Well last week I was very fortunate to take a nice turkey that was destined to become a star. He definitely wanted to come for dinner and hang out afterwards. I can't get that hunt out of my mind. It was just one of those hunts I guess. Memorable in every way. Which brings me to another passion of mine. Taxidermy.
You see taxidermy to me is an art. One that there is no way I have the patience for nor do I have the time for. An artwork that I can appreciate. The taxidermist is an artist and takes your animal, brings it back to life just the way you remember it. I look at my mounts as artwork just like the people that collect pictures in frames with paint everywhere that to me makes no sense. I like my mounts to be unique and not just a fish on a wall, a typical duck mount and deer mount etc.
I remember my first mount a drake mallard and I was so excited to get it back. The problem was that when I got it back it was not what I imagined it would be. I was rather disappointed to say the least. That's when I decided to try and look for a real good taxidermist. It has been some time and a few mounts later but man did I fall into a great one.
His name is Joe Segler. I was introduced to Joe by Wendy a mutual friend who told me I just had to meet him and check out his work. It would be about a two hour drive but I was reassured he was the real deal. I was told how awesome his duck mounts were and that I would go nuts. So on the road I went. It's tough when you take somebodies word but you just never know.
I will never forget the first time I walked in his shop. There were duck mounts everywhere. Not just your hang on the wall average mounts but the kind that makes you drool. He had all kinds from puddle ducks, divers, sea ducks, deer, turkeys, fish and the one that told me I was dealing with a Van Gogh of taxidermy, a recreated Labrador duck. Oh yeah the one that was last seen in Elmira New York December 12, 1878 and last shot in 1875 in Long Island. That's right he recreated this duck out of seven different species of ducks!
Man I felt a bit intimidated by this guy. He was an avid duck hunter who travels all over to collect ducks in perfect plumage to mount. Truth be known he is an avid outdoors man who hunts and fishes. I hung out for a while when he offered to go to lunch and I really didn't wanna go as hard as that is to believe as I like to eat as much as I do hunt and fish. It was great we talked business and I picked his brain some more. An amazing guy who knows his craft well. The only thing I could come up with bad was that he ate salad! No salad for me since that's what my dinner eats!
Up North Journal decided he was a perfect choice to be our official taxidermist. So almost a week and a half later I was fortunate to take a gorgeous turkey in a hunt that I will remember forever. (If you didn't read my last blog do so because it's worth the read) I called Joe immediately after I shot it and found out when I could get it to him. Sunday was the day and man I watched in awe at how meticulous and surprisingly quick he was at getting the bird skinned. We sat down and looked over the video footage of the hunt and I wanted him to look the way he was standing and acting when I gave him a serious headache. We looked at a picture and now it's time for him to do his magic.
This guy has gotten awards in the World Taxidermy Championships in the Waterfowl Masters Division and many more. He judges taxidermy and is an all around great guy who knows his craft. If you have a trophy of a lifetime do not let someone ruin your animal. Make sure you let a experienced knowledgeable taxidermist take care of it for you so your not disappointed. If you don't have one give Joe a call. He can help you get the animal to him, whether you live in Alaska, Central America or Maine. He has clients all over the United States as well as some outside the country. You won't be disappointed.
I will be giving updates on the process of this mount in further blogs so stay tuned to see how it turns out. Check back as I just realized I don't know what happened to the pic of the Labrador duck recreation. Also watch the future episodes of Beyond the Wild for some video updates as well. Joe can be reached at:
Joe Segler Taxidermy
734-487-6767 Shop Phone
734-487-6767 Shop Phone
734-523-6767 Cell Phone