Taxidermy IQ

​Three-dimensional wildlife art; bringing nature’s beauty indoors

Many don't realize that taxidermy is an ancient craft.  Although in the 1800's taxidermists adapted some techniques from the upholstery business, animals are not really "stuffed" anymore.  Modern taxidermy has evolved and makes uses of many art forms and modern technology such as polystyrene forms, automobile body working & bond-o, air-brush painting that is combined with handcrafted clay work, leather working, sewing, and other crafts.  

Taxidermy History

  • There is pre-historic evidence of animal body, bone, & hide preservation
  • Since primitive times, tanned pelts have been used for clothing, household goods, furniture, bedding and display
  • In the 1800’s hunters began getting skins stuffed by upholsterers
  • Modern taxidermy uses manikins to make preserved wildlife appear lifelike and anatomically correct
  • Today’s gender breakdown of Taxidermists: 29% female, 71% male
  • Taxidermy skills combine science, craft, technology, and art to produce skins and replicas
  • Typical clients: local hunters of native/exotic species and guided, exotic hunters

Taxidermists in US & Texas

  • Approximately 75,000 Taxidermists in U.S.
  • Average salary across U.S.: $29,000 (low $19k, high $62k)
  • Texas’ average salary for taxidermist: $38,000
  • Taxidermy is a service industry; raw goods are often supplied by the customer
  • Most customer charges are for services rendered by the taxidermist, with nominal fees for supplies to reimburse actual, project expenses


  • A class of services in the secondary sector that produces three dimensional representations of wildlife by preserving the cape, hide, fur, head, antlers, horns or other parts in tanned skins and mounted displays.  The industry incorporates knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines including wildlife sciences, traditional and modern skinning and fleshing, leatherworking, chemistry, biology, anatomy, carpentry, clay modeling, painting, and other crafts to create an artistic exhibition of wildlife closely resembling the animal’s natural appearance.

United States of America Market

  • Taxidermy: $1 Billion Industry
  • Hunting and Fishing: $76 Billion Industry
  • $10 Billion/yr. is contributed by hunters and anglers to gov’t wildlife conservation
  • 34 million hunters and anglers in U.S.A.
  • 2.7 million antlered bucks harvested in U.S in 2010

Texas Market

  • Taxidermy: $100 Million Industry (est from IAFWA statistics)
  • Hunting and Fishing: $6.6 Billion industry
  • $570 million in state and federal government tax revenue
  • 2.6 million hunters and anglers in Texas

Texas Whitetail Deer Market Conditions

  • 357,000 antlered bucks harvested in Texas in 2010
  • 6 antlered bucks harvested in Texas per square mile in 2010
  • Texas ranks in top 5 of percentage of 3 ½ year olds harvested