Waterfowl Taxidermy Training

New Life Taxidermy offers one-on-one training for those wishing to learn to mount waterfowl or for those who want to improve their waterfowl mounting skills. As a former high school science teacher, I know how to present information in such a way that the student receives the maximum benefit. Each class is tailored to the individual student's needs and goals. The way I teach is a hands-on approach. The student and I work together on the same bench. I complete a task on my bird as the student watches and then the student carries out the same task on his or her bird with my guidance. Through this method of teaching, students learn more and achieve better results than by simply watching. Classes range from 2-5 days for beginners and from 1-5 days for intermediate students.

For beginners, classes typically cover mounting a bird from A to Z. Procedures including specimen examination, reference study, skinning, fleshing, washing, mounting, posing, and finishing. Emphasis is placed on the student learning to mount a clean, anatomically accurate bird. The techniques that I teach take much of the frustration out of the equation for new bird taxidermists. Beginners must book a minimum of 2 class days, but for the full benefit should consider at least 3 days. Depending on the length of the student's stay, habitat techniques can also be added.

For taxidermists who already have a good grasp on the mechanics of mounting waterfowl but want to produce a higher quality mount or possibly improve speed, an intermediate class is available. As with all classes, emphasis is placed on what the student needs and wants to learn. Some students might want to concentrate on finishing techniques while another might desire to learn more about anatomy. When you contact me about setting up a class, we will discuss your goals, in-depth, to develop a class outline. This outline ensures that you learn what you want to learn during your class.

Additionally, there is an on-site reference aviary where students can observe and study waterfowl, up close and personal. The aviary has wood ducks, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, pintails, wigeons, fulvous trees ducks, mandarin ducks, and redheads. Feel free to bring your camera or video camera to record both your class and the live birds.

Classes are taught at my studio in Garner, NC. The studio is loacted 3 miles off I-40, approximately 15 miles off I-95, and just 20 minutes from downtown Raleigh. Within 5 miles of the studio there are a number of hotels and restaurants. There is a 50 amp, full hook-up here on-site if you want to bring a camper or RV. I charge a nominal fee of $20 per night to cover the water and electric expenses if you choose to use the camper hook-up.

Pricing for all classes is $400 per day. Most class days run about 10 hrs, but we can stop earlier if students prefer not to work that long. The price of the class includes all supplies and the use of all shop tools. The student needs to provide only a bird and their personal gear (apron, safety glasses, etc.). For students who live in the Garner area and want to learn in the evenings, contact me to discuss pricing, etc.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or for more information.