My name is Vince Spellane, I currently reside in
Westmoreland County and have been practicing taxidermy for
over 25 years. My story is a little different than most.
Growing up I always had a love for nature and the
outdoors. I spent most of my time exploring the woods around
my parents home. During this time my intrigue with animals
continued to grow. I would collect various skulls, and bones
and began to study animals. I always had an interest in art and
science, two things that usually don’t go together, until I
discovered taxidermy. While looking through a Field and
Stream magazine, I found an ad for a taxidermy catalog and
started making squirrel skin rugs
for my friends, and preserving
animal tails from the products I
had found.
As time went on I tried larger
projects and taught myself
through trial and error as well as
VHS tapes. In 2006 while looking
for outdoor shows to attend to
bridge the time after hunting
season, I ran across an ad for the Pennsylvania Taxidermy
Association and a show they were having at the Altoona
Convention Center. I remember calling the President at the
time, Ray Kowalski, and asking what I had to do to attend the
show.
Needless to say, I was amazed by what I saw at the show.
I remember feeling that I was finally with my people. Most
people I knew thought taxidermy was a little weird and had no
understanding of what it entailed. I not only stumbled onto
people that had similar interests, I found
hundreds of them in one place. This one
experience changed my life.
The following year I decided to not only
attend the show but to bring a piece and
compete. I can sincerely say that becoming a

I can sincerely say that
becoming a member of
this organization and
competing, has changed
my life in many ways.

member of this organization and competing, has changed
my life in many ways. I have made numerous friends, been
inspired to better myself and my work, as well as gained an
unmeasurable amount of taxidermy knowledge.
I have been a member of the Pennsylvania Taxidermy
Association for the past 10 years and an active board member
of our association for the past five years. As far as the
competition end of things I recently dismantled the mount that
I took to Altoona the first year I competed and remounted it.
This was a special project for me and was a reflection of the
past 10 years. I chose a pose similar to the pose that I had
won my first blue ribbon with in the
professional division. I used the antlers
from my first competition piece and from
one of my most memorable archery hunts
of all time. The head was from my first
sculpture I ever made. The apple on the
base was off of my last world show entry
and the rock was from a mold that I made
a while back for the first seminar I gave
for the organization.
Things came full circle for me in March 2016 when I was
completely surprised and honored to win the Breakthrough
Award with this mount. To say that that night was special
would be an understatement. To win is an amazing feeling but
to be able to do it with a piece that had so much meaning and
reflection of my journey to this point was very special to me. I
hope my story may inspire someone just starting out as I was
several years ago. Your greatest limiting factor is you,
yourself. Believe in yourself, work hard, never give up, and
you will accomplish your dreams.
In closing, I again want to say thank you to
everyone who has continued to make this
organization grow and thrive and those who
have shared their knowledge and have
inspired me.