|Eagle Scout Turned Taxidermist|
Posting Date: 04/29/2010
The Boy Scouts watch and listen to John Paul Seiler explain how to prepare the hide for mounting on the foam form, already clayed, for fitting the hide to the mount. Scouts are L-R: Tyler Stimmel (under the form’s jaw), Dan Crouse, Hank Matthes, Nick Eninger (behind Hank), Robert Lyberg beside Nick, and John Paul Seiler far right.
Submitted by Scout Master Mark Povenmire
I guess the correct term would be “Stuffing.” Recently John Paul Seiler, an Eagle Scout from Troop 315, won an award at an Ohio taxidermy competition. How does he do it? Well, ask a Boy Scout from Troop 315, and they’ll tell you.
The troop took a bicycle trip out to Seiler’s Taxidermy on Twp 139 to find out how he transforms recently deceased animals into works of art. The boys were apprehensive at first when the hides where hanging from the ceiling and dripping liquid into a bucket. Then they learned that salt is used in curing the hides, which locks the hair follicles so that the hair doesn't’t fall out over time.
After curing, the hides are then test fit over a foam form that closely resembles the animal’s original muscular and skeletal form. John Paul then sculpts the form with clay to fill any variances between the hides and the form. Plastic eyes are added, and the antlers are positioned on the form. The hide is finally placed on the completed form and stitched up. This is of course a brief synopsis of the actual process. Gory details, like the flesh eating beetles, were left out, but the scouts found them interesting.
John Paul then led the scouts to the showroom where he displays his works of art. His first project was a raccoon that wasn’t quite anatomically correct, but he has since progressed to really nice displays. He has several award winning mounts that Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops would be proud to display. Soon John Paul is going to Michigan for several days to learn from a renowned professional taxidermist. We’re all proud of you John Paul!
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