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Testimonials

a month ago
Dan is the guy! He was a wealth of information for my kids they learned so much about Wildlife and the outdoors from his studio! We truly appreciate him preserving a piece of our treasured family!
- Lyndsay W
a month ago
He did a great job on my coyote... He's the best!
- Leon M
a year ago
Dan's legit. He does really nice work. I've had a few European mounts done and they turn out great every time. He thinks about the little stuff that turns a good mount into an awesome one. Something as simple as the angle of the mounting of a skull to the base to best display the antlers, he thinks about it, discusses it, and executes what you discussed. Highly recommend him. The examples of shoulder and full mounts in his shop are impressive as well.
- Chad O

About Dan's Taxidermy

Our reputation has been built on serving thousands of satisfied customers using nothing but the best products and innovations available. The results are quality professional mounts for you.

Your trophy will be mounted utilizing the most modern techniques and the newest products available throughout the country. These same techniques and products are used in many state, national, and worldwide competitions. This assures you of getting the best looking and longest lasting mounts possible.

Every mount receives the same care and craftsmanship, whether it is a child’s first fish or a record bull elk. Your trophy will always bring back the memories of your past hunts and fishing trips, just like it happened yesterday. These memories are priceless to you and will be remembered forever.

Dan’s taxidermy & wildlife art will provide you with a trophy mount you’ll be proud to have in your home or place of business. We will be pleased to serve you and if there are any questions, just give us a call.

Dan the Outdoorsmen

Dan Gartner’s life passion has always been the great outdoors. A Wisconsin resident since 1966, he began hunting, fishing, and trapping locally at the age of eight and has actively continued since. Dan has traveled and hunted several locations in North America from Alaska, the Northwest Territories, and Ontario to New Mexico, Colorado, South Dakota and, of course, Wisconsin. He knows a broad range of wildlife and habitats. Dan has been an avid bow-hunter of deer for years, taking eight Pope & Young trophies. A few of which have attained Boone & Crockett status. He also loves to hunt for birds almost as much as his chocolate labrador does. He is also enjoys fishing all over Wisconsin in pursuit of both pan-fish and larger game fish. 

Dan the Taxidermist 

Dan first started practicing taxidermy when he was eleven years old and has been doing it ever since. He started Dan’s Taxidermy when he was 23 years old, and has been running it full-time ever since for over 30 years. Having over 40 years of experience hunting in the wilderness, along with over 40 years of hands-on taxidermy gives Dan the edge it takes to create a trophy mount that inspires the thrill of the hunt. By combining the correct sizing and anatomical positioning of body parts with realistic habitat work that is true to the species, he is able to create masterpieces that reflect nature itself. Dan uses some techniques known only to himself, along with tools and materials invented over the years, giving his clients the superb mounts they deserve. Most importantly, Dan loves his work and wouldn’t be happier doing anything else, except taking the day off to go hunting with his son.  



FIELD CARE

Animals may be brought in fresh or frozen (and registered if required by law). If you do not plan to bring in your trophy fresh, there are some steps that should be taken in order to preserve the condition of your trophy until it gets here.

  • All animals should be allowed to cool off as soon as possible after harvest to prevent meat and hide spoilage.

  • All animals should be allowed to cool off before sealing them in airtight plastic bags and freezing them.

  • Excessive blood should be washed off prior to storage to prevent blood stains and spoilage.

Remember: prolonged exposure to dry air inside a freezer can cause irreversible freezer-burn damage.  

FISH

  • Do not skin.

  • Should be coated with powdered borax in order to preserve the colors and natural markings. Be sure to include the gills and fins.

  • Make sure all fins are laid down and then wrap whole fish in a wet towel that won't bleed color. This creates a layer of ice that protects fins from being bumped and prevents air from drying out the fish and causing it to become freezer-burnt.

  • Place it in an airtight plastic bag before laying it flat in the freezer for storage.

BIRDS

  • Do not skin.

  • Place whole bird in a plastic bag and seal airtight.

  • You may optionally wrap newspaper around the plastic bag to protect the tail from being crushed.

  • Freeze immediately.

  • For turkey tails, cut off entire tail with about 2" of skin with back feathers still attached. Cut beards off with skin still attached. For feet and spurs, cut off feet at the ankle joint at the bottom of the feather line. Place them in an airtight plastic bag and freeze.

SMALL AND MEDIUM ANIMALS

  • Do not skin.

  • Can be double-bagged in plastic, sealed airtight, and frozen.

  • Optionally, you can wrap the head and feet in wet paper towels and then bag them individually before placing entire animal in larger bag in order to prevent freezer-burning of face and toes.

LARGE MAMMALS & GAMEHEADS

Although most game can be taken in whole to a taxidermist, some hunts require the immediate dressing and skinning of animals in order to transport them and prevent the meat from spoiling in the field.

  • When field dressing, do not make any cuts beyond the base of the brisket.

  • If a garden hose is available, wash excessive blood out of the body cavity by spraying it out with water and let it drain to prevent spoilage. Snow or paper towels will also do the trick.

Skinning

Skinning gameheads yourself is acceptable, but not highly recommended to an untrained person. Untrained skinners may damage the cape, which will require you to pay for the costs of additional repair services in order to render the cape usable. If not familiar with skinning, bring the entire animal to our facility after field dressing and we will skin it for you. Allowing the taxidermist to perform the appropriate cuts on your trophy ensures that the meat stays clean and the mounting process goes smoothly, resulting in a high end quality showpiece.

If you wish to skin your trophy yourself, carefully:

  • Hang the animal by the hocks (hind legs) and peel the skin down. Keep tension by pulling on the hide while carefully cutting away the membrane that binds the skin to the carcass.

  • Make a cut along the back of the front legs where the long hair and short hair meet.(See skinning diagram- Downward Arc cut) On deer, this short hair is white. This white hair must be kept on the front part of the cape for a full shoulder mount.

  • Keep cutting along the back side of the upper leg, then angle your cut to the base of the brisket.

  • Pull the rest of the hide down to the head, and cut the head off the carcass, leaving the neck meat on the carcass and the entire hide still attached to the head.

  • If not bringing in immediately, lay hide out skin side up, fold the edges toward the center, roll it up, and place it in an airtight plastic bag before freezing (Be sure cape is cooled before freezing).

  • Do not salt

Caping

We prefer to cape all heads ourselves in order to minimize unnecessary damage. If you insist on caping your trophy yourself, carefully: (see caping diagram)

  • Cut the cape off 10 inches behind the shoulders.

  • Make a "Y" shaped cut between the antlers and split down the center of the back of the neck.

  • Use a screwdriver to pry the skin away from the antlers, tapping gently with a hammer. If working with horned game, use a sharp knife.

  • Skin out the head, cutting closely to the skull. Be careful around the ears, eyes, and tear ducts. Cut lips as close to the teeth as possible. Cut off the nose close to the skull, leaving plenty of cartilage attached to the skin.

  • Roll up the cape hair-side out and seal it in a plastic bag before freezing. Cool cape before bagging.

  • Do not salt unless the cape is completely fleshed, the ears are turned, and the lips and nose are split.

Skulls

Skull plates- (See Diagram) Cut off skull plate horizontally through the center of eyes to the back of the skull. Remove all flesh and salt lightly.

Rug Skinning 

  • Start the incision at the base of the head, down center of the neck, chest, and belly to the tail.

  • Cut front legs open from center of each pad straight across.

  • Cut back legs slightly on inside from heel to heel.

  • Leave the head and paws on hide and cool in shade. Freeze immediately after cooling.

  • Optional only to experienced hands: skin out paws to toenails, skin head, split lips, turn ears, and remove all flesh and fat. Salt hide thoroughly (see "salting procedure"). Freeze hide after salting.

Full Mount, Half Mount, Shoulder Mount Skinning (See Diagram) 

  • Use the same technique as rug skinning. Substitute "downward arc" cut on chest area of animal.

  • Record measurements of chest and belly circumference, length of nose to tail, tip of nose to inside corner of eye, and tip of nose to back of skull.

  • Flesh and salt in the same manner or freeze hide while fresh.

SALTING PROCEDURE

Before salting, hide must be completely fleshed, including lips, eyes, ears, and nose. Lay cape or hide out flat and rub fine grain salt into flesh side thoroughly (approximately 1/4" inch layer). Leave it in the shade for a few hours, then remove the wet salt and re-salt it. Place it in a sealable plastic bag and freeze immediately. Do not store any cape or hide in plastic unless it's frozen immediately. If conditions are warm, rub salt into the eyes, nose, lips, ears, and wounds as soon as possible after killing the animal to prevent hair slippage.  

MEAT CUTTING

Every deer season, we offer a deer butchering service for people who don't want to skin or butcher their own game. The number of packages of meat you receive will vary with size and condition of the deer. Any wounded areas, spoiled meat, or contamination will be disposed of. The average deer yields 20-30 lbs of scrap meat used for grinding, and thirteen packages of assorted cuts consisting of two top round roasts, two bottom round roasts, two sirloin tips, six (1/3) loin packages, and one package containing both tenderloins. All cuts are thoroughly cleaned of fat and silverskin in order to produce a nice lean red meat without that gamey taste. All meat is frozen immediately after processing and remains frozen when you pick it up. Meat is usually ready to pick up within a few days after the date it was brought in.

This amazing service costs $100.00 per deer (caping is included, this is usually $40+ at other businesses). We also offer the service of grinding your scrap meat for $1.00 per lb.

Be sure to wash, drain, or wipe the interior of the cavity, removing all blood or gutshot residue. This will taint the meat. If warm weather prevails, ice down your deer insie and out for rapid cooling. This prevents that "gamey" taste. Local huners use my walk-in freezer for a "rapid chill".

SCORING

Dan is a certified Wisconsin Buck & Bear Club measurer.

ANTLER REPAIR & RESTORATION
MOUNT CLEANING & RESTORATION
TAXIDERMY INSTRUCTION
REFERRALS FOR HUNTING AND FISHING TRIPS

ITEMS FOR SALE

We have a variety of items up for sale, from hunting equipment to home decor. We have several mounts, furs, skulls, and antlers that are up for sale, as well as other things such as collectible prints, and hunting & fishing gear. For hunting deer, we carry an unbeatable line of deer mineral created by Bradigan's Wildlife Feeds that promotes strong bones, heavier racks, and overall healthy deer. We also carry genuine doe urine for the rut.

BRADIGAN'S DEER MINERAL

We have been selling this product since 1989. My customers have taken hundreds of Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett bucks, a few of these are over 200 inches! Call for pricing - quantity discounts!

POLICIES

  • All specimens must have been legally acquired and have necessary tags, permits, paperwork, etc.
  • Mount completion date not guaranteed without extra fee. Some mounts take more time to complete due to tanning time lines, excessive damage, manikin alterations, and other unknown factors. We do not cut corners. Mounts are complete when we are satisfied with the long lasting quality.

  • All tanning done at owner's risk.
  • Dan's Taxidermy is not responsible for the loss of mounts beyond our control.
  • Extra charges for excessive damage or repairs.
  • 50% deposit unless payment plan has been arranged.
  • Service charges and storage charges will apply starting 10(ten) days after completion.
  • Mounts will be priced for sale after 30(thirty) days of completion.
  • $50.00 charge for any returned check, plus all collection fees.
  • We do offer no-interest payment plans to fit any budget.
  • All wild game will be processed at our discretion

Contact Us

Contact

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  • (608) 249-5854

Address

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5522 Fieldstone Lane
Madison, Wisconsin 53704
United States
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