Hunting for a career

Asheboro woman turns to taxidermy as an instructor, business owner

ASHEBORO — Jordan McDuffie wanted to learn more about taxidermy. Now she’s providing the teaching as well.

The Asheboro woman has made a quick rise in the taxidermy field, taking a passion for that and turning it into the foundation for a career.

“I’m making a living off it and teaching other people about it,” McDuffie said.

Jordan McDuffie works on a duck mount in her taxidermy shop. (Contributed Photo)

She’s the first female instructor in taxidermy at Montgomery Community College in Troy.

Meanwhile, she formed her own business – Uwharrie Taxidermy.

McDuffie had taken an interest in hunting, so there was a natural connection there. But the 2016 Southwestern Randolph graduate was a college softball player for Wingate, so that consumed much of her time.

Still, she explored taxidermy as a hobby. She mounted a mallard duck without any schooling, something that furthered her interest.

McDuffie, 23, had been working for the family trucking business before this rapid transition. Now she teaches a pair of classes with 11 total students (eight are female).

McDuffie, who earned a degree in business management from Wingate in 2020, enrolled in taxidermy classes at Montgomery Community College. She said instructor Andy Speer helped her gain a wider understanding of what was involved in taxidermy.

“She picked it up very well,” Speer said. “She wanted to get better. She will succeed. I have no doubt about it.”

Speer said McDuffie was one of his top two students in his 12 years with the community college. He stepped away from his job at the school this summer. That provided an opening that McDuffie filled.

She said she was concerned about how she might be viewed.

“No guys are going to want to come in here and learn from this little girl,” she said.

Speer said McDuffie has traits that should bode well as she goes through time in taxidermy.

“You cannot teach experience,” Speer said. “You have to earn it. … Most women do better in taxidermy because they pay more attention to detail.”

Jordan McDuffie with a deer mount. (Contributed Photo)

McDuffie is running Uwharrie Taxidermy out of her home, though she said she hopes to expand as the business grows.

Early on, McDuffie said she was most interested in waterfowl. “I like the tedious work of it, but you can also be creative,” she said.

Her business is set up to accommodate all types of hunters. She has mounted deer, including a mule deer she shot while elk hunting in Colorado.

“If they kill a nice deer, they’re going to want it mounted,” she said. “People are willing to pay for quality. I’m definitely a perfectionist at that type of thing.”

McDuffie said she remains inspired by hunting. No longer a student or college athlete, she hopes there are certain times of the year that she can continue that activity.

“I like to travel out of state and go to different places,” she said. “That’s like a vacation to me because you get to see so much beautiful country.”

 

By Bob Sutton

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