With information becoming more and more available to everyone thanks to the internet, what was once sacred and hidden knowledge, can now be had for free in most instances. Taxidermy is no different, and with the ever increasing prices of preserving trophies, a lot of hunters are choosing to learn the craft themselves. Here is how to get started learning taxidermy.

The first step in being self-taught in the craft of taxidermy is to not be overwhelmed by the variety of skill-sets needed. For example, one could be intimidated by wondering how to do fish, birds, life-size mammals, and game heads. Forget the diverse selection and concentrate on one discipline. I have friends who mainly bird hunt, so they naturally learned and mastered bird taxidermy. Most big game hunters are drawn to shoulder mounts, so that would be the best place to start for most.

Learning taxidermy is easy. It only takes good info, a moderate amount of practice, and the willingness to pay keen attention to detail. Anyone can do bad taxidermy, but to avoid being a hackidermist, you have to care about details and accuracy.

One of the best and free resources is www.taxidermy.net. There you can find taxidermy suppliers where you can get started by purchasing a how-to DVD of just about anything going on in taxidermy. There are several deer shoulder mounting DVD’s on the market for between $20-$40.

Once a DVD is purchased, you can watch it and see if taxidermy is something you think you are capable of. If so, most DVD’s will give you a list of tools needed and where to buy them. So far, so good. I told you it was easy to get started.

The tools required for a deer shoulder mount are not that expensive or intricate. You will need an assortment of small hand tools, and a couple of larger apparatuses that you can either buy or build yourself from readily available plans. Trust me; it’s all on the internet. You only need the desire to learn and the wherewithal to stay engaged.

The taxidermy website mentioned above has tons of free tutorials, but the best resource it contains is a network of hundreds of active taxidermists. If you can master the art of tactfully asking for help, the sky is the limit with your learning. Most taxidermists hate lazy newbies asking dumb questions, so learn as much as you can before getting started and then try to ask somewhat qualified questions. 

Taxidermy schools are a thing of the past and an ambitious individual can master all the necessary skills needed to complete quality, long-lasting mounts.  What are you waiting for?