BOLINGBROKE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- When a picture just won't do, wildlife enthusiasts find themselves opting for a mounted memory. Some people consider it art, but for owner of Casteel Taxidermy, Rodney Casteel, it's more of a favorite pastime.
"Everybody's got a hobby, I just happen to get paid for mine," said Casteel.
He added, "I started out as a kid, we didn't have a lot of money and I liked hunting a lot so I started reading books on how to mount stuff."
Casteel's interest turned into 35 years of taxidermy work and a showroom filled with plenty of his own personal trophies.
"I'm probably better known for mounting ducks than anything, but you have to mount deer because it's the bread and butter of the business," Casteel said.
His work is a combination of tanning, sculpting, wood working, and sewing.
"I skin the deer then freeze the hide and hang the racks up there," said Casteel.
Since every deer comes in with a different neck size, face, color, shape and rack, Rodney pays close attention to the details.
"...getting the deer form ready, which means putting a rack on it...the next thing is putting it together."
Hunters are usually eager to display the fruits of their labor, and that's where Rodney gets his excitement.
"It's seeing the expression on people's face when they pick their mount up and they're just blown away," Casteel said with a smile.
He hopes his work inspires future hunters to get out and experience what mother nature has to offer.
Casteel said, "If you're not playing baseball, football, sports....go fish and hunt, get off the couch, leave the tablets and the cell phones and computer alone and enjoy the outdoors."
Whether it's up in a tree stand or knee deep in muck, he is a tradesman who loves to capture the thrill of the hunt with memories to last a lifetime.
Casteel attends seminars twice a year to learn about the new methods in taxidermy. Casteel Taxidermy is located at 229 Klopfer Road in Bolingbroke.