Herald Journal, June 28, 2004
Winsted’s Chuck Kirby receives taxidermy license
By Ryan Gueningsman
Chuck Kirby of Winsted has always been interested in the practice of taxidermy, but he never thought he would do it for a living.
That was until Kirby became a victim of Sterner Lighting layoffs, and he needed to find a source of income. Kirby decided to go back to school and take a taxidermy course.
He underwent a six-week course at Chris’ School of Taxidermy in Ramsey, which is a “hands-on basic course,” Kirby said.
Kirby knows of taxidermy businesses in Hutchinson and Maple Lake, but none in the immediate area.
“Hopefully I can pick up stuff from all over,” Kirby said. He has already been asked to mount several crappies from a man in Cambridge as well as some ducks from a man in Brainerd.
Taxidermy is a term describing the many methods of reproducing a life-like three-dimensional representation of fish and animals for permanent display.
Kirby has some of work on display at Woody’s Keg’s Bar in Winsted.
In school, Kirby mounted a deer head, pheasant, duck, raccoon, and a Hungarian partridge. He has been doing some animals as “freebies” for the time being to perfect his craft.
Kirby is still doing some odd jobs while working in his taxidermist shop in the evenings. He hopes to get into taxidermy full-time by this fall.
Another part of the business that Kirby does is mounting the animals on a base with decorative rock and landscaping with it. He will also do speciality plaques and mount horns on a plaque as well.
Prices for Kirby’s work range from about $300 for deer heads to $8 per inch for fish. He encourages people to call for price inquiries.
Kirby’s business is at his home at 521 First Street North, and his office number is (320) 485-4179.