All Things Wild Taxidermy open in North Fort Myers
You just bagged yourself a 10-point deer and you want the trophy mounted on your wall.
Local hunters used to have to go miles to find a taxidermist to do the work needed to “stuff” their animal. Now, they have a place in North Fort Myers, All Things Wild Taxidermy, at 5783 Bayshore Road.
John and Cindy Haydock bought the business from someone in Buckingham last March after John had spent a career in corporate America.
“I got bored and I talked Cindy into going to taxidermy school in Montana for six weeks. We aren’t hunters but we grew up with people who did,” John said. “Our idea was to come to Florida and either start our own business or buy one.”
As it turned out, the timing probably could not have been worse due to the pandemic. But the hunters in the area have been great, Haydock said, because they have supported local business.
“We’re working 10 to 12 hours a day six days a week and that’s what we weren’t planning on in retirement,” Cindy said, adding that they have been catching up on the work the previous owner had yet to complete. “We came in thinking we would do 40 hours.”
Haydock wants people to know there is a taxidermist in the area and it doesn’t have to be for just deer, elk or boar. They can do people’s pets, fish, birds and even snakes.
It isn’t just stuffing the animal with sawdust and sewing it up. Taxidermy is a very precise occupation that involves getting the right mold, having the animal look to the left or right, and even freeze-drying.
Freeze-drying involves using extreme cold to extract all the water out of the body. It is very time consuming, with a dog taking four to eight months as is loses three to four ounces of water per week.
All Things Wild does shoulder mounts starting at $450 with deer at $495, life-sized mounts starting at $675, skull mounts, birds, fish and mounted rugs. They also fix old taxidermy work. The bigger the animal, the more it will cost.
“Taxidermy is a dying art. It’s not something people want to do every day. There’s a lot of detail work and we try to get the younger generation interested,” Haydock said. “We’ve been impressed with the hunters that come here.”
All Things Wild is open Monday through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 850-5656 or visit, www.allthingswildtaxidermy.com.