Painting a Flounder, by Mike Kirkhart: Did you know that flounders are born like most fish with both eyes on opposite sides of their heads? A flounder larva is hatched in the suspended column of water off the bottom, and as it grows an eye migrates around or through the head to the other side, leaving the blind side (bottom) with no eye at all. This process takes only about three weeks and the fish is only about ¾ of an inch. It is thought that it is part of the fish’s design, so it can live as it does on the bottom looking up for food. During the first year a flounder can grow up to a foot in length. Males only live 3–5 years, with females living 10+ years and growing upwards of 15 pounds. The world record Southern flounder is 20 pounds, 9 ounces. To subscribe, renew, or to check your status, call us at 800-783-7266.
by Carolyn Brak-Dolny
“Making a re-creation can be frustrating, time consuming, and is definitely not easy. When you do make a success of it, the knowledge gained will help you in your daily taxidermy problems. I have used these skills in repairing slipped spots, missing parts, faded fur, altering forms, and most of all—thinking out of the box.”
by Larry Bloomquist
For several years now I have been privileged to have the opportunity to hunt a remarkable south Texas low-fence ranch in La Salle County, south of Cotulla, Texas. This is in the well known area recognized as “the Golden Triangle.” It is big buck country where many Boone and Crockett bucks have been taken over the years. Yes, I have taken three nice mature whitetail on this property with scores over 160 and one very nice cull 8 that scored 154.
Hunting whitetails is my passion, but the added benefit is the amazing variety of wildlife I encounter. When I'm in a blind I frequently have my Nikon camera in hand with a variable 200–600-mm lens. I have taken thousand of photographs of nice trophy whitetails and the abundant wildlife that populates the mesquite and cactus habitat of this ranch and axis deer has been a prime target for my camera.
Many years ago the owner’s father brought in a few axis deer and they still thrive along the river that runs through the property. The family limits the number of axis deer taken each year so I have the opportunity to see and photograph some pretty nice axis bucks. Considering very few axis are killed each year on the San Cudo Ranch, the population appears to remain fairly steady, possibly because of predators. I know from first hand experience that axis deer have not affected the whitetail population. I usually hunt one or two days along the river in the main home area of the axis deer, and actually find them much more alert and weary than whitetail deer. I often hear their vocal communications and actions, much like the axis deer pictured on these opening two pages.
by John Jennings
Whether you are a beginning taxidermist or a seasoned veteran, it is crucial that you stay on top of your pricing and understand exactly how it is calculated. Emotional pricing is the number one reason for small business failure. All too often, pricing is based on the competition and not on the factors needed to run a profitable studio.