Taxidermy: A Way To Keep From Wasting 'What Nature Had Given Us'

May 9, 2011

Some sports and hobbies don't get much coverage in the national media.

Taxidermy and the competitions among its enthusiasts certainly don't.

Today, All Things Considered host Melissa Block talked with Larry Blomquist, editor of Breakthrough magazine ("devoted to the serious wildlife arts") and organizer of the World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships, which just wrapped up in St. Charles, Mo.

What is it that attracts Blomquist and others to taxidermy?

"Many, many of us just love to hunt and fish," Blomquist told Melissa. "I started with squirrel hunting. ... When I'd skin my animals to prepare them for the kitchen or give to my mother to cook, I did not want to throw away the skin. I wanted to utilize it. ... Most taxidermists have that instinctive desire to replicate or try to reestablish the beauty of nature."

From those like him, Blomquist said, "we didn't want to waste what nature had given us."

There's much more from their conversation on today's edition of All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show. We'll add the as-broadcast version to the top of this post later.

Meanwhile, here's a video from the St. Charles competition.

By the way, there's another taxidermy gathering coming up starting July 19 — the National Taxidermist Association's annual convention in Sioux Falls. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit