Done well, the trophy room is a space that tells the stories of the animals and the many experiences of the hunts themselves.
Trophy Rooms by Animal Artistry by Animal Artistry posted May 8, 2020 at 7:52 AM
Our skilled trophy room design team will work with your architect or builder for new construction or remodel projects that perfectly capture the realism of the outdoors. Gone are the days of the “den of death” — an uninspired space adorned with severed heads. Our vision brings the outdoors in. These stunning dioramas begin with the backdrop, a site-specific mural that visually expands the room while also lending depth, dimensions, and realism. Our team then constructs stunningly realistic settings based on your animals’ native habitats. The diorama builds on the background with dramatic sets that include reproduction trees and foliage, rock formations, water features, professional lighting, and even appropriate weather elements and sound effects. These custom habitats allow for the display of more animals without a crowded effect, and the effect as a whole beautifully brings the animals’ stories to life. Animal Artistry is the innovator in the taxidermy industry creating original, high quality works of wildlife art that truly share the story of your hunt.
WHY THE BEST ANIMAL TROPHIES BEGIN WITH PROPER FIELD CARE
Why the Best Animal Trophies Begin with Proper Field Care
There was a time when proper field care was a matter of honor and respect. Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be the case for the majority of hunters today. Many outfitters do the bare minimum, with hunters not knowing the difference, or everyone assumes someone else along the line will handle it. Poor field care is a sad and all-too-common statement about hunting today, and it means that many great trophy skins are lost before they even begin.
The Way It Was
Mike Boyce, the owner of Animal Artistry, has a story about field care that stands out among his many hunting memories. He was hunting Dall Sheep in the Yukon and made a kill on a great ram. Afterwards, his Indian guide set up for a lengthy process of preparing the skin. He made a small fire and a cup of tea before reaching into his saddlebag to retrieve his tools. They were in a beautiful leather carrying case that unrolled to resemble a selection reminiscent of a surgeon’s tools. The guide carefully and expertly skinned the animal, turning the ears, splitting the lips, and thoroughly applying salt before rolling it up and placing it on the back of his saddle. Needless to say, the trophy came back from the tannery in beautiful shape and it was easy to create a great mount. This level of care and attention to detail may have once been the standard, but it’s unusual these days, when there is very little emphasis on proper field care.
Field care is a dying art, and the best advice is to take responsibility for it yourself. At Animal Artistry, we finish the hunt by creating trophies that do justice to the animal and the experience, but the most exceptional trophies always begin with the hunter. Proper field care is a learned skill, and we’re here to help. Download our free field care and preparation guide, and contact us for specific instructions regarding skinning and measurements.
SAFARI CLUB INTERNATIONAL 2020 — A REVIEW FROM ANIMAL ARTISTRY
The Safari Club International convention this year was exceptional on every front. After doing these conventions for 30 years, this was by far the best one yet — and that’s saying something. In addition to browsing the wonderful collection of exhibitors, the team from Animal Artistry had the chance to meet with outfitters from all around the world, many of whom owner Mike Boyce has hunted with and known for many years.
The Client Perspective
Attendance is always critical to a good show, on both the exhibitor side and, more importantly, the spectator side. We don’t have final attendance numbers, but we were pleased with the traffic through the show and we were particularly thrilled to see a number of our own clients at SCI 2020, many of whom had traveled far and wide to see the mounts and talk about prospective trophy rooms. As event attendees toured our exhibit, it was most encouraging to hear the comments on our quality of work. Many people found it hard to believe we could accomplish this with a three-month guaranteed turnaround — and it was a treat to ensure them that it’s most certainly true.
We heard repeatedly from unhappy hunters who had trophies sitting at a taxidermist for two, three, or even four years. It has always been our goal at Animal Artistry to deliver a beautiful piece of artwork in the timeliest fashion, out of respect to both the hunter and the animal, and our commitment to the 90-day turnaround makes that a reality for our clients.
Mike took the opportunity to leave the booth this year and wander the show. As he toured the many exhibits, he was struck by all of the familiar faces. And the more hands he shook and the more conversations he had, the more he realized how the industry as a whole will only benefit from taking these relationships further. Animal Artistry is committed to helping the world’s best outfitters stand out — we want to share their stories right here on our blog and across our social media accounts. We spoke to a number of outfitters who are anxious for the exposure, and we invite you to contact us directly regarding guest posts if you feel that your business speaks for itself. It’s an honor to connect with businesses who share a similar philosophy, and we welcome the opportunity to learn more about what sets you apart.
While Mike has attended Safari Club conventions for decades, it was a brand new experience for one of his newest staff members. “It was an eye-opening experience coming from the design industry into the hunting and conservation industry,” says Shiloh Reading, graphic production artist. “There are folks who spend their lives engaging with and admiring the natural world. They bring that spirit to SCI, and share it through stories, experience, photos and amazing craftsmanship. Being able to see their passion for animals and wildlife behind and beyond the scope is something I feel everyone should experience.”
It was wonderful to be a part of this year’s convention and receive such an immense response from the attendees. It makes us excited to plan for the year ahead — and another great show next year!
At the Safari Club International convention here in Reno this February, we had the opportunity to speak with many people. What was striking was the number of hunters who shared versions of the same story – the immense delays they were experiencing with their current taxidermists. It’s a common complaint, but it begs the questions – when it comes to taxidermy, what are you waiting for?
Different Hunter, Same Story
The hunters differed, but the story was a version of the same problem. People had ten to fifteen animals – even fifty in one exceptional case! – sitting at the taxidermist for months, even years on end. One hunter had been waiting for several mounts for over four years! These hunters continue to harvest and bring in new skins for trophies, knowing all the while that they’re at the end of a lengthy backlog of trophies.
At the show, hunters shared these scenarios and acknowledged with some amount of chagrin that our 90-day turnaround sounded too good to be true and “if only” they could move their skins. For whatever reason, the hunter/taxidermist relationship feels sacred. I sometimes joke that hunters would feel more comfortable cheating on their spouse than taking skins away from their local taxidermist. But hiring a taxidermist is a business transaction, and it should be treated as such. There is a professional standard to which you’d hold your carpenter, landscaper, or electrician, and yet the taxidermist often gets a free case at the client’s expense.
Keep it Professional
It’s bad business, plain and simple, to let tanned skins grow dusty on the shelf for months and years on end. Nothing good happens while animals sit unmounted and the best trophy mounts come from freshly tanned hides. As the client, you deserve respect. And if you aren’t getting your mounts back by at least the six-month mark, it’s time to make a change. We’d love to show you how Animal Artistry approaches taxidermy from an entirely different angle, and what it means to you as the client. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your options.
After the skin is mounted and dried, it is sent to the finishing department (aka the beauty department) for final touches — cleaning, grooming, airbrushing, and the artistry that truly brings your trophy to life.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Hi the dude in the picture. It would be cool to know the area (genetics) of the stag you have in your profile picture. I am from New Zealand and shot a stag here that is almost identical, especially the throw backs. I can send you a photo to prove I'm genuine with my enquiry.