involved in taxidermy in the early 1980s with the advice and
encouragement from his friend and mentor, Lyle Hotis, who has a
taxidermy studio in Gouverneur, New York.
He had always appreciated nature and wildlife so it was
inevitable that he would choose taxidermy as a hobby that has
now grown into a small business venture.
In fact, Dale’s father experimented with taxidermy when
Dale was growing up in the Beaver Falls, New York area in the
with small mammal mounts and soon began doing taxidermy for
friends and relatives. He
readily admits that he struggled with those early mounts.
Lyle taught him how to make his own mannequin
“bodies” for small mammals and birds.
To be successful at this particular method one must use a
wire armature, excelsior and string to form a
body that is similar in size and proportion to the
prepared and tanned animal skin is then placed over the form and
sewn as necessary. As
with all taxidermy specimens, artificial eyes and ear liners are
also required. Then
the animal must be posed to achieve a believable realism.
Final grooming and painting are also required for final
eventually decided to utilize the urethane foam mannequins that
were available for virtually all species of wildlife.
Although much more expensive they allowed for a much more
accurate finished product.
Over the years he has attended various seminars and
taxidermy conventions and is always ready to try a new technique
to improve his art form. Dale
decided to specialize in mammal taxidermy that includes all
species of small mammals, including full body mounts, game heads
and rugs. Although
you will see mounted birds in his studio, Dale decided that bird
taxidermy was not his area of expertise and does not do customer
mounts. He also
does not attempt fish mounting which is a uniquely specialized
branch of taxidermy.
skill improved he decided to “open shop” and do customer
mounts. The success
of his business comes from his satisfied customers.
“Word of mouth” recommendations have allowed his
business to thrive and grow.
He will admit, however, that his greatest satisfaction
comes not from any monetary gain but from the fact that he is
able to accurately and skillfully recreate the natural beauty of
each specimen. Enjoy
these examples of Dale’s talent and artistry.
We have created displays in six categories,
including deer, bear,
small mammals, birds and miscellaneous. The sixth category
shows examples of the mounting process for a full-body whitetail
deer. In each
display, click on the thumbnail to view a larger picture.
For those displays with multiple pages, clicking on other page
numbers will display another set of thumbnails.