MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hunting generates around $420 million in salaries and wages in Minnesota.
And once you bag that prize buck, it’s hard not to want to employ a taxidermist. Edward and Jamie found out it’s not an easy job when they recently headed north. They spent one morning at Trophy Time Taxidermy in Pequot Lakes.
It’s where all eyes are focused on award winning work.
“Sometimes people think they’re the real eyes and you’re like, uh, no,” said Tim Hidde.
Hidde has been a taxidermist for 23 years.
“I probably started when I was 12. I would shoot something and mom and dad didn’t have the money so I taught myself,” said Hidde.
Now, his work is often considered art.
“It’s not just putting the animal together, it’s being able to paint and put the colors together right,” said Hidde.
He showed us the early process. Hunters bring him the whole buck they bagged. A meat processing partner cleans the deer and then turns the hide over to him. A shoulder mount starts with a mold. Extra care is taken carving out the ears and nose, because the more realistic the better.
An average shoulder mount takes 10 to 12 hours, but with so many hunters wanting to capture their kill, it can take up to a year to get it back.
Hidde said a good shoulder mount is between $450 and $500, but if you can’t spend that much money you can research some of the taxidermists new to the industry. Their mounts can be as low as $200.