By Adam Kaufman and Ryan Simmons
HURLEY, N.Y. – Many people spend a lifetime toiling away at a job they tolerate, never finding one that impassions them. Jim Brown might have been one of those people had it not been for a video he watched.
From an early age, Brown, 61, had been a lover of the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing. But he made his living as a masonry contractor and tended bar during the slow winter months. Then nearly two decades ago, a friend successfully mounted his own deer and suggested Brown give it a try, too. Brown bought a how-to video and tried out the method on a deer he had just hunted.
Walking into the showroom of Jim Brown's taxidermy shop, Wildlife Encounters, is one of the more exotic experiences you'll experience. Located just 100 miles north of New York City, the store feels a little like stepping inside Disney's "Jungle Book." Grizzly bears, whitetail deer, grey foxes, mountain lions, and wild boars are just a few of the species on display. All of them have been mounted by Brown, an award-winning taxidermist and a master at his craft after 19 years in the taxidermy business.
Business, he says, has grown steadily even through the recent economic downturn. "I think when a guy shoots a big deer, one way or another, they're going to figure out a way to get it done," he explained.
Watch the video above to take a look inside Jim Brown's exotic shop and the story behind the biggest deer he mounted this year.
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