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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. I am hoping you all could answer a couple questions for me.
In your opinions, what is the best way to get into Taxidermy part time? Schools, videos, etc?
Really interested in providing some extra retirement money down the road.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You know I've thought of the same thing because I've always been interested in taxidermy since I was a kid and I'm 64 now. Taxidermy school would probably be best but I wouldn't want to have to live out of an apartment or dorm while going to school at this age just not realistic. Lots of good taxidermy videos on Youtube these days and if you could have a taxidermist mentor you that would be great but most of them don't like that ideas since you'd eventually be taking work away from them. Good taxidermist are hard to find its a real art that only a handful can really bring back a dead animal and make it look alive. Hope you find what makes you happy.
 

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Check out Pennsylvania School Of Taxidermy (pataxidermyschool.com). You could tough it out for 8 weeks if you live far away. I think it's either a school or help out at your local taxidermist.

Also I feel like to make income you have to do a lot of taxidermy work which means you will be busy and on a time crunch all the time during your retirement. And you have to buy the tools and materials (foam heads, paint, clean/tan the hides, etc). A few projects isn't going to bring much money after the costs.

Just my thoughts..
 

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Hi guys. I am hoping you all could answer a couple questions for me.
In your opinions, what is the best way to get into Taxidermy part time? Schools, videos, etc?
Really interested in providing some extra retirement money down the road.

Thanks in advance.
I don't want to rain on your parade but I would never use a part time taxidermist. I want to know my trophy is not going to languish in a freezer but will be taken care of in a timely manner. Good taxidermists work hard and they work long hours to make sure their clients specimens are done in a reasonable amount of time in order to return them to the clients. I have seen many part time taxidermists get overwhelmed and wind up allowing client's trophies to be spoiled or be poorly done or who just closed up shop and walked away. I have also seen the result of unprepared taxidermists which were destroyed trophies instead of happy memories. I would steer clear of part time taxidermists if I was looking for one. Good taxidermists are artists, not just someone who stretches a skin over a form and charges a fee for it. I don't know you and I am not saying you would be one of the taxidermists I am talking about but trust is a must when it comes to entrusting someone to preserve a memory for posterity so I want someone who takes the art seriously, not someone who simply wants some pocket money after they retire from their job..
 

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Try helping a local taxidermist for a while and see if you are still interested in it . You may find it is not for you to do as you want. Hate to see you go thru all the schooling and buying of material and not like doing it. Good luck on your decision .
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
See, that is one thing I just love about this forum; many things I never really considered. I agree and am looking at it differently. Thanks guys!
 

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Your best bet is to try to work with a GOOD taxidermist to learn the ropes. There are lots of tips and tricks that books and videos don't show or explain. It is also something that takes a long time to learn. Just because you can do a squirrel pretty good, it doesn't mean you can do a deer head or bird well. And it takes time, a lot of time, to learn well. You will have a lot of mounts under your belt before you will be happy with the final product.
 

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with all the dvds on how to do taxidermy, just buy a couple and practice. buy the breakthrough taxidermy manuals, very great info, tons of step by step instructions and photos.
also go to taxidermy.net, they have a beginners section, step by step tutorials with photos and tons of professional help and advice.
you can also go to taxidermy-talk.com

what ever you do, gather all the info and tools first, dont get started, get stuck and then need an answer in a hurry...it wont happen. its a lot of work. hard work.
some videos on the internet, some good, some worthless.
 

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I talked with my taxidermist about getting into it myself. He asked me one question. Do you like to hunt? Well yea I said. He said you can forget about hunting if you get into it. Your time that you enjoy hunting is the same time people bring you work. Never thought about that and then never thought about getting into it again.
 

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I talked with my taxidermist about getting into it myself. He asked me one question. Do you like to hunt? Well yea I said. He said you can forget about hunting if you get into it. Your time that you enjoy hunting is the same time people bring you work. Never thought about that and then never thought about getting into it again.
Same applies to guideing and outfitting.
 

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In the "old days" you could buy "kits" from Herter's complete with directions. Don't remember but seem to recall small critters as well as fish. Pop and I(youngster at the time) did a couple fish. The stuffing part went pretty well but the painting .... well let's just say artists we weren't . One 10lb Canadian walleye still hangs on the wall 40 years later ..... not pretty(we just clear coated it) but still pretty proud of it.
 

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I've been thinking about getting into taxidermy deer only for myself and family members. I have helped my buddy a little who is no longer doing taxidermy. The taxidermist that is mounting my buck this year is swamped with deer and could use to help, I need to take my antlers back to him soon. I plan on asking him if he needs some help, I know he does his own capes so there's plenty of fleshing to do.
 

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thats the best way to learn. hands on, in a shop with a pro. wait til you see how much work goes into preparing a cape for a shoulder mount.
skin, flesh, turn the ears inside out and flesh, split the lips and flesh, split the eyelids and flesh, remove the cartledge from the nose, split the nostrils and flesh the nose pad and nostrils.
then you have to get it ready for the pickle, salt and drain, washing, pickling, tanning or applying a tanning cream

all that gets done before it ever gets close to the form and you have to prep the form to get it ready for the hide :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lol, sorry no free taxidermy. I do not think I will be pursuing this at this point. More thought brought me to the realization that I am too divided with my time. I would really like to, but of I cannot devote the needed time, I should not do it half way.
 

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I don't want to rain on your parade but I would never use a part time taxidermist. I want to know my trophy is not going to languish in a freezer but will be taken care of in a timely manner. Good taxidermists work hard and they work long hours to make sure their clients specimens are done in a reasonable amount of time in order to return them to the clients. I have seen many part time taxidermists get overwhelmed and wind up allowing client's trophies to be spoiled or be poorly done or who just closed up shop and walked away. I have also seen the result of unprepared taxidermists which were destroyed trophies instead of happy memories. I would steer clear of part time taxidermists if I was looking for one. Good taxidermists are artists, not just someone who stretches a skin over a form and charges a fee for it. I don't know you and I am not saying you would be one of the taxidermists I am talking about but trust is a must when it comes to entrusting someone to preserve a memory for posterity so I want someone who takes the art seriously, not someone who simply wants some pocket money after they retire from their job..
I also agree with this. If Im going to spend the money on a taxidermist Im looking for the best which 9 times out of 10 isnt the cheapest and isnt the guy thats turning things around in 2-3 months either. Quality work takes time and someone that isnt doing it full time probably isnt going to take that time in my mind. They are trying to churn out a product as quick as they can to make a few extra bucks in their free time so something will suffer in my mind. For something that Im going to have on my wall for the next 30-40+ years god willing that extra 2-300 over those years comes out to be a few bucks a year

I by no means mean to say that everyone doing things part time are going to cut corners and do crappy work...but typically its this type of people that end up being the hoarer stories you hear about. Just think about it, how many times have you heard about a botched job by a weekend warrior of a contractor, some guy painting cars out of his house garage, some lady cutting hair on the weekend...the stories are abundant. Not to say that "professionals" never mess up.
 

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also keep in mind just because a taxidermist does great deer, doesnt mean his fish or birds will be great too. check them out before leaving that trophy.
 
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