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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.

dougfleshing travisfleshing


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.

haydenfish jessicafish

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.


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.

tylermount jennifermount