In 2002, I accepted a Wildlife Biologist position with Dr. J.H. Carter III and Associates, Inc. in Southern Pines, North Carolina. After 10 years with this company, as well as my life-long love of hunting and fishing, I have studied many forms of wildlife and their natural behaviors.
I first became interested in the art of taxidermy while in high school. I walked into a taxidermist’s studio to pick up the first animal I ever had mounted: an 8 lb largemouth bass. It was incredible to see people’s trophies brought back to life by the taxidermist’s skilled hands! Many years later, I was fortunate to harvest a banded duck: a 9 year old drake American black duck. To make a long story short, I was severely disappointed with the quality and appearance of my mount. That duck never made it to my wall. I knew I could do better than that.
Ten years ago, I began learning everything I could about the art of taxidermy through instructional dvd’s and magazines. I started mounting everything I could get my hands on! In 2009, I joined the North Carolina Taxidermist Association (NCTA) and entered my first competition. That year, I won a 1st and 2nd place ribbon in the Amateur Division. The judges and more experienced competitors were more than willing to share their tips and knowledge to help newcomers like myself improve their skills. Since that year, I have competed in the Professional Division in every NCTA competition as well as traveling to other state shows. Through the judges’ constructive criticism, I have improved my skills greatly and have received multiple 1st place ribbons and several Best of Category awards in both birds and life-size mammals. I feel that continued education in the form of taxidermy competitions is very important. The taxidermy trade is ever evolving, and there are always new ways to do things that will help give your work that added touch of realism.
Three years ago, I decided to open my shop full time and provide sportsmen with high quality and artistic mounts they can be proud to display.
Garrison’s Taxidermy Philosophy: Honoring the memory of the hunt!