Preserving animals is "an art form," says owner of Professional Taxidermy Studio in Cedar Park

This bobcat mount is one of many pieces completed at Professional Taxidermy Studio in Cedar Park.

This bobcat mount is one of many pieces completed at Professional Taxidermy Studio in Cedar Park.

Image description
Professional Taxidermy Studio
Image description
Professional Taxidermy Studio

For the last 33 years, Dan Lansford’s Professional Taxidermy Studio has sat on Whitestone Boulevard, tucked behind trees and brush. These days, the beeping and whirring of construction vehicles are audible from the studio, but Lansford still remembers the days when there was no development around him.

His parents raised him on the land where his studio now sits. The property, currently 175 acres, has belonged to his family since 1953, and four generations of his family live on it, where they can hunt, fish and birdwatch.

“It’s about all that’s left of Cedar Park as it used to be,” Lansford said.

Growing up there allowed Lansford’s love of nature to flourish, he said. He began doing taxidermy at a young age, teaching himself through books and pamphlets in high school. He worked for a taxidermist shop in Austin before finally opening his own studio in 1986.

Clients typically bring in the unskinned head of an animal with the hide attached. He then removes the head from the skull, tans the skin and uses sculpting techniques to create a final product. He said in any given year he completes about 500 work orders, which include shoulder mounts of large mammals such as whitetail deer and life-size mounts of animals such as bobcats.

While most of his clients are hunters and fishermen, he has also completed work for the entertainment world. He once completed a two-headed calf for the Museum of the Weird in Austin. Another time, the costume designer for Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete Kills” hired him to create the wolf head Lady Gaga wore in the 2013 movie.

Though he has completed thousands of pieces over the decades, he said each one is unique.

“It’s an art form, but the medium is from the hand of the Creator,” Lansford said. “You’re able to take something and preserve it.”

He said he hopes to preserve his family’s land, too. Though the city has grown up around him, he still thinks the land means too much to him to sell.

“It’s a simple equation: You like the land more than the money, or the money more than the land,” he said. “I still like the land more than the money.”

Professional Taxidermy Studio
2101 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. or by appointment

By Marisa Charpentier

Reporter, Cedar Park | Leander

Marisa Charpentier joined Community Impact in September 2018. After working as an intern, she became a reporter for the Cedar Park | Leander edition in October 2018. Charpentier graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Plan II Honors.


A photo of the potential Tesla property
Travis County updates Tesla incentive package, pushing for $1 billion-plus investment from the company

Poised for a possible July 13 vote, Travis County has released a refined incentives structure proposal with electric carmaker Tesla.

The Williamson County and Cities Health District confirmed 37 additional coronavirus cases July 10, bringing the total to 3,654. (Community Impact Staff)
37 new cases of coronavirus, 1 death confirmed in Williamson County on July 10

Currently, 103 patients are hospitalized, 32 are in intensive care and 16 are on a ventilator.

The species that tested positive for West Nile Virus is Culex quinquefasciatus, or the southern house mosquito. This species has a flight range of about one mile. ​(Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus near southwest Williamson County Regional Park

There have been no reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Williamson County since 2017.

Williamson County sees 844 new coronavirus cases this week

Between July 4 and July 10, Williamson County also reported 9 additional deaths.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced in a June 30 State Board of Education meeting that students will be taking the STAAR in the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Education organizations call for STAAR requirements to be waived another year

Gov. Greg Abbott waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements in March of earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

The new partnership will provide on-site, same-day testing and results for assisted-living facility staff and their residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
State announces partnership for increased COVID-19 testing for patients, staff at assisted-living facilities, nursing homes

These test sites will help the state work toward the goal of processing up to 100,000 tests in the first month.

DATA: Leander sales tax revenue jumped 40% in May; Cedar Park stayed steady

Leander sales tax revenue spiked 40% in May 2020 compared to May 2019 data.

Cedar Park OKs $61.5M in 3 ordinances for bonds, certificates of obligation

The bonds and certificates of obligation will fund the planned library, parks, street improvements, drainage projects and the Brushy Creek wastewater plant expansion.

A photo of Del Valle ISD's Cardinal stadium
Del Valle ISD approves Tesla incentives, paving way for possible Travis County agreement

The school district's July 9 vote could yield Tesla around $46.4 million in tax abatements if the company chooses Travis County as its next factory site.

Williamson County reported 175 additional cases of coronavirus July 9. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
175 cases of coronavirus, 2 deaths confirmed in Williamson County on July 9

The Williamosn County and Cities Health District reported 23% of hospital beds and 9% of ICU beds are available.

Travis County has had 13,864 total confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic as of July 9. (Community Impact staff)
Travis County tops 700 new COVID-19 cases for second straight day July 9

Travis County has had 13,864 total confirmed coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic.