Meet David Dandridge, Taxidermist and Hunting Guide
We’ve introduced him before, but we’re back again with David Dandridge. If you missed our first interview, you can read it here. This time around, we’re visiting with David about his taxidermy business, D & D Taxidermy.
David has been a long-time hunting guide for SNS and has a background of working with animals in various capacities. From horseshoeing to calving, and various other off season jobs, David and his wife, Laura, decided that taxidermy was the perfect fit for his lifestyle. David attended the Academy of Realistic Taxidermy in Havre, MT. After graduating, he quickly hit the ground running with his own business.
This season marks the 12th year of D & D Taxidermy. When chatting with David and Laura, we learned that not only does taxidermy fit ideally with his ability to guide with SNS, but it also works well with his family’s schedule. During hunting season, if you call or email D & D, you’ll likely talk to Laura. After all, David is out in the field with SNS. This time of year, Laura tags the animals as they come in, does the invoicing, and completes behind-the-scenes paperwork.
With many years of guiding under his belt, David has created strong friendships (and now returning clients) at SNS. Although antelope is the most common animal that David works with — thanks to SNS referrals — he thoroughly enjoys taxidermy on mule deer. However, we were surprised when David mentioned all of the exotic animals he also works with. Clients will have their animals shipped to D & D Taxidermy from Africa, New Zealand, and various other countries around the globe.
As David said, “No two animals are the same.” While they may be of the same species, their physical attributes are different; plus, the way a client wants the animal styled is individual. These components make David’s day-to-day work very dynamic. Furthermore, from shoulder mounts to full-on scenes with animals, you really don’t know what someone may want.
David and his family have recently relocated to western Wyoming. This decision came from the love guiding in the Greys River and what the western side of the state has to offer. Not only did this move give the Dandridge family a new house, but David also got himself a new shop — bigger and better than the last!
To this day, David’s daughter loves being a part of the process. In fact, you’ll often find her in the shop helping her dad. David used to say when his daughter was young, that most mounts had a piece of her with them. She would be out in the shop and help by coloring on the forms and have them ready for David to use. As you can tell, family is a big piece of D & D Taxidermy, and when it comes down to it, David wouldn’t change his career for anything.
Next time you see David in the field, or talk to him on the phone, ask him what he loves most about his job. Guaranteed, there will be a new favorite memory every time.
If you have more questions about D & D Taxidermy, you can give them a call here: 307-654-6000. If you would like to chat more with SNS about hunting opportunities in 2020, visit huntwyo.com or call us at 307-266-4229.