by Jim Hess
First, I am far from an expert on preparing articulated skeletons, but I do have some experience from past projects I’ve done, and I wanted to prepare a mink skeleton for an entry into the Professional Division at the 2017 World Taxidermy Championships in Peoria, Illinois. I have entered this category at previous shows and find it interesting, educational, and challenging. Like the walls of your home, a skeleton is the main structure that forms and supports the anatomy of an animal and when you learn by starting at that point, you are ahead of the game in understanding anatomy.
Larry Blomquist had asked me to consider doing an article on the basic process hoping to get others interested in the skeleton category at the World Show competition. I love competing and being a small part of that great show has rewarded me in many ways. Through my contribution of showing how I prepared my articulated skeleton, I’m hopeful this Professional Division category will have many more entries in 2019.
by John Jennings
Putting your children to work in your business, even for the summer, is one of the most underutilized TAX-SAVING strategies today. Plus, the skills they learn will form habits that last a lifetime, specifically, life skills like money management and building a strong work ethic. If they can master the art of saving at a young age, they will have more prosperity and less angst than the rest of us later in life. Here's how to do this legally.
Updates and News by Larry Blomquist
We are receiving excellent comments on the expansion of the Interpretive Division, adding a Habitat Division, and the beginning of a wildlife art exhibition for bronze sculpture at the 2019 show. In addition to that expansion, we have some new, never-before seminars coming on new innovative inventions that will be introduced by their inventor Tony Psalia of South Africa, Allis Markham’s introduction of the new technology of 3D printing, Hutch Hutchinson (Pennsylvania) on some great ideas and finds he has made in producing realistic habitats, and a first-time series of seminars specifically for judges.
Part II by Larry Blomquist
If you are thinking, “Turkeys—again? Breakthrough just ran a turkey head reference article last issue by Cary Cochran,” you are right. That does not mean I cannot run another one as it is “that” time of year and turkeys are king in the spring, and there is nothing that surpasses great reference of the animals we replicate. Plus, I have a pile of reference we have never published in Breakthrough and we may as well do it for the season at hand.
I know that the vast majority of taxidermists who mount their own turkeys are also turkey hunters, so this opening photo has got to give you hunting jitters and reference for the great turkey strut. The signs of spring are in the fields but the look of winter is still in the woods—the mating rituals are cranking up. These two toms are pumped and displaying the most requested pose from our customers. It is also one of the most difficult bird poses to properly replicate by a taxidermist.
by Mike Kirkhart
Porgies are in the family of Sparidae and genus of Calamus, which includes 13 different porgies. Our pretty porgy we are going to paint is a whitebone/chocolate (chip) porgy. Calamus Leucosteus is the scientific name of this pretty critter that we caught so many of that day on the Mattanza. Related to sheepsheads and other porgies, they all have similar teeth in their mouths that pick and crush the small crabs and shrimp as well as other small reef-dwelling bottom creatures. Porgies gather in schools at times and when located, they are easily caught in a large quantity, so regulations are needed to manage healthy numbers to keep them around. Whitebone porgies are very prevalent so a limit of 20 per person makes them a great target for some great eating. They are small in comparison to jolthead porgies, with a record of 23 pounds 4 ounces, whitebone porgies average 1-2 pounds and 10 to 20 inches. Sometimes the many porgies look alike as the knobbed, jolthead, and whitebone have similar shapes and markings.