Best taxidermy School

Discussion in 'General Hunting' started by str8 shot, May 21, 2008.

  1. str8 shot

    str8 shot 12 pointer

    Nov 4, 2006
    berea kantuckie
    Guys ive made up my mind on what i want to do for a career,i want to be a taxidermist.I know theres a couple guys on here that have some experience with taxidermy and i was wanting to know what are the better schools to go to to learn.Ive been looking but theres so many i dont really know which to narrow it down to.Thanks
  2. screamin6x6

    screamin6x6 BBBC Members

    I went to Joe Meder's workshop in Iowa. Joe only takes 3 students a time and the instruction you get from him is second to none. His training is for whitetails only because he is in the top 2 or 3 whitetail men in the country. Many of the schools try to teach you how to mount all animals in a short period of time, but I felt it was better for me to single out the best instructor available for gameheads and learn from them. I have intentions to do the same for lifesize mammals, fish, and turkeys in the future. I just don't see how a person can go wrong learning from the best in their field. Another world champion taxidermist that does training is John Griffith, his shop is near Somerset, Ky. This is just the way I'm going about it, everybody has what works for them. You can find a ton of information at . Hope this helps.
  3. str8 shot

    str8 shot 12 pointer

    Nov 4, 2006
    berea kantuckie
    thanks alot...i looked at griffiths site and his looks pretty good
  4. mrdux

    mrdux Guest

    I went to PA Institute of Taxidermy in Ebensburg,PA. It's a 8 month course and very expensive. Many of their best instructors have since left. I also attended workshops with Jason Snowberger and Gary Bruch in PA and Stefan Savides in Oregon.All 3 of these are National and World champions in their fields. If I had it to do over I would do as 6x6 said about the individual instruction classes. 8 months away from home and 25k+ is pretty rough for starting out. Also, don't expect to see a positive bottom line for a few years. Most in the know say 5 years to build up your client base and get all your equipment bought. You might want to do it part-time or work for an established artist before setting out on your own. Do yourself a favor and get some business training in the taxidermy field. Most fail because they set their prices to compete with the guy down the road. Learn from the best ,set your prices so you have a chance to succeed, do top-notch work and you can do OK. VERY FEW taxidermists are making more than a decent living at it.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2008
  5. str8 shot

    str8 shot 12 pointer

    Nov 4, 2006
    berea kantuckie
    Well yea i plan on having a part time job until i can get the money worked up and then im going to give it a shot
  6. DearDoctor

    DearDoctor 10 pointer

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newburgh, IN
    I got a DVD last year for Christmas that was for Deer shoulder mounts. Seemed very interesting. The DVD has a web site address.
  7. kmtpr

    kmtpr 10 pointer

    May 11, 2008
    W Kentucky
    mrdux, What you say is very true. I am in NJ and one of my nephews went to the Pa Inst of Taxidermy, also. He did learn very well and has been doing good, but can't depend on his taxidermy, alone, as of yet. You definitely have to learn the business end and do good work, and have pride in your work. It is tough to compete with those who charge less, because they cut corners. Detail is key to having a great looking mount as opposed to a good mount, but of course, the great mount will cost more.

    str8 shot, Good luck to you!! :)
  8. sixxfan26

    sixxfan26 10 pointer

    Oct 4, 2004
    Butler, Kentucky, USA.
    I would highly recommend going to taxidermy school, but I just wanted to say that you shouldn't be intimidated by not having experience. I have had no formal training or schooling I should say. I watched a couple videos and did A TON of studying various books, magazines, and learned a lot from forums. After about 6 months of studying, I attempted my 1st deer mount and it turned out really well. I still have a lot to learn, but it's not so difficult that you absolutely HAVE to go to school to do it. While you are saving up money, check out the Taxidermy forums, order some videos, and try it. You can buy tanned capes, racks, whatever to practice with.

    Most of all good luck! It's one of the most rewarding things you can get into as far I am concerned!
  9. AteUp

    AteUp 12 pointer

    Mar 14, 2004
    How many hours go into the average deer mount and how much is the profit?
  10. screamin6x6

    screamin6x6 BBBC Members

    Start to finish I probably have 6-8 hours in a typical shoulder mount,"I don't get into any hurry with them either", not counting the "shooting the bull" time with the hunter. I normally clear around $150 per deer but that's not factoring in electric, insurance, etc. like someone full time would have to. I'm very much a hobbyist and if it get a few extra bucks in the account, I'm satisfied. My prices aren't the highest in the area but they are about average or slightly above and I do get all the business I can handle comfortably and still manage to hunt a little.
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
  11. mrdux

    mrdux Guest

    I probably have 12-14 hours in a whitetail mount.
  12. damon kustes

    damon kustes 6 pointer

    Jan 16, 2002

    when you really start into Taxidermy you need to join the Kentucky Taxidermist Association. Every year we have a convention with seminars that are priceless. I have been doing taxidermy since 1978 and still learn something new every year at the show. this years show is in Louisville at the Holiday inn convention center on Fern valley road august 8,9,10.

    the networking with all the other taxidermists there is worth the cost. The most successful
    taxidermist in the state started with this organization.
    Go to
    for info on the convention or call me at 502 493 7787

    You will be among good company. There isn't a better group of people than the KTA bunch.

    You can't go wrong..........
  13. pentail

    pentail Bacon Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2002
    Savoring the smoke

    And the results are extremely impressive!
  14. WhiteRubi

    WhiteRubi 12 pointer

    Apr 13, 2005
    I paid a local taxidermist to train me and now work at that shop. As of now, I only do whitetail, elk, and caribou. In a month or so I will begin work on lifesize mammals. My training is never ending as every thing I do is critiqued by one of the top taxidermists in the world.

    Perhaps try talking to a local guy and see if he is willing to train you. Offer to pay him/her and maybe shop around at a few shops.
  15. str8 shot

    str8 shot 12 pointer

    Nov 4, 2006
    berea kantuckie
    thanks for all the info guys...looks like i might head to louisville also,that sounds like something i need to attend

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