Diamond Tooth Taxidermy

Exquisite Taxidermy Art and Design

© 2013 Diamond Tooth Taxidermy
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About Beth Beverly

I am a State and Federally licensed taxidermist who graduated from the Pocono Institute of Taxidermy in 2010 with high marks. I have a deep respect for this craft and those who strive to preserve it.

It is my pleasure to work on any trophy mount, be it a shoulder, life-size, rug, or fish.

I accept custom orders for fantasy mounts, wearables, and bridal hair pieces.

Sculptural mounts and hats are available for rental provided they are in stock at time of inquiry.

Contact me describing your wish and I will be delighted to make it so.

Diamond Tooth Taxidermy Blog:

You stuff pets?

Yesterday I was a guest of the Holmesburg Fish and Game club for their annual outing day.  There was a flea market, a raffle, shooting demos, games, and me, the taxidermist.  It was a bleak rainy morning and the crowd wasn't much of a crowd, however.  I felt daunted at first, as I get pretty shy and self-conscious when I'm not in my environment.  I could hear grumblings from some of the vendors about moving their tables inside and to the correct rooms and the mood just felt...surly.  As I was setting up my table an older guy brushed past me and said, "Looks like we got the apprentice here again"...and I, being a typical American girl socialized to always smile and be friendly and never question other people, just gave him and goofy grin and giggled.  And then I spent the next thirty seconds cursing him in my head, wondering what he meant by that remark and kicking myself for being friendly. Was he saying that based on the quality of my work?  Could he see through me?  I've always dealt with the fear that really I'm just a phony and someday the curtain will come up and everyone will see me for what I truly am.  About a year ago I had a great talk with a dear friend; he's older, far more accomplished  and has racked up a significant amount of life experiences.  I expressed this fear to him and he simply said, "Beth, we're ALL phonies.  We just keep plugging along until it works.  No one should ever be judged for being at the stage of growth which they're at. "  I have held his words close to my heart and they do me well at times like this when I feel intimidated.

My husband Jim thought the guy said that just because I was young (I may be in my thirties but the median age of this group was about 60) and a girl.  I think being a female in this industry cuts both ways.  I like that simply being a member of the fairer sex seems to immediately bring the guard down of just about any thick-skinned, ornery old man and I'd be lying if I claimed to never have batted my eyelashes to get on some guy's good side.  However, I feel like I have to prove myself, as cliché as that sounds.  I wouldn't trade it for the world though.  I love being a girl.

I didn't dress like a mountain woman on purpose, but it certainly helped me fit in with my surroundings.

Did I mention it was the 80th anniversary of the club?  I spoke with one gentleman who was 82; he was the longest living member, having joined in 1945.  Sweet guy.

Did someone say cake?

I put some of my cards on the bulletin board, under the watchful eye of Foxy up there.  I'm enamoured by the idea of a club, the brotherhood and unity of it all.  Guys post photos of their prize catches, they keep up on family info, and support one another when it's needed.  So many of them are vets, and seeing the way our country as a whole treats its veterans (like crap) it's good to see a group of them laughing, happy and healthy in a place where they can feel safe.

As the day went on things got better.  I chatted up a bunch of hunters, gave out many cards and could possibly have some leads. There were some great hunting stories, too, about 800 pound bears ("and that was AFTER it was field-dressed!"), bobcats, coyotes being mistaken for German Shepards, and so forth.

The day's menu:  I think it's a riot that people still say "freedom fries".

Priceless, in fact.

The real action began when the rifle team arrived with some heavy artillery. To the left is a 1919 Browning Machine gun and on the right is a Gatling Gun.

The Gatling in action.  There were tracer bullets in the magazine, every 35 rounds. They appeared as red flares flying out of the gun.  I couldn't believe how fast that thing shot, just from a simple hand crank.

While that one was loud and very impressive, the Browning was like an earthquake.  Of course I forgot my "ears" so I just plugged my fingers in my head.  I still felt every part of my body vibrating though, including my eyebrows.  It was insane.

The range just got more and more smokey as the shooting continued and the smell of burning stuck in my nose for most of the day.

It was a real treat to see, and just about every one of us was in awe.  I left with a Holmesburg tee shirt and a positive outlook on the day.

What are you, trying to be humane?

That is a very tiny picture of me shooting a firearm for my first time.  Another phase in the progression of me becoming a hunter, in small increments.

My friend Larry at The Firing Line in South Philadelphia was gracious enough to host myself and some friends the other evening for a shooting lesson. Some of us had handled guns before, some (me) had not.  I think I did OK for my first time; it's much more difficult that I'd imagined.  So many things to think about at once-I felt somewhat overwhelmed.    I'm comforted by recalling how intimidated I was by driving a car a first though, with that same inundated-with-information feeling, and years later I am one of the best drivers I know.  These things just take time.

That said, I think I did OK.  We shot with a very simple handgun first; at least I hit the target.  Then we moved onto a rifle, which I liked because the long barrel made aiming easier.  It was also very unthreatening: quiet, no recoil, and a simple single bullet load.  Plus it felt very marching bandy.  We then moved onto revolvers, which was like throwing fire right out of my hands.  A little more intense than I'd prefer but one had laser sights which made hitting the target a snap.  I was trying not to "kill" my cartoon robber-guy, so I shot his shoulder and hand.  I thought this was very thoughtful, but all I got was a couple chuckles from the peanut gallery.

While our group of noobs was in our little stall with Larry, there were guys coming and going, getting some shooting in after work-a sort of happy hour, I suppose.  I was initially shocked at how loud the shots were.  It took an hour or so to shake off the unnerving feeling of being surrounded by so much potential killing power.  I mean, maybe this is just because I'm so new to this but it felt like walking into that place was the ultimate excercise in trust of the sanity of strangers.  What if one of those guys just snapped and aimed his gun at someone else?  What if one of us just ran out into the range?  This wouldn't be the first time I've had morbid thoughts like this...sometimes I'm just astounded by the fact that society works.  People just...behave.  Driving on a highway, anyone could lose it and start a fifty car pile-up.  But we all keep the wheel straight and go with the flow.  And we trust that everyone else will do the same.  When I was a child in class, I used to fantasize about what would happen if someone jumped out of their desk and ran up to the teacher and punched him.  Or screamed an obscenity at the top of their lungs.  Or jumped out the window.  Perhaps I've got a touch of insanity bubbling just beneath the surface and I understand that I have to follow the rules to exist in this world, perhaps I was bored and yearning for something to break the monotony of my days.  Or maybe we're all like this and have that ingrained sense of carnal, unpredictable self buried in our psyche but the knowledge that we all are connected and what's trouble for one is trouble for all.

And then there's always the few poor SOBs that actually do snap.  Not me though: I love my life, I love my people, and I love the world too much.

So shooting.  I enjoyed it.  I want to do it again.  But what I really need to focus on is practicing my bow.  That's the next step. Soon enough...

Welcome to your future.

A couple Saturdays ago I spent the day out in the Great Northeast at the Holemesburg Fish & Game Protective Association giving lectures on taxidermy to the youth of America.  I tend to be very awkward around children; I don't understand them, I find them too unpredictable and difficult to communicate with so it's probably not hard to imagine me lying awake the night before wondering just what the hell I was supposed to say to these kids.  I had no idea what to expect.

What I got was a mixed bag of awesome and insane.  I set up my booth and braced myself for the impending waves of children.  They came in groups of ten, I would talk for about twenty minutes, and the next group would arrive.  Some were as young as four, and were quite enthusiastic about grabbing my deer legs right off the table and beating my coyote rug with them.

Some were as old as 19, and I found them much easier to speak with.  In fact, a good deal of the young people there were part of an organization called "Police Explorers", which is basically like young junior cadets.  The police academy was right next to the park, and these kids come out and train every weekend.  They were in full uniform, complete with polished boots and utility belts with mace and cuffs.  I found them incredibly fascinating; they were all engaging, articulate, and driven.

Very impressive.  Over at the Academy a SWAT team was performing detonation drills and one of the officials came over to warn me about the impending blasts.  I told him I'd already heard (felt, actually) the first one and he explained that no, that was an actual device being detonated and not a drill.  They'd picked it up in Germantown the day before.  I think the junior cadets were laughing at me as my jaw dropped.  "I didn't hear anything about that on the news," I said, to which one of the teens responded, "That's cause people would go nuts".

I was really starting to like these kids.

There were other stations set one, one was a fur trapper:

He was popular because he brought a trap and had kids stick their fingers in it for fun.

Then there was the local game commissioner.

Oh, and shooting.

Lots and lots of shooting.  Balloons as targets, cause it was a youth event I guess.  That's my buddy David below, he's a really nice kid and budding taxidermist!

Shooting black powder...or muzzle-loading, I'm still not entirely sure.

Cross bow shooting-I made friendly with that guy later in the day and he gave me some tips on tuning my bow.  Now I just need to get some arrows and find a place to practice.

Overall, it was a rewarding experience. I'm still editing the video footage from the day; it includes the motorcycle rally that came through out of nowhere.

Oh, and after seeing myself in my boyfriend jeans from the back, I will never be wearing them again.
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