When most people think of taxidermy - both hunters and non-hunters alike- they think only of stuffed animal heads or fish on a wall. The Oxford dictionary defines taxidermy as:
“The art of preparing and mounting skins of animals with lifelike effect.”
However, with modern taxidermy methods and technology and increasingly life-like materials, “taxidermy” is so much more than simply animal skins – the industry has seen many changes. Clients are demanding something different and unique; for a taxidermist with skill and imagination the possibilities are endless. To begin with, a large percentage of people enjoying the outdoors today are not doing it for a trophy but simply for relaxation and the pleasure of spending time with loved ones. For these consumers, a deer or fish of any size is a trophy, and should be remembered as such but in the past, taxidermists have overlooked, (or refused), such pieces in favour of working on a record-size animal. What a fish or animal lacks in size however, the skilled taxidermist can overcome by presenting it artfully or as part of a unique habitat.
Also, a taxidermied piece doesn’t need to be limited to the whole animal: I have finished several animal hides as floor and wall coverings; mounted shed deer antlers found while walking in the woods, I have even turned shed moose antlers into coffee tables.
To quote from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters website:
“No wonder hunting is so important to so many people still today. Up to 75% of hunters are reportedly motivated to hunt each year because hunting connects them psychologically to nature like no other activity."
What better way to recall that connection than to look every day at a beautifully prepared mount by Black & Tan Taxidermy and Tanning.