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Enroll Now @ The Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy!

Congratulations Graduates!

 

In May of 2017, 6 students graduated from the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy.These students were instructed in several taxidermy techniques including:gameheads, fish, birds, mammals, habitats and much, much more! The wide variety of work produced by these individuals showed creativity, accuracy, and neatness and were some of the best pieces you could ask for from beginning taxidermists. Many impressive works of art returned home with them to fill their showrooms. These graduates will soon learn the rewards of working at a job they love! We hope to see you at your state taxidermy association competitions and conventions!

From all of us at the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy, we say congratulations and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!

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

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!

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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.)

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.

Perfect Your Skills… Advanced Training Available Now!

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PROGRAM: ADVANCED TAXIDERMY

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: matuskataxidermy@gmail.com

Visit Us Online: www.matuskataxidermy.com/school-of-taxidermy

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.

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Free Iwata HP B Plus Airbrush With Early Bird Signup!

The Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy is accepting applications for the 2016 Winter and Spring classes.

Enroll by 9/30/16 and receive a FREE Iwata High Performance HP B Plus (Double Action) Airbrush!

 

New for 2016Northwest Iowa School of Advanced Taxidermy

 

2016 will bring exciting changes to the curriculum at the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy in the way of advanced procedures for mounting gameheads, fish, birds, and fish as well as in depth habitat design and business practices. The instructors at NWIST are very good at what they do and can present it to the student in a manner which can be easily understood. No matter whether you are a visual learner or hands on, you will experience both at Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy.

 

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Welcome Spring Class of 2015!

The Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy has begun the second week of the Spring 2015 Class. Students began last Monday with orientation which was followed with a caping demonstration on Tuesday. Since then, students have been taught customer relations as it pertains to game heads, taking field notes, proper caping of a game head and have spent days and hours meticulously detail fleshing each cape prior to tanning. They have begun tanning their capes which will ensure the longevity of the trophy. In addition to the involved tanning techniques, they have also been instructed in utilizing a commercial tannery for hide preservation. Now it’s on to life-size with an assortment of bobcats, coyotes, and raccoons as the selected species. For the life-size, careful measurements will be taken to assure the proper form selection. The life-size skins will be skinned, fleshed and tanned prior to mounting. While the mammals are tanning and forms being prepared, it will be fish taxidermy next. With the great spring weather and the ice off of all of the area lakes, students should have ample opportunity to hook into some great specimens.

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Check out Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy’s Facebook page

for up-to-date pictures of Spring Class of 2015!

https://www.facebook.com/taxidermytraining

Become A Taxidermist Today!

There are many taxidermy schools out there, and when choosing the right school we hope you will consider enrolling to Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy. NWIST curriculum covers game heads, fish, birds, mammals, habitats, molding and plastics, record keeping, business marketing and much, much more!

Come learn taxidermy among the best, and prepare for a successful career in taxidermy! Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy is now accepting applications for Spring Class 2015. School is in session from April 7 – June 6.

Spots are filling up quickly, so apply today!

Call us at 1-800-488-3256 to arrange a tour or set up a time for a virtual tour!

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Congrats, Winter Class of 2015!

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In March of 2015, 7 enthusiastic taxidermy students graduated from the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy in Spirit Lake, Iowa. These students were instructed in several taxidermy techniques encompassing gameheads, fish, birds, mammals, habitats and much, much more! The wide variety of work produced by these individuals showed creativity, accuracy and neatness and were some of the best pieces you could ask for from beginning taxidermists. Many impressive works of art returned home with them to fill their showrooms. These graduates will soon learn the rewards of working at a job they love! We hope to see you at your state taxidermy association competitions and conventions!

From all of us at the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy, we say congratulations and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors!