Author Archives: matuskataxidermy

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Shop now & when you spend $40.00, you’ll receive a FREE T-shirt! To receive your FREE T-shirt, enter TSHIRT16 in the discount code area during your checkout process! Your T-shirt does not need to be added to your cart. Please note: You do not get to pick your T-shirt design and/or color as it will be a first come, first serve basis. Please put your T-shirt size in the comment box during the checkout process. Offer is not valid with any other special or discount. Some exclusions may apply.

Want a FREE Pair of Payer Eyes?

Product Spotlight – Payer Eyes

Deer Eyes by Payer Eyes capture the natural color & reflective qualities of the animal’s original eyes. With flawless detail, they are produced with extreme care yielding a perfect, glossy, blemish free surface. Defined Cornea, Narrow Banded, Unbanded, or Pre-Rotated available in dark brown or medium brown color. Sizes available: 30, 32, or 34 mm base. Pricing starting at $6.95!

Live Study Pen

Quality taxidermy work begins with great references! Live animals, birds, and fish are the most accurate means of references available to the taxidermist. Our study pens contain whitetail deer, peacocks,and waterfowl. Students are able to study anatomy, up close and personal. Freshwater study aquariums are also found at our taxidermy school. Great references are vital to quality work here at the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy!


Advanced Taxidermy Course


Our Spring session (April-June) now offers an advanced class along with the regular curriculum. The enrollment for the Spring class will consist of only 6-8 students allowing time for the advanced instruction. The advanced portion is for individuals with previous taxidermy experience wishing to take their skill to a higher level. Although a formal education in taxidermy prior to attending is not required, applicants should possess a working knowledge of basic taxidermy techniques along with actual taxidermy experience. The advanced portion takes the student into greater depth at the competition level and offers more individualized training as the student delves into the area in which he/she most desires to expand their knowledge. This could include, but not limited to, detailed knowledge of anatomy, specialized form alteration, advanced molding and casting techniques including fiberglass and graphite reproductions, habitat construction and composition as well as advanced airbrush and painting techniques. Advanced students are not restricted to the normal specimen package but are able to choose their package according to the desired area in which they wish to excel. (The only stipulation is that the specimens selected are able to be completed in the allotted period of time.)Information on individualized business plans including a simple website, advertising cards and brochures along with state and federal regulations will be available. Some of the advanced training will be done outside the normal classroom hours. All mounts completed by the student belong and shall be retained by the student at the completion of the course.Therewill be an extra $2,000.00 charge for the advanced training. (There will be no extra charge for the students enrolled in the normal spring session but these students will benefit from the smaller classroom size and the higher level of instruction.)

Product Spotlight : Copic Sketch Markers

Introducing this week’s Product Spotlight…Copic Sketch Markers! Copic Sketch colored art markers with their Super Brushes are the perfect tools for creative fish painting and highlighting. Felt tip sketch markers paint as well as they draw. Each marker comes with two distinctive felt tips suitable for a wide array of scale tipping and highlighting applications. Inks are vibrant yet translucent allowing the scale tone to show through giving a most natural life-like highlight to your fish skin. Permanent, non-toxic, guaranteed color consistency. Compatible with lacquer as well as acrylic paint systems.

Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy

The Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy is now in week 7 of the 2015 winter session. School began January 5th with trophy care, skinning and prepping the deer and elk capes they would be later mounting. A total of 7 students were guided through the tedious fleshing process and learned the meaning of “thin to win”. A few holes were accidentally incurred either with a knife or the fleshing machine, but how will they ever learn to repair damaged pelts without first making a hole. Once fleshed, it was on to the tanning process and then to mounting.

With the aid of meticulous instruction and encouragement, this class has successfully mounted some of the finest whitetail, mule deer and elk mounts any beginner could ever ask for.

Then it was on to fish… Students were instructed in making a pattern of the trophy, body carving, skinning and mounting the fish. With the aid of Tom, Amber and guest instructor Jimmy Lawrence, a extremely nice assortment of perch, bass, walleye, northern and trout were mounted and are presently drying. Once dry, the students have begun setting eyes, reinforcing fins and making repairs. Next week will feature extensive airbrush training and then we paint.

Last week was bird week and students were introduced to bird taxidermy methods. Most began with pheasants: skinning, fleshing and washing. On Monday we will begin assembling their birds and posing them. Many discovered just how fragile bird skin is compared to their mammals.

Matuska Taxidermy Supply Company

Just Out!

TheNEWMatuska Taxidermy Supply catalog is loaded with over 400 new products! Check our new bear forms, mule deer, and great selection of habitat to mention a few. We are certainly far from the largest supply company, but we take great pride in bringing you only the best products available to help today’s taxidermists create customer pleasing mounts as well as award-winning masterpieces.

New for 2015

We listen to our customers and the need for a quality mule deer manikin became apparent. Rather than jumping into this endeavor with both feet and sculpting a form that people wouldn’t use, we began with a survey of several taxidermists from the western states who know what their customers want in a pose and also taxidermists who know what they want to see in a mule deer form. Something new, something attractive and something accurate; the overwhelming choice was a semi sneak with an offset shoulder. The pilot program was launched with the introduction of a beautiful 7 1/2 x 19 x 20 in a right and a left offering. The feed back on this introduction has been outstanding and these first mannikins will be followed by a 7 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 19 and a 7 1/2 x 19 1/2 x 21 also in a left and right offering in the upcoming months. Call for availability of the new sizes and give the Sage Brush Series: Mule Deer a try!



Show season began for us with our first show of the year being at the Wisconsin show in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin on February 19th. WTA always has one of the best state shows that we attend and they always make us feel welcome and support the Matuska Taxidermy Supply Company. We hope to run into you at one of the upcoming events!

Taxi-Drop Drone Delivery Service


While still in the experimental stages, not to be outdone merchants, the Matuska Taxidermy Supply Co. will soon offer the TDDDS or Taxi-Drop Drone Delivery Service to all customers within our radio frequency. Payload weights are yet to be determined, but you can be assured of the quickest delivery of your merchandise EVER OFFERED! Soon you will be able to order your deer form today and receive it yesterday. Stay tuned for more exciting news and further technical updates!

Western Regional Recap

Recently Tom and Vicki traveled to Gillette, Wyoming to represent the Matuska Taxidermy Supply Company at the Western Regionals. This show hosted taxidermist from 9 states and some really impressive work. Exceptional large life-size and gameheads made up the majority of the over 200 entries in addition to some fine fish and bird entries. The highlight of our booth seemed to be the new “Sage Brush Series” mulie manikins as well as the “Great American Bear” forms. Vicki hosted the children’s seminar and several budding wildlife artists made some really fancy artificial wood duck head key chains. Although plenty of reference was available, most leaned to a more abstract version.
The winners of the Matuska Taxidermy “Golden Eagle Competitors’ Award” was Todd Kranau from Nebraska in the Masters Division and Ross Richards from Utah in the Professional Division. This award goes to the competitor with the highest combined score with 4 mounts. Congratulations to both of these fine taxidermists.
A special thank you to all who participated in the Western Regionals and the warm hospitality we received. We cant wait to come back!

Vicki instructing the children’s seminar.

Ross Richard’s lions and a zebra winning entry.

Todd Kranau with his spectacular winning warthog.

Perfect Your Skills… Advanced Training Available Now!



Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy offers an advanced course for students that have completed the 9-week basic course. The advanced course takes the student into more depth at the competition level in birds, fish, and mammals. The advanced course offers more one-on-one training as the student delves into the area in which he/she most desires to expand their knowledge. This would include, but not limited to, detailed knowledge on anatomy, specialized form alteration, advanced molding and casting techniques including fiberglass and graphite reproductions, habitat construction and composition, as well as advanced airbrush and painting techniques. Students are able to choose the specimen package according to the desired area in which they choose to excel. (The only stipulation is that the desired package can be completed in the allotted time frame.) A business plan according to the students needs will be covered and a plan of action executed. This could include, but not limited to, a simple website, advertisement cards and brochures, and the state and federal regulations needed to start up a business. All mounts completed by the student belong and shall be retained by the student at the completion of the course.

DATES: Dates correspond with the dates of the regular 9-week class.

COST: $8,500
Students will have extra one-on-one training throughout the 9 weeks with instructors including evening classes.

CURRICULUM/SPECIMEN: Students in the advanced course have more flexibility in choosing their specimen package according to the area in which they wish to specialize. Each package will be unique to the individual student. Examples: student can choose to mount 2 or 3 more advanced full mounts with full alterations along with elaborate base work plus a fish and bird mount, or a package that includes a fiberglass fish reproduction with advanced painting techniques along with a 2 or 3 bird display incorporating a background depicting the birds habitat along with a smaller full mount. The number of mounts, amount of alterations and the level of expertise needed will determine the students specimen package.

CLASS LENGTH/HOURS: The advanced course is a 9-week course with a minimum 360 classroom hours. The amount of hours per area (birds, fish, mammals, habitat, etc) will depend on the individual specimen package of each student.


***All other class information corresponds with the information found in our 9-week basic taxidermy class.


Call Us: 1-800-488-3256 or Email Us:

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Welcome, Winter Class of 2016

January 4th began the 2016 Winter Class at the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy. Week one, students were instructed and then practiced proven skinning and fleshing techniques. The secret to tanning and excellent taxidermy work begins with proper fleshing. 5 ladies and 7 men from across the country are learning just how involved being a taxidermist is. On day one they were told that in order to be a good taxidermist, they will need to learn and perfect tanning, sculpting, painting, beautifying hair and fur, art composition, business and the list goes on and on. Few other businesses encompass such a wide array of talents as does the taxidermy industry. As we enter week two, students will complete their skinning and tanning and mid-week will find them beginning fish taxidermy.