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Victor Borantus Taxi school 1985?

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by kd70chev, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Did anybody else on here go to his school or teach in 1985 besides my fish instructor Jeff Compton. I was just thinking about how good his fish replicas looked (graphite composite)for the time.
  2. i was there in spring of 86....at that time i think there were only just maby 3 taxi schools in the country that i cound find anyway...
    "wheree daa h*ll is datt donnie"
    that you would only know if you went to the school or were a instructor.......it seemed to be donnies falt for anything that went wrong...poor guy vic was kind of hard on him...
    some world class instructors....
    there is a instructor that is a regular on this fourm....
    and jeff could really put fish together,i remember him starting with 6 or so fish at 8am and have them all mounted up by 2-3pm....

  3. Yeah Jeff was only about 17 I think and just starting to get into carving.I bet some of Vics molds are still out there ,last I heard Matt Yernatchy from Duluth bought them,I think it is angling artistry(another one) I believe he has artistic antlers also.I still have all the mounts I did.Badger skin and all.,I am stil using the same old Paasche too.Remember how into freeze drying they were?
  4. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    Vik Birontas started Artistic Angler, the company that is currently producing replica fish out of the Duluth area. From what I understand, they are still using to same molds or ones made off the original master copies. For a short period of time I believe that Matt Y., also owned Artistic Antlers.

    Donnie T. is still around, but I don't think he does anything taxidermy related. I taught various classes for Vik over a lot of years when the school was in operation. Vik ran 3-4 sessions a year and a lot of people learned taxidermy there, but I only know where a couple of them are still in business. Vik passed away 4-5 years ago (maybe more) and his wife Ellie died last year. Chuck, Vik's mold maker, is also gone. He made fish molds for Fibre Tech for a few years, Chuck died a couple years ago.
  5. Old Fart,you nailed it,I will never forget the year because my car got stollen from in front of the Nisswa hotel and the Bears won the Superbowl.Too Bad about Vic,He was a nice man.
  6. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    Well, there are probably those who would argue that Vik was a "nice" man. He certainly was a "character" and he did treat me very well, so I wouldn't be one of them. At the same time he was OVERLY tough on Jeff and Donnie and others. His wife, Ellie, was a saint for the way he treated her sometimes, but she totally ignored it and just went about her business.

    For all his faults, Vik helped a lot of people in this business. In addition to the school, a lot of us worked for him in the shop and gained valuable experience. I first worked there in 74 or 75 and it wasn't long after that when Jeff first showed up. So I think he would have been in his early 20's in 85.

    When he died I was extremely disappointed in the number of people who showed up for the funeral.
  7. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    I met Vik in the late 70's or early 80's when he did the Sport show in Chicago promoting his replicas. I also met a guy from Alaska by the name of Hunter Fisher [said it's his real name] at those shows. I guess he was a friend of Vik's and story was they worked the freeze-dry thing together. Hunter claims to have provided a lot of specimens to be freeze-dried and then molded for Vik's replicas. Don't know whatever happened to ol' Hunter. Have you guys heard of him?
  8. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    Hunter Fisher was bought out by Tom Elias, a long time ago. Tom kept the business name, as far as I know. Tom sold out to someone else a number of years ago and now lives in Idaho(last I heard). Sorry I can't tell you anything about Hunter.
  9. dougp

    dougp Active Member

    Thanks O.F. I remember Tom Elias. I visited him once in Aitkin MN. when he lived in a octagonal [?] house. He was doing instructional stuff for North Star freeze dry. Wow! Brings back some old memories. Now that you mentioned it I do remember Elias buying out Hunter Fisher......