Date of Birth: March 19, 1948
Place of Birth: Charleston, West Virginia
Current Location: Millersburg, Ohio
Cary Cochran was born in Charleston, West Virginia, on March 19, 1948. He lives in Millersburg, Ohio, with his wife of 50 years, Gail. Cary is recognized as one of the most accomplished taxidermists in the United States since the mid 1980s. In 1986 while working for Buckeye Mannikins, he acquired a portion of the ownership of the company and was appointed to the position of vice-president.
While at Buckeye Mannikins Cary sculpted mannikins for whitetail deer, wild boars, rug shells, turkeys, and other species of bird bodies. He sculpted a line of turkey bodies with a different system for mounting along with a line of realistic artificial turkey heads that revolutionized this difficult area of taxidermy. He also broadened and refined deer-mounting techniques and developed products such as artificial nictitating membranes, nose septums, replacement nose casts, artificial mouth parts, and different methods of using Sculpall for open-mouth work.
In 1987 Cary won Best in World Whitetail Deer on an original mannikin he had sculpted. The judges that year were Larry Blomquist and Joe Meder, and they remarked that his entry “had details no one had ever captured in taxidermy competition with great accuracy and outstanding finish work.” Cary had established new standards that are only equaled today. He continued to compete for many years, winning virtually every top award available for his mammal and bird taxidermy. In fact, Cary earned a blue ribbon with every whitetail he ever entered in taxidermy competitions.
With all the talents of this gifted artist, it could easily be said his biggest contributions to taxidermy has been sharing his knowledge with others. Cary has judged and given seminars at over 100 taxidermy state, regional, national, and World Shows. In addition, he has given seminars at public shows such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, and large sportsman shows, all with the purpose of promoting taxidermy over the past 40 years.
Cary has shown leadership and given in many other ways to promote unity and quality taxidermy. He has sculpted Best of Category medallions, made and donated custom game calls for auction items, and given five-day workshops as auction items to various taxidermy associations. In 2014 he was one of the first in a group to be inducted into the Ohio Taxidermy Hall of Fame. He has written several articles for Breakthrough magazine on taxidermy processes and analysis of his original reference photography.
At age 70 Cary still enjoys many facets of taxidermy and has recently developed a new line of earliners for deer, coyotes, and African lions. He has refined some new deer nose casts and recently designed a chewing whitetail mouth-cup. He will again be one of the judges at the 2019 World Taxidermy Championships. Its no wonder he often says, “When taxidermy gets into your blood, you can’t get it out.”