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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!

Matuska’s BIGGEST News!

New for 2015, our two new additions to the Matuska Taxidermy Supply Company are Quinn McKenna born to Mandy and Brent Swart in December and Madden Thomas born to Marc and Emily Matuska in January. Tom says they are happy and healthy, squirmy and smelly. They are truly little gifts from God and it will be very fun to watch them grow. What more can a grandma and grandpa ask for?

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NWIST News

The Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy is now in week 9 of the 2015 winter session. School began January 5th with trophy care, skinning and prepping the deer and elk capes the students 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.

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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, an extremely nice assortment of perch, bass, walleye, northern and trout were mounted. Once dry, the students set eyes, reinforced fins and made repairs.Week 8 featured extensive airbrush training and then on to painting.

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

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We are into mammals and finish work as this week winds down. 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. Students are getting frantic to get their work done and some real nice mounts are coming together. It’s amazing what a little pressure can accomplish.

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Tom’s Tid-bits

Just Out!

The NEW Matuska Taxidermy Supply catalog is loaded with over 400 new products! Check out 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.

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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!

 

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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!

Celebrity Project

Early June found the taxidermists at the Matuska Taxidermy Studio hard at work on a celebrity project.

Cisco, the original horse ridden by actor Kevin Costner in the movie “Dances With Wolves” succumbed to old age at the age of 33. As a fitting tribute to this noble creature, Cisco’s owners hired Marty Hansen from Hansen’s Taxidermy in Phillip, South Dakota, as the taxidermist to complete the mount. Marty wasted little time in enlisting the help of the Matuska Taxidermy Studio and the extra hands of Tom Matuska and Amber Gonnerman to help with this monumental task. The manikin underwent major alterations to both pose and size until the perfect attitude and fit was achieved. Cisco’s final journey will be to the original 1880 Town in South Dakota.

 

New Change-Out Heads!

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At Matuska’s, the product development team has been working tirelessly this past year. Wildlife artist and sculptor, Cindi Christman, has combined her intimate knowledge of bears and her innate sculpting ability to produce for us the finest line of black bear products on the market. Cindi resides in Wisconsin and works with black bears on a daily basis and is extremely well versed in black bear anatomy, facial expressions and mannerisms. Change-out heads are the first priority with 8 heads in boar/sow, closed mouth configurations. Next, all 8 will be sculpted into closed mouth rug shells which will feature an ultra, mount-friendly neck and shoulder design… NEVER BEFORE SEEN! Look forward to this fall’s aggressive and passive mouth designs.

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Matuska Taxidermy Supply Company will introduce the Sage Brush Seriesof mule deer slated to hit the supply shelves this fall. The initial offering will consist of a very attractive semi sneak offset pose. The above mule deer photo was mounted by Brian Olson, from Wisconsin, on an original Sage Brush Seriesprototype and is a sneak peak of what you can expect. As with all Matuska manikins, this line was created with the aid of tons of mulie measurements, fresh study casts, as well as customer input. Our Sage Brush Series will prove to be one of the larger lines of high definition mule deer manikins available. If you want a sampling of what you can expect, feel free to order a Sage Brush Serieschange out head and switch it out with your next mulie. Change-out heads are available in 7 1/4″ and 7 1/2″ nose to eye sizes.

 

Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy

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In March of 2014, 8 enthusiastic taxidermy students graduated from the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy in Spirit Lake, Iowa. These students were instructed in several taxidermy techniques encompassing game heads, fish, birds, mammals, habitats and much, much more. The wide variety of work produced by these individuals showed creativity, accuracy and neatness. 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!

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!

Matuska Taxidermy Studio

When not instructing, the taxidermists at the Matuska Taxidermy Studio can be found hard at work on customer mounts. With the effects of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, throughout the midwest many taxidermists found deer numbers to be down. For the Matuska Taxidermy Studio, this was an opportunity to begin some overdo projects including large life-size mounts and dioramas, lots of fish reproductions and several swans and cranes. Operating a taxidermy business in the Iowa Great Lakes always seems to result in a backlog of skin mount fish so that, too, keeps us busy. Even though our time seems to be often times too hectic, we continue to spend time enjoying our surrounding wildlife where we study Mother Nature in her element.