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Preserving Memories

By Cassie Livingston
In Bayou Profile
Jan 1st, 2014


Preserving Memories
Marshall Wayne Poindexter Invests His Life in His Taxidermy
by Trent Livingston

IN 1991, STARTING ON THE TRACK TO where he is today, Marshall Wayne Poindexter has become established in the taxidermy community. In a business that is as much artwork as is hard work, where “word of mouth” is the primary calling card, where there is “no hunting season,” where hours spent, don’t always equal hours earned, where you turn your passion into a full-time job, Marshall has completed upwards of several thousand mounts for satisfied clients.

Just south of Mangham on Hwy 576 is where you can find the successful operation. Outdoorsmen today preserve the memory of their trophy via instant notoriety by capturing of a photo through a smart phone then straight to Internet or texted to friends for bragging rights. Although the way photos have preserved the memories of hunt may have changed, taxidermy has not. Taxidermy is the art of preserving the lasting memory of the cherished hunt providing a lasting monument to the momentous occasion. Whether is be the children’s first take, the life-long sought after trophy, the biggest or best that has been taken, most unique, etc. taxidermist can provide a true talking peace that can and will last a lifetime. As with most, having or finding a taxidermist can present some problems. Much like finding a decent meat processor, a good, mind you, great local taxidermist can be daunting. It would seem that this line of work is dwindling in stature. Only few are willing to put in the hours it takes to develop into the type of taxidermist that Marshall is today. In asking him where it began Marshall stated, “I was in a hunting club that had an elder taxidermist in it, I began fleshing hides for him at the age of 15, from there the rest is history.” Getting an opportunity like that is just what it takes to get that fortunate start in something that has truly been a passion for Marshall. He said, “This is something that I have always loved to do and definitely takes passion. To be able to forgo a true deer season for working with and around deer takes discipline.” I would have to agree with Marshall. Back in 2007, Marshall went all in by taking an early retirement and fully investing in his taxidermy. “The first year, three or four should mounts. The next year upwards of thirty mounts.” Out of those mounts, I asked what would have to be his most memorable, “Probably a large logger-head turtle and a bullfrog.” The amount of time it takes to complete a mount varies. “It depends on what is being mounted and how the customer wants the mount to look.” “For the shoulder mounts, fleshing the hide takes the most time.” For the time taken to make the fleshings, “a knife is the greatest tool or asset for a taxidermist.” As with all small-business’, the family gets involved, “Each has their own duties, from keeping floors cleaned, helping take trash out.”

With clients from Shreveport, Alexandria, Vidalia, Ferriday and Sicily Island, I asked what was the most important asset needed to be a taxidermist. Marshall says, “ I believe being able to treat clients with respect, being available and staying in contact with them throughout the process.” Of that process Marshall states his favorite part is “seeing all the deer and different stuff that comes in. You really never know what to expect or what is going to show up…everybody has their own definition of the big-one!” ­

Whether you have the “big-one” or it may be a child or grandchild’s first, give Marshall Wayne Poindexter a call. He will be more than able to take care of any of your taxidermist needs.