TAXIDERMY COURSE DESCRIPTION
Course - Game prep (skinning, fleshing, curing, and tanning),
form making (making death mask, sculpting, casting fiberglass molds and pouring
uafoam forms), mounting, finish work, and collecting references. Most students will complete four shoulder mounts.
Course - Skinning, body making,
mounting, displaying and finishing. Use of artificial
bodies and heads.
||Fish Course - Skinning, scraping, pattern making, body making, mounting, finish work, airbrush
techniques and displaying. One fiberglass reproduction fish is required.
course - Part-time versus full-time taxidermy, location, setting
prices, overhead, advertising (displays, newspaper ads, magazine ads, telephone
ads, and radio and television advertising). Taking in work, making work agreements
and licensing your business in accordance with state and federal regulations.
This portion of the course is taught throughout the course rather than one solid
Advanced Habitat Class. All aspects of habitat construction will be covered including making articifical
rocks from molds, hand-carving large artificial rocks, water features, snow and
ice, use of natural references and artificial plants, building artificial limbs
and trees, gathering habitat materials, collecting references and much more. Habitat
scenes will be developed and demonstrated on several life-size mounts. "Optional
HOURS: Approximately 408
OF INSTRUCTION GIVEN
- Measuring & sizing
big game heads.
- Making death masks (plaster/clay
- Proper way to cape heads
- Preparing capes (splitting
lips, eyes, nose, turning ears & fleshing).
- Salting capes
- Saltroom order (proper
way to salt and store capes for curing).
- Tanning (teaching total procedures using several
tanning formulas & methods). Students will
be required to tan everything they mount.
d. Shaving (using several brands of rotary knives)
g. Tanning (using TX-77, alum, and tan TX-2001)
h. Oiling skins
k. Drumming (using several types of mixes and
l. Finishing skins.
- Mold making (sculpting a deer head using references
and a death mask, demonstrated). Students will
actually make the fiberglass mold and pour form
- Proper way to settle antlers on forms, plus how to use the new shed systems!
- Preparing forms for mounting (cutting lips,
contouring, dewaxing and modeling nose).
- Practice setting eyes (students are required
to set eyes at the beginning of each day for several
days until they become proficient).
- Final prep of tanned capes (sewing/thinning).
- Setting ears (plastic vs. bonded method).
- Prefitting capes on forms (includes teaching
students how to alter forms in ever way to fit
- Mounting (using all the best commercial methods),
carding, grooming, putting & Finishing ( we
paint all heads using an Aztek double action airbrush
with polytranspar and wildlife colors paints).
- Proper way to hang & display heads.
- Altering life-size forms.
- Basic habitat building (basic rock making and
basic snow and ice scenes, using several methods
& materials, i.e. snow flocking scene, water
- Base building (framing).
- Crating heads for shipping.
- Ruging (latest commercial methods used).
- Building stretching tables.
- How to build tanning equipment needed to operate
your own tannery, (staking machine, tumblers,
wet wheels, hide sanders).
- Proper way to set up your shaver.
- Business course is now taught throughout the
course (shop contracts, shop layout, advertising,
insurance, taxes, determining shop overhead, pricing,
phone presentation, determining tools & supplies
needed, shop location (zoning), determining shop
size, employing personnel and workers comp.
- Bird mounting.
a. Wrapped method vs. foam bodies. Use of artificial
b. Washing, degreasing & tanning vs. Boraxing.
c. Proper tumbling.
d. Displaying (includes habitat building).
e. Finishing & painting.
- Fish mounting.
a. Carving fish bodies vs. pouring fish bodies
b. Displaying (includes habitat building).
e. Repairing damaged skins.
d. Artificial reproduction vs. skin mounts.
e. Painting (all fish are painted using Aztek
double action airbrushes with polytranspar water
- Teaching students how to score for Boone &
- Catalog inventory (students will order and receive
approximately 15 supply catalogs and organize
to buy best forms & supplies available).
- Students are required to pour at least one foam
- Advanced Habitat Class - Conducted during the final (eighth) week of
the Commercial Taxidermy Class).
To teach the basic taxidermy skills
necessary to become proficient at commercial
taxidermy, tanning, and habitat.
To allow the student to develop
these skills through mounting, tanning, mold
making, and basic habitat planning.
To allow the student time to proceed
at his own pace with close personal supervision.
To expose student to necessary
business skills and procedures vital to a successful
commercial taxidermy operation.
Monday - Friday
and occasional Saturdays
- 8:00 a.m.
- 12:00 p.m.
- 1:00 p.m.
- 5:00 p.m.
is open to students Monday and Tuesday nights from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Students can take all or any portions of the course at anytime. Most students take the full course, but part-time students are welcome.
Partial classes are priced higher to encourage full course enrollment.
|Big Game Course
|Advanced Habitat Course
|Tanning Course (if taken separately)