years , although I’ve thought about doing it full time when If I ever actually retire from the real job .. Taxidermy is not a living that is gonna make you a millionaire.. but can be rewarding when your clients are nice .. when they aren’t .. we’ll get used to it cus people suck these days .. 9/10 are idiots .. you must deal …
    I kinda like the idea of heading to the military first , get a trade and do Taxidermy on the side .. lots of things I’d do differently if I were 27 again that is a guarantee … only get one shot so make something of it

    11PYBOWHUNTER Active Member

    I apprenticed in Pennsylvania for a year with a guy that did good commercial work. I realized that area we lived in had like 15 taxidermists in one county and I would never be able to make enough to make a living. I joined the Army at 25 years old. I did nearly 6 years before getting out. I would have done 4, but my second deployment kept me in a lot longer than I thought.

    I got a good paying job using what I learned in the Army…mainly discipline. Last spring I decided that I was Ted to get back into taxidermy and bought all new tools, equipment, and even built a large 2 story, 24x36 taxidermy shop. I didn’t advertise last year and I took in a fair amount and just took in a bear and three deer this past weekend that people had in their freezer.

    I apprenticed literally for 3 weeks in Va with a guy who has since become a close friend. I came home and practiced what I learned. Trial and error but having a good bit in savings helps make it happen.

    I didn’t like the idea of joining the Army but it was a tradition in my family as my father as in the Air Force, uncles were in everything but the coast guard. I joined the Army because I knew I would never leave the area I lived in and while I loved taxidermy, knew I couldn’t make a living with a slew of taxidermists in the same area already. The Army gave me a way out and I was smart, saving my money to invest in a future. I currently live 921 miles from where I grew up. Literally. I miss home but have grown to like where I live now.
  6. Bruledrift

    Bruledrift Active Member

    If it is what you want to do, yes, go to a school and learn all the tricks so you don't have to learn the hard way. I've been doing it off and on for 40+ years with no schooling or training. I wish I had though. I am planning on using this as my retirement extra money business and still may take a course to learn those 1 out of a hundred tricks that make it faster and better.