A taxidermist is a professional who specializes in preparing animal skins for display. They are very popular with wild game hunters and fisherman and use a special set of supplies to perform this work. Here are some common terms employed in this industry.
Regulator – This is a polished, straight needle that is used to help mount a skin to a form, set eyes and is used for general arranging and probing. This tool is usually over six inches in length.
Armature – This is a wire or metal frame that is rigid and supports body forms or casts. It is often used to create forms for deer, fish and other trophy animals.
Ear Liners – These supplies are pieces of sheet lead, plastic, paper or leather that is trimmed and fitted into the ear skins of specific animals. They provide a natural looking support and shape to the ears. These are commonly used for animals like whitetail deer, though exotic ones are also used.
Separator – This is a special liquid that is applied to molds and plaster casts to prevent the adhesion of the animal pelt to the cast. It allows for easy separation and doesn’t harm the end product.
Jawsets – These are replicas of the interior oral cavity, tongue and jaw of the creature. Boar, bear, coyote and other wild animals have jawsets inserted by professionals to give a more lifelike appearance.
Tousing – This is when a taxidermist stretches, twists and works a tanned animal hide to introduce softness, flexibility and pliability.
Mounting – This is the process of attaching the trophy animal to some sort of display. The display can be of habitat, like a replica forest, or it can simply be a wooden plate.
Taxidermy is a profession involving the preparation, stuffing, and mounting of dead animals for the purpose of display in a home or business. A taxidermist is the professional performing this job. He or she may work out of his or her home, or as part of a company. These displays can act as a trophy of the animals or fish a hunter has killed, ranging from deer to birds.
These professionals use a variety of tools to create such as trophy, such as tanning supplies, kits, and parts. Glass eyes can be incorporated to make the animals even more lifelike. They can polish the antlers, brush the fur, and tan the hide. Other services include skinning, stuffing, and mounting of big game, such as bear and moose.
Many people like to display the wildlife they or others have killed, such as fish, deer, elk, coyotes, and turkeys. This type of décor fits in with lodges and cabins, especially out in the mountains or woods. But it can really work with any space, such as within a home office. Taxidermy first came to be thousands of years ago, when the very first taxidermists were hunters themselves who discovered they could preserve the skins of their prey. Used for clothing and shelter, these animal skins provided valuable services for primitive people.
Today, it's an art form, with many people offering services and supplies for sale on a side job basis or full-time basis. Taxidermists may also sell products for people to try this out at home, such as paints, glass eyes, tools and equipment, and molding/casting materials. Those just starting out can head to the Internet to learn how to tan a hide, produce a leather pelt, stuff a mammal, and mount their trophy, through online courses or tutorials.