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Episode: 2 Travis Roundy - Skre Gear

SKRE Team meets with Travis Roundy

Welcome to our SKRE country broadcast, where we dive into the exciting world of hunting and taxidermy. Today, we have a special guest, Travis Roundy, joining us. Travis, one of the co-founders of SKRE and a seasoned taxidermist, will share his journey and expertise with us. As we embrace the sunny days and shed hunting season, Travis will also discuss upcoming hunts and offer valuable tips for hunters. So, let's jump right in!

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Introducing Travis Roundy:

Mike Nielson: Now, without further ado, let's introduce our guest for today, Travis Roundy. Travis and I go way back, having met at the sneaky show in St. George back in 2004. We instantly hit it off and have shared many grand adventures since then. Travis is not only a dear friend but also a talented taxidermist. In fact, he was one of the co-founders of SKRE. Many of you might remember him from the earlier shows. Travis, over to you. Please share a little about yourself.

Travis Roundy: Thank you for the introduction and the opportunity to be here today. I'm a southern Utah native, born and raised in the small town of Glendale. Hunting has always been a part of my life, especially chasing mule deer, although I must confess, I'm not a fan of those Spike antelope laughs. After getting married in '94, I started my taxidermy business, which I've been running for over 25 years now. I also guide mule deer hunters on the Ponson range, providing for my family through this passion of mine. We love living in southern Utah, but we also enjoy venturing to different locations, pursuing various game species whenever we can secure tags. Hunting is truly our way of life.


Travis's Journey into Taxidermy:

Josh Jensen: Travis, it's fascinating to hear about your deep connection to hunting and the outdoors. I'm curious, did you always envision taxidermy as a career path, or did it happen serendipitously?


Travis Roundy: Interestingly, my initial plan was to become a timber cutter, following in my father's footsteps. I worked in the logging business during my teenage years and even considered pursuing it as a lifelong career. However, circumstances changed with the decline of the logging industry due to environmental concerns. I found myself in college, contemplating a career as a wildlife biologist. However, after observing the ideological differences in the field, I realized my passion lay in working with fellow hunters and outdoors enthusiasts. Taxidermy seemed like a perfect fit. I underwent an apprenticeship and eventually established my own business, starting from a humble shack. We have grown a lot since then, obviously and I’m really thankful for all the support I’ve gained from everyone.


Tips for Properly Preparing Animals in the Field:


Travis emphasizes the importance of properly caring for animals from the moment of harvest until they reach the taxidermy shop. Whether you're a local hunter or traveling from out of state, these tips can help preserve the quality of your trophy:


Immediate Field Care: After harvesting an animal, take measures to cool it down as quickly as possible. Remove the internal organs, place ice inside the body cavity, and keep the carcass out of direct sunlight.


Protect the Hide: Avoid dragging the animal by its antlers, as this can damage the hide. Instead, use a game bag or a white cloth to cover the antlers and protect the hide from sunlight. Handle the animal with care to prevent unnecessary damage.


Keep it Cool: During transportation, ensure the carcass remains cool. If hunting in warm weather, consider using air conditioning in your vehicle or bring a portable cooler to maintain a lower temperature.


Seek Professional Advice: If you're unsure about field care or transportation methods, consult with a local taxidermist or experienced hunters in the area. They can provide valuable guidance and help ensure your trophy arrives at the taxidermy shop in optimal condition.


Preparing Velvet Antlers:


Mike Nielson: Now, Travis, let's dive into the preservation of velvet antlers, particularly when hunting mule deer during the velvet season. Could you guide us through the process of preserving and protecting the velvet until it reaches your taxidermy shop?


Travis Roundy: That's a great question. When it comes to preserving velvet, it's crucial to keep it out of direct sunlight. To protect the velvet while in the field, I recommend using a white cloth or game bag to shield it from the sun's rays. Avoid dragging the deer by its antlers, as it can damage the velvet. Handle it carefully and cover it with something white while backpacking it back to your vehicle. Once it reaches my shop, I'll cap the cape off the deer and inject it with embalming fluid containing formaldehyde. This step ensures preservation and freeze-drying while preventing excessive shrinkage.

Travis Roundy: Alternatively, there are innovative products like "Velva Lock," a spray-on solution, that hunters can explore for velvet preservation. However, further research is needed to determine its effectiveness.

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Travis's Unforgettable Hunting Experiences:


Josh Jensen: Travis, with your wealth of hunting experience, it must be challenging to pick just one favorite hunt. However, could you share one that stands out among the rest? We'd love to hear about it.


Travis Roundy: Absolutely! While I've had countless incredible hunts, one that tops the list is a muzzleloader hunt in Colorado with my daughter, McKenna. Initially, we almost had to cancel the trip due to an injury to one of our horses. But we persisted and arrived a couple of days late. To our surprise, the trailhead was bustling with fellow hunters from different states. Despite the crowded conditions, we decided to press on. That evening, while setting up camp, we discovered another hunter's tent nearby, and I was concerned about intruding. However, he turned out to be friendly, and we exchanged hunting information.


Travis Roundy: The following day, perched on a cliff ledge, we spotted a massive buck, the largest I had ever encountered. We filmed the buck through a phone scope, capturing the moment as proof of our incredible find. I spent the entire night replaying the video, mesmerized by the buck's magnificence. It was a hunt I'll never forget.


Looking Ahead:

As our conversation draws to a close, Travis emphasizes the evolving landscape of taxidermy and the increasing reliance on social media for business growth. He invites fellow hunters and enthusiasts to engage with him on Instagram, where he shares his latest projects and connects with like-minded individuals.


Conclusion:

Travis Roundy's journey from a timber cutter to a renowned taxidermist exemplifies the unpredictable paths life can take. His passion for hunting and preserving memories through taxidermy shines through in every aspect of his work. Whether you're an aspiring hunter or an admirer of wildlife artistry, Travis's expertise and tips on animal care in the field provide valuable insights for a successful and fulfilling hunting experience.


Join us next time as we delve deeper into the world of hunting, wildlife preservation, and outdoor exploration. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel and subscribe! Until then, stay tuned for more captivating stories and informative discussions. Happy hunting!

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