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‘Making them come back to life:’ Taxidermists convention in Waynesboro this weekend

By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press

Taxidermy 1
Photo courtesy Virginia Taxidermists Association

WAYNESBORO — This weekend the Valley is invited to the world of taxidermy.

The Virginia Taxidermists Association, which boasts more than 100 members in Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia, is holding its annual convention at the Best Western in Waynesboro. The public is invited from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, to learn more about the craft.

“They get to see all the animals that are entered into the competition,” said Daryl Howdyshell of Stuarts Draft.

Howdyshell, a member of the association’s board for four years, will soon become vice president. He became interested in taxidermy 33 years ago.

Taxidermy 2
Photo courtesy Virginia Taxidermists Association

“I just had an interest in animals,” he said. He saw an advertisement for a taxidermy magazine in an animal magazine when he was young. Later, his son’s mother’s father did taxidermy, which furthered his interest. “So, it just took off from there.”

Howdyshell said he enjoys working with the animals “and making them come back to life.”

The association holds face-to-face meetings twice a year.

The convention is for members only, who have opportunities to buy products at a discount all weekend.

Judging of the competition was held Friday and Saturday morning.

If you’re interested in learning more about taxidermy, or are a taxidermist interested in joining the association, visit the Virginia Taxidermists Association on Facebook.

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