The family that plays together stays together. Add “work together” to that age-old saying, and you get Werner Family Taxidermy. It is also one of five commercially licensed taxidermy businesses in Clark County.
Werner Family Taxidermy is truly a family affair. Owner and lead taxidermist, Vikki Werner is one of two female taxidermists in Clark County. Her husband Ryan oversees business operations and is learning to be a taxidermist, in addition to his full-time job with the county. Their three sons all have important roles: Wally, 16, is in charge of maintenance; James, 14, is a taxidermy apprentice; and Robert, 12, is a habitat specialist. Vikki’s friend, an independent taxidermist, helps when needed. “Everyone really chips in to make the business run as smoothly as possible,” said Vikki.
Vikki began Werner Family Taxidermy at her Henderson home in 2009, and subsequently moved it to its new 2,000-square-foot studio location at 57 E. Basic Road in May 2011 as business grew.
“We’re really proud we started this business with just $5 and a tarp to cover the front of the carport,” beamed Vikki. “We love working in Water Street District, particularly because of all the great people we’ve met and work with. And the Water Street District Business Association has been very helpful with all of our business questions. We appreciate the community bond and enjoy attending all the parades and events.”
Along that vein, the family started its own event with the inaugural Chili for Charity Cook-Off and plan to make it an annual occurrence. Proceeds benefitted St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.
Vikki became involved with taxidermy after a hunting trip in 2005. She saw a wild badger for the first time and wanted to keep it forever. She sought a taxidermist to help her and enjoyed learning all about animal preservation. She subsequently became a taxidermy apprentice, got her license, and has preserved all kinds of animals, from pets to life-sized tigers, rams and deer. She even freeze-dried a spider.
Before opening Werner Family Taxidermy, Vikki worked with another taxidermist before parting company. She was going to retire from the business, but her family vetoed that idea, 4 to 1. “I said I would continue if everyone helped out, and they have,” she said. “Working together has been great for our family.”
Werner Family Taxidermy is a member of Wildlife & Habitat Improvement of Nevada (WHIN), a non-profit conservation and sportsmen group, and hosts its monthly meetings at the studio.
Located at 57 E. Basic Road, Werner Family Taxidermy is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Since most sportsman harvest game in the early morning or late evening, 24/7 check-in is available. For information, visit www.wernerfamilytaxidermy.com or call 702-558-2825.
Werner Family Taxidermy
57 E. Basic Road
Henderson, NV 89015