by Larry Blomquist
Ibex belong to the genus Capra, which includes all of the goats, including domestic goats. There are 5 ibex species recognized and most exist in distinct geographical areas and most can be identified by hair color, but the recurving horns are similar. Summer and winter coats can vary in color making it vary difficult for me to properly identify each of the many ibex photos I have collected over the years. The features of anatomy are very similar in all of the ibex species, like most animal groups, but there is a lot of individuality within the subspecies meaning form alterations may be needed to adapt to size and differences in head shape.
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by Glen Browning and Clark Schreibeis
Never in a million years did I think I would have the opportunity to visit a place like China. With the language barrier and its distance from North America, it always seemed so mystifying and far away, but through the art of taxidermy, it became possible. Then last summer (2017), Clark Schreibeis called to ask me some questions about how my trip had gone. He explained that he had just been asked to instruct a fish-mounting workshop in Beijing by my same hosts and was experiencing the same apprehension I had felt before I went. I reassured him I had had a wonderful experience and there was nothing to worry about. I had been well taken care of, the food was the best, the people even better, and it would be the trip of a lifetime—so go for it.
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by Larry Blomquist
Barbary sheep are a species of Caprid and within the subfamily Caprinae. This subfamily includes sheep, goats, and ibexes. It is native to the rocky mountains of North Africa. Barbary sheep are now rare in their native North Africa, but with their introduction to North America (mainly in the southwest USA) and southern Europe, the population is very stable with hunting seasons in many areas that they inhabit.
Barbary sheep are also called by other names in areas where they were introduced, such as aoudad, a name used by the Berbers which are North African people. This name is also commonly used for Barbary sheep in Texas and the southwest areas of the United States. In Libya, this sheep is called waddan, arui, and in Spain it is called arruis.
by Kurt Ainsworth
In 1989 when I was a fledgling taxidermist, I entered a whitetail deer pedestal with artwork on the back. I was told by the deer judge that I should not have put artwork on the back. He thought it was distracting to the viewer—the back should be left plain. Nearly thirty years later it is now hard to find the back of a pedestal mount that is not exhibiting some sort of artwork.
Since that time I have tried to come up with new ways and ideas for doing the back of each deer pedestal I enter in competition. Of course, when customers see them in my showroom and have to have it or something similar, an extra fee for my work and design puts more profit in my taxidermy.
by Tony Grabowski
Moose skulls are difficult to boil and clean primarily due to the angle in which the antler bases diverge from the skull. Containers used to boil a moose skull can be quite large in order to immerse the entire skull and in doing so, at least portion of one antler. This large container can hold up to 45 gallons of water and is difficult to heat the water to the boiling point. The grease in the water can discolor the antler surface at the waterline.
Several years ago, I came up with the idea to design and build a special moose skull boiler that could also be used for elk and caribou. During the design phase of this project, a prototype was made using ¾-inch plywood for the base and cardboard for the sides. Several large Alaska-Yukon moose skulls were fitted into the cardboard/plywood prototype and alterations were made where necessary.