Whitaker's Wildlife Creations

Rick Whitaker - Master Taxidermist

Rick began his taxidermy business because of his love of hunting. That was in 1990 after attending the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy. Rick began entering taxidermy competitions soon after that, in an effort to learn more about the art and have his work critiqued by his peers. Over time Rick found his strongest ability lay in the area of whitetail deer and other gamehead mounts. Many taxidermists try to offer all services, ranging from fish to birds to life-sized. That is fine for some, but Rick decided years ago, a specific area of specialization would be the straightest path to lead him toward his goals. His highest competition placement so far is a Masters Best of Category finish on a whitetail at the Iowa Taxidermists Association state competition in 2002. While competition results are important to him, he understands that friendly and honest customer service is the foundation of a successful business. Every customer is given individual attention, regardless of the size of the trophy.

Pricing: Prices are competitive if compared with similar high quality work.

Completion time: Average completion time of 6 months, will vary throughout the season.

Field care: Kill shots should be in the heart/lungs, NEVER use a knife on the throat. Avoid dragging with the shoulder blade touching the ground, badly rubbed hair can not be repaired. Hang to cool, do not leave laying on the ground or in a pick-up, this traps a lot of heat. Wipe all exposed blood off of the cape.
     Always bring the deer into the taxidermist as quickly as possible! Waiting can cause irreversible hide damage from bacteria. During the peak of gun season waiting several days to bring it in may change the completion time by several months.

With over a dozen display mounts in the showroom, each customer will be given multiple choices in both pose and expression to best fit the deer and the hunters needs. Each deer may have its own unique hair colors, hair patterns, and fighting scars. All of these, along with antler shape and size, will create a special look for each trophy.