By Marcia Morris [Admin note: Words fail me....especially vis-a-vis the accompanying photo.\
If taxidermy brings to mind those ubiquitous deer heads on fireplace mantels and hunting lodges, meet Dennis Smith.
He creates amazing, unique pieces, often of exotic animals. He calls himself an “artistic craftsman,” and his long career is distinguished for the quality of his extraordinary pieces.
Actually, it was those deer heads on the wall that first piqued Smith’s interest in taxidermy. As a child he wondered, “How do they do that?”
Add that to his curiosity and interest in the outdoors, hunting and fishing, and Smith figured taxidermy could be a perfect career.
Unlike today, there were no technical schools or college courses where one could learn taxidermy in the early 1970s, when Smith began. He enrolled in a correspondence course through the Northwestern School of Taxidermy in Omaha, Neb., which, he said, provided a very basic introduction to taxidermy.
He started out working with small game, deer and fish, doing any kind of work to hone his skills. Smith said he learned from practice, trial and error and, eventually, from mini-courses with specialists, which really helped him improve. More....