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Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the TaxidermyPro directory and about hunting and fishing in general. If you have a question that is not on this list, send it to us at or just fill out the form on our Ask a Taxidermist page.


What is Taxidermy?

Merriam-Webster Online: taxi·der·my: noun. 1820. The art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals and especially vertebrates.

Wikipedia: Taxidermy (Greek for "the arrangement of the skin") is the art of mounting or reproducing animals for display (e.g. as hunting trophies) or for study. Taxidermy can be done on all species of animals. The methods that taxidermists practice have been improved over the last century, heightening taxidermic quality.

Taxidermists may practice professionally, for museums or as a business catering to hunters and fishermen, or as amateurs, such as hobbyists, hunters, and fishermen. To practice taxidermy, one must be extremely familiar with anatomy, dissection, sculpture, and painting, as well as tanning.

Encyclopædia Britannica: Practice of creating lifelike representations of animals by using their prepared skins and various supporting structures.

Taxidermy began with the ancient custom of keeping trophies of the hunt. Beginning in the 18th century, a growing interest in natural history resulted in collections and exhibits of birds, beasts, and curiosities. Chemically preserving skins, hair, and feathers made it possible to recreate the appearance of live animals by stuffing the sewed-up skin with straw or hay. Constructing and sculpting anatomically correct manikins of clay and plaster are the basis of modern taxidermy.


Questions from Hunters:

I shot an axis deer in velvet. He has been measured by Safari Club International (SCI) standards at a 162. But they told me he will be measured again in 60 days to allow for shrinkgage. He is 33" inches tall, 30" inch width, 8.5" base, 13" and 12" inch tines.

How much can I expect axis deer antlers to shrink?

Typically, antlers in velvet will shrink a TOTAL of about 2"-3" during the drying period of 60 days after an axis deer is taken.

Jack said deer antlers shrink "a lot" when they dry. Some tines might shrink 1/8"-1/4". Some circumferences might shrink by 1/8"-1/4". A fraction from every measurement adds up because the scoring system totals many measurements.

Just a wild guess: the 33" height might end up at 32.75"-32.875". I'd still call that 33" - but records are usually very specific. The hunter will let us know after the final measurements are taken.



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