Montana School of Taxidermy and Tanning
Jeff Welch grew up in Arkansas in the fifties and sixties
in a family that planned their entire lives around hunting
and fishing. He attended Arkansas Tech University on a football
scholarship and four years later received a Bachelor of Science
degree in Forestry and a commission in the United States Army.
After a brief tryout for the Washington Redskins and a three
year tour in the United States Army, Jeff ended up in graduate
school at Washington State University pursuing a master's
degree in Forestry.
In 1975, Jeff changed direction in his career pursuit and
went to work as an apprentice taxidermist for an old established
taxidermy studio in Lewiston, Idaho. Two years later, he moved
to Helena, Montana, and started his own business, Trails West
Taxidermy. That business is still growing and is one of the
largest studios in the West. Jeff's wife of twelve years,
Jody, and several of her employees now run Trails West Taxidermy.
In 1988, Jeff started the Montana School of Taxidermy and
Tanning and several hundred students later he still stays
in touch with many of his past successful graduates. Jeff's
true passion is teaching taxidermy and mule deer hunting through