Bob Davis came to DVR unsure of what to do. He is 39 years old and his doctor told him he has "the hands of an 80 year old." Owning his own Taxidermy business; using his hands is what he is used to, that's what he knows. His Arthritis had gotten worse; bending his fingers, pulling hides tight, doing the intricate work of taxidermy had gotten unbearable. Bob tried to stop; he even went and drove a water truck in the oil field, thinking it would help. It didn't. He knew that he didn't want to lose his business, but with him having so much difficulty, he'd taken on an assistant, and the customers didn't like it. His company suffered, he suffered.
We had to get creative. He knew that one option was business expansion. He could purchase a freeze-drying machine. This machine essentially pulls all the moisture out of small game, saving him the intensive labor of skinning and stuffing small animals and saving his hands the tremendous pain of working with small tools on the intricate details. Bob also knew that this meant more training, time away from the business and potentially relearning the entire taxidermy process in order to save his hands.With the help of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bob enrolled in a rigorous program that included relearning the Game Head process, working with fish and birds, focused on painting and detail, and a course in business taxidermy.
Bob was able to find a freeze dryer and purchase it, but didn't know what to do from there. He set about doing some homework and found a Taxidermy school in Billings, Montana called Pro Mount. From the start, Bob began a great relationship with Dan, the owner and instructor. Dan took time to explain the process to Bob over the phone and was very thorough in detailing what the courses entailed. Bob approached Wyoming DVR with this information, explaining that Pro Mount has worked with Veterans, Vocational Rehabilitation in Wyoming and Montana and would love to have him begin school there. Dan had even told Bob that he knew methods to help keep the arthritis pain manageable while still practicing his trade.
With the help of Vocational Rehabilitation, Bob enrolled in a rigorous program that included relearning the Game Head process, working with fish and birds, focused on painting and detail, and a course in business taxidermy. His program was individually focused and designed to meet his needs while he battled his arthritis pain. He gained new knowledge to help him use the freeze dryer and overcome his barrier to maintain his business.
Bob completed this program within two months, then he came back home. Not only has he built a wonderful professional relationship with his instructor, he also felt excited to practice his art once again. He says that he hasn't felt that way since he first opened the business.
Nearly three months after completing the program, Bob reports that he has done more work this Fall than he did in the past two years combined. He has help in the store and people from the community catching rattle snakes for him to freeze dry and sell. Bob is back in business, full time. Deep Timber Creations is rebuilding, with Bob at the helm.