Thank you for your interest in the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy. At this time we are not taking any applications for our 2021 classes, as the winter class has been filled and we are not offering any other 2021 classes at this time. Please check our website later in the year for any possible 2022 classes that may be offered.


Tom Matuska

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School is 9 weeks long. Monday through Friday 8:00-4:30 with a minimum of 360 hours. Attendance records will be kept by the school on a daily basis. Unexpected absences and tardiness are strongly discouraged as it affects the schedule of not only the student himself but the other students’ schedules as well. Excused absences will be expected to be made up after hours and/or weekends


Unsatisfactory conduct shall be cause for dismissal. Students may be dismissed at anytime following written warnings from instructors for unacceptable, careless or dangerous conduct and will forfeit tuition. Reinstatement shall be at administration’s discretion.

Governing Body

We are a private vocational institution, owned and operated by Tom and Vicki Matuska.


Grading Systems

Evaluation is made on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system. Conferences are held midterm to discuss the student’s needs and progress. Credit for previous training and/or taxidermy experience will be assessed and students will be advanced to their appropriate skill level. A diploma will be awarded at the end of the course to signify completion of the full residential 9 week course. Note: this course is non-credited and will not go toward any degree or diploma at a credited school.


Live Lectures

All of our taxidermy school lectures and demonstrations are live, given by our qualified instructors. The techniques we teach are results driven and have been time tested and proven in our commercial taxidermy studio.


We are active members in the National Taxidermists Association, United Taxidermy Association, World Taxidermy Competition, a variety of state taxidermy associations, and Foundation for North American Wild Sheep.


Ownership of Mounts

All mounts that are completed by the student, belong to the student and shall be retained by him/her at the completion of the course. These mounts will be a valuable aid in starting a showroom for their taxidermy business.



We provide placement assistance for our taxidermy school graduates, free of charge. Being active in various state, national and world taxidermy organizations, we keep in touch with taxidermy businesses throughout the United States. We make no guarantees, but have been successful. (Placement depends on skill and character of individual.)


Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy takes great care in planning the student’s specimen needs and gearing his/her specimen toward the game native to the student’s business area. Students have the choice of mounting everything from a quail to turkey, raccoon to a cougar, or even trout to tarpon.* Students learn not only from their own individual mounts but from the variety of other classmates’ mounts. They are able to photograph, take notes and even video tape for future reference, thus learning by hands-on and observation. Students are encouraged to bring their own specimens or are able to purchase them from the school, which carry our personal guarantee of quality. (Contact the school for proper care and handling instructions.)

*Students wishing to do larger specimens such as turkey, cougar or bear may be limited in other curriculum areas due to time constraints. If another instructor is needed due to the size and complexity of the project, there will be an added expense.


Personal Attention

At the Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy we feel personal attention is of the utmost importance in learning. In order to achieve this, we provide at least one instructor for ever five students! With this instructor to student ratio, we can provide excellent personal attention. This ensures quality mounts while at school and personal guidance necessary to continue high quality work independently at home.


Added Bonus

The Matuska Taxidermy Supply Company began in 1994 in an effort to provide our students with the finest supplies available at an affordable price. New innovative supplies are being developed on a regular basis and the Matuska Taxidermy Supply Company stays abreast of these developments to enable us to bring state of the art products and technology to not only our customers but also our students.


Specimen Selection

The Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy takes great care in planning a student’s specimen needs and gearing each student toward the game native to his/her business area. Western students may be encouraged to concentrate on mule deer, elk, antelope and trout, while eastern students may be more concerned with whitetail deer, black bear, turkey, quail and warm-water fish.

Technical Support

In the months following graduation, questions will arise that sometimes only experience can answer. The Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy will provide technical assistance to all students. If problems occur, we are as close as your phone. Give us a call and let our support team walk you through your situation step by step. Our guidance doesn’t stop at graduation! Students also benefit form our Facebook Live seminars ever Thursday night at 4:00PM CDT on our Facebook page.