Taxidermist sets up new studio in Lovell

Ty Hecker recently completed a seven-week advanced taxidermy course in Montana and is now offering taxidermy services in his home-based studio. Patti Carpenter photo

Ty Hecker recently completed a seven-week advanced taxidermy course in Montana and is now offering taxidermy services in his home-based studio.
Patti Carpenter photo

Ty Hecker of Lovell enjoys observing wildlife, especially the movement and expressions of animals in a natural setting. He said he hopes to capture that quality in the work he performs for clients in his new taxidermy business.

Hecker introduced his new business at the monthly Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Monday, June 16, where he announced that his services will be available through CodeRed Tactical and directly through his home-based studio.

He said what began as a hobby about four years ago has quickly become a business for him. An outdoorsman and hunter himself, Hecker recently completed a seven-week advanced taxidermy class held in Thompson Falls, Mont. The instructor, Steve Fundum, is a very successful master taxidermist who has won many awards for his work.

Hecker, who works part-time in his father-in-law’s business, hopes to make a living off his taxidermy business someday but said he would also like to take on some of the more artistic challenges of the trade like entering contests offered through professional taxidermy associations. He is currently doing most of his work at a studio he created in his garage.

Hecker said he is able to mount fish (both skin mounts and recreations), birds, game heads and European-style mounts for his clients.  He is currently working on a full-sized mount of a black bear for a client that was harvested in the nearby mountains. He is also working on an artistic creation of his own, where he is mounting a school of fish that will be displayed in a glass-top coffee table.

He said he considers taxidermy an art form and it helps to be “artsy.” “You have to have an eye for wildlife, you have to understand muscle structure and movement,” he explained. “There is some painting and drawing involved, too. So, it helps to be able to do that sort of thing.”

He added that the position of the eyes and facial expression bring the subject to life.

“These are the things that can make or break a project,” he said.

By Patti Carpenter

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