New business - Dakota Trophy Taxidermy

Brothers in business ... Mark, left, and Mick Trask are the owners and operators of Dakota Trophy Taxidermy, the third such business run by local entrepreneurs. “The Trask boys have the perfect opportunity for the business,” said mentor and professional taxidermist Marty Hansen.

A new business has been started, owned and operated by two brothers who graduated from Philip High School. Mark Trask, a 2008 graduate, and Mick Trask, 2009, have started the Dakota Trophy Taxidermy business.

Mark said, "I'm an avid hunter, like to fish, and am fairly artsy with drawing, carving and making things out of clay. Taxidermy involves a lot of the same skills. We were around Marty Hansen's taxidermy shop a lot when we were kids. He was a big influence on both of us."

Mick said, "It's something I've always wanted to do since I was in kindergarten. I like that I can fit it in with ranching, especially in the winter."

The business name is a spin-off from Dakota Trophy Hunts, a family business run by their father, Tom's, family for 40 years. It derived its name originally from Dakota Safari, which was divided 40 years ago into two separate businesses. The taxidermy website states, "The taxidermy business has evolved from Tom learning to do a little of our own work. He apprenticed with a good friend, Marty Hansen of Hansen's Taxidermy in Philip, South Dakota - a true master of the profession.

"Mark and Mick have spent most of their lives, when not involved in school or sports, either hunting, fishing, guiding or hanging around Marty's shop. As a result of our family's involvement in hunting and wildlife, it was only natural for them to move towards preserving the beauty that nature has provided.

"Currently Mark and Mick have taken up the business of taxidermy, having studied under Tom Matuska of Northwest Iowa School of Taxidermy." The school involved a nine-week course. The new business's contacts are on the website at www.dakotatrophyadventures .com and the phone numbers of: Mark (605) 798-2002 or 441-3937, and Mick (605) 993-3009 or 441-9997.

Sheila Trask, the young men's mother, said, "They have done a variety of mounts, including full body ones and some African mounts. We have converted a building to be used as the taxidermy shop."

Tomilyn, the entrepreneurs' sister, said, "The guys have always wanted to do taxidermy. They absolutely love it. It's like anything that you start as a hobby and get good at, it eventually turns into a business. I've helped them, but have not actually mounted anything. I've been told that I have to do my own work next year."

Hansen has known Mark and Mick since they were born. "Tom has always been interested in Taxidermy, then Mick and then Mark got interested," said Hansen. He remembers "probably four or five years of mentoring before the boys went to taxidermy school. The man who runs the school and I went to taxidermy school together. The Trask boys have the perfect opportunity for the business. They should be busier than heck."