• 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...

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  • 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.

 

Bull Trout

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 available to them. One of the biggest problems in fish mounts is poor anatomy. A good fish mount should look fleshy and "squishy", not shriveled and lumpy. Here are some questions to consider when looking at a fish mount:

Anatomy:

Is the body symmetrical?
Are fins centered on body?
Is the head cleanly joined to the body in a smooth line?
Are the cheeks smooth and flat, or overstuffed?
Is the body smooth and streamlined or is it lumpy?
Are the scales flat and smooth or are they lifted?

Shrinkage:

Are the fin bases and the base of the tail smooth or shriveled?
Have the head and the throat been rebuilt to look fleshy?
Paint Job: Does the fish look real or painted?
Are the colors and markings correct for the species?
Is the gloss applied evenly or are there sags and runs?

Eyes:

How good is the quality of the eyes?
Are there one or two? Are they symmetrical?
Using a live fish photo, are the eyes set correctly?
Fins:
Do the fins look real and fleshy or dried up and brittle?
Do the fins seem durable?
How effective are fin repairs?

Grease Bleeding:

How was the fish tanned?
How does the taxidermist deal with a trout head?
(artificial heads eliminate grease problems)

Finishing:

Does the back of the fish look smooth and neat?
Is the fish firmly attached to the wood?
Is the hanger firmly attached to the fish?

Fish taxidermy involves many steps and is a time consuming process. Drying time is especially lengthy, particularly with large fish. If epoxy work and painting is done before fish is completely dry, the end result is buckling, lifting of scales and/or cracking of the skin. Be cautious if the “turn around” time quoted seems unusually short.

  • 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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