• Birds
  • Fish
  • Mammals
harmonica pete

Birds can be one of the toughest mounts to recreate. The best way to understand a good bird mount is to look at a real bird or photos of live birds and compare...

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USFWS Mountain Prairie

Fish taxidermy has come a long way in the last decade or so. However, not all taxidermists are familiar with these advances, nor use the reference materials so readily...

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wikimedia

Whether a full body or a shoulder mount, mammal taxidermy starts with good fleshing and tanning. Improper fleshing results in shrinkage and poor detail work...

Read More
  • Field Care +

    Good taxidermy begins with good field care. Without a good specimen, there are problems before the work even begins. The skin begins to decay immediately upon death, so take care of your specimen as soon as possible. Keeping it cold slows this breakdown; freezing stops it. Always freeze specimens sealed in an airtight plastic bag to avoid damage by freezer burn. Fish Once landed, don't Read More
  • Mount Care +

    Dust your mounts frequently with a feather or fleece duster in the direction of the hair, fur or feathers. Don't be afraid to groom mammal mounts - hair often gets mussed up moving them. Smooth fur with fingers or with a dog brush. Eyes and noses may be kept clean with window cleaner and a Q-tip. Fish should be wiped with a damp rag. Occasional cleaning Read More
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Happenings

WI State Taxidermist Competition

Taxidermists from around the state compete in different categories to be state champion. Feb 23-26st, 2017 in Steven's Point, WI.

 
Rendezvous

A summer competition and member meeting. August 11-13th, 2017 at the Door County Rod & Gun Club and AmericInn in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

 

The two most commonly asked questions of taxidermists are:

"How much?" and "How long?"

Quality craftsmanship and artistry has an affect on both of these questions. These pages are here to help you recognize what makes a quality mount and to aid in your selection of a taxidermist. Quality taxidermy, whether fur, fish, or fowl, requires both knowledge and time. Kits are available to anyone desiring to mount an animal, just as paint-by-number kits are on the market.

The question is, would you rather have a paint-by-number or a Terry Redlin hanging in your home? It is only natural that the knowledge and talent of an individual taxidermist would affect the price of their work. They have worked long and hard to develop their skills.

Quality is also a factor affecting how long it takes to have your work completed. Many variables are involved in determining "turn-around" time including:

  1. Amount of work backlog
  2. Whether the taxidermist is full- or part-time
  3. Whether there are employees or some of the work is wholesaled out to another taxidermist
  4. Actual time spent working on your trophy.

Remember that really good work takes longer than sloppy work. This applies to taxidermy as much as anything else. It takes time to meticulously flesh and properly tan skins. If insufficient time is allowed for drying, finishing work and paint can crack. It takes time to properly detail anatomically correct eyes, nose, and feet and do a great paint job. The old adage, "you get what you pay for" often applies to taxidermy work.

The Wisconsin Taxidermists Association strives to educate its members about taxidermy methods by bringing in nationally acclaimed taxidermists to give seminars and judge mounts at our competitions. Top awards earned at WTA competitions rank highly nationally, as some of the same mounts have earned Best All-Around Taxidermist, Most Distinguished Taxidermist, and many many other awards in world and national shows. Selecting a WTA member who is attending seminars, currently competing and earning ribbons at shows, will help assure you of getting a quality mount.

Don't be afraid to shop around for a good taxidermist. Take some time and visit different taxidermy shops. Ask questions, look around, and compare work. The best guides to good work are live animals. Bring photos of live animals and compare them to mounts you are looking at. Quality taxidermy looks good and should last a lifetime when cared for properly. Take the time to invest in a mount which you will find joy in looking at for years to come.

  • Judging Birds +

    Buffalohead Birds can be one of the toughest mounts to recreate. The best way to understand a good bird mount is Read More
  • Judging Fish +

    Bull Trout Fish taxidermy has come a long way in the last decade or so. However, not all taxidermists are familiar with Read More
  • Judging Mammals +

    Wikimedia Whether a full body or a shoulder mount, mammal taxidermy starts with good fleshing and tanning. Improper fleshing results in Read More
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