Taxidermy as an art form

Posted on: February 17, 2015 | Bob Frye | Comments

Hanging bear

Bob Hutchinson’s mount of a bear cub hanging from a limb.

The days of taxidermy being little more than ratty-looking stuffed heads on grandpa’s wall are over.
Or at least they can be.
The potential of taxidermy as art was shown recently at the 2015 North American Taxidermy Championship held recently in Raleigh, N.C. Professionals from around the country gathered to showcase their best work.
Two local taxidermists were among those who captured honors.
Bob Hutchinson of Hutch’s Taxidermy Den in Mt. Pleasant really did well. He was awarded “best small/medium life-size mammal” for a mount of a hanging bear cub, and third place in the “dealer’s choice” category for a mount of a black leopard. He also won what’s known as the “triple threat challenge” in the professional division for a three-mount combination: his hanging bear cub, another featuring a running bear cub and one for a life-size mount of a brown bear.
Hutchinson took home $1,800 in total winnings.
Michelle Burkholder of Laurel Mountain Taxidermy in Mill Run, meanwhile, took second place in the “dealer’s choice” category – winning $300 and a Barnett crossbow – for a mount of wild piglets.
So what does awesome taxidermy look like?
Local sportsmen can soon see for themselves. The Pennsylvania Taxidermy Association’s 36th annual state championship will be held March 18-21 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion.
The public is invited to attend the show from noon-5 p.m. on March 21 to see all of the work presented by members. Admission is $5 for adults and free to those 12 and younger, though they must be accompanied by an adult.
Details can be found here:

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.