I grew up an artist with animals as my specialty.
I have always been an outdoor person. I love hunting and fishing. At the end of high school, I could not decide what kind of career to pursue. A year later, an idea came to mind – why not become a taxidermist. So I checked it out online to be sure I could handle the challenge. I am creative and artistic, so piece of cake!
Sitting in class on my first day of taxidermy training at MTI (Missouri Taxidermy Institute) in 2005, I found myself staring at a freshly skinned pheasant and thought what have I gotten myself into! I knew how to be creative, but I had no idea taxidermy could be that difficult when you’re unfamiliar with it. By the end of the 30-day class and countless hours later, I was heading home with my first completed projects.
Ever since that long month at MTI, I have been striving to improve my quality of work. With some helpful advice from fellow taxidermists, friends, family and most valuable criticism from customers, I push myself to the next level. I will not let a project defeat me. All work is completed by me, start to finish, except big game tanning is done by a professional tanner. Much time and care is taken on each project. There is no cutting corners to save cost. I use only excellent quality products on any trophy.
I continue to do taxidermy because I enjoy the art and the creativeness involved. What keeps me going are the demands and challenges from my customers and the smile and excitement in their faces when they first see their finished trophy. This kind of reaction tells me I exceeded their initial expectations of me. I have come this far and hope to continue until I am unable to. Please bring me a properly field-dressed animal and I will do my best to make it come alive again!