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Thread: Hello from your forum sponsor

  1. #1
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Talking Hello from your forum sponsor

    Hello fellow hunters and fisher people!

    Just dropping a howdy by and wanted to tell you all a little about myself and my business, Alaska Wildlife Rugs and Taxidermy, to open in early March in Wasilla.

    My name is Juli Wolter and I have been a resident of this great state for about 28 yrs now. I graduated from Wasilla High, in fact, but have resided from as far as Prince of Wales Island in southeast to Tok. I love hunting - both with bow and gun - and fishing as well. I have been a taxidermist for going on 14 yrs now (hard to believe) and have worked for a very well known shop for ten of those yrs. I am certainly no 'newbie' when it comes to taxidermy.

    As you might note from the name of the business, I will be specializing in rugs - but will not limit my work to just doing rugs because I like a change of pace every once in a while and enjoy the artwork of all aspects of taxidermy - at least in the 'mammal' department (sorry fish and bird folks). In fact one of the first mounts I will be working on in my new shop will be a life size mountain lion.

    I want you all to know that I don't intend to make the use of my sponsorship an all out advertising campaign. LOL. But from time to time I will probably pop in and say hello and post a few pix of what is going on in 'the shop'. For the most part I hope I can establish my business as one with an excellent reputation of friendly customer service and superior quality in taxidermy. Personally, I think I complete the best rugs in the state.

    I am including a couple of pix to show the quality of work I do. To see more pix you can visit my gallery page on my website ... www.alaskawildliferugs.com

    Thanks a bunch!
    Juli
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    Taxidermy IS art!
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    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, Juli! We hope this works out well for you and we really appreciate your support. Best of luck interacting with folks here!

    Take care,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  3. #3
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Welcome aboard, Juli! We hope this works out well for you and we really appreciate your support. Best of luck interacting with folks here!

    Take care,

    -Mike
    Thanks Mike,

    Ak outdoors directory is a super wealth of knowledge, insight, and (of course) opinions regarding all things Alaskan! :-)
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

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    Thumbs up open mouth - nice!

    Very cool open mouth bear Juli. So very lifelike, even when sent as a picture it invokes a bit of nature's fear response - the mark of extremely well done taxi work.

    I look forward to more pictures like you mention. In the meantime, I have a request, if it fits in with the message you're working to send. Could you discuss some of the details involved in a mount like this. Possibly even from the viewer's perspective, could you review what the critical eye looks for and sees on well done mounts?

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Hi FamilyMan,

    Not ignoring your request. Quality is a HUGE subject, and important to me, so I will try to sit down and respond in the next day or two, without being too long winded. LOL

    Juli
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  6. #6
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Thanks FamillyMan,
    I will try to give an idea of what I think folks should look for in quality taxidermy.
    First of all, It is IMPOSSIBLE to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If a hunter brings in a bear that is badly rubbed (ie, buffalo bear) or a wolf that has mange or lice, NOTHING the taxidermist can do will make that animal into a show quality piece. You have to start with a good specimen – and that includes making sure the animal is well taken care of in the field so that hair doesn’t slip or epidermis around the eyes or nose or ears doesn’t start sluffing off.

    When looking at an actual mount I personally look at the face first – eyes, then nose, then mouth, and ears. Then I look at the feet and body.

    Eyes are the most difficult part of taxidermy to master. The eyes are the first thing people look at. Most people can tell something is ‘amiss’ when they look at improperly set eyes. Sometimes they can’t describe exactly what is wrong, but they know there is something 'not right'.

    Nose – I have a fetish for good noses. And that means using the animal’s REAL nose, which does take longer, but produces a much better mount, IMO. Many taxidermists replace the real nose with an artificial one. I think they look fake; especially if they are not installed correctly. The nostrils should be symmetrical, the inside finish work should be smooth and painted appropriately. Artificial septums (center of the inside of the nose) are nice, but IMO, not a do or die addition to a mount.

    Mouth – if the mount is open mouth the finish work on the inside should be smooth and free of paintbrush marks or fingerprints. Paint should NOT be pepto bismol pink!!!!! Nor should the outer edges of the lips be JET BLACK. Some taxidermists use mouth sets that are produced to look like the inside of a living animal’s mouth. I really like these, because they add realism to the mount that a taxidermist never could – at least not that he or she could complete in a timely fashion. They do add cost to the mount but I think worth the extra investment. The bear I pictured in the original post does not have a ‘detailed’ mouth insert or jawset, and if you were able to put it next to one that did, you would probably prefer the more lifelike insert. With closed mouth mounts it is important not to have huge gaps filled with putty where the skin pulled away from the form. Again, they should feel smooth and lack any roughness with appropriate colored paint.

    Ears – Ears should well set on the head (not loose or wiggly) and the skin in the inside should not be ‘drummed’ if the taxidermist uses ear liners – or super fat (what I call stung by a bee) if done with bondo. Ear position can vary, as long as the distance from the eye to the ear and the distance across the head is symmetrical. Ear position is often dictated by the pose and overall demeanor the taxidermist is trying to reproduce. I wouldn’t want ears alert on a bear that was in an aggressive pose.

    Antlers/horns – the skin should be flush under the antler burr or horn. Making sure the ‘head gear’ is set at the appropriate angle is also important. Side view pix from the hunter will help the taxidermist get the antlers set appropriately, but most good taxidermists have knowledge about proper set of horns and antlers.

    Feet on an animal should not look STUFFED. They should look like the animal’s natural foot. Some taxidermists overstuff the feet with clay resulting in the ‘bee sting’ look.

    This is really a lot of info – and really I think the best advice I can give to folks is this… When you look at a taxidermy mount, does it look like the animals you see in photographs or in the wild? Does it look ‘alive’?

    Thanks a bunch! Hope I didn’t ramble on too long!
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    Taxidermy IS art!
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    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  7. #7

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    I wish you the best of success in your business.

  8. #8
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Thank you AGL4now! I appreciate the kind words!

    A few updates.

    For the most part the 'shop' is all put together and ready for work! (though still a little of the 'move in mess' LOL).... First projects that I will be working on are lifesize mt lion, lifesize lynx and fox, deer shoulder mount and, of course various rugs. On display I have a flat rug and 'normal' rug - both prime prince william sound black bears, as well as a wolverine pedestal and soon a lynx rug (in process now).

    A word about flat rugs...They are a terrific way to have a 'kids' first bear (or other animal) rugged. They are about 1/3 the cost of a regular rug, are EASY to care for and hang (or put on the floor) you don't have to worry about ears, nose, mouth, eyes getting bumped, scratched, or damaged. Probably one of the best ways I know to save a little money while displaying that 'first' success with a nice 'finished' look. If you want to see one up close, I do have one in the shop. All flat rugs are dyed, felted (two colors), and have padding, backing, and hangers.

    Also - Alaska Wildlife Rugs can now seal black bears and fur bearers and is glad to offer that service to anyone, customer or not.

    An FYI for everyone! Alaska Wildlife Rugs and Taxidermy will have a booth at the Mat-Su Sportsman's Show. We will have a drawing for over $100 of bear baiting supplies (AK907 Bait'em) and discount coupons for fleshing and skinning services. Also will have a couple of mounts for display as well. Stop on by, I'd like to say 'hello'!

    Juli
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  9. #9
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    Could you post a pic of a flat rug. I googled one and got a few ideas but would like to see one here also. Sounds like a great alternative to just tanning a hide.

  10. #10
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Hi Tekla, I can do that later today for you.

    Flat rugs are a great alternative - and if they are done right, look really nice too!

    Juli
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  11. #11
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Sharing an updated photo of Alaska Wildlife Rugs and Taxidermy new location and shop. It's been a process because I figure this might be the only chance I have to make everything the way I want it! Next week the outdoor sign/banner will be put up, so the location of the shop will be easier to see from the road.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  12. #12
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuliW View Post



    A word about flat rugs...They are a terrific way to have a 'kids' first bear (or other animal) rugged. They are about 1/3 the cost of a regular rug....

    Juli

    Typo....flat rugs are actually about 1/3 LESS Than a regular rug...or about two thirds the cost of a regular rug. My bad!
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  13. #13
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    here is a picture of the face and head of a black bear flat rug. This was not an exceptionally large bear, so was an ideal candidate for a flat rug.
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    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Do you even need the hide intact on the lower jaw for a flat rug? It appears that it just gets trimmed off.

  15. #15
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Yes, the lower jaw is good to keep attached...it does get trimmed but is nice to have for ensuring a symmetrical look on the finished rug.
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  16. #16
    Member ADUKHNT's Avatar
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    Your work looks great, too bad I already have a rug in the works at another place or I would bring it to you. When I get a nice brown bear or lynx I'll bring it your way.
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Thanks Akdukhunt!
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

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    Hello, I am curious... I shot a 300lbs black bear this last September, I was sponsored to go on a hunt in South Western Alaska with the Wounded Warrior Project, I could have never afforded that hunt on my own. After I harvested my bear, I took it to the guides recommended taxidermist as we flew into Anchorage. It was done at Knights. I did have to pay for the hide to be tanned, I could not afford the elaborate rug, my question is can I eventually have the tanned hide turned into the full head and paws rug. Or is that option to late?

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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aCOMBATIVEpyro View Post
    Hello, I am curious... I shot a 300lbs black bear this last September, I was sponsored to go on a hunt in South Western Alaska with the Wounded Warrior Project, I could have never afforded that hunt on my own. After I harvested my bear, I took it to the guides recommended taxidermist as we flew into Anchorage. It was done at Knights. I did have to pay for the hide to be tanned, I could not afford the elaborate rug, my question is can I eventually have the tanned hide turned into the full head and paws rug. Or is that option to late?

    Congratulations on your bear! Sounds like you got a dandy! And yes, absolutely, you can still have it made into a rug (or lifesize. half lifesize, or shoulder mount) I would not wait more than a couple of years to do so.

    Thank you for your service to our country, and for the many sacrifices I am sure you made.

    Juli
    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

  20. #20
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    A bit ago, a forum member asked if I offer camo felt for rugs. I responded that I had never seen felt offered for sale in 'camo', but thought it would be possible to come up with an alternative. Some research and good old fashioned brainstorming led to a pretty awesome looking 'felt', IMO

    I will be offering it as an option on rugs at an extra $50 for black bears and $75 for brown/grizzly bears. pictured is the felt placed behind a black bear arm.
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    Taxidermy IS art!
    www.alaskawildliferugs.com
    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

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