Crowley’s Ridge offering European taxidermy workshop for deer hunters

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JONESBORO, Ark. (News release) – The Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center will host a special workshop on how to prepare your own European skull mount of your deer from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 28.

Although there’s no substituting a professionally prepared mounted head of a trophy deer from a taxidermist, many hunters like the look of a cleaned skull mount, commonly called a European mount because of its popularity with big-game hunters overseas. A basic shoulder mount done by a professional taxidermist can cost $400 or more, depending on the work needed and the reputation and skill of the artist. Skull mounts cost a fraction of that price. Hunters willing to put in the time can create their own works of art at home with minimal equipment and some sweat equity.

“We will have a seminar and a demonstration to show people first-hand how to make their own mount,” said Cody Walker, education program specialist for the AGFC. “We’ll take folks from a harvested deer all the way through the process of skinning, cleaning, boiling, bleaching and sealing their trophy.”

Walker says the center has procured a few deer heads to use in the demonstration, and attendees will not be able to bring their own trophy to the workshop.

“By all means, bring some pictures of your trophies and hunting stories to have a great time,” Walker said. “But we’ll be covering all the different steps from start to finish, so we won’t have enough time to do the whole job on one skull in the workshop. But you should walk out of the workshop ready to tackle your deer’s skull on your own.”

Taxidermy is only one of many classes that revolve around hunting and angling at Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center. Since its establishment in 2004, the center has prided itself in recruiting hunters and anglers and focusing on how hunters and anglers are part of the big picture of conservation in Arkansas.

“We do several different taxidermy seminars for different types of animals during the year,” Walker said. “We also really try to put on as many ‘Hunting 101’ or ‘introduction to hunting and angling’ workshops as we can. Recruiting the next generation of hunters and anglers is part of our mission, and it’s one of the things we enjoy doing most at the center.”

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