Photo of Dale Manning with sheep.
Dale Manning
Dale has been involved with taxidermy since 1975. Born and raised in Missoula, Montana, he grew up hunting, fishing and camping. His high school job was working at a local taxidermy shop where his primary interest began with birds. The quality of his work from the beginning allowed him to do bird mounts for other taxidermists across Montana which was his main source of income as he pursued his college degree. Dale graduated in 1985 from the University of Montana with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Economics.

In 1988, Dale and his business partner, John Ottman opened a wholesale bird shop, Custom Birdworks. With its success and the demand for big game taxidermy, the Big Game Connection was added to the business. Custom Birdworks and the Big Game Connection, Ltd. later became a full service taxidermy studio solely owned by Dale.

Dale is known for producing the highest quality taxidermy that emphasizes the profession as an art. Keeping up with industry changes and technologies by attending taxidermy conventions and competitions throughout the country is a priority and part of his business philosophy to produce an excellent product. Dale is well respected in the taxidermy community for his accomplishments and is regularly asked to judge competitions and give seminars to share his knowledge. He has received the industry’s highest honors and awards at the state, national and world level. His experience and reputation will insure that your taxidermy experience will be the best available.

Dale lives in Missoula with his wife Jennifer and son Owen.


Photo of Tyler Hoffman with Turkey.
Tyler Hoffman
Tyler Hoffman has been a fixture at Custom Birdworks and the Big Game Connection for close to 15 years. Born and raised in Missoula, Montana , Tyler spent his childhood years hunting and fishing with his family. When he wasn’t in the field he was on the field playing baseball. He is a third generation Eagle Scout. As a young man Tyler spent much of his spare time at the taxidermy shop learning the trade and eventually becoming very adept at his profession. After graduating high school he attended Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario Oregon on a baseball scholarship. Tyler returned to his hometown and has been employed full-time at Custom Birdworks and the Big Game Connection since 2006.

The quality of Tyler’s work has been proven through the competitions he has attended. Some of his latest accomplishments include, 2nd place Professional Large Lifesize at The 2007 World Taxidermy Championships, the Wasco award for most artistic entry,1st place Masters Division, Best of Category Waterfowl and Master of Masters. Tyler is an exceptional taxidermist and is well versed in all aspects of the business.