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I have been toying with the idea of pursuing formal training in this area. I am looking for advice on here regarding Where to go for the training and schooling and issues that I need to take into consideration...any and all advice is appriciated (and needed) thanks in advance
 

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you can go to a taxidermy school...my husband attended pennsylvania institute of taxidermy...alot of money but you will do a little of everything(fish,mamals,birds)skinning,preping all of that.

you can look up master taxidermists who give private one on one classes. i ma not sure if you would learn skinning or hide prep with them maybe just mounting and finishing....you would need to seek out someone who specializes in each category(much more time consuming)

either way you could probably get a lot of one on one instruction for the price of school.

if you truly feel you will have a god given talent and you are artistic in other ways you should go for it. however if you are not naturally artistic it may YEARS to become good enough to do work for money! you have seen some shoty work on here i am sure and that is because it is HARD to recreate living creatures.

good luck
 

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All good advice but what I have been telling people in your situation is this: Taxidermy takes a combination of skill and talent. The only way to discover if you have either is to try it. However, for most, spending $20,000+ on a taxidermy school just to "see" if they have the talent and skill set or even the desire to be a taxidermist is a bit much. What I suggest is to go to taxidermy.net and look up the WASCO and McKenzie online catalogues. Order some Beginner DVDs and try it at home. You will know rather quickly if you have any taxidermy talent or if its something you want to pursue further. $60 on a couple of DVDs is a little easier on the wallet than $20,000 just to find out you don't have the talent or the desire to do taxidermy.
You might also consider attending the PTA Convention and Trade Show in Altoona the first week of March. Every supplier will be there as well as the top taxidermists in the country. For about $200 and three days you can find out if taxidermy is for you. http://www.pataxidermy.com

Good luck!
Paul
 

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dont do it for the money
do it for love of the trade
 

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Join the PTA, go to the convention, maybe get one of the trade magazines, and most of all, get your hands dirty. Start out with something that wont be a big loss if it doesnt work out. The way fur prices are shaping up, coons should be "almost free."
 

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Paul C. has sound, well rounded advice. And he should....he is a respected leader in the industry. (No smileys because I seriously mean that!)

I attended Northwoods in 1994. (There was an explosion in taxidermists then.) Along with skill and talent, as Paul mentioned. It takes hard work. There's a verse to a song that goes: It took a long time but I finally learned, It ain't no gift it's gotta be earned! And I believe anything worth doing in life is worth studying. So if you do discover it's up your alley, invest in the education. Just make certain they have a quality business course or take one at a community college. The art aspect is only half. Just the opinion of one taxidermist. There are many out there. Not one of them has ALL the answers. No matter how full of themselves they are.
 

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Banjoman, AMEN to that paragraph. I've done taxidermy for 10 years now and sure as heck don't know everything, and probably never will.... I'm still learning everyday. LOL Stuffer
 

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What all is the way of getting a PA lisc these days? Is it just an application form you fill out and send the money and form in to the dept of ag? Do the WCO's still get to inspect your records and stuff?

As to doing the art, if you already have arts background, esp the ability to "see" and recreate animal images, or do realistic animal sculptures, you are already halfway there. The business end of it...hmm well...you can take a class if you are totally clueless there LOL.

And yes it can take many years to get really good, but I have seen some extreme talent in a few who had only done it a few years before they started getting first place professional at the state comps- the arts background was definatly there. I've been at it around 15 years now and I am certainly not perfect, but I improve every year. I'd probably be getting first place left and right by now if I went to the conventions and competed and went to the seminars. The animals I like doing alot are red foxes and coyotes.
 
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