Tag Archives: taxidermy

Bug only please!

We clean skulls using beetles. We are quite fond of our friends and work HARD to maintain them. The amount of time and money we put into bugs is a story in itself. We offer a full service beetle clean skull to our customers. Full service means; prepped, bugged, degreased and whitened. What you take home is a sanitized museum quality skull mount. You can display anywhere in your home.

We have been getting calls from let’s call them “Do it yourselfers” or DIY recently. All they want us to do is bug them. Sounds simple right? Most of the time what they bring me is a dried up or a smelly mess. I then have to prepare this mess for my precious bugs. Our bugs prefer fresh food not jerky, and they prefer not to share food with maggots. By this time I wished I had told them no!

The other [ ]

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Just a Dream

My dream is to have a store front for Scovel Taxidermy. I picture a building in town on a major highway. The space will house a show room to display all our artwork proudly. There will be office space for me with a door! Currently I have a desk in my dining room. There would be a huge work room and a walk in freezer. Lots of lights and space to work. Outside of the building a large sign stating proudly that Scovel Taxidermy resides inside. Along with business hours posted on a door I can lock drive away from
Business hours, now this is a tough one for our line of work. We have to be flexible given the nature of our work. So we would still need to be available by appointment in addition to regular business hours. What I would be excited about is leaving work and coming [ ]

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1st Timer

I said goodbye to 1st Timer today. He was the first deer I ever mounted. First timer was created twelve years ago in taxidermy school.
I received a call from someone looking to buy a deer mount for a gift. I remembered that 1st timer was shoved in a corner in my storage room. I haven’t looked at him for years. I was worried that he might not be in the best of shape. Remember he was the FIRST deer I ever mounted and he was 12 years old.


I dug him out and dusted him off. I took inventory of his condition.

1. lower lip pulled away

2. eyes typical to a beginner, without depth

3. color faded

Overall not too bad. In fact he looked better than some professional taxidermy work  i’ve seen. I fixed his lip and  brightened up his color. He was good as new. His new owner was very pleased with her new piece of [ ]

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Do it yourselvers

I’ve had two funny stories told to me this week about do it yourself taxidermy projects.

First Story:

Parents had bought this man a learn how to mount a Pheasant book and kit. He was super excited to try it out! He was thinking he could save money and have his bird mounted way faster than a taxidermist. Two days later he had his finished product. He describe to it as a interesting piece of art that maybe a kindergartener created! The legs were crooked and the bird wouldn’t stand up straight. He told me that we will gladly pay a taxidermist and wait patiently for the finished project for now on.

Second Story:

A young boy found a buck dead. The boy wanted to keep it in his house, but of coarse it was still quite smelly. Parents didn’t want to pay to have it preserved so ask for advice. I gave them [ ]

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Expensive Taxidermy

Poor nose texture and coloring.

Expensive taxidermy is when you choose the cheapest taxidermist and then have to bring

Skin around eye is bulging and cracked. Coloring is off. Lacking depth.

the mount to us to fix it. In other words getting what you pay for.

This is a picture of one of our clients deer mounts that another taxidermist did for him. (we had already cut the rack off to remount) Our client was deeply disappointed with the quality of the work. Notice the nose and eyes. Neither the eyes and nose look “real”. The eyes are bulging and the nose texture is well… terrible. The cape was puckered and the ears where “drummed” (pulled apart).
I understand that money is tight these days but when you have to pay twice to get a deer mounted that adds up. Plus the client had to buy a spare cape. A  cheap $300.00 mount just turned [ ]

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Taxidermy is art and the animal is wild.

While I was doing the finishing work on a whitetail today I was reminded that this was once a wild animal and is not perfect. The fur on this particular deer was in bad shape. He must of had a cause of serious itch. He had rubbed his fur in many places. Some places rubbed the fur down to the skin.

Some deer may also have scaring from old wounds and some have fresh wounds.

Then there are the imperfections the hunter inflicts. Bullet holes, drag marks and cutting the cape to short or incorrectly.

Of course the hunter wants his trophy to be perfect. It is my job to take a imperfect wild animal and give the hunter what he wants. This is where art comes into play. I work very hard putting on the animals “makeup” and then spend lots of time “grooming the animal. Most of the time old and [ ]

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My bug shed is NOT a hotel!!

My bug shed sometimes receives unwanted visitors. Currently knats/flys are trying to take up residency with my Dermestid beetles. Although they are not harmful to the dermestid, they do annoy them. I have taken away all food. I also have added fly strips and knat trap (pictured on the right). I’m guessing the knats are wanting in because of the lower temperatures outside. Inside the bug shed is a toasty 84 degrees and the menu is wild boar.

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Call before you get “lucky”

I used to giggle when I would get a call from a customer wanting a price for taxidermy service before they got the animal. I would think they just jinxed their hunt/trip by assuming they would be successful.

However it’s not a bad idea to have some idea what you want to have done “if” you do get lucky. For instance: I recently had a client call me on his way home from a successful bear hunting trip. He just figured a rug would be the least expensive option. So he had the outfitter cape the bear for a rug. When he called me he found out a nice rug with backing can cost almost as much as a half life size mount. Now he’s wishing he had it caped for a mount instead. Hopefully the cape can be saved for a 1/2 life size. We will have to work out taxidermy magic!

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High temp/low humidity

The change in the outdoor temperature recently keeps on me on high alert. My bugs prefer high temperature but low humidity. Just when I get the right balance inside the bug shed, the outside temps change. When the balnce is not correct my bugs risk getting mites or they’re not as hungary. The mites are an irritate for the beetles. When the beetles are irritated or cold they lose interest in doing their job……eating! When the temp is too high the beetles prefer to fly, harder for me to keep them contained. My goal daily is to keep my bug happy and healthy, which is not a easy job some days.

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What to do when you catch a fish thats worth mounting?

Frequently I get calls from fisherman on the lake asking “what do I do to save this fish I want mounted? My best advice is keep it alive as long as possible until you get home. If your fish dies keep it COLD! Measure the length (tip of mouth to the tip of tail). The girth measurement (fattest part of fish) if you want a replica made. When you get home wrap your fish in a wet towel, not newspaper. A wet towel will help keep the scales from sticking. Newspaper is bad these days because of the ink they are using. Make sure all the fins are laying flat against the body. Then slide into a plastic bag, mark and put in the freezer.

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