With its 75 mounted animals from all over the world, PEC Electrical Distribution Designer Mark Morren’s showroom is like a museum of natural history. Morren has always enjoyed making things, but he found his niche in taxidermy 18 years ago.
“The first deer I ever took to a show, I got third place with,” Morren said. “I remember one of the judges telling me that if I had just refined my piece a little more, I would have won the whole show. And that just lit a fire in me competitively.”
Morren honed his craft by attending classes about finish work and spending his free time researching animal anatomy, and when he entered his second show in 2006, he won best white-tailed deer in Texas. A judge challenged him to an even more daunting task — open-mouth mounts — and in 2013, he entered an open-mouth deer at nationals. Out of 448 deer entries, Morren’s took second place.
“That deer took me 160 hours from start to finish,” Morren said. “I was the first person ever to cast the whole nose of a white-tailed deer. I was only two points away from first place, but you know what? I’m a part-time taxidermist and got second in the nation, so that’s good enough for me.”
After serving on the Texas Taxidermy Association Board of Directors, the National Taxidermy Board of Directors (the first Texan to do so) and showing at countless competitions, Morren quit while he was ahead. He began focusing more on his business, Double M Taxidermy and Hunting Adventures, leading with its motto: “It’s as real as it gets.”
“I would consider myself the Walmart of the hunting industry; I do it all from start to finish,” Morren explained. “I’ll take you hunting on one of the 18 ranches I work with in the Hill Country, I’ll take your animal to my processor and I’ll preserve and mount it for you.
It’s a lot of work, but I’m thankful for the reputation I have in the area.”
Morren even shares his knowledge through video tutorials on Facebook and out-of-town classes, which is unheard of in this cutthroat industry. He’s passionate about his craft and teaching the next generation of taxidermists.
“You have to give back what’s given to you,” Morren said. “You don’t have to give away all your secrets, but it’s important to me to pass down knowledge and keep the art alive.”