Category: School

Home / School /

9 Week Residential Advanced Course

To apply for our Advanced Course, fill out the application below:


9 Week Residential Advanced Course Application

Specialty Courses Application:NWIST

2019 Speciality Application

9 Week Course Application:NWIST

1 Week Fish Reproduction Course – Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy

2 Week Gamehead Course – Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy


2019 School Calendar

Fish Specialty Course

NWIST is VA Approved!

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!