Hi! I'm a taxidermist.
To me, Nature is God. Without it, we simply would not exist. Conserving the world’s natural spaces and the creatures that live there is paramount to the survival of humans as a species, and I have therefore dedicated my life to studying environmentalism in order to help people co-exist more successfully and sustainably with the natural world.
All natural materials I use in my creations are either sourced from roadkill, Fish and Game, secondhand sources such as fellow artists and estate sales, or are antique. In this way, I'm ensuring that no animals were needlessly killed for the sake of the artwork I produce. I fully believe that no part of any creature should go to waste if a purpose can be found for it, but I do NOT support trophy hunters or overseas fur farms by buying 'byproducts' like bones, skulls, or claws directly from them. The only exception I make for this rule is for parts from animals legally culled for population control programs approved by Fish and Wildlife.
As a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, I've been involved with many fantastic organizations such as Images4Life and Wild Tiger, as well as the Sierra Club and many smaller, local groups.
I've been published, interviewed, and even featured on Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”)'s personal networking website, SoulPancake.com.
I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to visit many of the world’s most amazing wild places, like Komodo Island, Bali, Lombok, Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands, and have even documented entirely new species previously unknown to science.
Other interests include: Wilderness survival, primitive skills, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, boffing, airsoft, snowboarding, meandering around town, and caving.
A few weeks ago, Andrew and I went to Wilco and I had to stop and check out the baby chicks as I usually do. It was their last lot of the season (they don’t sell chicks during wintertime), so they had an abnormally high quantity of birds in each enclosure.
And it was causing some problems.
See, chickens are mean little bastards, and when they get too crowded, they’ll sometimes peck at one-another. When a chicken sees red, it’s like they revert back to this strange primal cannibalistic behavior, and they can, in some instances, literally kill one-another because of this incessant pecking behavior.
Several of the chicks at this Wilco were covered in bloody sores and didn’t seem to be doing too well as a result. I told an employee about it and she was very aware of the problem; she had been scooping up injured chicks all day long and separating them from the rest so they could recuperate, but since nobody wanted to buy injured bloody chickens, she felt kind of at a loss.
I told her that I’d take the worst of the bunch and do what I could. The employee was so happy and thankful that she intentionally marked the prices of the chicks down significantly when she rang me up at the counter. So I’ve now got seven new chicks (who are actually pullets at this point): Three Rhode Island reds, a black Jersey giant, a blue barred rock, a gold-laced Wyandotte, and some kind of white chick that has unusual black spotting on her head.
All but the white one are actually doing really well. I covered their wounds in pine tar and they’re growing their feathers back nicely. I also upped the amount of protein in their diets to prevent further cannibalistic tendencies.
As for the white pullet - I have no idea what’s wrong with her. She has very bizarre conformation and seems sluggish and weak all the time, but still eats and drinks like the rest of them, has no issues passing stools, and is, aside from some missing feathers that are now coming back in just fine, outwardly healthy. I think she was just badly-bred.
At any rate, I guess we’ll be getting a lot more eggs than usual this coming spring, and I actually have half a mind to just sell the pullets once they’re of laying age because I don’t really need this many birds. I got them largely because I knew that wouldn’t stand a chance unless I did something to help, so that’s where we’re at right now.
Local Sheriff called to ask if I could remove some problem beavers from his property next week. I’ve been low on funds and food, didn’t get a deer tag this season, and am still waiting for my SNAP benefits to arrive.
All my expendable income has gone toward the dogs and my mortgage, so if I do hunt these beavers I fully plan to eat them myself. Anyone eaten beaver before? If so, how did you cook it and how did it taste? I’m thinking stew would probably be my best option, but I’m open to suggestions.