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.

 

Forgot to Mention!

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. 


hollyisaheadcase asked
You are 100% the raddest women I have ever seen/heard of in my life. Please continue to be your radical taxidermist, socially concerned, dog loving, educator self. Because I am continually blown away and grateful that you exist in the same world I do.

Huh.

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.  

Nearly Every USGS Topo Map Ever Made. For Free.

rhamphotheca:

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been producing detailed topographic maps for more than 125 years. Today they are nearly all digitized and free to download through the USGS Map Store, an incredible treasure trove for both map junkies and casual hikers alike…

► Rescue Me!

naturepunk:

Attention dog-lovers of Tumblr! 

It’s that time of year again where Rescue Me opens up their pockets for deserving rescues. 

By clicking the link below, you will enter Songdog Rescue into the running for one of 50 grants! The best part? You only have to click once!

Each click is measured by IP Address, so just one click helps us out! Clicking multiple times or having to do it every day isn’t necessary to do your part.

So do us a favor, and just click the link above! The pups thank you and we’re all crossing our paws for some veterinary assistance.


skiddyfisk:

i-am-charlotte-sometimes:

yourpantseridan:

Look at this beautiful wolfdog, it just wandered into my backyard and I had to take care of it. You know its a real wolf dog because it doesn’t bark, I took it to the vet and he said it definitely was not a dog.
I don’t think you other people really understand how hard it is too keep and train a wolf, it keeps hissing at me even now.

The majestik wolfdog’s first form of defence when faced with danger is it’s loud bark that actually sounds more like hissing. It’s other form of defence is it’s unique “if I don’t move I must be invisible” thought process. Unfortunately this action usually fails as wolfdog’s cannot infact become invisible.

naturepunk
this dog doesn’t look very wolfy to ME

Obviously, this is not a wolfdog, but in fact, a pure wolf. The salt-and-pepper coloration of the fur is indicative of an older animal, past it’s prime, but the old brute will nevertheless pose a challenge for its new owners.Here’s a photo of the pure wolf I worked with last summer for comparison: 
My wolf was a little younger than the one above, which is why he’s a bit more testy about having a camera up in his face. Inevitably, releasing him was our only option because he grew very restless at night and it was keeping us all awake. He was obviously pining for his old life in the woods. You can take the wolf out of the wild, you can’t take the wild out of the wolf! 

skiddyfisk:

i-am-charlotte-sometimes:

yourpantseridan:

Look at this beautiful wolfdog, it just wandered into my backyard and I had to take care of it. You know its a real wolf dog because it doesn’t bark, I took it to the vet and he said it definitely was not a dog.

I don’t think you other people really understand how hard it is too keep and train a wolf, it keeps hissing at me even now.

The majestik wolfdog’s first form of defence when faced with danger is it’s loud bark that actually sounds more like hissing.
It’s other form of defence is it’s unique “if I don’t move I must be invisible” thought process. Unfortunately this action usually fails as wolfdog’s cannot infact become invisible.

naturepunk
this dog doesn’t look very wolfy to ME

Obviously, this is not a wolfdog, but in fact, a pure wolf. The salt-and-pepper coloration of the fur is indicative of an older animal, past it’s prime, but the old brute will nevertheless pose a challenge for its new owners.

Here’s a photo of the pure wolf I worked with last summer for comparison: 

My wolf was a little younger than the one above, which is why he’s a bit more testy about having a camera up in his face.

Inevitably, releasing him was our only option because he grew very restless at night and it was keeping us all awake. He was obviously pining for his old life in the woods. You can take the wolf out of the wild, you can’t take the wild out of the wolf! 

neverlookidly:

fantasynolife:

have I ever mentioned, that there is a vampire-cat in my neighborhood?

baby sabertooth omg

shittycoyote:

@naturepunk

Beautiful pup! He looks so happy and lively, too! 

As for content - I don’t see anything about him that stands out as exceptionally ‘wolfy’; he has blue eyes, a curled tail, very pointed ears that are set far apart on his head, and a has doggy body type and stance while at rest.

He has some overlapping traits (like the cape of longer fur on his back, and lanky limbs), but these are most likely not the result of wolf heritage. In a way, he actually reminds me of my current foster pup, Diamond, who was claimed to be a wolfdog but is actually a malamute mix. 

Hope this helps! 

veinsofopal:

animperfecthumanbeing:

Cutest dog I have ever seen. Wolfdog/Husky/German Shepherd mix.

naturepunk, I know it’s difficult phenotyping at such a young age, but what do you think?

From a genetic standpoint, the merle gene is unique to only certain breeds and is, in addition, recessive. So this pup is not what it’s claimed to be at all. German shepherds, huskies, and wolves are not known to be carriers of the merle pattern. However, Australian shepherds and some collies are, and that seems to be causing a bit of confusion in the wolfdog community. A while back, a supposed high content wolfdog mated with a boarder collie to create the animal below:
It was claimed to be a low-content wolfdog. But many people in the community believe that it’s just a merle collie mixed with a husky/Aussie shepherd mutt and has no wolf content whatsoever. This certainly stands to reason and would be a much more plausible account for the dog’s unique markings. I’m guessing that the owner of the puppy in the original post saw the claimed “merle wolfdog” and assumed that’s what their puppy was? Or perhaps it’s what they were told by a breeder who didn’t know any better themselves. In any event, without even needing to do a phenotype, I can say with complete confidence that no canine with enough content to be considered a true wolfdog has been a carrier of the merle gene, nor have any displayed it to my knowledge. 

veinsofopal:

animperfecthumanbeing:

Cutest dog I have ever seen. Wolfdog/Husky/German Shepherd mix.

naturepunk, I know it’s difficult phenotyping at such a young age, but what do you think?

From a genetic standpoint, the merle gene is unique to only certain breeds and is, in addition, recessive.

So this pup is not what it’s claimed to be at all. German shepherds, huskies, and wolves are not known to be carriers of the merle pattern.

However, Australian shepherds and some collies are, and that seems to be causing a bit of confusion in the wolfdog community. 

A while back, a supposed high content wolfdog mated with a boarder collie to create the animal below:

It was claimed to be a low-content wolfdog. But many people in the community believe that it’s just a merle collie mixed with a husky/Aussie shepherd mutt and has no wolf content whatsoever. This certainly stands to reason and would be a much more plausible account for the dog’s unique markings. 

I’m guessing that the owner of the puppy in the original post saw the claimed “merle wolfdog” and assumed that’s what their puppy was? Or perhaps it’s what they were told by a breeder who didn’t know any better themselves.

In any event, without even needing to do a phenotype, I can say with complete confidence that no canine with enough content to be considered a true wolfdog has been a carrier of the merle gene, nor have any displayed it to my knowledge. 

Above are Sioxtalas Nuri (a black-phase high content wolfdog), and his great love, Molly (a low/no mixed-breed dog). 

Below are their 6-month-old offspring, Maya and Leo.

They’re both from the same litter, and are still a bit young for a solidly accurate phenotype (which is why I’ll be using broader content ranges to describe them), but it’s nevertheless an excellent opportunity to visually display why content is a much more accurate means of describing the wolfy-ness of a wolfdog than percentage is. 

For the sake of making this less complicated, we’ll say that we know Nuri’s lines, and that he is 90% wolf, while Molly is just 10% (Note that I don’t actually know their lines very well, so am just making an educated guess to streamline this example). 

On paper, the offspring would be 50% wolf and 50% domestic canine.

In appearance and behavior, however, these two pups phenotype as different contents, despite sharing the same parents and being the same percentage of wolf from a mathematical standpoint.

But math and genetics are two very different subjects, and calling Maya “half wolf” would be a misnomer, as she inherited more dog traits than her brother, and is therefore not “half wolf” at all.

She has her mother’s tall pointed doglike ears, a stark white facial mask, broader muzzle, coarse dog fur, thicker legs, and a ‘flag’ tail of the sort typically seen in German shepherds. She got her rather’s wolfy cheek ruffs, amber-colored almond-shaped eyes, and long-toed wolf paws. But genetically, she is mostly dog.

When full grown, she will likely phenotype as either a low or a low mid in content. This description is far more accurate than stating that she is either “50%” or “half” wolf. 

Her brother is in a similar boat, but Leo inherited more wolf than dog traits. He has his father’s elongated wolfy muzzle, very pronounced cheek ruffs, rounded well-furred ears, lankier legs and narrower chest, blended coat coloration, and silky wolf-like fur. The dog traits he inherited from his mother are her dark eyes, compact catlike paws, and flag tail (visible in other photos, but admittedly not here). 

Despite coming from the same pairing, Leo is more wolf than dog, and will, when full-grown, likely phenotype as either a solid or upper mid in content. To call him “50%” or “half” wolf would be incorrect, because of the traits he inherited. 

Be wary of people who describe the wolfy-ness of their supposed wolfdogs in terms of percentages or fractions. These are not accurate means to determine wolf content, because, as we’ve just learned, genetics are random and simply will not split evenly in a pairing between two unique animals. This is especially true when the parents of such widely-ranging contents. 

For more information on content Vs. percentage in wolfdogs, please click here