Is it worth it?

Discussions about learning taxidermy & picking taxidermist.
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LukeTM
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby LukeTM » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:13 am

If it’s just for yourself, probably not. I found it to be totally worth it though and here’s why.

First of all, it’s an investment. You’re going to have to throw down money for the bugs and their cage. Cost me about $200 to get an efficient setup.

The bugs are going to eat the brain which helps solve some cwd concerns, especially if you’re in an area with strict disposal laws.

It’s going to produce a super clean product.

In my case, I offered the use of the colony to friends and neighbors and quite a few folks made use of them while I had them.

There is an obvious smell and it can be tricky keeping them warm enough. As for keeping them fed, I kept scraps from trim, shot up pieces of small game, etc. to keep them fed in between projects.


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JAK
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby JAK » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:01 pm

Ive done two of my own deer heads now and really enjoy it. I did a little number crunching and figured cost of materials is roughly 130$.Just what i figured not sure what other people spend. Thanks not includeing shipping of the form or getting licensed. But depending on the area your in could easily clear 300 a head. Just depends on what you want to make a hour. Takes roughly 12 hours
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:14 pm

Probably a stupid question but what are the rules for needing a license? I would assume you can do taxidermy for yourself without a license. Do need one if you do mounts for friends or family for just the cost of materials?
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:18 pm

Dewey wrote:Probably a stupid question but what are the rules for needing a license? I would assume you can do taxidermy for yourself without a license. Do need one if you do mounts for friends or family for just the cost of materials?

I’ll answer my own question. :lol:

https://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/le/le601.pdf
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:38 pm

I have had the privilege to know my friend/taxidermist for over 30 years. About 10 years ago when I got sick of guiding fishermen I told him I wanted him to teach me taxidermy for a profession. By the best I can remember these were his exact words! Clay, taxidermy is a passion and it’s paid for by some impatient sobs.If you love to hunt whitetails you would absolutely hate be a full time taxidermist. I used to really enjoy hunting, I haven’t been a single day in over 15 years. In today’s era of getting run down by media for taking your time and doing a good job I suggest you find something else unless u love mounting game more than u do hunting game. Just what I was told and made sense to me.

If I had to pick a side gig I would choose processing game over taxidermy. Much quicker and can knock em out at night once u get done hunting. But that’s just me. Follow your heart!
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby The Mediocre Hunter » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:11 am

LukeTM wrote:If it’s just for yourself, probably not. I found it to be totally worth it though and here’s why.

First of all, it’s an investment. You’re going to have to throw down money for the bugs and their cage. Cost me about $200 to get an efficient setup.

The bugs are going to eat the brain which helps solve some cwd concerns, especially if you’re in an area with strict disposal laws.

It’s going to produce a super clean product.

In my case, I offered the use of the colony to friends and neighbors and quite a few folks made use of them while I had them.

There is an obvious smell and it can be tricky keeping them warm enough. As for keeping them fed, I kept scraps from trim, shot up pieces of small game, etc. to keep them fed in between projects.



I was thinking that could be an option to feed them scraps. With the smell, did you keep them out in the garage/shop or in the house? And do you recommend a website to get the setup?
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby The Mediocre Hunter » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:16 am

JAK wrote:Ive done two of my own deer heads now and really enjoy it. I did a little number crunching and figured cost of materials is roughly 130$.Just what i figured not sure what other people spend. Thanks not includeing shipping of the form or getting licensed. But depending on the area your in could easily clear 300 a head. Just depends on what you want to make a hour. Takes roughly 12 hours


Is this 12 hour, by using the boiling/pressure washer method?
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby Rich M » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:18 am

I'd say for you to do a few heads for yourself and see if you like it. After say 6 heads you should know if it is something for you - can you stand it? Do the deer look alive? How long does it take vs cost & going rate? Etc.

Euros would be easier and you could do more of them. But the shoulder mounts, pedestals, etc. are where the money is at. Doing a Euro is just getting some guy used to using you until he wants a shoulder mount.

Deer are easier than other stuff like ducks/geese and fish. Limit yourself to deer only and you can master what you do.

Did a bit of taxidermy as a kid thru college, never got very good, just enough to understand the process and time involved. It isn't my gift.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby The Mediocre Hunter » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:19 am

Dewey wrote:
Dewey wrote:Probably a stupid question but what are the rules for needing a license? I would assume you can do taxidermy for yourself without a license. Do need one if you do mounts for friends or family for just the cost of materials?

I’ll answer my own question. :lol:

https://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/le/le601.pdf


:lol: it was a good question though. I was about to ask it. Although I'm in a different state, I'll have to research as well.
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LukeTM
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby LukeTM » Sat Dec 14, 2019 6:20 am

The Mediocre Hunter wrote:
LukeTM wrote:If it’s just for yourself, probably not. I found it to be totally worth it though and here’s why.

First of all, it’s an investment. You’re going to have to throw down money for the bugs and their cage. Cost me about $200 to get an efficient setup.

The bugs are going to eat the brain which helps solve some cwd concerns, especially if you’re in an area with strict disposal laws.

It’s going to produce a super clean product.

In my case, I offered the use of the colony to friends and neighbors and quite a few folks made use of them while I had them.

There is an obvious smell and it can be tricky keeping them warm enough. As for keeping them fed, I kept scraps from trim, shot up pieces of small game, etc. to keep them fed in between projects.



I was thinking that could be an option to feed them scraps. With the smell, did you keep them out in the garage/shop or in the house? And do you recommend a website to get the setup?


I kept them in the garage. I had them for about 2.5 months. The smell was completely gone the minute I removed the cage.
I ordered the kit with 300 bugs from here...
https://www.skulltaxidermy.com/kits.html
It did take about a month and a half for the colony to be large enough to take on a skull. Probably would have been ready sooner had I removed the brains.
I hunt, I fish and I sing guitar solos in songs.
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The Mediocre Hunter
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby The Mediocre Hunter » Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:42 am

LukeTM wrote:
The Mediocre Hunter wrote:
LukeTM wrote:If it’s just for yourself, probably not. I found it to be totally worth it though and here’s why.

First of all, it’s an investment. You’re going to have to throw down money for the bugs and their cage. Cost me about $200 to get an efficient setup.

The bugs are going to eat the brain which helps solve some cwd concerns, especially if you’re in an area with strict disposal laws.

It’s going to produce a super clean product.

In my case, I offered the use of the colony to friends and neighbors and quite a few folks made use of them while I had them.

There is an obvious smell and it can be tricky keeping them warm enough. As for keeping them fed, I kept scraps from trim, shot up pieces of small game, etc. to keep them fed in between projects.



I was thinking that could be an option to feed them scraps. With the smell, did you keep them out in the garage/shop or in the house? And do you recommend a website to get the setup?


I kept them in the garage. I had them for about 2.5 months. The smell was completely gone the minute I removed the cage.
I ordered the kit with 300 bugs from here...
https://www.skulltaxidermy.com/kits.html
It did take about a month and a half for the colony to be large enough to take on a skull. Probably would have been ready sooner had I removed the brains.


Ok cool I'll look at the website. Thank you for your replies.
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JAK
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby JAK » Sat Dec 14, 2019 9:29 am

The Mediocre Hunter wrote:
JAK wrote:Ive done two of my own deer heads now and really enjoy it. I did a little number crunching and figured cost of materials is roughly 130$.Just what i figured not sure what other people spend. Thanks not includeing shipping of the form or getting licensed. But depending on the area your in could easily clear 300 a head. Just depends on what you want to make a hour. Takes roughly 12 hours


Is this 12 hour, by using the boiling/pressure washer method?

Thats doing a shoulder mount
The Mediocre Hunter
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Re: Is it worth it?

Unread postby The Mediocre Hunter » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:29 am

JAK wrote:
The Mediocre Hunter wrote:
JAK wrote:Ive done two of my own deer heads now and really enjoy it. I did a little number crunching and figured cost of materials is roughly 130$.Just what i figured not sure what other people spend. Thanks not includeing shipping of the form or getting licensed. But depending on the area your in could easily clear 300 a head. Just depends on what you want to make a hour. Takes roughly 12 hours


Is this 12 hour, by using the boiling/pressure washer method?

Thats doing a shoulder mount


Gotcha. I already cut the hide at the neck. I'll do a euro with this one. I'll have to try some taxedermy at some point then. Lol


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