March 22, 2016

Kyle Cooke – Testimonial

It’s hard to describe how excited I was when I finally drew on my once in a lifetime Bull Moose tag here in Idaho. I had been looking forward to the hunt for several years. I had very high expectations and envisioned my moose hanging in my living room. Word quickly got out that I had drawn the coveted tag and people were on the look out for me for a monster. A dear friend of mine is acquaintances with Jay Myers of River’s Edge Wildlife Art and recommended that I talk to him. I have been using a taxidermist in Rigby that I really liked for a couple of different mounts but I wanted to make sure that I would have a quality product so I was open to asking around. I had opportunities on over 30 bulls before I found one that met all of my criteria. I was not going to settle! The day opportunity came sooner than expected and I hadn’t made up my mind on who was going to mount the beast. The game processor was kind enough to let me leave the horns in his cooler while I finalized the plans.
When I first called Jay, he said something that really peaked my attention. He told me that he only takes in a limited amount of animals in so that he can focus on putting out a good product. He said that he did not want to be the guy that was a year out on getting the animal back to the hunter. I think that is what convinced me. I remember telling him that I could always go and shoot another deer or elk but this is my only Bull Moose that I could ever take. I told him that I didn’t want the standard moose mount that you see every single time you walk into Cabelas. Every one of them use the same form and have same facial expression. I wanted something that was a little different. He said he was excited to see what he could do.
Jay was so easy to work with. Right off the bat he went and picked up the hide and horns from my game processor so that he could get the hide sent out. He had the horns cleaned up and let me bring them home. Not sure how many phone calls I made over the next few months but Jay never seemed to mind. I texted him numerous pictures of live moose in a particular pose so that he could get the idea of what I was thinking. We took the horns back to his shop and placed them on a jig to fine tune the position and was able to find a mold that he thought he could modify to get it right. He didn’t just cut the mold to turn the head a little. I think he ended up adding about 8 inches to one side to get the angle on the wall the way I wanted it. I really feel Jay went way above and beyond any taxidermist I have ever worked with before. He was very professional and is very good at what he does. I’m sure I was a little high maintenance, but he took it in stride and I knew my trophy was in good hands.
The finished product blew me away. Even though I had seen the progress a little along the way, the details surprised me. Not only is the mount flawless, but he was able to capture an expression that, to me, stands out. The best feeling is when I walk into Cabelas, Sportsmans, or see any other moose mount, I know that the one at my house is so much better. It is a beautiful tribute to an amazing animal. Jay knocked it out of the park and as long as he stays in the business, he will be my taxidermist. Kyle Cooke