Montana School of Taxidermy and Tanning
You are invited to attend a new innovative course
on advanced habitat techniques unlike anything available anywhere
today. Many former taxidermy students have specifically requested
more instruction on habitat, but until now we have been unable
to offer much more than the basics. We now can provide a full course of instruction that will enable
you to immediately improve the design and composition of your
Each student will complete a minimum of 3 habitats
In this course you will learn the secrets of
creating museum quality habitat using techniques and materials
that will impress your clients and dramatically increase your
profits. The course is divided into an appropriate mix of
lecture, demonstration and hands-on application that will
leave you motivated to go home and turn your new-found skills
into cash. No matter what size your shop is and what part
of the country you are located in, there are clients out there
ready to pay for something that sets your work apart from
During this course, you will actually make a
mold of a natural rock that you will than pour and paint to
produce an exact copy of the original. You will learn through
actual hands-on instruction how to create a realistic rock
from artificial materials. Then you will learn how to vary
the mixture formulas and paint application to make any type
of rock from granite to slate to glacial boulders and more. We added the latest habitat craze to our curriculum: how to mold and make a rock panel.
All aspects of base design and construction
will be demonstrated to include floor mounts, wall mounts,
water scenes, snow and ice, building wall mounted limbs and
much more. During the demonstration of the class, we will
cover composition, use of negative space, color, and artistic
license in designing your habitats. This is not another one
of those theory based courses where you come away wondering
what the instructor was talking about. You should come ready
to get your hands dirty and have fun. Look at the course curriculum
and you can immediately see where this class can make you
a better taxidermist and increase your profits.
We expect this class to fill quickly each time
it is offered, so make plans to attend now!
- Importance of good habitat:
A discussion on how being able to offer your clients better,
more realistic, custom habitats will give you an edge
over your competitors.
- Increased profit from habitat:
Proof that good habitat will not only increase your earnings,
but also significantly increase your profit. There is
actually much more profit in habitat than there is in
- Course Objectives
- Basic molding techniques:
Demo and hands-on instruction on how to build a reusable
mold to produce exact copies of real rocks to add to your
- Materials and tools:
A complete discussion of all tools needed to produce everything
demonstrated during the course. Students will be given
a comprehensive list of sources for all tools and materials.
- Making realistic artificial rocks:
Demo and hands-on. Learn a simple technique to make extremely
realistic rocks from readily available materials. This
technique will allow you to produce rocks in any size
from tiny individual stones to auditorium filling mountain
- Water features:
Demonstration of various methods of creating artificial
water scenes using plexiglass and resins. Also splash
effects and discussion on use of real water in habitat
- Snow and ice:
Demonstration of a variety of techniques to produce beautiful
snow and ice scenes. All the traditional methods plus
a new technique developed by Tony Ward, which will revolutionize
the look of your snow scenes.
Proper use of grasses, bushes, foliage, moss, ferns, etc.
to create specific looks for the species you are mounting.
- Ground cover:
No more bare dirt habitats for your clients! Learn what
works for realistic ground cover, how to obtain it and
how to make it stick to your bases.
- Constructing trees and limbs:
Tired of looking for that perfect limb to fit your favorite
manikin? Learn how to custom-build extremely realistic
limbs using a combination of natural and man-made materials
that will blow your competition away. This same technique
has been used to make whole artificial trees for large
dioramas as huge profits.
- Buying natural habitat:
A comprehensive list of great sources for companies offering
(often at wholesale) a huge variety of hard to find silk
plants, dried natural plants, cactus, leaf stems, evergreens,
- Use of artificial vs. natural habitat:
Demo and hands-on. Learn when it is most appropriate to
use each type of element to create your scenes.
- Collecting references:
Good references are just as critical to produce good habitats
as they are to producing lifelike mounts.
Various methods of pricing will be discussed. Everything
from a basic mash scene for a duck to museum style dioramas
will be covered.
Learn how to get clients to come to you ready to pay your
price because of the unique product you can offer to enhance
their mount. Also learn about the virtually untapped market
of creating new, dynamic habitats for previously mounted
- Rock Panel:
Demo how to make and pour a new rock panel.
- Dealing with Clients
- Understanding clients' limitations:
Discussion on learning to read clients and establish boundaries
for budgets and size/space constraints unique to each
client. USing this information, you can tailor your approach
to each client to fit his individual needs and maximize
- Future planning:
Knowing your client's future plans and hunting goals is
essential to effectively plan the use of available space.
During too large a project today could cost you lost profits
on future work if space and money are a consideration
(and they always are).
- Transportation and delivery:
How to get the finished piece to the client.
- Installing oversized habitats:
Anything larger than the clients door must be built in
pieces and installed on site. We'll show you how.
- On-site visits:
A discussion of when it is appropriate to visit the client's
home before starting larger projects.