• 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 22-25st, 2018 in Steven's Point, WI.

 
Rendezvous

A summer competition and member meeting. August 10-12th, 2018 at the Door County Rod & Gun Club and AmericInn in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

 

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. There are both good and bad tans done in house and good and bad ones done at different factories. Your best guarantee is to ask the taxidermist how their's is done and look at examples in their shop done in this way. A good tan has soft silky sleek hair and has no bad odor. Below are some things to look for in mammal mounts:

Anatomy
Does the animal look alive?

Eyes
Compare to photos of live animals–are they correct?
Are the eyes symmetrical?
Do they face the same direction?
Is the mount "bug-eyed?"
Are the eyes too sunken?

Ears
Are the edges and tips shriveled and pulled over?
Are the ear butts located correctly?
Are they too large; too small?

Nose
Is it shrunken or distorted?
Are the nostrils plugged up?

Mouth
Are the lips shrunken and pulled out of form?
Are there unnatural wrinkles around the mouth?
If open-mouthed, does it look natural or fake?
Are the jaws placed symmetrically in the mouth?

Feet
Do they look strangely attached to the legs?
Are they shriveled up?
Are they puffy, like balloons?
Can you see wires or rods sticking out of them?

Professionalism
Does the mount look clean and groomed?
Is there paint or epoxy on the eyes or the fur around the eyes,lips or nose?
Is the mount firmly attached to the base?

The best in the field have scads of reference materials. Ask whether the taxidermist uses photos of live animals and3-D references. Tanned skins are generally mounted on commercially purchased forms. Good taxidermists make the form fit the skin, not vice versa. Also ask what the taxidermists does if a hide is not mountable.

  • 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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