Taxidermy is a traditional way of preserving animals and mounting their bodies for display. To preserve the animals, they are usually stuffed or mounted. There are several reasons as to why people want to use taxidermy for the preservation of animals; to honor the pet animals, to display them in a natural history museum, to celebrate the hunt, or for skin studying in labs. Preferably, taxidermy is performed on reptiles, fish, birds, and animals. You would rarely find that amphibians are also preserved through taxidermy.
To make mountings or preserve the animals by stuffing, freezing, or making life-size mannequins of the animals, some taxidermy supplies are necessary. In the USA, several companies offer quality taxidermy supplies if you are into DIY or if you are a professional taxidermist.
Taxidermy supply companies
Jim Allred Taxidermy Supply is a taxidermy company which provides not only tools, paints, and mounting kits but also whitetail deer, birds, and some other premade animals. Not only this, but it also provides crude statues that can be further modified by painting and polishing to make the final product.
McKenzie Taxidermy Supply has all the necessary tools that you can use to create mounts yourself and save money. They provide all sorts of tools like blowers, dryers, form prep, fleshing tools, knife sharpeners, grooming tools, knives, measuring tools, machinery, various hand tools, mounting stands and cradles, mixing, tucking and modeling tools, multipurpose tools, painting tools, and needles.
Van Dyke’s is a very old taxidermy company that has been supplying tools and supplies since 1949. It can provide, at a reasonable price, taxidermy tools, supplies and forms, taxidermy kits and glass eyes, flex, and acrylic. There are so many varieties of items available that it is overwhelming.
Most of the people nowadays are using the freezing technique to preserve the animals. They freeze the animal, skin it, tan it and preserve it to be used later. If you are a professional, then it could work for you, but if you are an amateur who has just started taxidermy and needs some practice (obviously), then you might find it useful that you start with some simple taxidermy supplies and do it yourself. For this, you would need some tools like:
- Pocket knife
- Kitchen paring-knife
- Small scalpels
- Oil stone
- Fur comb
- Hand drill
- Bone scraper
- Skin scraper
- Wire cutters
- Tinner’s shears
- Bernard combination wire cutter and pliers
- Small scissors
- Tool holder with tools and saw
- Different flat files
- Upholsterer’s regulator
- Claw hammer
- Round and furriers’ needles
- A sack needle
- Darning needles
- Artists’ small bristle and sable brushes etc
And you are ready to go for your very own, made by your hand animal.
Taxidermy supply catalogs
All the companies have their catalogs which contain hundreds of different tools and supplies that can be bought online for you to kick-start your journey to a beautiful taxidermy animal. The items range from needles and skin scrappers to paints and brushes, and stands and plaques to polishing and grooming tools. These catalogs can be found on the company’s website that is accessible 24-7. Most of the sites, along with the catalogs online, offer printed catalogs too. Mostly, you are required to wait for some days after requesting it from the company. However, now the companies are even providing the option of downloading them from the company’s online site.
Before you send your hunted animal to a taxidermist, consider what you need the final mount to look like. In particular, consider having your mount on a stable wood plaque. A mount on wood plaque could have a significant effect to make your mount look marvelous. It is pleasant to have companions, family, and neighbors give compliments for a properly completed mount.
It is crucial to know what type of plaque you are supposed to use as all the rooms are not alike, and thus the same plaque would not look good everywhere. Moreover, lighting, furniture, and color scheme of the room also affect the decision of choosing the appropriate plaque.
For darker rooms, consider consuming dull wood species; for example, mahogany, dark oak, African blackwood, and rosewood for your plaque. For rooms with lighter tones, utilize lighter wood species; for example, cedar, maple, pine, cherry, or ash, so that the plaque will complement the general feel of the room.
The European style mount is presumably the most famous sort of mount since it is a reasonable way to feature the result of a hunt and can be done in a wide range of ways. The European mounts are usually made of solid wood which is polished and stained.
Not only are the plaques available for the walls but some plaques are designed to sit on the table. One of the positive sides of the table plaque is that you can move it at your will. If the guests are sitting in the drawing room, you can place it there. It also looks good in the kitchen.
Some plaques are designed according to the animal whose head is going to be mounted on it. Animals with larger heads have a larger plaque and vice versa. Bear skull plaques are wider and shorter while deer head plaques are narrow at the bottom while wider at the top. Elk head plaques are similar to the deer’s plaque, just bigger.
The forms of these plaques are engaging because they were outlined from the earliest stage to look like the shapes of the mount. The advantage of animal-particular plaques is that there is no guesswork required in the plaque shape.
Knowing about taxidermy is critical before giving your hunt away to a taxidermist as it might be possible for you to do it yourself with some simple tools and tricks. It would save you a lot of money and maybe even time, and you would get the satisfaction by doing it with your hands.