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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

Advanced Taxidermy Courses

Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy offers an advanced course for individuals with previous taxidermy experience wishing to take their skill to a higher level. Although a formal education in taxidermy prior to attending is not required, applicants for the advanced course should have a working knowledge of basic taxidermy techniques and principles along with taxidermy experience. The advanced course takes the student in to greater depth at the commercial and competition levels in birds, fish, and mammals. This course offers more one-on-one training as the student delves into the area in which he/she most desires to expand their knowledge. This would include, but not limited to, detailed knowledge on anatomy, specialized form alteration, advanced molding and casting techniques including fiberglass and graphite reproductions, habitat construction and composition, as well as advanced airbrush and painting techniques. Advanced students are not restricted to the normal specimen package. Students are able to choose the specimen package according to the desired area in which they choose to excel. (The only stipulation is that the desired package can be completed in the allotted time frame.) A business plan according to the student’s needs will be covered and action steps taken (if desired) during the training program. This could include, but not limited to, a simple website, advertisement cards and brochures, and the state and federal regulations needed to start up a business. All mounts completed by the student belong and shall be retained by the student at the completion of the course.



Students in the advanced course have more flexibility in choosing their specimen package according to the area in which they choose to specialize. Each package will be unique to the individual student. Examples: student can choose to mount two or three more advanced full mounts with full alterations along with elaborate base work OR a package that may include fiberglass fish reproductions with advanced painting techniques along with two or three bird displays incorporating a background depicting the birds’ habitats. The number of mounts, amount of alterations and the level of expertise needed will determine the student’s specimen package.


Class Length/Hours

The advanced course is a 9-week course. The amount of hours per area (birds, fish, mammals, habitat, etc) will depend on the individual specimen package of each student.


Includes but Not Limited To:

  • Advanced Molding and Casting

  • Detailed Knowledge of Anatomy

  • Specialized Form Alteration

  • Fiberglass & Graphite Reproduction

  • Advanced Habitat Construction & Composition

  • In-Depth Airbrush & Painting Techniques

  • Custom Individualized Specimen Package

  • More In-Depth One-on-One Training


*All other class information corresponds with the information found in our 9-week basic taxidermy course.
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