About A "Vision"
In the 1950s, my cousin John and I bought a kit through an ad in a magazine (comic book in those days). We began working on an unfortunate pigeon and before long, gave up on the idea of mounting birds. Later, I did manage to complete a pheasant and was hooked.
School, army, girls and children took my mind and body in different directions, but I always had at the vision of being a taxidermist. I would tell my wife, Sue, that when I retired, I wanted to take up taxidermy full-time.
When the stock market put a dent in my 401(k) plan, I decided the time had come. I found the American Institute of Taxidermy, located in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. Dennis Rinehart has a very flexible set of courses which fit my vacation schedule.
Within a year, I had graduated and began doing mounts. I figured Northern Illinois as mostly deer-trophy territory, but I'm getting quite a few fish from the Rock River and numerous from ponds.
2002-2003 has brought several surprises, and I've done elk, wild boars, a rattlesnake, a python, several exotic animals, and now African gameheads. I will soon be doing a life-size African lion.
In my free time, (lol), I've worked on some novelty items, such as gun racks, decoy mounts and pheasants. Some of these are on display and for sale.