Northern Stalker hit the nail on the head. If most taxidermists think there is just a chance that he'll lose some business to the competitor, then he'll either slam the other guys work, or never share anything with him again. Some fellow taxidermists get all worked up when another taxidermist shares some of his knowledge with another, or a novice. If they would only realize that the important ingredient to good business, is just that . Practice good business, be friendly, do quality work, charge a fair price, and you'll grow your business on your name and reputation alone. Don't take shortcuts! I think the best way to learn taxidermy, is to do exactly what your doing. Work hands on with a knowledgable taxidermist, starting out with skinning and fleshing. This is where you'll learn the most about the anatomy of a bird, and you'll soon appreciate why they charge what they do. I skin and flesh birds for two taxidermists, and not only does it make there job easier, but it makes me better. The most important thing to remember, is you can't make a crappy bird to begin with look good. It is very important to start with a nicely plumed fully mature bird. Divers are thicker skinned than Puddle ducks, but you will eventually have to work with both. Like Northern Stalker said, start with the divers, and be prepared to cuss when you do your first Teal or Woodie. If you have any question come up as you are going, feel free to ask, but you definately will be ahead of the average novice if you work hands on.