A day in the life of a taxidermist


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Mr Keogh, who runs a taxidermy enterprise simply outdoors of Canberra, is without doubt one of the solely folks within the occupation within the ACT.

In a median yr, the taxidermist works on between 70 and 100 animals every taking a minimal of three months from begin to end.

Scott Keogh working with a Himalayan tahr.

Scott Keogh working with a Himalayan tahr.Credit score:Elesa Kurtz

Whereas a lot of the jobs he completes are for personal purchasers and hunters, his work takes him to some surprising locations.

“There’s additionally a little bit of restoration work for animal fashions in Canberra museums,” Mr Keogh stated.

“However 99 per cent of my work is for hunters.”

For Mr Keogh, rising up on a farm meant taking pictures was a lifestyle. He learnt the best way to lure rabbits when he was three-years-old.

Mr Keogh completes between 70 and 100 animals per year.

Mr Keogh completes between 70 and 100 animals per yr.Credit score:Elesa Kurtz

He turned fascinated by taxidermy after eager to get a pig’s head he had killed mounted, however he could not afford it.

With many within the taxidermy trade not eager to move on their strategies, Mr Keogh stated he taught himself the best way to do it.

“It was all trial and error and attempting to place two and two collectively,” he stated.

“I used to be nonetheless doing that till round 15 years in the past when the web got here round, and I received speaking to a couple different taxidermists on-line.”

Mr Keogh stated perceptions of the trade have modified dramatically through the years he is been concerned as extra folks search them out.

“My spouse used to not inform folks, however she does now. Taxidermy is what it’s,” he stated.

“My job is not as gory as a butcher, who works chopping up contemporary meat. I work with leather-based and protect the pores and skin and the reminiscence of the animal.”

Mr Keogh begins his work week by getting the animal skins and mounting them on a solid. He additionally makes use of air brushes to provide a sheen to different animals additional alongside the manufacturing line.

Deer make up the vast majority of the animals he works with, however he additionally works with unique animals.

“I really like working with a Himalayan tahr, most likely as a result of I hunt them typically, and whereas they don’t seem to be the toughest animal to get, the terrain they reside in is without doubt one of the worst on the planet,” he stated.

“I get one each second journey or so. Though, I solely fired two pictures this yr, and I’d’ve seen numerous animals.”

As a part of the taxidermy course of, Mr Keogh stated he typically goes into the bush with a digital camera, taking as many images as he can to get an correct level of reference for the animals he works with.

Mr Keogh stated there have been many advantages to his job, reminiscent of working within the open air frequently.

“The perfect a part of the job is the liberty of it,” he stated.

“Getting the pores and skin of animal wanting like the true factor shouldn’t be a simple activity. Anybody can pull a pores and skin over a kind, however to get the look proper takes plenty of time.”

Andrew Brown is a journalist on the Sunday Canberra Occasions. Andrew has labored on the Canberra Occasions since 2016.

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