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Deer Eyes – Attitudes and Setting Guideline for Relaxed Eyes

Deer Eyes: Attitudes and Setting Guideline for Relaxed Eyes

Eye setting is a process that takes patience and use of quality tools. The modeling tools that are used can help you set eyes that are accurate in proportion and placement. For a relaxed eye, you will have a sharper angle or corner in the anterior as well as the posterior rim.


Corner number two will be a very soft change in direction. It is important to remember to take your time with this step to keep the true to life look you desire. This delicate process can impact the quality of your finished product. In our next blog, I will share tips on eye setting for semi-alert deer eyes. – Tom Matuska

Setting Eyes With Brian Olson @ The South Dakota Show

March 17-19, 2017, the South Dakota Taxidermy Association held it’s annual competition and convention in Watertown, SD. Matuska Taxidermy Supply Co. attended the show and had a great turn out of visitors at their booth. Brian Olson, Sculptor and Whitetail Judge – held a seminar on Whitetail Deer Eye Setting and Eyelid Sculpting.

Pictured above – Brian Olson showing how to drill out the eye sockets of a Whitetail Deer to prepare for proper eye setting.

Brian showing different Whitetail eye setting techniques.

Eye socket is now filled with Critter Clay and ready to accept the glass eyes.

Brian Olson does some modeling on the eyelids.The clay that is applied in the lid area replaces the missing flesh and water removed by the tanning and fleshing process.

Eyelids are modeled into place before the cape is pulled over.

Eye after skin is placed over the mannikin.

Eyes are set and eyelids are properly sculpted.

Compete for the Matuska Competitor’s Award!

Compete for the
Matuska Competitor’s Award
at a Taxidermy Competition near YOU!

The Matuska Competitor’s Award will be awarded to the competitors with 4 of the highest scoring entries in the Masters or Professional Divisions.All entries must have a 1st or 2nd place ribbon with a combination score of 350 or greater.


Upcoming Shows:
  • North DakotaTaxidermist Association’s Annual ExpoMarch 3th-7th, 2017 Mandan, ND
  • llinois Taxidermist Association’s ConventionMarch 16th-19th,2017 Bloomington, IL
  • South Dakota Taxidermist Convention & CompetitionMarch 17-19, 2017Watertown, SD
  • Iowa Annual Convention & Competition March 23 – 27, 2017 Marshalltown, IA
  • Kansas Annual Convention & Competition March 24 – 26, 2017 Manhattan, KS
  • Western Regional Convention & CompetitionApril 6-8, 2017 Lusk, WY
  • Minnesota Taxidermy Guild Convention & CompetitionMarch 30, 2017 – April 2, 2017 Rochester, MN
  • Montana Annual Convention & Competition April 27 – 30, 2017 Great Falls, MT
  • Nebraska Annual Convention & Competition June 9 – 11, 2017Columbus, NE
  • Missouri Taxidermist Convention & Competition August 4 – 6, 2017 Lake Ozark, MO

It’s show season!

As spring approaches, we are looking forward to warmer weather and reconnecting with fellow taxidermists as we travel to our taxidermy shows. Our first opportunity is coming up February 23 – 25 at the Wisconsin Taxidermist Show in Steven’s Point. We enjoy sharing our new products and latest techniques to increase the skill levels in the taxidermy field. We also provide our Wisconsin customers with the opportunity to pre-order items and save on expensive shipping costs and offer a discount on orders taken at the show. We thank our customers and welcome new customers to contact us for their taxidermy needs. Give us a call if you are interested in having supplies delivered to the taxidermy show. Taxidermy season never stops! Check out our website and stock up on some good deals or try out new products. You can use our online system to order anytime or give us a call during business hours. If you are at the Wisconsin show, stop by our booth and tell us what you think about our products. We love meeting our customers and look forward to hearing taxidermy stories.

Tom Matuska


Spee-Dee Delivery Zones!

Product Spotlight! Semi-Upright Black Bear Form!

Check out our NEW Semi-Upright Bear Form! This form comes in an attractive semi-upright pose that boasts excellent detail and intricate anatomical features. This attractive Semi-Upright Bear Form is interchangeable with selected Great American Bear Change-Out Heads! Our Great American Bear Snarling Line Fit Both Detailed MOHR Mouthcups & MOHR Slimline Jawsets.

A Word from Tom Matuska

I started my taxidermy business out of my home in 1973, because of my love of nature and the art of taxidermy. It was my lifelong dream to be a taxidermist and perfect the finished product for my customers. In 1984, I founded the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy, beginning with two students. Through this course, students have learned a broad spectrum of mounting techniques covering birds, fish, game heads, large and small life-size mammals and rugs. Students also learn about the business of taxidermy including pricing, record keeping, and successful marketing. I am proud of the nine-week training program where students are offered broad range of experiences. The school is connected to our studio and live pens, which allow our students to learn in various settings. The training is intense, but we allow our students to have firsthand experiences to become successful taxidermists. If you are considering taxidermy, take time to look at our site and the quality products produced through our studio. I have produced award winning products and have passed the knowledge to my students to continue the tradition of excellence in taxidermy. If you are in Spirit Lake, Iowa, stop by our studio and visit our family run business. – Tom Matuska

Spend $40.00 & Receive a FREE T-shirt!




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.)