frequently asked questions...

 

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(disclaimer: you know the drill.  we�ve gone over this document a couple of dozen times, but we�re human.  if we�ve made a mistake, we apologize.  the information in this site is subject to change (especially correction) without notice.  if there�s something confusing that�s really frustrating your brainwaves, don�t hesitate to call or email.  we�ll explain ourselves as best we can.  cstamper@taxidermy-schools.com   monday-friday, 9-5   have a great day!)


table of contents

  1. i can't draw.  am i artistic enough to be a taxidermist?
  2. what about airbrushing?  isn't that supposed to be really hard to do?
  3. can i make money in taxidermy?
  4. is federal funding available?
  5. is the deposit fee applied toward tuition, or is it a separate expense?
  6. is student housing available?
  7. how are students graded?
  8. after that...the fine print, information regarding program curriculum, objectives, attendance, conduct, admission, etc. 

i can't draw.  am i artistic enough to be a taxidermist?

yes, you are.  it is our experience that to be interested in the field of taxidermy demonstrates a level of ability that you may not be aware of.  if you notice detail...  if you love the outdoors...  if you "used to be" artistic...  if you drew as a child...these are all signs that your ability is latent, or currently unused, but available and anxious to be developed.  wanting to learn taxidermy is your best clue that you will, indeed, be able to practice taxidermy.

as important as ability, is experience.  avid hunters, trappers, photographers, fishermen have been accidentally training themselves to notice and replicate detail.  the detail is what makes a mount "look alive".  the detail is what makes your work authentic.  and just as bank tellers are trained to detect counterfeit money by the exclusive handling of good money, you, too, will find that knowing what "looks right" in your work will have come by experience of having known and handled wildlife in nature.  this is really good news for those of you who remain avid hunters, trappers, photographers, fishermen.  you will "need"/"have to"/"it's-for-my-job" continue being around nature to keep your vision fresh.  not a bad assignment or requirement for most of us!

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what about airbrushing?  isn't that supposed to be really hard to do?

i am a self-taught airbrusher, and have been airbrushing for 21 years.  the airbrush is an extraordinary tool, but it is only a tool.  so, if you have ever taught yourself anything or learned anything, learned to use any tool that you were previously unfamiliar with, if you have ever stuck with something until you understood it, you'll be fine.  the airbrush is a tool, and it will do what you want it to do. 

there are fades and subtle colorations that can be achieved with an airbrush that can be achieved no other way.  the airbrush, and the confidence and ability to use it will give you an enormous advantage in the field of taxidermy, as most taxidermists, self-trained or professionally-taught, have kept their distance from the airbrush.  we will introduce you to a single-action airbrush and you will have it in your tool-kit the day you arrive.  pick it up.  fool with it.  practice.  don't save your "airbrush time" for when you need something to look great.  work past the catastrophes just playing around with it.  yes!  catastrophes will happen!  catastrophes are great, for when you get home.  have several catastrophes, here, where i can walk you through fixing them, so you'll know what to do when you're alone with your airbrush. 

every minute that you acquaint yourself with the handling of the airbrush while you are here will take the fear out of it.  and not being afraid of it will allow you to quickly develop confidence and skill.

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can i make money in taxidermy ?

you mean you aren't in this for the benefit of all mankind?!

yes.  it has been our experience that if you hang up a sign, "they will come".  in very short order, you are likely to have all the work you feel comfortable taking on. 

profit margins on taxidermy work generally run 50% to 75%.  that is, you can plan on your tanning costs, supply costs, form costs, etc. to be 1/4 to 1/2 of your retail price.  your time and overhead come out of the profit. 

starting out in your garage cuts out a bunch of the overhead, and will allow you to make more per piece.  starting in a storefront gives you more exposure, but cuts your profit margin dramatically, and you will have to turn more work to take in the same amount of money.

starting in your garage means you can't set up your space as efficiently as you may want to.  starting in a storefront may allow you to have better-developed and dedicated space and more efficient turn times.

bottom line--no matter how you start, the profit margins are there, and the demand for services is there. 

employment and salary expectations

search of the economic development website, the national occupation outlook handbook, and the labor & industrial relations website turned up zero information on taxidermy-related items. the following is compiled from the u.s. fish and wildlife sources, from 15 different state department of natural resources, from the breakthrough business management manual, and from the websites of the outdoor channel, from taxidermy.net, from state taxidermists associations, from existing taxidermy school sites in other states, and from huntingnet.com. these figures represent, regionally, the students with which we work the most frequently.

taxidermy money potential state by state:

the most recent available national survey of fishing, hunting, and wild-life associated recreation (2006) published by the us. fish and wildlife service is an exhaustive report on the breakdown of hunters and fishermen and hunters vs fishermen. this 166-page report summarizes the activity and preferred game of individual hunters. it tracks their time and money spent on hunting trips, on guide fees, on land use fees, on equipment rental, on guns and rifles, on bows and arrows and archery, on decoys and telescopic sights, on ammo and handloading equipment, on hunting dogs, on camping equipment, on field glasses, on specialized hunting clothing, on hunt memberships, on magazines and books, and on processing and taxidermy.

according to the national survey of fishing, hunting, and wildlife associated recreation, most hunters� annual incomes in the $40,000-and-up range. the majority of hunters have graduated from high school and have spent 1-3 years in college. they are 25-64 years old, suggesting along with the financial information and education information, a very stable group of individuals. they love to hunt. they can afford to hunt. the anglers among them spend an average of $225 annually on �processing and taxidermy�.  (p.s.  there�s not much �processing on fish!  i�ll bet a lot of that is taxidermy!)  hunters average spent annually on �processing/taxidermy� is a little higher.   big-game hunters are said to spend an average of $312.  we�ll have to admit that a processing can be admitted to be a chunk of that.  however, �small-game hunters� and �migratory bird hunters� are said to spend an average $703 and $326 respectively.  it�s hard to imagine any processor being over-run with requests for bobcat and merganser processing.  the point, i believe, in polling these hunters and fisherman, is in interpreting the state departments numbers to say that the traditional sports are alive and well, and taxidermy money is there to be made.   

the table to the right here, uses statistics gleaned from the various state department of natural resources for the states that we work with the most often. applying the average ($225, $312, $703, $326) of $391 apiece, it is readily apparent how many taxidermy dollars are available in these states. these figures are backed up by anecdotal evidence, as we have had dozens of conversations with people from all over the united states, who confirm that their local taxidermist is 12 months to 24 months behind in his work load. there is more taxidermy work available than there are currently taxidermists to do the work.

outdoor channel  was launched in 1994 and currently has a subscriber rate of 30.3 million. the outdoor channel supplies 24-hour programming for hunting, fishing, and shooting sports exposure to the idea of hunting out-of-state and out-of-country has "normal" people hunting abroad. e-mail connects men and women interested in "trading" hunts. local hunters are returning from africa, from argentina, from russia, from ireland, from spain. taxidermy supply houses have become inundated with requests for supplies for "exotic" game, that is, game not available in north america. hunting is growing, and with the number of men and women enthusiastic about this traditional sport, comes the dollars spent in the field of taxidermy.

year

state

# of hunters or fishermen

processing/taxidermy $�s per hunter

taxidermy/processing $�s annually per state

2006

arkansas

551,000

$391

$215,441,000

2006

colorado

593,000

$391

$231,863,000

2006

florida

2,004,000

$391

$783,564,000

2006

illinois

1,109,000

$391

$433,619,000

2006

iowa

518,000

$391

$202,538,000

2006

kansas

425,000

$391

$166,175,000

2006

kentucky

670,000

$391

$261,970,000

2006

maine

266,000

$391

$104,006,000

2006

missouri

1,096,000

$391

$428,536,000

2006

north carolina

1,038,000

$391

$405,858,000

2006

ohio

1,488,000

$391

$581,808,000

2006

oklahoma

602,000

$391

$235,382,000

2006

south carolina

595,000

$391

$232,645,000

2006

tennessee

775,000

$391

$303,025,000

 

self-employment potential:

most people that we talk to that are considering training are looking to set up a small business, often part-time. very rarely, is a person looking to learn taxidermy to get hired on at a taxidermy studio. only in very major studios is there ever an opening for a trained person. the more likely opening would be for an untrained person, who the owner can train in his own methods, and who would not necessarily teach the employee the big picture/whole process of taxidermy, ensuring that the studio owner is not training someone who will set himself up in competition with the owner.

most taxidermists will be self-employed. they will be responsible for building a business that can sustain them in a satisfactory manner. the more work he attracts, and the better he utilizes his time and techniques, the more profitably he can return work to happy customers.

in a breakdown of a taxidermist�s actual costs vs profit, we can use the whitetail shoulder mount as an example. the median price range for a whitetail shoulder mount is $400. the cost to have a cape professionally tanned is approximately $50. the form that the hide is placed on costs $60. eyes and ears are about $30. hide paste, thread, etc. can be counted for a few dollars. it is generally accepted that the taxidermist�s cost in a whitetail shoulder mount is approximately $125-150.   according to the breakthrough business management manual for taxidermists, the time involved in mounting a whitetail shoulder mount is approximately 4 hours.  we know taxidermists who spend 40 hours on a deer head.   we are somewhere in between.  we calculate that a deer head takes us 8-20 hours.  at any rate, after actual expenses, there is left approximately $250-275 out of the original price of the whitetail shoulder mount to cover a taxidermist�s overhead, labor, and profit.  most taxidermy services utilize this ratio. the finished piece is estimated at twice the cost of supplies. this serves as a minimum or base price. geographically, the further west and north a hunter is hunting, the more he expects to pay for taxidermy work. prices in northwestern missouri for the same whitetail shoulder mount are approximately $500. in montana, colorado, and wyoming, the price would be closer to $650 and $700.

this demonstrates how very few deer a taxidermist would have to take in and complete to make it worth his time to begin doing taxidermy part-time. in addition to training costs, his cost to set up a small business in his home or garage is less than $4,500. this would pay for a fully-outfitted shop, and he would be ready to take in taxidermy work from birds to deer to bears.

but what kind of salary can i make?

there are so many variables involved in a beginning a taxidermy business that we would be irresponsible to quote you estimated annual salaries.  probably by now, you've considered that the one determining factor in your success is the realization that to have a job as a taxidermist, you're going to have to create that job.  most taxidermists do not hire help, so if you want a job in taxidermy, it will be because you have taken steps to become self-employed as a taxidermist. 

this being self-employed is where the variables start.  the steps to become self-employed involve training, advertising, rent, utilities, licenses, and forms and supplies.  these (many) variables will vary from state to state and from location to location within a state. 

we encourage you, if you are considering the field of taxidermy, to first establish that there is a need for it in your area.  you can do this easily, by inquiring about the turn-around times of local taxidermists (or easier yet, if there are no taxidermists in your area at all, you don't have to compare turn-around times and prices!  if there are no taxidermists around for miles and miles, you've got a great market opening).  most of us taxidermy shops feel uncomfortable with a turn-around time of anything over a year.  if you have taxidermists in your area that have a backlog of 2 years' work, you know that there is room for another taxidermist in your area.  obtain pricelists from local taxidermists and compare.  figure out what a median price list for your potential shop would look like, and then find out what rent/utilities/licenses etc will be required for your shop.  if you have a great location on a well-traveled road and a shop building already built, this would help your figuring a lot.  if you don't live anywhere near civilization, you will need to consider that you will have to advertise extensively and/or invest in signs or rent a building closer to where people can find you. 

your profit/loss per animal will have to pay for whatever overhead you determine that you need and it will need to provide a working wage for you.  this profit will depend on the number of animals brought to you.  your success will depend on people finding you and bringing you lots of work.  that will be followed by you turning out terrific work in a reasonable time-frame, and that will encourage more and more people to use you and recommend your services.  we usually tell students that they will know by their 3rd deer season whether or not their shop can thrive in the location that they have chosen.   we encourage students to not begin a taxidermy business full-time.  we encourage students to "try it out", and then to let it ripen into the business that it will be. 

taxidermy is a perfect thing to start part-time.  it is largely seasonal work, and it can be done late at night after your other responsibilities.  it can be worked in around your current obligations, and if there is not too much pressure to begin with, many shops grow to be what their owners had hoped for.  the frustration of having to "make it" right away is not an easy way to begin a career in taxidermy.  you will have enough going on trying to make the taxidermy techniques a natural-feeling instinct and learning how to organize your shop and paperwork.  it is difficult enough to remember everything without having the added pressure of worrying about the number of calls you get in a day and if you can make that month's rent. 

the equation to determine if you can begin a business and be profitable is affected by so many variables that vary from state to state, that it will be a matter of personal determination whether or not it would be a wise decision to open a shop in your area.  if you can manage to do it without much risk, ie if you have a building and a good location and a lot of friends who hunt and a good reputation in the community and a job that will tide you over for a couple of years, it is a no-brainer to try it.  your risk/reward ratio in a situation like this is stacked very much in your favor.  you have very little to lose and a lot to gain by giving it a try.  the cost of learning taxidermy is very little compared to other careers and the cost to set up supplies in a shop afterwards is minimal.  for around $3500, you can equip your (pre-existing) shop with equipment to handle most anything a customer would bring you.  compared to most endeavors, taxidermy is fairly inexpensive to set up, especially if you have a good location/building already. 

the table below gives a good idea of what you will need.  some of this stuff you will already have.  some of this stuff, there�s no way you�ll have it, because no one outside of the industry would have any inkling of what to do with these interesting pieces.  those, you�ll want to get a hold of, for sure.  tip:  buy working freezers that are old or used.  pick up freezers second-hand or at garage sales.  sometimes these kinds of freezers are free to anyone who will haul them off.  the ones all the ladies are trying to get rid of because they don�t like to defrost them are the ones you want.  the newer, more expensive, �frost-free� freezers are the kind that will freezer burn your capes. 

suggested equipment list and sourcing information for a full-service taxidermy shop

equipment item

 where priced

approx price

bird flesher van dykes $240
turkey flesher van dykes $260
2 mounting stands van dykes $260
bird tumbler van dykes $800-950
shaver with table (optional) van dykes $1000
fleshing beam (optional) van dykes $100
necker knife (optional) van dykes $100
band saw lowes $250
grinder lowes $50
dremel lowes $100
rechargeable drill lowes $70
chop saw lowes $250
reciprocating saw lowes $250
chest freezer lowes $350
air stapler, 1/2" crown sears $100
license, 1 year missouri missouri dept conservation $30
license, 3 years, federal fed fish wildlife service $100
     
approx cost full service shop with optional in-house tanning   $4,460

please note that these listed above are equipment estimates only.  this list does not include any forms or consumables (paints, glues, maches, epoxies).  .  consumables/forms are traditionally purchased with deposit money when a customer drops off work.  this allows the taxidermist to manage cash flow, and to use just-in-time inventory control. 

 

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is federal funding available?

no, not at this time.  most federal funding is available only for degree programs.  we don�t offer a degree program, and we are, by definition, a  �proprietary� school.  that means we�re a private school, basically, certified to operate by the missouri department of higher education, our governing board.  in addition to these credentials, we could decide to pursue �accreditation�.  being accredited would help with some of the federal programs, and sometimes we consider it, as a convenience to students.  however, it would not improve the quality of our school, as we already employ only college-trained, state-certified teachers, and have a professionally developed and maintained curriculum.  for now, we choose to offer the express course as a high-quality, time-effective, and cost-effective avenue for learning taxidermy.    see below for information on state

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is the deposit fee applied toward tuition, or is it a separate fee?

your deposit is, indeed, applied toward tuition.  we use the deposit fee as a scheduling aid.  when enrollment reaches a comfortable size, we limit enrollment based on whose money was sent in first to secure a seat in that particular class.   to complete "enrollment", fill out the registration form on the front of this packet, indicating which class you are interested in and signing all appropriate blanks.  mail completed registration form and deposit fee to:  missouri taxidermy institute, po box 48, linn creek, mo  65052.  a receipt and a copy of your signed enrollment form will be returned to you confirming your seat in that class.

if you want/have to withdraw from enrollment in a class, we honor the following cancellation/deposit refund policy:   we provide a minimum of three days, excluding saturday, sunday, and holidays, during which a student may cancel their enrollment and receive a refund of all deposit money paid.   in addition, f you are unable to come to the class that you have reserved, you can cancel anytime up to 6 weeks before class, and your deposit will be refunded.   if you cancel within 6 weeks of the class start date, your deposit may be refunded at the discretion of the school. (which means, we understand that "life happens".  if you get in a bind, just let us know as soon as possible! we'll do what we can to help.  if you can't make it and you let us know, it allows us to notify our waiting list, which really helps everybody.  on a less friendly note, if you don't show up and you haven't called and made arrangements, we are unable to issue a refund. )

 

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is student housing available?

no.  at this time, we encourage you to take advantage of the hundreds of rooms available in this area.  many are lakeside resorts.  some are motels in town.  if you don't relish the adventure of looking through what is available, you're welcome to e-mail us.  we have a few motels in town that sometimes have extra room, and we can give you those phone numbers.

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how are students graded?

a "certificate of satisfactory completion" is available upon.....satisfactory completion. :)  we grade primarily on attendance, attention, and final-product.  your success in this field will be determined more by the work you turn out, here at school and back at home, than by the certificate hanging on the wall.  so, our primary objective is on-going evaluation and continual improvement of that final product.  each specimen section will require a demonstration of your understanding of what makes a good mount, technically and artistically.  for more specific information, you're welcome to consult the "completion requirements" for each section below.

your customers will be your next teachers, as they bring you specimens to mount that you've never done before (no matter how long you've done this, there's always something you haven't done before!).  and as they are satisfied or dis-satisfied with your work.  you'll never quit learning.  new animals.  new methods.  new problems.  new solutions.  it's an exciting life.

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additional information:

the official name of our school is:  missouri taxidermy institute. 
our physical address is :  4043 east hwy 54, linn creek, mo  65052. 
our mailing address is:  p.o. box 48, linn creek, mo  65052. 
our phone number is:  573-346-6871. 
our fax number is:  i hate fax machines, so we don't have one. 
our e-mail address is:  cstamper@taxidermy-schools.com 
our website (you're probably going to know this one) is:  http://www.taxidermy-schools.com  

the objective of missouri taxidermy institute is:  just what you read on the homepage.  we truly do believe that taxidermy is successful to the degree that a finished mount "looks alive".  this flies in the face of both science and art, as some technically perfect mounts never do have that "sparkle", while some imperfect mounts manage to capture the personality of the animal.  and everyone gets to that finish point a different way.  we give you the methods, and let you make them your own.  there are parameters of technique that have to be followed, but the artistic part of it can be interpreted so many different ways.  we welcome your individual interpretations.  we want the finished mounts that you take home to be as beautiful to you as they can be.  being artist-type people, you will likely not ever be completely satisfied with your own work.  this is normal, and necessary, not only for your own continued improvement of your work, but also for the mental and creative challenge that it involves.  this is what makes taxidermy fun.  this is what makes taxidermy a life-long interest, because your brain will never let you sit on your laurels.  your brain will wonder and fiddle and re-arrange, and you will fall asleep at night thinking about this stuff, and wake up in the morning thinking about this stuff. 

very specifically, our objective is that you:

develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of waterfowl taxidermy and upland game bird taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of one or more water fowl mounts and one or more upland game birds,

develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of game  head taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of one or more game heads,

develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of life-sized taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of one or more life-sized mounts,

develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of cold-water fish taxidermy and warm-water fish taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of one or more cold-water fish mounts and one or more warm-water fish mounts,

develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of base work and habitat taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of appropriate bases for birds, life-sized, and fish mounts.

we offer two programs.  we offer the taxidermy express(4-week class) and the taxidermy traditional(8-week class).

the taxidermy express is: a 4-week class.  you will be able to tell when you've successfully completed this course because you will own 7 mounts that didn't exist before you came.  you will take home a finished pheasant, a finished mallard, a finished whitetail shoulder mount, a finished life-sized mammal, a finished cold-water fish, a finished warm-water fish, a leather-wrapped antler plaque.  unusual in the taxidermy-training world, we offer you comprehensive training in the least amount of time possible.  in this 4-week class, you will be introduced to bird taxidermy, game head (shoulder mount) taxidermy, life-sized mammal taxidermy, fish taxidermy, skinning, salting, tanning, business and license requirements, and bases/habitat.

after the "introduction", you will do it yourself.  this is no "watch a filmip of it" school.  we show you.  then you do it.  we skin a bird and explain what we're doing, and why, and you take notes.  next thing you know, you're facing a naked bird yourself.  we flesh a bird.  you flesh a bird.  we tan a bird.  you tan a bird.  we wire a bird.  you wire a bird.  you get the drift.  you can't learn it all by watching, and you can't learn it all by muddling through it with no direction.  this is the show-me state!  it works great as a motto in learning taxidermy.

you will spend approximately 160 hours in this course.  we hold class from 9-5 (ish), monday - friday.  this class moves pretty quickly and we have a brisk schedule to keep to.  we stay late some evenings catching up.  it's more important to us that you understand what you're doing, and that you get it done to your satisfaction, than it is that we all go home exactly at 5 every evening.  so, 160 hours is the minimum amount of time you'll be working, but then, that's what you're here to do, right? :)

of this 160 hours, approximately 25% (or 40 hours minimum) will be spent with you taking notes while we demonstrate techniques.  the other 75% (or 120 hours minimum) will be spent with you "doing what we did".  we mingle and comment and help and sit down and show you again, if you need it.  we tell you you're on the right track, if you are.  this adventure is supervised, and the atmosphere is that of a one-room schoolhouse.  if your pheasant is going terrifically well, but someone else's pheasant's head falls off, you reap the benefit of this tragedy by being there and watching while we show you how to put everything back together.  we want you to make mistakes here, because taxidermy (and life) is best described by being able to fix what goes wrong, and if you're not trying new things, and making mistakes, you're not risking enough to achieve what you really want.

the mounts that you take home will reflect the care you took while you worked on them.  they are your advertising.  they are your diploma.  people will look at this work and decide whether or not they want you to work on their stuff.  with this in mind, we take care to point out weak areas in your work and teach you to find the weaknesses, too.  we want you to go home with finished mounts that are as good as they can be.  we want you to succeed.  we want you to feel comfortable going on, and trying new things.  we do not measure your progress.  we do not judge your work.  we do not assign letter grades to your mounts.  we will not spring our judgment on your work at the end of this class.  this class is about the evolution of your experience toward a finished mount that satisfies you.  this class is about you getting better and better as you gain experience with taxidermy techniques and as you learn to exercise your artistic vision. your judgment of your own work will always be more harsh than ours will be, because we know, from experience ourselves, and from experience with other students, that this class awakens your potential, and that you will have the pleasure of fulfilling that potential with each new challenge that your customer brings you.

in that vein, there is no certificate given for people who do not come.  (yes, we actually have to mention this--that we do not offer a certificate to people who do not come and take this course).  there is no way to learn taxidermy but by doing it.  your certificate proves you were here, but your work proves what you learned.

as for the "consequences for failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress, including probation, suspension, or termination":  umm,  don't come, if you don't want to learn and work hard and enjoy seeing a dream come together on your desktop.  it takes hard work and practice to turn what your mind sees into something that exists in the physical world.  it is a miracle, when you think about it, that your mind can direct your hands, even clumsily at first, to bring into existence an idea that no one else has.  your mind tells your hands what it wants done, and by keeping after it, through learning new motions and techniques, you can actually change the world.  if you didn't think it, and you didn't follow through and do it, a lot of beauty would be sacrificed.  we appreciate the hard work that it takes to learn to translate the beauty you've seen and imagined and remembered into a tangible keepsake that inspires others to enjoy their own memories.  therefore, we enjoy, thoroughly enjoy, working with motivated individuals.  motivation and "want-to" can get you past limitations you may have endured your whole life.  if you really want to learn taxidermy, you can.  and we will help you.   there will be no "failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress" if this is what you truly want to do.  if this is your dream, and you are here everyday, working on making that dream come true in whatever fashion you envision it, we will not probate, suspend, or terminate you.

when would we probate, suspend, or terminate?  we will not tolerate disruptive, abusive, or harassing behavior toward other students or staff, cheating, drinking or drug/use during school hours.  we reserve the right to protect our students and staff  from you if you indulge in these immature, senseless, or violent activities.  one written warning will be issued for any behavior in class that is disruptive/abusive/harassing behavior.  an additional disruptive/abusive/harassing behavior will result in dismissal.

course title: birds

program link: taxidermy express, taxidermy traditional

instructor: alvin (chip) stamper, assisted by melvin shrauger

objectives: to develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of waterfowl taxidermy and upland game bird taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of one or more water fowl mounts and one or more upland game birds

admission requirements: minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal-to-excellent manual dexterity, normal-to-excellent vision, hearing, communication skills, normal-to-excellent strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn.  (a sense of humor is not required, but recommended.)

teaching methodologies: course is taught by demonstration of each point of course content (25% of course time) and then supervised student work to complete mount and to demonstrate an applied understanding of techniques

course content:

migratory waterfowl regulations, licensing, tagging, record-keeping
business practices, pricing, and cost factors
skinning of waterfowl and skinning of upland game birds
use of artificial head vs real head
ordering and airbrushing of artificial head
fleshing and cleaning of waterfowl and upland game birds
degreasing methods for waterfowl and upland game birds
repair of skins
tanning of skins
consult and collection of reference photos
determination of realistic poses and feather patterns and environmental habitat
ordering, altering, fitting of form
mounting and wiring of waterfowl and upland game birds
eye selection and setting
feather setting
maintenance of waterfowl and upland game birds during drying period
airbrushing of feet
final base and habitat work for waterfowl and upland game birds

completion requirements: grade: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished waterfowl and upland bird mounts.  finished bird mounts will demonstrate a practical understanding of all aspects of waterfowl taxidermy and upland game bird taxidermy. successful mounts will be clean and free of grease or tumbling substance, will be properly preserved, will have a life-like pose, correct anatomical construction, an appropriately guaged wire armature support, correct eye placement, correct feather placement, correct epoxy-and-paint application, and a marketable habitat base.

performance: successful technical completion of at least one waterfowl mount and one upland game bird

# of hours: course is scheduled for 40 actual hours.

attendance: presence in class is required for successful completion of waterfowl and upland game bird mount.  a written warning will be issued if you have missed a total of three hours of instructional/work time in a 4-week session (or 6 hours in an 8-week session) without having notified staff a qualifying situation. missing more than 4 hours of class in a 4-week session, or 8 hours of class in an 8-week session is grounds for dismissal.  (absences are excused for illness, family illness, death in the family, legal issues.)  you're going to have to be here to get all this stuff done.   if your attendance is spotty, your work will suffer, and we will  not hold the class back waiting for you to catch up.  we're all adults here, so we're not going to follow you around suggesting that you attend.  if you pay for class, we assume that you want to learn, and if you turn up and do the work, we're totally involved in helping you make it.

course equivalency: n/a

course title: game heads

program link: taxidermy express, taxidermy traditional

instructor: alvin (chip) stamper, assisted by melvin shrauger

objectives: to develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of game head taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of one or more game heads

admission requirements: minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal-to-excellent manual dexterity, normal-to-excellent vision, hearing, communication skills, normal-to-excellent strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn.  (a sense of humor is not required, but recommended.)

teaching methodologies: course is taught by demonstration of each point of course content (25% of course time) and then supervised student work to complete mount and to demonstrate an applied understanding of techniques

course content:

game head check-in, tagging, record-keeping
business practices, pricing, and cost factors
discussion of differences and similarities in game heads
measuring and recording of measurements of game head
skinning and caping of game head
removal of horns from skull, tagging, and salting. antler plaques.
fleshing and salting and drying of game head cape to prepare to send to tannery or auto-tan
auto-tan vs commercial tannery: discussion of costs and effectiveness
re-hydrating and measuring of tanned capes to order properly-fitting form
thinning of tanned capes, removal of ear cartilage, repair of holes
mounting of horns on form
ear setting
eye setting
altering of form and test-fitting of cape
mounting of game head
consult and collection of reference photos
determination of realistic poses
maintenance of game head during drying period
epoxy  work on eyes
airbrushing of eyes, nose, chin

completion requirements: grade: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished waterfowl and upland bird mounts.  finished bird mounts will demonstrate a practical understanding of all aspects of waterfowl taxidermy and upland game bird taxidermy. successful mounts will be clean and free of grease or tumbling substance, will be properly preserved, will have a life-like pose, correct anatomical construction, an appropriately guaged wire armature support, correct eye placement, correct ear placement, appropriate grooming, correct epoxy-and-paint application, and a marketable habitat base. 

performance: successful technical completion of at least one gamehead and one leather-wrapped antler plaque

# of hours: course is scheduled for 40 actual hours.

attendance: presence in class is required for successful completion of gamehead mount.  a written warning will be issued if you have missed a total of three hours of instructional/work time in a 4-week session (or 6 hours in an 8-week session) without having notified staff a qualifying situation. missing more than 4 hours of class in a 4-week session, or 8 hours of class in an 8-week session is grounds for dismissal.  (absences are excused for illness, family illness, death in the family, legal issues.)  you're going to have to be here to get all this stuff done.   if your attendance is spotty, your work will suffer, and we will  not hold the class back waiting for you to catch up.  we're all adults here, so we're not going to follow you around suggesting that you attend.  if you pay for class, we assume that you want to learn, and if you turn up and do the work, we're totally involved in helping you make it.

course equivalency: n/a

course title: life-sized

program link: taxidermy express, taxidermy traditional

instructor: alvin (chip) stamper, assisted by melvin shrauger

objectives: to develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of life-sized taxidermy, and to demonstrate thatunderstanding by the successful technical completion of one or more life-sized mounts

admission requirements: minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal-to-excellent manual dexterity, normal-to-excellent vision, hearing, communication skills, normal-to-excellent strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn.  (a sense of humor is not required, but recommended.)

teaching methodologies: course is taught by demonstration of each point of course content (25% of course time) and then supervised student work to complete mount and to demonstrate an applied understanding of techniques

course content:

life-sized check-in, tagging, record-keeping
business practices, pricing, and cost factors
discussion of differences and similarities in life-sized
measuring and recording of measurements of life-sized
skinning and caping of life-sized
fleshing and salting and drying of life-sized hide to prepare to send to tannery or to auto-tan
auto-tanning vs commercial tannery: discussion of costs and effectiveness
re-hydrating and measuring of tanned hides to order properly-fitting form
thinning of tanned hides, removal of ear cartilage, repair of holes
ear construction and application of ear position to determine aggressiveness of mount
eye setting
altering of form and test-fitting of hide
mounting of life-sized
consult and collection of reference photos for realistic poses and appropriate environmental habitat
determination of realistic poses
maintenance of life-sized during drying period
epoxy work on eyes
airbrushing of eyes, nose, chin
finish and base work

completion requirements: grade: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished life-sized mounts.  finished life-sized mounts will demonstrate a practical understanding of all aspects of life-sized taxidermy. successful mounts will be clean and free of grease or tumbling substance, will be properly preserved, will have a life-like pose, correct anatomical construction, an appropriately guaged wire armature support, correct eye placement, correct ear placement, correct epoxy-and-paint application, a marketable habitat base, and be appropriately groomed..

performance: successful technical completion of at least one life-sized

# of hours: course is scheduled for 20 actual hours.

attendance: presence in class is required for successful completion of life-sized mount.  a written warning will be issued if you have missed a total of three hours of instructional/work time in a 4-week session (or 6 hours in an 8-week session) without having notified staff a qualifying situation. missing more than 4 hours of class in a 4-week session, or 8 hours of class in an 8-week session is grounds for dismissal.  (absences are excused for illness, family illness, death in the family, legal issues.)  you're going to have to be here to get all this stuff done.   if your attendance is spotty, your work will suffer, and we will  not hold the class back waiting for you to catch up.  we're all adults here, so we're not going to follow you around suggesting that you attend.  if you pay for class, we assume that you want to learn, and if you turn up and do the work, we're totally involved in helping you make it.

course equivalency: n/a

course title: fish

program link: taxidermy express, taxidermy traditional

instructor: alvin (chip) stamper, assisted by melvin shrauger

objectives: to develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of cold-water fish taxidermy and warm-water fish taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of one or more cold-water fish mounts and one or more warm-water fish mounts

admission requirements: minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal-to-excellent manual dexterity, normal-to-excellent vision, hearing, communication skills, normal-to-excellent strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn.  (a sense of humor is not required, but recommended.)

teaching methodologies: course is taught by demonstration of each point of course content (25% of course time) and then supervised student work to complete mount and to demonstrate an applied understanding of techniques

course content:

fish check-in, tagging, record-keeping
business practices, pricing, and cost factors
discussion of differences and similarities in warm-water fish and cold-water fish
measuring and recording of measurements of fish
skinning of fish
discussion of appropriate times to use artificial head vs real head
ordering of proper sized head
tanning of fish
consult and collection of reference photos for realistic poses and appropriate environmental habitat
determination of realistic poses
hand-carving of form to allow student the most flexibility in determining fish shape and action
altering of form and test-fitting of fish
mounting of fish
maintenance of life-sized during drying period
eye selection and setting
epoxy work
airbrushing and glossing
finish and base work

completion requirements: grade: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished fish mounts.  finished fish mounts will demonstrate a practical understanding of all aspects of warm water fish taxidermy and cold water fish taxidermy. successful mounts will be clean and free of grease, will be properly preserved, will have a life-like pose, correct anatomical construction, an appropriately guaged wire armature support, correct eye placement, correct fin placement, correct artificial head placement, correct epoxy-and-paint application, and a marketable habitat base. 

performance: successful technical completion of at least one cold-water fish and one warm-water fish

# of hours: course is scheduled for 40 actual hours.

attendance: presence in class is required for successful completion of fish mounts.  a written warning will be issued if you have missed a total of three hours of instructional/work time in a 4-week session (or 6 hours in an 8-week session) without having notified staff a qualifying situation. missing more than 4 hours of class in a 4-week session, or 8 hours of class in an 8-week session is grounds for dismissal.  (absences are excused for illness, family illness, death in the family, legal issues.)  you're going to have to be here to get all this stuff done.   if your attendance is spotty, your work will suffer, and we will  not hold the class back waiting for you to catch up.  we're all adults here, so we're not going to follow you around suggesting that you attend.  if you pay for class, we assume that you want to learn, and if you turn up and do the work, we're totally involved in helping you make it.

course equivalency: n/a

course title: bases

program link: taxidermy express, taxidermy traditional

instructor: alvin (chip) stamper, assisted by melvin shrauger

objectives: to develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of base work and habitat taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by the successful technical completion of appropriate bases for birds, life-sized, and fish mounts

admission requirements: minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal-to-excellent manual dexterity, normal-to-excellent vision, hearing, communication skills, normal-to-excellent strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn.  (a sense of humor is not required, but recommended.)

teaching methodologies: course is taught by demonstration of each point of course content (25% of course time) and then supervised student work to complete mount and to demonstrate an applied understanding of techniques

course content:
business practices, pricing, and cost factors
discussion of varieties of existing supply houses for base components and non-traditional supply and gathering
of existing components readily available in the outdoors
discussion of authentic habitat vs artificial
consult and collection of reference photos for realistic environmental habitat
determination of degree of required realistic habitat to suggest environment
instruction in making small "rocks" for bird and fish habitat and larger "rocks" for life-sized props
instruction in wire/mache supports
instruction in artificial water options
demonstration of various methods of constructing "ice", "snow", "splashes", and "dirt"
construction of table-top platforms to contain various components of habitat
airbrushing of constructed props and diorama settings
finish work

completion requirements: grade: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished base work.  finished animal bases will demonstrate a practical understanding of environmental settings.  successful bases will be of sturdy construction and appropriate to the animal. 

performance: successful technical completion of bases appropriate for birds, life-sized, and fish

# of hours: course is scheduled for 20 actual hours.

attendance: presence in class is required for successful completion of bases.  a written warning will be issued if you have missed a total of three hours of instructional/work time in a 4-week session (or 6 hours in an 8-week session) without having notified staff a qualifying situation. missing more than 4 hours of class in a 4-week session, or 8 hours of class in an 8-week session is grounds for dismissal.  (absences are excused for illness, family illness, death in the family, legal issues.)  you're going to have to be here to get all this stuff done.   if your attendance is spotty, your work will suffer, and we will  not hold the class back waiting for you to catch up.  we're all adults here, so we're not going to follow you around suggesting that you attend.  if you pay for class, we assume that you want to learn, and if you turn up and do the work, we're totally involved in helping you make it.

course equivalency: n/a

program outline form:

program title: taxidermy express

completion award: certificate of completion (sample enclosed)

admission requirements:  minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal-to-excellent manual dexterity, normal-to-excellent vision, hearing, communication skills, normal-to-excellent strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn.  (a sense of humor is not required, but recommended.)

graduation requirements: successful technical completion of at least one waterfowl mount with appropriate base, at least one up-land game bird mount with appropriate base, at least one gamehead mount, at least one life-sized mount with appropriate base, at least one cold-water fish with appropriate base, at least one warm-water fish with appropriate base, and at least one antler plaque.

study equivalency: n/a

minimum residency: 4 weeks, 160 classroom hours

teaching methodologies: 25% classroom instruction by demonstration of expected skills and techniques.

75% supervised student work practicing skills and techniques.

student evaluation: on-going evaluation and improvement of work to satisfactory completion of at least 7 finished mounts.

minimum course grade: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished mounts.  finished mounts will demonstrate a practical understanding of all aspects of  taxidermy. successful mounts will be clean and free of grease or tumbling substance, will be properly preserved, will have a life-like pose, correct anatomical construction, an appropriately guaged wire armature support, correct eye placement, correct feather/fur placement, correct epoxie-and-paint application, and a marketable habitat base.

minimum cumulative: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished mounts.  finished mounts will demonstrate a practical understanding of all aspects of  taxidermy. successful mounts will be clean and free of grease or tumbling substance, will be properly preserved, will have a life-like pose, correct anatomical construction, an appropriately guaged wire armature support, correct eye placement, correct feather/fur placement, correct epoxie-and-paint application, and a marketable habitat base.

objectives and outcomes: to develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of commercial and artistic taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by a successful completion of at least one waterfowl mount with appropriate base, at least one upland game bird with appropriate base, at least one gamehead, at least one life-sized mount with appropriate base, at least one cold-water fish with appropriate base, at least one warm-water fish with appropriate base, and at least one antler plaque.

programs and components:

birds (waterfowl and upland game) 40 hrs 10 hrs demonstration/ 30 hrs supervised student work
game head 40 hrs 10 hrs demonstration/ 30 hrs supervised student work
life-sized 20 hrs 5 hrs demonstration/ 15 hrs supervised student work
fish 40 hrs 10 hrs demonstration/ 30 hrs supervised student work
bases 20 hrs 5 hrs demonstration/ 15 hrs supervised student work

program outline form:

program title: taxidermy traditional

completion award: certificate of completion

admission requirements: minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal-to-excellent manual dexterity, normal-to-excellent vision, hearing, communication skills, normal-to-excellent strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn.  (a sense of humor is not required, but recommended.)

graduation requirements: successful technical completion of at least two waterfowl mounts with appropriate bases, at least two up-land game bird mounts with appropriate bases, at least two gamehead mounts, at least two life-sized mounts with appropriate bases, at least two cold-water fish with appropriate bases, at least two warm-water fish with appropriate bases, and at least one antler plaque.

study equivalency: n/a

minimum residency: 8 weeks, 320 classroom hours

teaching methodologies: 12% classroom instruction by demonstration of expected skills and techniques.

88% supervised student work practicing skills and techniques.

student evaluation: on-going evaluation and improvement of work to satisfactory completion of at least 13 finished mounts.

minimum course grade: grade: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on critique of finished mounts.  finished mounts will demonstrate a practical understanding of all aspects of  taxidermy. successful mounts will be clean and free of grease or tumbling substance, will be properly preserved, will have a life-like pose, correct anatomical construction, an appropriately guaged wire armature support, correct eye placement, correct feather/fur placement, correct epoxie-and-paint application, and a marketable habitat base.

minimum cumulative: pass/fail to be determined by instructor based on demonstrated fulfillment of student�s artistic and technical ability.

objectives and outcomes: to develop a mental and practical understanding of all aspects of commercial and artistic taxidermy, and to demonstrate that understanding by a successful completion of at least two waterfowl mounts with appropriate bases, at least two upland game birds with appropriate bases, at least two gameheads, at least two life-sized mounts with appropriate bases, at least one cold-water fish with appropriate bases, at least one warm-water fish with appropriate bases, at least one reproduction fish, readied for paint, apoxy, finished, and based, and at least one antler plaque.

programs and components:

birds (1waterfowl and 1upland game) 40 hrs 10 hrs demonstration/ 30 hrs supervised student work
game head 40 hrs 10 hrs demonstration/ 30 hrs supervised student work
life-sized 20 hrs 5 hrs demonstration/ 15 hrs supervised student work
fish(1cold,1warm-water) 40 hrs 10 hrs demonstration/ 30 hrs supervised student work
bases 20 hrs 5 hrs demonstration/ 15 hrs supervised student work
birds(1waterfowl, 1 upland game) 40 hrs 40 hrs supervised student work
game head 40 hrs 40 hrs supervised student work
life-sized 20 hrs 20 hrs supervised student work
fish (1reproduction) 40 hrs 40 hrs supervised student work
bases 20 hrs 20 hrs supervised student work

student services information:

admission requirements:  minimum age, 18, driver's license and own transportation,  normal manual dexterity, normal vision, hearing, communication skills, normal strength/health (40 lb lifting on occasion), and a deep desire to learn how to bring animals "back to life".

procedures for applying for admission:  fill out an agreement form and mail in the appropriate deposit.  all seats are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, based on date of receipt of enrollment agreements and deposit checks. 

dress code:  casual dress, of course.  you'll get messy.  no halter tops on men or women.  shirt, shoes, pants required.  cap expected, but not required.  apron provided. 

conduct policy:  we will not tolerate disruptive, abusive, or harassing behavior toward other students or staff, cheating, drinking or drug/use during school hours.  we reserve the right to protect our students and staff  from you if you indulge in stupidity.  one written warning will be issued for any behavior in class that is disruptive/abusive/harassing behavior.  an additional disruptive/abusive/harassing behavior will result in dismissal.

attendance policy:  a written warning will be issued if you have missed a total of three hours of instructional/work time in a 4-week session (or 6 hours in an 8-week session) without having notified staff a qualifying situation. missing more than 4 hours of class in a 4-week session, or 8 hours of class in an 8-week session is grounds for dismissal.  (absences are excused for illness, family illness, death in the family, legal issues.)  you're going to have to be here to get all this stuff done.   if your attendance is spotty, your work will suffer, and we will  not hold the class back waiting for you to catch up.  we're all adults here, so we're not going to follow you around suggesting that you attend.  if you pay for class, we assume that you want to learn, and if you turn up and do the work, we're totally involved in helping you make it.

grievance policy:  to file a formal grievance with the school, come talk to us.  we will help you to put the offenses in writing, to keep with your official school records.  we can help you articulate a formal grievance, if you need help.  all formal grievances will be dealt with within 24 hours.  if something can be changed in your working environment to solve a formal grievance, it will be changed within 24 hours to the extent that no other students are held back or hurt.  if your grievance cannot be easily or quickly solved, you will have a written letter of intent back within 24 hours.  grievances resulting in withdrawals will be awarded the following refund policy.

withdrawal/cancellation policy: 


if you want/have to withdraw from
enrollment in a class, we honor the following cancellation/deposit refund policy:   we provide a minimum of three days, excluding saturday, sunday, and holidays, during which a student may cancel their enrollment and receive a refund of all deposit money paid.   in addition, if you are unable to come to the class that you have reserved, you can cancel anytime up to 6 weeks before class, and your deposit will be refunded.   if you cancel within 6 weeks of the class start date, your deposit may be refunded at the discretion of the school. (which means, we understand that "life happens".  if you get in a bind, just let us know as soon as possible! we'll do what we can to help.  if you can't make it and you let us know, it allows us to notify our waiting list, which really helps everybody.  on a less friendly note, if you don't show up and you haven't called and made arrangements, we are unable to issue a refund. if a death of an enrolled student occurs, the refund will be made to the order of either the responsible party notifying the school, or the estate of the deceased, whichever is appropriate.

once class has started, we honor the following withdrawal/tuition refund policy:  if you have something terrible and unexpected happen part-way through class, we'll work with you. often, we can reschedule you to resume class during a different month.   if rescheduling is not appropriate or desirable, we are able to offer you a 50% refund of tuition money paid (minus used specimen charges) if you leave before day 7 (counting weekends). if you leave between day 8 and day 14 (day 8-day 28 for traditional students) (counting weekends), we are able to offer you a 25% refund of tuition money (minus used specimen charges). after day 14 (day 28 for traditional students)  (counting weekends), we are not able to offer you a refund of tuition, and all used specimen charges are immediately payable.  if a death of an enrolled student occurs, the refund will be made to the order of either the responsible party notifying the school, or the estate of the deceased, whichever is appropriate.

transcript issuance policy:  any time you need a copy of your transcript, call and ask for it.  we will have it available for you within one week of graduation, and will keep it on file permanently. 

our physical facility description:    our classroom is 56x25, with satellite tv and compressed air to power airbrushes at every desk.  our handicap-accessible bathroom is 8x8.  our "freezer room" is 12x12.  our showroom is30x15.  our break room (15x30)  includes an 8-ft dining table, fridge, range, microwave, sink, 3 couches, 3 easy chairs and satellite tv.  (see classroom cam for candid shots of on-going classes and view of interior)

we have the following equipment on hand for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional:
15 bird fleshers�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
15 mounting stands�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
20 chairs�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
15 stanley glue guns�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
15 air staplers�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
15 stanley rasps�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
18 tape measures�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 professional knife sharpener�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 grinder�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
14 hair dryers�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
17 pet brushes�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
14 freezers�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
2 computers�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
2 bird tumblers�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 fridge�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 microwave�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 coffee maker�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 shop vac�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 air brad nailer�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 color laser printer�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 industrial sewing machine�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
filing cabinets�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
library of reference photos�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 heat gun�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 electric rotary shaver, large�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 electric rotary shaver, small�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
2   3-well stainless industrial sink�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 pressure tanner�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 chop saw�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 circular saw for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
6 hand saws�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
16 rechargeable drills�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
7 dremel tools with flexible wand�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 compressed air system to air 17 airbrushes simultaneously�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 air compressor�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional
1 construction fan�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional

assorted paints, stains, clays, apoxies, stirring sticks, glues, maches, wires, screws, nails, hammers, putty knives, drill bits, caulking guns, caulk, levels, pliers, paint, paintbrushes�for use in taxidermy express and taxidermy traditional

international admission:  missouri taxidermy institute is NOT a "student & exchange visitation program" (sevp) certified college.  the sevp is part of the national security investigation division and acts as a bridge for government organizations that have an interest in information on non-immigrants whose primary reason for coming to the united states is to be students.  on behalf of the department of homeland security, sevp manages schools, non-immigrant students in the f and m visa classifications, while they visit the united states and participate in the us education system. 

 

qualifications of individual faculty members:

chip stamper

w o r k h i s t o r y

business owner, head instructor 2002-present

missouri taxidermy institute

featuring intensive, comprehensive
taxidermy training in the beautiful lake of the ozarks.
instruction and demonstrations of:
all aspects of waterfowl taxidermy
all aspects of upland game bird taxidermy
all aspects of whitetail shoulder mount
all aspects of life-sized mammal taxidermy
all aspects of cold-water fish taxidermy
all aspects of warm-water fish taxidermy
all aspects of leather-wrapped antler plaque
all aspects of applying for state and federal permits
all aspects of skinning, salting, drying capes/hides

business owner, stamper�s honeyrun 1992-present

manufacturing, taxidermy, and retail business specializing in upland hunting
apparel, imprinted wears and sporting dog supplies.

art instructor, camdenton high school 1991- 2002

art club sponsor
student teacher supervisor
new teacher mentor
msip (missouri school improvement plan) curriculum committee
junior class sponsor
c.a.r.e. team member (alcohol and substance intervention program)

instructed the following classes
art appreciation / art history
portfolio design (college prep.)
drawing
painting (watercolor, oil, acrylic)
airbrush

                                                                 murals

  •                 commercial art / computer design
  • freelance graphic designer / artist 1985-present

    graphic artist
    computer graphic artist
    airbrush artist
    layout and paste-up artist

    art instructor, lebanon junior high school 1988-1991

    art club sponsor
    discipline committee
    assembly committee
    distance learning committee
    layout artist for school
    instructed the following classes:
    ceramics / pottery
    drawing
    graphic design
    printmaking

    e d u c a t i o n

    southwest missouri state university

    bachelor of science in education- art
    lifetime certificate-1988
    17 hours graduate hours earned toward a masters in education

    i n t e r e s t s & a c t i v i t i e s

    � strong interest in outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, archery

    � computer graphic design

    � wildlife art and taxidermy

    � airbrush art

    � member - ozark brush and palette club (local art guild)

      missouri hunter safety instructor

    � member- missouri hunter education instructor�s association

    � member- international hunter education association

    � member - association of american educators

    advisory committee member- lake area career and technical center (graphic arts program)

                                                                        sporting dog association of missouri - board of directors

     

    carrie stamper

    w o r k h i s t o r y

    office manager 2002-present

    missouri taxidermy institute

    featuring intensive, comprehensive
    taxidermy training in the beautiful lake of the ozarks.
    duties include:
    mti website design and maintenance
    receptionist/telephone duties
    class scheduling
    record keeping
    supply and inventory
    janitorial
    finder of lost objects

    wife of business owner,

    stamper�s honeyrun 1992-present

    manufacturing, taxidermy, and retail business specializing in upland hunting
    apparel, imprinted wears and sporting dog supplies
    .
    duties include:
    receptionist/telephone duties
    manufacture/marketing
    work scheduling
    record keeping
    supply and inventory
    janitorial
    finder of lost objects

    interests:
    having people lose fewer objects.
    flying.
    cooking.
    reading:  (cereal boxes, novels, textbooks, movie credits, recipe books, warning labels.  anything with words.)
    vernacular architecture.
    remedial quantum physics.

    melvin shrauger

    qualifications and experience summary

    melvin�s unique experience and love of nature makes him an ideal candidate for taxidermy teaching assistant at missouri taxidermy institute. his life-long passion for hunting, for fishing, and for taxidermy was fueled by 21 years of working outdoors. daily, as a surveyor, he walked trails and flushed game. he honed his talent for accurate record-keeping, for technical detail, for customer relations, for three-dimensional spatial understanding while finding property corners and taking topographical surveys.

    when triple by-pass surgery forced him out of his strenuous surveying job, he spent his recovery months learning the art of taxidermy. melvin attended the 8-week traditional course in february/march 2003. his work was impeccable and his attention to detail and his patience showed in every glowing mount. we asked him to stay on, and he did. he spent from april to july fine-tuning his skills, growing comfortable with procedures, while gaining confidence to answer beginning student questions. he has been on our payroll since july, 2003, and he is everything we could hope for in a taxidermist, an assistant, in a droll story-teller, and in a friend.

    he has much in common with students who come here wanting to learn taxidermy. they share a history of hunting and a love of wildlife. his common answer to their question, "are you glad you�re a taxidermist?" is "i wish i�d done this 30 years ago."

    he relates well to the students, because he has been one. "hang in there," he encourages them. "it�ll come together." taxidermy learning, is by necessity, a very hands-on experience. once the demonstration portion of the class has occurred, the students tackle the assignment themselves. melvin is patient and kind. he answers questions thoughtfully and compassionately, but with the conviction that things are indeed looking as they ought to look at any particular point. as one "who has been where you are", he is sensitive to the discomfort of unfamiliar motions and uncharted territory, but firm in his belief that "hanging in there" will get them where they want to be.

    when he is not answering questions, he is working on shop work that complements the on-going curriculum. during bird week, he will be mounting shop birds a level above class work. for instance, he will mount a turkey, as students mount a pheasant. the similarities and differences in mounting what they are mounting and what he is mounting are pointed out. in this way, we are able to enrich our curriculum with the "one room school house" approach. we cannot, in 4 or 8 weeks, teach every animal anyone will ever encounter in a career in taxidermy, but we try to stretch the horizons as much as possible. the exposure to advanced work gives students a head start when they go home to set up their own shops. we are able to offer that expanded horizon because melvin is here.

    missouri taxidermy institute, 2003-present

    shop manager
    taxidermy teaching assistant
    duties include:
    student assistance in/and:
    all aspects of taxidermy, including, but not limited to:
    regulations, licensing, tagging, record-keeping
    business practices, pricing, cost factors
    skinning of all species
    fleshing of all species
    washing/salting/curing/tanning of all species
    measuring of hides, capes, skins
    ordering of appropriate forms
    altering of forms
    repair of skins
    rehydrating/prep of all skins
    antler repair/modification
    mounting of all species
    eye selection and setting on all species
    ear sizing and setting on all species
    airbrush/finish work of all species
    base/habitat for all species

    gw hasty surveying, 1988-12/13/02

    camdenton, mo
    customer relations
    technical equipment use and maintenance
    data recording
    location and identification of property corners
    topographical survey
    construction survey

    dale miller surveying, 1980-1988

    osage beach, mo
    customer relations
    technical equipment use and maintenance
    data recording
    location and identification of property corners
    topographical survey
    construction survey

    kreihbal  surveying, 1973-1980

    camdenton, mo
    customer relations
    technical equipment use and maintenance
    data recording
    location and identification of property corners
    topographical survey
    construction survey

    training, feb/mar 2003

    8-week traditional course
    mounts completed:
    2 pheasant, 2 mallard, 2 whitetail, 1 bobcat life-sized, 1 raccoon life-sized, 2 rainbow trout, 2 large-mount bass

    certificate of completion

    licenses and certificates

    missouri taxidermy license
    federal migratory waterfowl license

    memberships

    sporting dog association
    henry county beagle club
    ducks unlimited

    interests and activities

    grandson cole
    hunting ducks
    hunting rabbits
    hunting deer
    hunting turkey
    fishing
    music

    deann jones
    work history
    missouri taxidermy institute
    june, 2005-present
    shop co-manager
    student assistance in/and:
    all aspects of taxidermy, including, but not limited to:
    regulations, licensing, tagging, record-keeping
    business practices, pricing, cost factors
    skinning of all species
    fleshing of all species
    washing/salting/curing/tanning of all species
    measuring of hides, capes, skins
    ordering of appropriate forms
    altering of forms
    repair of skins
    rehydrating/prep of all skins
    antler repair/modification
    mounting of all species
    eye selection and setting on all species
    ear sizing and setting on all species
    airbrush/finish work of all species
    base/
    custom habitat for all species

    ginsberg
    may, 1986�april, 2005
    sub-contract work
    assembly
    packing
    inventory

    ginsberg
    june, 2004�april, 2005
    full-time on premise packer

    macks creek public school
    august, 2003�may, 2004
    cook

    windermere
    april, 1999�july, 2003
    cleaning

    self-employed
    december, 1993�march, 1999
    in-home day care

    long lane school
    august, 1991-may, 1993
    cook

    training, may, 2005
    4-week taxidermy express
    course
    mounts completed:
    1 pheasant, 1 mallard, 1 whitetail, 1 grey fox life-sized, 1 rainbow trout, 1 large-mount bass
    certificate of completion

    licenses and certificates
    missouri taxidermy license
    federal migratory waterfowl license
    interests


    family-husband, 3 sons
    horses
    any outdoor activity

     

     

    jennifer finley
    work history
    january 1, 2007-present
    missouri taxidermy institute
    accounts payable spreadsheet:
    development and maintenance
    accounts receivable collection
    web site research
    reference material

    cellular connections
    may, 1998�january, 2006
    office manager
    accounts payable
    accounts receivable
    payroll
    taxes

    message center
    june, 1997�may, 1998
    reception

    wal-mart
    may, 1995�may, 1998
    register

    interests include:
    spending time with kids
    raising dogs
    shopping

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    placement services:  we are occasionally contacted by full-service taxidermy owners looking for well-trained individuals with potential.  we make these offers known to graduates who have expressed an interest in being a taxidermy employee rather than a business owner.




    copyright � 2001missouri taxidermy. all rights reserved.
    revised: 11/03/16.