Interview with Dan Jennings Professional Taxidermy

by taxidermist on August 9, 2012

This is the first interview has conducted in what we hope will be a long string of conversations with taxidermists around the world.

What is your name and company name, and where are you located?
Dan Jennings Professional Taxidermy
2161 Stacy Lane
Zanesville, Ohio 43701

Could you tell us a brief description of your business?
I run a full-time taxidermy business doing all phases of taxidermy, The animals that I work with includes North American, African and other exotics.

Dan Jennings Taxidermist

How and when did you originally get interested in taxidermy?
I took a correspondence course at the age of 14 and continued to master the trade  continuously since then.

What training have you gone through as a taxidermist?
Originally it began with the correspondence course and then I have relied on self education along with some professional seminars over the years.

Do you work on your own or with a team?
I work independently and each mount/piece is completed by me.

Approximately how many mounts do you complete per year?
I complete between 200-250 mounts most years with majority of the mounts being bears, Whitetail deer and turkeys.

How many different species have you mounted?
I have mounted animals from around the world, including all the big cats, I would say most likely more than 100 different species.

What is your favorite part of taxidermy?
I enjoy doing all phases of taxidermy and I am usually working on several pieces at a time. I enjoy the challenge bought by all the different categories of species.

Are there any aspects of taxidermy that you do not enjoy?
No, I enjoy all aspects of my profession.

Do you organize hunts?
This is a new area that I have recently became involved in — I am able to plan, book, and organize hunts though a selected group of outfitters. I am a certified USDA facility, so I can complete all the importation details on getting customer trophies back into the United States with final delivery of them to my business.

Do you mount pets?
No, I leave this to other professionals who specialize in this area.

What is the most unusual thing you have mounted?
I have mounted two Bengal tigers.

What is your craziest true taxidermy story?
There are so many crazy stories with their own unique intriguing storyline that it is difficult to select just one story. I can say that my most unusual story would be of getting three baby skunks mounted walking in a row that a customer requested.

What makes you stand out compared to other taxidermists?
I believe that working on a professional level and having excellent customer relationships and keeping my work schedule flowing on-time that meets my customers expectations whether it is a simple fish or an elaborate custom habitat scene. I also specialize in altering and making forms custom fit to the animal.

What are your plans for the future?
To continue to build my customer base with expansion into more international work while maintaining my local customer relationships with deer and turkey mounts, and giving my customers the excellent quality of workmanship that their trophies warrant.