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The Klineburger Brothers

The Klineburger Brothers

by Phil Dougherty

The Klineburger brothers grew up in Bisbee, Arizona, and served in the military during and immediately after World War II. They had been interested in hunting and taxidermy since they were children, and when their military service ended, knew what direction they wanted to go with their lives: nature, hunting, and taxidermy. In the late 1940s Bert came to Seattle to serve an apprenticeship under Guy Jonas of Jonas Brothers in Seattle, and in 1951, Chris came to Seattle and joined Bert at Jonas Brothers.

In the early 1950s Jonas Brothers was already well established in the taxidermy field, having operated in Seattle since 1939 and in Denver for some years before that. In 1954 Gene joined Bert and Chris in Seattle and in July 1954 they bought the Jonas Brothers operation. The business maintained the Jonas name until the mid-1970s when the Klineburger brothers changed the name to Klineburger Taxidermy.

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The Evolution of a War Bird

The Evolution of a War Bird

by Tad E. Crawford

Years ago I had a customer request something a little different for his turkey trophy, something other than the normal beard/tail or lifesize mount. I had been booking caribou hunts with Jack Hume Adventures and had brought back a few sheds, so I suggested carving an American Indian face from a caribou palm to be combined with a turkey wing. This was such a bad idea! I soon found two main issues: one, it took way too long to carve the face; and second, it was getting nearly impossible to find caribou sheds in Ohio! (Seems they quit migrating through here a few years back.)

Eventually this request led to a “light bulb” moment. Since I am a sculptor, why not design an Indian face myself, precisely shaped for my needs that would accept the wing of a turkey and look similar to the historic war bonnet? This then led to the creation and patent of the War Bird series of compressed profile faces now being used to mount wings, tails, attach to pedestal mounts or shed antlers, and even just free standing Southwest wall decor. So far I have sculpted approximately 35 different faces, mostly of famous North American Indians.

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Mike Boyce

Mike Boyce

by Larry Blomquist

Thirty years ago in Issue 26 we published that first interview we did in January of 1991 with Mike Boyce. At that time Mike was 10 years into a vision and goal. We very likely received more positive comments about that interview than any article ever in Breakthrough. Ten thousand copies of that issue were printed with over 8,000 mailed to subscribers, and by early 1992 the issue was completely sold out. We have also been asked numerous times to republish that interview receiving requests just like this one from our Facebook page in a message to Kathy this past August, 2020:

“Hello Kathy. I have been talking with a couple of really talented ladies here in Wisconsin. They are rather new to the business. I’m mostly trying to get them to be smart in their pricing. I have NEVER forgotten the interview with Mike Boyce, Issue 26, from 1991. So I took pictures of it and sent it to them. That interview is timeless and should be read by everyone that starts doing taxidermy. Any chance of ever rerunning it? Just a thought.

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A Fish Full of History

A Fish Full of History

by Bill Leach

We have all received that call from a customer asking us to restore an old mount, and by the way of experience, we have learned in most cases to say no. Thus began my day in February 2020 when I took such a call from a customer asking me to restore a sailfish mount from the 1930s. I explained that it’s probably not worth his money or my time and he should explore the option of a fiberglass reproduction. The gentleman then proceeded to explain that this was not just any fish, but the fish that got Ernest Hemingway to come to Idaho.

This story now had my full attention and I asked him to explain. The caller said that in 1936 there was a young couple from Ketchum, Idaho, visiting Key West, Florida, on their honeymoon. They met Mr. Hemingway in a local bar and quickly became friends. Ernest invited them out on a fishing trip and this sailfish was caught by the newlyweds. Ernest had it mounted for them with the promise to deliver it to Idaho and see for himself this wonderful country as told to him by this couple. 

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Who Has Won Best in World

Who Has Won Best in World

by Larry Blomquist

We felt it was time to list and honor ALL those who have won Best in World Titles. The World Shows will be 38 years old this year and it is important that this history of accomplishments are remembered and not forgotten. If you multiply the winning entries listed in this review by the amount of time put into recreating each piece it would likely go into the hundred of thousands of hours. These accomplishments were earned, not just by being the best at that year’s competition, but by being the best in the world. Congratulations to those who have achieved this milestone and those that will do the same in the future.

The first World Show was held in 1983 in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a huge success, and brought forth the most cherished titles in taxidermy. During the formative years of the World Shows, it must be remembered that there were various category and title changes. We have attempted to present former winners in a simple and understandable listing, however, for the first couple of years, the names of various World Titles varied, and we have noted these variations.

We will also want to remind you that many times there were no World Titles given in various categories if the judges determine there were no entries worthy of those title. For that reason, you will notice that there were no titles awarded in certain years of the World Championships. 

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