Silver Willow Taxidermy

February 4, 2015

Curtis is still sewing like crazy out in the shop these past couple weeks, no rest for the wicked I guess! lol I, on the other hand, have been buried in paperwork and I don't think I will see the light for a while yet. We are constantly amazed at the amount of office work that goes along with a taxidermy shop, but grateful to be so busy. Lately I've been thinking about the life of a taxidermist and from the questions we field at shows I've realized that we experience some things that are, um, unique to say the least. I put together a list of some of the quirkier things that go on around here.

  • Bloody Everything. Numerous times I've been loading a large item into the "Taxidermy truck" after a day of shopping in the city and suddenly realize as I let the tailgate down that somebody forgot to wash the blood off. Again. Silently hoping no one notices and/or calls the cops.
  • Surprise! Sometimes you go to take a shower, but you can't because there is a water buck hide soaking in the tub.
  • Will there ever be enough freezer room in the shop? I send one of the kids to the deep freeze in the basement to get some hamburger out for supper and they can't find it. I yell down the stairs, " It's under the wolverine!" *sigh*
  • Do you want some salt with that? We use a lot of salt in the shop to preserve hides before tanning. Some how it goes everywhere. Sidewalk, house, shoes, vehicles, mats, etc. Doesn't matter how careful you are or how much you sweep and vacuum, it is everywhere, all the time. At least the sidewalk isn't usually icy.
  • Wildlife Wonders - Both of our children have taken various types of tanned hides for almost every single Show n Tell they have ever had. Teachers, you are welcome! Also, the children want to "life-size" every animal that happens to die around here, hunted or not, wild or domestic.
  • Strangest. Arguments. Ever. Curtis and I both have life-sized Dall sheep of our own to be mounted and we actually argued about whether they could both go on the same rock base. He said my sheep couldn't go by his sheep because his was shot later in the year and therefore had longer hair and so it would not be realistic for these two sheep to be in the same display. I think I gave up on this one.
  • Card Carrying Sally Beauty members - Curtis and I were shopping for hair bleach in the Sally Beauty store and the salesman turns to me, because I have hair I suppose, and says " I assume it is for you?" and I say, " No, it's actually for a sheep hide..." Strangely, the conversation kind of dwindled after that. It is even funnier when Curtis and my dad end up shopping for product together. Oh, the looks they get in the beauty aisle debating the merits of Chestnut over Mahogany hair dye.

So the taxidermist's life is very peculiar at times, but it really suits us! We have met so many great people through the industry that have become lifelong friends. No matter how much blood, salt and stares to be endured, we love doing our best for our customers so they can enjoy the memory of their hunt every time they look at their trophy. And, no, those are not their real eyes.