Paul Reynolds owns Wild Wings Taxidermy in Dayton. The former police officer was introduced to taxidermy at age 7 and has been professionally licensed since he was 17. He’s been a full-time taxidermist since 2013, when he retired from the Saco Police Department. Reynolds, 51, says his favorite part of the job is working with waterfowl. He’s an avid hunter, and “there are so many more things you can do with them than with other wildlife,” he said. “You can let your imagination run wild with it.” His least favorite part of the process is also the messiest: fleshing and skinning the animals. He doesn’t dislike it, but “it would be nice if someone else did it.” Reynolds also enjoys passing his taxidermy knowledge on to others. He hosts job shadows and apprentices, including students from Thornton Academy. And sometimes Reynolds’ dad joins him in the shop. It’s rewarding “when you step back and see the animal looking the way it is supposed to look, and that the animal is remembered and respected,” Reynolds said.

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