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Secrets of taxidermy

Courses & Schedule


A complete one-on-one taxidermy course is typically five and a half days per taxidermy subject.
Course Specifications:​
  • All phases of taxidermy are hands on: student and instructor will be working with specimens, skins, manikins, etc.
  • Completion of the class results in each student taking home two completed mounts
  • 1st mount: completed with the instructor demonstrating each procedure along with the student working the mount as the techniques are presented. Students will become very familiar with each procedure and technique, step by step.
  • 2nd mount: completed solely by the student with the instructor correcting techniques as the lessons progress. This extremely effective method allows the student to learn fast, gain understanding, and train skills at an accelerated speed.


Available Classes


Game Heads
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Students typically mount & take home 2 completed deer mounts.
Course Subjects (some of many):
  • Proper specimen & carcass measurements/record keeping
  • Skinning, fleshing to the salting process
  • Tanning with actual specimen (hands-on beginning to end)
  • Finish work: airbrushing & finishing with artist brushes
  • Mounting, start to finish
  • Working & setting the drying mount              (a major secret to high quality taxidermy)
  • How to use reference points
  • Business concepts & principles
  • Much more!!!


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Students typically mount 2 birds.
  • The first bird is mounted using the highest quality commercial, studio production techniques, teaching the student high level work yet efficient taxidermy techniques. These techniques show you how to make a profit while producing quality work if you should decide to practice taxidermy for profit in business.
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  • The second bird mount incorporates more custom competition techniques showing you how to produce a more anatomically detailed mount for competition, your own collection or higher level client work.
  • A third specimen provided for skinning, fleshing, wire wheeling, washing etc. All practiced in class during the class week.

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Other subjects covered:
  • Tagging and logging specimens

  • Accurate carcass measurements

  • Building accurate manikins and form alterations

  • Mounting flying birds

  • Mounting standing birds

  • Finishing techniques, airbrushing, etc.

  • Habitat construction

  • Use of reproduction heads and airbrushing bill, beaks and legs

  • Much more!!!

This course is usually a 3-4 day course.


  • Student mounts one life size turkey on a base

  • Paints a freeze dried turkey head

  • Mounts a bondo tail method

  • Second skin specimen included with complete skin processing practiced during class

  • Second manikin along with student solo assembly of manikin to base and student solo leg work.

  • Complete finish work on mount

  • Habitat work in class is also included

  • This class can be expanded to additional costs and practices. Such as a second turkey head painting, second tail mounting etc.

  • Student completes the class leaving with one life-size turkey on base with completed habitat, one processed skin, and one assembled body to base.

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Life Size Turkey


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Fish taxidermy classes are typically customized to the individual student request. For instance, a student may want to learn to mount a skin mount fish and a fiberglass reproduction, or a cold water fish, such as a trout and a warm water fish, such as a bass or sunfish. In the case of a skin mount, a student can bring their own specimens for the class if available. Call for availability of this class and customizing this class according to your interest.

Subjects covered:​

  • Measuring, skinning, fleshing, pickling skins

  • Mounting on manikins

  • Detail finishing

  • Airbrush painting and artist brush painting, scale tipping etc.

  • Painting with the stencils

  • Much More!!!


Life-size Mammals
Life-size mammal class is typically a coyote or similar size mammal. Student completes one life-size mount.
  • Completing skin prep

  • Manikin prep

  • Mounting 

  • Finish work

  • Base work with habitat

  • Skinning, tanning with a smaller mammal specimen

  • Form alterations with a second manikin

Call for availability of this class along with customizing this class according to your interest

Lastly, the student leaves with a complete record package of:
  • All processes and procedures

  • Tanning formulas etc.

  • A copy of Daniels Studios invoice contract (for use in business)

  • Info and address for taxidermy licenses

All specimens, tools and materials are provided with the class, including tan capes for mounting, skinning fleshing tanning specimen. All tools remain property of Daniels’ Studios.


Meet Your Instructor
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I began taxidermy at age 12 through a mail order course, the Northwest School of Taxidermy. Back then, that was one of the very few sources of information for learning taxidermy. I was very fortunate to have a great mentor, Joseph Gately. Back in the day, there were few taxidermists who could be considered true wildlife artists, and even fewer who would share their knowledge with others. Fortunately for me he was both, and it was primarily Joe who showed me that taxidermy could be a true art and taxidermy as a serious art form has been my goal ever since. I have had a taxidermy business for 38 years and began even earlier as a casual business in high school. Eventually, I left my day job and started a full time taxidermy business, scared to death of course! Also, earlier that same year, my wife and I started the taxidermy supply company, Specific Species for fish taxidermy. I have been profoundly influenced by many legendary greats in the industry over the years. I have had the privilege of contributing articles to Breakthrough and Taxidermy Today magazines and still have a passion and interest in sharing techniques and quality information in taxidermy. 



Very reasonable housing is available within minutes walking distance to the studio. Amenities include private bedroom and bath. Please call for availability. 
The closest campground is AJ Jolly Park (approximately 20 minutes away from studio). It is opened March 15 through October 31st. For more information, go to
Student Gallery



Studio: 859-441-5393
Mobile: 859-441-5204
If you are interested in taking a taxidermy class, I highly recommend an orientation meeting so that you can see the shop in person.  Also, you will see the quality of work that you will be doing in class, and of course, we meet in person so that you can be comfortable and confident should you decide to take a taxidermy class.  To set up an orientation meeting, contact us at 859-441-5393 from 9am to 5pm EST. You may also email at

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