Admission Requirements

Students must be at least 16 years of age and have reasonable manual dexterity.


Our taxidermy school accepts only 10 students per training session. Enrollment is continuous and on a first-come, first-serve basis. To enroll, students must submit a completed application form along with a $1,500 deposit which is applied toward the tuition fee. The $1,500 is fully refundable if application is denied.

Financial aid

Financial aid of up to 50% of the tuition is available through the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy. Qualified students may apply this money toward taxidermy school tuition or specimens. An application for financial aid is available upon request.


A student unable to complete the taxidermy course forfeits the entire tuition. Exceptions will be made at the discretion of the school if withdrawal is due to a personal emergency, where a prorated amount will be determined.

Tuition & Fees

The tuition of the full nine-week course of taxidermy training is $10,850.00.* After the deposit has been paid, the existing balance of tuition ($9,350) must be paid on the first day of class. Tuition includes instruction in all techniques used by the Matuska Taxidermy Studio and all trade secrets. Students will encounter NO hidden costs during the training program. Included in the tuition are all tools and equipment to be used while in school including chemicals, glues, paint and incidental expendable supplies. In addition, students will receive a toolbox complete with basic tools used every day (theirs to keep) along with fish patterns and paint schedules as well as a variety of supply catalogs. Each student will be issued dry storage bins for furs and hides and freezer storage needed for fish, birds and small animals.

*Tuition does not include specimens, forms, and/or housing expenses. *Our school is licensed by the state of Iowa but is not accredited. The credits earned at our school may not transfer to other schools.

Veterans Administration

We are veteran approved. Students eligible for benefits are encouraged to contact our admissions office and their local VA representative for details.


We encourage you, if at all possible, to make a personal visit to our taxidermy school to gain a better understanding of our program. It is imperative that you know exactly what you are getting in return for your investment. Please call ahead so you can be assured of prompt attention on arrival. If a personal visit is not possible, feel free to call our staff for more detailed information.



Attendance records are kept by the school for each student. With an excused absence, work will be made up after regular class hours or on Saturdays.


Unsatisfactory conduct shall be cause for dismissal. Students may be dismissed at anytime following two written warnings from instructors for unacceptable, careless or dangerous conduct and will forfeit tuition. Reinstatement shall be at administration’s discretion.

Governing Body

We are a private vocational institution, owned and operated by Tom and Vicki Matuska.

Grading Systems

Evaluation is made on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system. Conferences are held midterm to discuss the student’s needs and progress.


Housing for the nine-week training program is made available for all students needing it, at the student’s expense. Students may choose from shared or private accommodations and are on a first-come availability. Costs vary in range from $21.00 to $28.00 per night, depending upon the unit. All units are fully furnished,* include utilities and are located within easy access of shopping needs. Upon acceptance of your application, a housing form will be sent to you.

*Students need to bring their own bedding and towels.

Live Lectures

All of our taxidermy school lectures and demonstrations are live, given by our qualified instructors. The techniques we teach are result driven and have been time tested and proven in our commercial taxidermy studio.


We are active members in the National Taxidermists Association, United Taxidermy Association, International Guild of Taxidermists, World Taxidermy Competition, a variety of state taxidermy associations, Safari Club International and Foundation for North American Wild Sheep.

Ownership of Mounts

All mounts that are completed by the student, belong to the student and shall be retained by him/her at the completion of the course. These mounts will be a valuable aid in starting a showroom for their taxidermy business.


We provide placement assistance for our taxidermy school graduates, free of charge. Being active in various state, national and world taxidermy organizations, we keep in touch with taxidermy businesses throughout the United States. We make no guarantees, but have been successful. (Placement depends on skill and character of individual.)


Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy takes great care in planning the student’s specimen needs and gearing his/her specimen toward the game native to the student’s business area. Students have the choice of mounting everything from a quail to turkey, raccoon to a cougar, or even trout to tarpon.* Students learn not only from their own individual mounts but from the variety of other classmates’ mounts. They are able to photograph, take notes and even video tape for future reference, thus learning by hands-on and observation. Students are encouraged to bring their own specimens or purchase them from the school, which carry our personal guarantee of quality. (Contact the school for proper care and handling instructions.)

*Students wishing to do larger specimens such as turkey, cougar or bear may be limited in other curriculum areas due to time constraints. If another instructor is needed due to the size and complexity of the project, there will be an added expense.

Tech Support

In the months following graduation, questions will arise which sometimes only experience can answer. Your taxidermy school instructors will continue to provide technical assistance as you launch your own business. If problems occur, we are as close as your phone. Give us a call and let our support team walk you through your situation step by step. Our guidance doesn’t quit at graduation!

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