Proper Taxidermy Essential for Mounting Trophy Kills

Michael Stevens of Hill Country Taxidermy shows a remount of a deer killed by his father. Stevens used the most current form for the mount which was sculpted by Ben Mears from Mississippi. The sculpt is anatomically correct and fits Southern deer “like a glove.”

BY GENA HUFF, Editor

With deer hunting season now upon us, all the male and female hunters out there begin thinking of that big trophy buck. The one they can hang on the wall and reminisce about the wait and the kill.

Mounting a deer is no easy task and it is definitely not for the inexperienced. One local taxidermist sat down with me to discuss his process and experience mounting deer and other wildlife for display.

Michael Stevens, of Hill Country Taxidermy in Pickensville, works as a full-time taxidermist these days. After 27 years as a field service technician for a North Alabama poultry company and doing taxidermy on the side, Stevens has recently retired and taken on taxidermy as his full-time profession. “I did the poultry business during the day,” said Stevens. “The taxidermy I did on evenings and weekends.”

Stevens began with a 40-hour course in taxidermy in 2008. His teacher was Paul Witt from Belmont, Miss., a well-renowned taxidermist and taxidermy judge. This course was for deer heads only. Fish mounts, bobcats, and fox Stevens said he picked up over the years on his own through personal study.

“I am a fur trapper too,” said Stevens. “I do a lot of predator-control work at different times of the year, and I would catch bobcats, I would catch fox, I would catch coyotes in my traps, and those would be my specimens I would use to practice with doing life-size animals.”


See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.
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