by John Jennings
I jumped at the chance to go to the North American Taxidermy Championship this past January in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have many supporters and co-creators of Taxidermy Direct and several were going to be present at Big Rock’s show; I wanted to meet them in person: Brenda Duvall (although I already visited The Safari Room last summer and had talked with her at length); Randy Mitchell from Wild Rooms with his amazing habitat designs; and of course, Russell Knight, not for his Mounted in Alaska fame, but for his genuine interest in my success.
Russell, along with a panel of other industry-leading taxidermists, was hosting a taxidermy round table. They were scheduled to listen and answer our questions about running a taxidermy business, industry trends, and anything else we wanted to talk about. The cast of “characters” were Russell Knight, Fred Vanderburg, and Larry Blomquist, all industry leaders and legends in their own right. Knight’s Round Table didn’t disappoint. What follows are the cherry-picked highlights about business.
by Haraldur Ólafsson
Gunther Hansel, 70, a German angler, caught the largest Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglosus) yet known, and he set the world record for sea-angling an Atlantic halibut with a rod and reel. In the month of August, 2010, I received a telephone call which I will never forget, to ask if I would be the taxidermist for a 219-kg (482-pound) halibut. After I had agreed and put down the phone, I started regretting my decision as there were many problems which I had to solve before the halibut eventually was prepared and mounted.
by Larry Blomquist
This will be the last in our series of photo studies of North American grouse. In our first grouse study in Issue 123, we also had 2 pages of reference on sage-grouse and 4 pages on ruffed grouse. Additional photos of ruffed grouse start on page 70 of this issue.
GREATER SAGE-GROUSE (Centrocercus urophasianus) are the largest grouse in North America. They were known as simply sage grouse until the Gunnison sage-grouse was recognized as a separate species in 2000. Greater sage-grouse are a widely distributed but sparsely populated in many areas they inhabit. They are most abundant in Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, with remnant populations in Washington, California, North Dakota, South Dakota in the United States, and Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada.
by Mike Kirkhart
Many a taxidermist has skin-mounted lane snappers as they are worthy of skin-mount status. The fish I am painting in this schedule is a reproduction. The same colors apply, but skin-mounts will have details to guide painters while with blanks/repros, we have to find our way. My fish in this schedule photo was 17 inches and is the only mold I have, probably because of their skin-mount ease and typical size. Either way you choose to mount one, the colors will be applied similarly so no worries.
by Eugene Streekstra
I've spent nearly thirty-five years of my life working in different studios across the country, and I’ve worked alongside many great people in the trade, from small studios to some of the largest. There is one common problem that seems to be universal in most shops: the taxidermist gets his clients’ deposits, complete the work, and then sit on the balance waiting for the clients to pick up their trophies.
I’ve seen it and have listened to many fellow taxidermists lament over the fact that they are always waiting for money. Why is this accepted as the norm?