Best of Show


WI State Taxidermist Competition

Taxidermists from around the state compete in different categories to be state champion. Feb 27-Mar 1, 2020 in Steven's Point, WI.


A fall competition and member meeting. August 9th to August 11th, 2019. in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.


The Buying and Selling of Bear Skins In Wisconsin

In early October, I read with interest a discussion that appeared on the Taxidermy Forums.

I am assuming that this was a Wisconsin taxidermist trying to sell a Wisconsin black bear life-size skin without the skull. Jim Kimball, a Wisconsin Taxidermist Association (WTA) member informed the taxidermist that this was illegal to sell in Wisconsin without the skull attached. I read with interest as other taxidermists, some from Wisconsin, tried to inform Kimball that he was wrong and that this person could legally sell the skin without the skull. Well, Kimball was correct in his assessment and I will explain.

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Business Impact

The impact of CWD won’t be known until sometime next year when the deer hunting season is over. There are many different ways that taxidermists will be affected by CWD and not all taxidermists will be affected the same way. Deer hunting alone is a one billion dollar industry in Wisconsin, while deer taxidermy is considered the bread and butter work for many taxidermists. Some of the ways taxidermists will be affected are listed below:

  • Because of the number of hunting license is down 22% in Wisconsin right now, that means less bucks will be harvested and sent to the taxidermists.
  • Because of hunters having their deer tested for CWD, having their deer mounted, and not hunting locally, the workload of deer head mounting could be shifted to other area’s of the state than normally seen. This could reduce or increase your workload.
  • Because of the extra work and costs in handling the deer for mounting, this could raise the costs of having a deer head mounted. Some hunters may not want to pay the extra cost for mounting.
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CWD Update

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Wisconsin Information on this article comes from numerous articles written on CWD and is compiled here to assist members in understanding the problem we are facing. Some of this information will change after printing as new information comes out weekly. We will try to keep members informed on all the updates as time goes along. The DNR website,, has a lot of up to date info on CWD which is readily available.

Update March 2009

Thomas Van Haren, Conservation Warden and NR Policy Officer of the Bureau of Law Enforcement, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, reported the following in an email in regards to the Deer Carcass transportation issue.

The legislature gave the DNR the authority to restrict deer carcass movement to control CWD effective April 21, 2006. The Department of Natural Resources

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Taxidermist Precautions

When handling deer from CWD testing areas:

  • Wear rubber, latex, or other suitable gloves when caping or skinning out deer, and when cleaning the skull for an antler or European skull mount. You may also feel inclined to wear safety glasses, rubber boots, and a protective garment in your work area while caping or skinning a deer to help prevent body tissue particles from getting on your clothing and to help prevent spreading particles outside your work area.
  • When taking in a deer that has not already been skinned out for processing, be sure to handle the hide and carcass as if it were your own. Ask if the deer is to be tested for CWD, as the customer has only three days from harvesting their deer to get the head back to the collection or registration station for testing.

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Heads and Skins: The Changing of Wisconsin State Statute 29.347(3)

Back in August of 2001, Brian Olson and I volunteered to be on the WTA’s Legislative Committee in Prairie du Chien. One of the issues that was brought up at that August meeting was Wisconsin State Statute 29.347(3), HEADS and SKINS. This state statute was outdated and unfair to many taxidermists here in Wisconsin. Members of the WTA have been asking for years to get this statute changed and updated to apply to present taxidermy practices. When Brian and I took on this project, we did not know the legislative process for changing a state statute but we learned as we went along. We did realize right away that this would be a slow process.

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DNR and Law
Issues relating to the collection of information and statutes relating to the taxidermy business.
Member Contributions
Articles written by our members.

Online Videos

Many seminars and other videos in the library are now available online.

  1. Send Alan Kitzhaber and email at with the video title.
  2. Al will email you a link.
  3. Click on the link and then press the play button.
  4. Now, give it a try!

Any questions? Contact Alan Kitzhaber at 715.379.1579 (Cell) or 715.834.4470 (Home)