A twelve year old Minnesota boy once decided to keep a dead Northern Flicker that he had found. In a rather crude fashion he "stuffed" the tiny creature. Forty years later John Palmer Hawkins, still a lover of nature, established his business in Winnipeg. After moving to Canada "Jack" Hawkins did a great deal of taxidermy in the Foam Lake, Saskatchewan area including moose and deer heads, and furniture made from horns. Some of these can still be found around Foam Lake.
In Stonewall, Manitoba; he mounted many specimens for DeWitt's Café which had a small museum. From his home at 117 St. Anthony Avenue in West Kildonan, Jack Hawkins mounted a set of locked deer horns for the Manitoba Museum in April of 1943.
In September of 1949 along with his son Ken, J.P. Hawkins & Son, Taxidermist; was opened at 1425 Main Street.
As the years passed Hawkins Taxidermists Ltd. has developed a history of serving both royalty and sportsmen throughout the world. Of the six elk heads that have been presented to Her Royal Highness Elizabeth II by the Hudson Bay Company, four have been mounted by Hawkins Taxidermists Ltd. Prince Phillip was presented with a polar bear rug during the 1967 Pan American Games.
An early program was established in conjunction with the Manitoba Government, in regards to controlled predators. Wolf heads were mounted for Boy Scout troops across Canada and as far as New Zealand.
Ken Hawkins has had a lifelong association with the sportsmen's organization. For over twenty years, he served on the Executive of the Winnipeg Game & Fish Association and the Manitoba Wildlife Federation.
He is best remembered for his outstanding contribution as chairman of the Provincial
Deer Head Competition and founder of the Big Game Trophy Association.
In this capacity he organized the first Sportsmen's Award Night in
Ken and his wife Audrey printed the first taxidermy supply catalogue in 1962. This business has serviced taxidermists across Canada. Their 1793 Main Street location became known as "The Shop with the Bear on Top". A common sight to North Main travellers.
The move to the present premises occurred in 1973. Shortly thereafter son-in-law, Dennis Deegan assumed the responsibilities of the President and General Manager. Under his discretion the business has enjoyed its greatest era of expansion.
The public relations policy initiated by Ken Hawkins has been further developed by Dennis. He is one of the "Founding Fathers" of the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association, and there are few conservation causes or sporting events that do not receive his tangible support.
The recent growth of Hawkins Taxidermists Ltd., highlighted by the latest addition, opened in 1981 is evidenced by the modern operation you are seeing today.
In May of 2002, Hawkins Taxidermy seperated into two seperate operating companies. One is Hawkins and the second is Perma Trophy Game Fish Replicas. Perma Trophy is now located in Pembina, ND.
You can find out more about Hawkins Taxidermy history in The Vault.