Taxidermist Opinion - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2011, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Taxidermist Opinion

My son will be 14 yrs old this year. We've been trying to talk to him about starting to think about what he may want to do for a livelyhood. We got looking and talking today about Taxidermy. He's pretty artistic, loves to hunt, and loves the outdoors.

Would you recommend a young man starting out in life to seek training in the field of Taxidermy?
Is it a viable field to make a living in or more of a part-time job to supplement your income?

Any thoughts and opinions on the topic is appreciated.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 01:09 PM
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Re: Taxidermist Opinion

WOW.....that's a tough question. Taxidermy is a very tough field to make a full time living in for several reasons....

--without good business skills you are doomed to failure. "Loving" your job won't cut it.
--it takes strict discipline to go to work everyday when you don't have to. Self employment is one of the toughest jobs there is.
--it will take MANY years and even more loyal clients to establish enough business to make it full time.
--being self employed he will not have any benefits other than being able to work whenever he wants to. He will have to buy everything else.
--although the taxidermy field itself seems to be doing fine in the current environment, hunting is under attack and seems to be in its waning years. How long is hunting going to be around where you can still make a living off it?'s most successful full time taxidermists are business and marketing geniuses. Without good business and marketing skills good taxidermy skills mean nothing---there is ample eveidence of that fact everywhere today.

With all that said, if it were me, I would encourage your son to try taxidermy and see how he likes it. There is a big difference between doing a deer, squirrel or bird "when you want to" and having to put out 6 or 7 pieces a week just to pay your bills!

I went to college for Family Medicine. I graduated with a -- in Biology and was days from going to Med School when I gave it all up to be a taxidermist and charter captain. I simply could not fathom doing a job I didn't really love for the rest of my life and I don't regret that decision at all. My only regret is that I wish I had gone to college for a degree in Business Management or Marketing. It has taken me nearly 20 years of learning the hard way and a lot of tutoring from my "marketing genius" wife to get where I am today.
I would also encourage your son to join the PTA and attend the upcoming PTA convention in Seven Springs this March. It will be a crash course in what the taxidermy field is about and will either make him a taxidermy addict or it will scare the heck out of him. Either way, it will be the best money he/you ever spent.
Wish him luck for me!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 03:50 PM
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Re: Taxidermist Opinion

I argee with Paul. I would also add that if he starts early enough he can slowly build a business with friends and family and then be ready to go in his twenties. I would suggest sending him for one-on-one studies with the masters in the profession. One or two classes a year untill he is confident. It will cost a couple thousand a year, but in comparison to the cost of college it seems reasonable. He will learn more, hands on, with an instructor. Good luck!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 10:57 PM
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Re: Taxidermist Opinion

also....i just remembered seeing on that someone is selling their back issues of breakthrough and/or taxidermy today magazines. they have step by step articles and great reference photos. then get him a subscription of his own (maybe as a b-day or other present)!

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 11:05 PM
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Re: Taxidermist Opinion

All taxidermist I know have other jobs as well. They just do taxidery on the side. The 1 exception is I believe "mac's" taxidermy in Fort Loudon PA. They have contracts or connections i think wiht outfitters out west who send their clients harvest/trophies to be mounted to "MACS" in Fort loudon. But starting out on the bottom as an amateaur, well, like they say, "don't quit your day job"

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2011, 11:47 PM
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Re: Taxidermist Opinion

Let your son explore with it and see what he thinks. I have done it for 10 yrs. Part time. I have got to the point it is more a hastle to me then enjoyment. I am finishing what I got and then shutting the door, probably for good. Don't rush your son into it, let him discover it.It can be a great time.. Thanks Stuffer

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 02:30 AM
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Re: Taxidermist Opinion

I am not a taxidermist, but from what I have seen, if he loves hunting and fishing the prime times to do those will be dealing with customers. I started tying flies professionally years ago and the saying goes the more you tie the less you fish. I guess the same would be said about a quality taxidermist.

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