How do you acquire your specimens?

All specimens at Prey are by-products from pest control, depredation, natural/unavoidable deaths or hunted & eaten for food. (Yes, hunted. I believe hunting for food is the ultimate form of free-range). Basically, the parts of these specimens used for taxidermy would generally be discarded otherwise. That is common in the taxidermy industry, actually. These are my studio's ethics and I welcome everyone to act according to their own beliefs and respect their right to do so. 

I hope this explains where I'm coming from. Like most everyone I know (especially taxidermists) I love animals- just look here and see out some of the furry friends I've helped along the way.

I need a custom commission for a movie/television/photo-shoot. Can you do it?

Hopefully! Send me an email to info@preytaxidermy.com and let me know what you need, the timeline and your budget. I cannot give you a cost without these specifics. Generally my rates include creation time (range from $45 per hour and up), specimen costs, materials and a rush fee depending on time. The more time you have, the more cost effective we can be.

What if I want to rent an existing piece?

We have a limited rental collection currently as our business is growing. Please email info@preytaxidermy.com or text message to 323-743-3597 with any information you have (needs, date, budget) and I'll send you details of the rental pieces. You can expect to pay a rental fee and a possibly an $30 hourly rate for delivery/handling of taxidermy during shooting.

So, if my pet dies, will you taxidermy it for me?

I am so sorry for your loss and I know how much the passing of a dear pet can hurt. We do pet bird taxidermy only, however we must stress that pet taxidermy takes considerable time and budget. If you are interested, please fill out our form here: http://www.preytaxidermy.com/pages/pet-taxidermy-services.

For dog, cat or other mammal pet taxidermy, I recommend Lauren Kane at PreciousCreatureTaxidermy.com.

What is your training? Are you licensed? Do I need a license?

I attended the Advanced Taxidermy Training Center in Montana. Additionally, I have worked under Tim Bovard at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles for several years and continue to work there occasionally on a volunteer basis. California state does not require a license to instruct, learn or perform taxidermy. So, you're safe working on specimens in my class. Also, I strictly obey all state and federal laws concerning specimens and their preservation and explain them as part of my class. You can find information on those laws here as well.

Why do many of your classes span multiple days and/or cost more than a one-day workshop?

I want students to learn the craft, as well as to clean the specimen properly so it isn't attractive to pests. This isn't just some kitschy event; it's a class where skill building and focus are required.

I employ at least one paid assistant for each class and often bring in my mentor from the Natural History Museum to co-teach. Additionally, I make sure my students are using quality tools & materials, have prime specimens collected under my ethics and utilize the same techniques we use in the museum.

I want students to receive attention and be able to absorb the taxidermy process so they can do their own projects in the future. I think my students' work speaks for itself.

I'm trying to get into taxidermy and have a question. Can you answer it for me?

I certainly want to be supportive and answer questions. I do get a lot of emails though -- and it's hard to type when i'm usually elbows deep in dead stuff. Please check the following resources below and find an answer to your question. It's how I started out :)

I also recommend seeking out volunteer opportunities at a local museum, university or nature center. These institutions always need volunteers and it's a way to get your foot in the door.

What other classes are you going to have?

Depending on interests and available specimens, I plan on offering the following classes as regularly as possible:

  • Birds 101 - Starlings
  • Game-birds - Quail, Chukar, etc
  • Advanced Birds - Sparrows, Canaries, Parrots, etc
  • Ducklings
  • Mammal Shoulder Mounts
  • Small & Medium Lifesize Mammals - Skunks, Raccoons, Fox, Coyote, etc
  • Reptiles & Snakes
  • Custom Form Creation and Body Wrapping
  • Skinning, Tanning & Bone Cleaning For Mammals
  • And maybe more based on requests...

What is your cancelation policy?

Prey has very limited class space and most classes sell out, therefore we have a very strict cancellation policy. Otherwise, we would have had a paying student in that empty spot. You can review our policies here and we hope that you don't have to use them.

Can I just come by and see the studio?

Sorry, but hours are by appointment only. My work can be very delicate at times and it's difficult if i'm interrupted. If you would like to schedule a tour of the space or a demonstration, email info@preytaxidermy.com to book an event. Otherwise, check out the facebook page for upcoming events and classes.

I found a hawk! Will you taxidermy it for me?

Nope. If you found a hawk, owl, hummingbird or other protected specimen I cannot legally mount it for you. I only have the privilege of working on protected and endangered specimens at the museum. Additionally, it's a federal offense for you to even have possession of it. Put it back where you found it and back away slowly.

Really? Can you just tell me how? Or do it on the down-low?

Again, nope. I can't even be aware you have it. Who is this? Prank caller! Prank caller! Seriously though, I agree with the laws that protect our native fauna and am not about to break them for any amount of money.

Can minors attend your classes?

We do allow students 15 and over to attend classes un-accompanied by an adult; make sure your child is self-sufficient and confident working in an adult-level class. Children 14 and under may attend beginner level classes with a parent present/helping, sharing a specimen. We do not recommend our classes for children under 8 as we use scalpels and other sharp tools. Please send us an email or include a note in your purchase to let us know the age of the child and that you will be joining. We will also ask that all parents sign our parental waiver. 

What about private lessons?

Maybe, but I do recommend taking a class first if you have never done taxidermy before. If you just want to learn something specific like carcass casting, model making, skinning, doing birds if you've only done mammals, etc - just send me an email and we can discuss. Generally, plan for my rate of about $65 per hour with minimums.

Can I apprentice or volunteer?

I get this request a lot and I would love to take everyone up on it. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time to get someone started in taxidermy and I certainly don't want to waste anyone's time just grabbing coffee or sweeping floors. You want to learn taxidermy and I want to support that. I would suggest making the investment in class first to see if you even like the craft. Get to know me and let me get to know you. I can never guarantee that the opportunity will happen to apprentice, but at least we can get you started, and you never know when I'll need some good help.

I have a photoshoot, film, show or weird project I need something for. Can I contact you?

I'd be happy to help if I can, but my time is limited. I have collaborated with artists, filmmakers, photographers and people who just have interesting projects going on. Send me an email at info@preytaxidermy.com, but give me a little time to email back.

Thank you so much for your interest.

Beast Wishes,

Allis