One of the earliest pics of Jimmy at Wildlife Creations Studio
Just when you think you have a person pegged and you think you know them, they tell you something that hits you from left field. Well, you learn something new every day, don't you? This may be one of those moments.
Most of you probably don't know this, but before moving to Nashville and touring the world; I used to be successful, award winning (yes, I'll brag because I'm proud of it) Taxidermist! Yes, you heard me right, TAXIDERMIST!
One of the many full size mounts Jimmy completed
I had a small shop(Wildlife Creations Studio) setup in the huge metropolis of Pleasantville,WI (unincorporated). I had converted the showroom of the local car dealership into a full blown studio where I created mounts of everything from fish to elk; deer to birds; buffalo to moose and everything in between. I spent hours upon hours in the shop working on mostly the local trophies and had a blast doing it.
You're probably asking, "Why in the world would you want to be a taxidermist??"
Jimmy worked on all animals from deer, elk, bear - to fish, moose, buffalo, etc
I was fresh out of the only semester of college I attended. I knew college wasn't for me, but I needed to find something to make a living at to supplement what I wasn't making when playing music. I was adamant about not just getting the typical 9 to 5, but rather find something that I truly enjoyed doing besides playing music. I loved to hunt and I loved art, but I didn't think anyone would want to pay me to go hunting or paint a picture at the time. I thought about how I could combine the two and the taxidermy idea was born.
I attended American Institute of Taxidermy in Northeastern Wisconsin under the instruction of master taxidermist, Dennis Reinhart. A lot of great times were had during class and I never knew taking classes could be so enjoyable. When you're doing something you love it brings a lot of joy.
Some deer mounts in the drying stages at Wildlife Creations Studio
Many people that look at a deer head, bird, or fish on the wall may only see a dead deer, bird, or fish. Even some hunters and fisherman. When I see a mount on the wall, I see art. To me it's no different than going to an art museum and seeing a Van Gough or a Da Vinci piece. To me, it's art.. Bringing an animal back to life is art and I did just that.. A LOT. It was one of the most rewarding and gratifying things I've done. Every animal has different features and characteristics and being an obvious hunter myself - I felt that I owed not only the customer a great mount, but I also owed the animal itself respect for taking it's life and recreating it the best that I could.
Taxidermy is something near and dear to my heart and it's one thing that I am very proud to say I excelled at. You never know, I may have some projects in the works soon.