When I first began writing this column some 11 years ago, Wayne Rodd of Southampton, MA contacted me to let me know that he was an official measurer for the Boone and Crockett Club, the Pope and Young Club (bow hunters), the Longhunters (Muzzleloader record book), Buckmasters, and occasionally the Northeast Big Buck Club (they are the folks that have the deer head and antler display at the Big E Sportsmen’s show in West Springfield).
He casually mentioned that he was a taxidermist and showed me some of his work. I immediately wanted to feature him in a column but he asked me not to. He wanted no notoriety for his work or no new business. In fact, he could barely keep up with the customer work load that he had. He just wanted me to know and hopefully pass on to the readers that he was an official measurer should they bag a trophy.
I kind of lost touch with Wayne over the years but every now and then his name would show up in one of the columns. Well, recently Wayne contacted me to tell me of his recent outstanding achievement. Let me relay what he wrote: “Just wanted to share with some of my friends who aren’t on Facebook the results of my last taxidermy competition. I brought two commercial pieces, (a grey fox and a boar mount) plus two framed red fox photos to enter into the wild-life art category at the New England Association of Taxidermists (NEAT) because I didn’t put anything together for the show at the time. Then after putting a white-tail deer together for the showroom I decided to enter it into the Master’s Category for deer.
The five pieces ended up getting five blue ribbons for 1st Place. Then the deer took Best of Category for Deer in the Masters Division, and the boar Best of Show – Commercial Mount, one fox photo took Best Wildlife Art, and for the fun of it I entered for the Old Timers Award, which is voted on by other taxidermists, and the deer took that award also. So, in the end, five blue ribbons and 4 awards.”
I pleaded with him to let me write about him and include one of his pictures of his work into this column. He relented and provided the above photo.
Wayne is owner and operator of Manhan Taxidermy since 1981 and has a Manhan Taxidermy page on Facebook that has several albums with more photos. The deer that took Best of Category in the Masters Division at the recent NEAT show has not yet been posted on his web site. He is planning on first taking it up to Maine for a show there in August.
Currently he specializes in deer heads, game heads and life size mounts of North American game. He no longer does any fish or migratory birds.
Wayne was just elected to be on the Board of Directors of NEAT. Anyone interested in joining that organization can find out how on the NEAT website.
As far as taxidermy goes he says that he has a good steady number of regular customers who keep him busy enough and is currently not looking for more work. In that way he can keep things moving along and put the necessary time in the mounts, so they come out the way he wants them. He’s been involved in taxidermy for over 30 years, and a lot of regular customers know he will only take in so much work. Consequently they keep his name to themselves in case they are lucky enough to get something worth mounting.
Hopefully, Wayne will not be mad at me for this write-up. As previously mentioned, he is not looking for any notoriety and would like to keep a low profile. Sorry Wayne, but outstanding accomplishments deserve recognition. People want to know about you and your great work. It goes with the territory.
As far as measuring for the record books, he is still an official measurer for the above mentioned organizations and can be contacted through their web-sites or through his own Facebook page. It helps to keep him off the phone so he can stay on top of any work load, or not walk away from something while he’s working on it. I am honoring his request not to disclose his phone number for that reason. *****