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Jim Willard has been a full-time taxidermist since 1988. His custom taxidermy studio is located in the beautiful
bluff country of southeast Minnesota. Hunting has been his biggest passion in life since he was a child in central
Minnesota. So he needed a career that would make the most of his obsession. (Yes, his wife says it’s an obsession….)
  What better occupation than a taxidermist?   The walls of his personal trophy showroom are filled with the results of his successful hunts.
 

 

 

             

Jim has served as president and vice-president of the Minnesota Taxidermy Guild, which was a rewarding experience.  He has kept active in the industry by judging many state shows in the deer head category.  He has also held whitetail seminars at various state competitions.

He has won many ribbons and trophies for his artistic talents at taxidermy competitions in the Midwest including MN State Champion Deer Head (1995, 1997, 1998, 2002), IA State Champion Deer Head (2008), Van Dyke’s Most Original & Creative Presentation (2009, 2010), and the prestigious WASCO Award for Most Artistic Entry (1998).  His proudest achievement was winning the National Deer Head title in 2006.

His recent awards include 2012 Minnesota State Champion Gamehead (for his pedestal black bear) and 2012 McKenzie Taxidermist Choice Award for Large Mammal, Artisan Award, and 1st Place Masters Division Lifesize Mammal awarded in Minnesota April 2012 (for his mountain lion).

In 2013 he competed at the Wisconsin Taxidermy show with his pedestal mule deer winning Best Gamehead, Best of Show and the WASCO award for Most Artisitic Entry. His mountain lion was awarded 1st Place Masters Division Lifesize Mammal in Wisconsin as well as Iowa.  At the World Taxidermy Show in Illinois, he placed 3rd in the subcategory of Medium Gamehead with his pedestal mule deer.

 
 
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