Career Goals: My dream is to be a Neurosurgeon or Cardiothoracic surgeon. I love learning about the anatomy of the body and how it works physiologically. I admire and respect doctors because they devote themselves and their lives to helping people. They spend years honing skills, gaining knowledge and developing a character worthy of trust and respect. This is what I desire to do with my life.
School: Horry Georgetown Technical College
- Graduate this May with two degrees- Associates in Science and Associates in Art
Extracurricular Activities: Involved in national honor society called Phi Theta Kappa. I am an officer in our school’s chapter. I’m very proud to be involved in Phi Theta Kappa because I have gotten so very much out of it. I’ve developed organizational and leadership skills I never would have otherwise. I’ve been on free trips to New Mexico and North Carolina, and I will be going to Columbia, SC and Washington D.C. soon! I’m also president of the new science club at HGTC. I love science, so I’m very excited about this club becoming active at school!
Hobbies: In the summer I love to tan, read in the sun and you can usually find me near a large body of water! I love to swim! One of my biggest joys of the summer months would be going to Fork Retch and seeing the kids at Wildlife Action. That has been my joy every summer for 6 years now! In the fall and winter months, my family heats our home with a wood stove. So we cut a lot of fallen trees and bust that wood up into pieces that will fit into the heater. I’ve become pretty good at chopping wood, if I do say so myself. I love spending that time with my family, and I also spend a great deal of time in front of that heater when it’s cold outside. I duck hunt when school permits me to. I love the swamp during the winter, especially at sunrise. I used to write poems about the swamp when I was younger because I thought it was so beautiful.
Hunting: I’ve been hunting with my uncle, Buddy Piner, since I was 8 years old. I started duck hunting in the local swamps in Gresham with him, and soon after he took me to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Steve Goodwin, a good friend of Uncle Buddy’s, was our guide. I’ll never forget that first trip because he let me drive the boat (we were flying at a high speed of about 2 miles per hour, but that was fast to me). We’ve gone back every year up until this past season when school events kept me from going on the trip. While duck hunting is definitely my favorite, I also dove and turkey hunt. I was the first person my uncle ever shot triple turkeys with. Feathers are better than fur y’all. Deer hunting isn’t my favorite, but I love to eat it! I like squirrel hunting too, but I’m still working on my aim with a 22 Rifle. Pesky squirrels.
My Job: I work at Piner’s Taxidermy. I started when I was 14 and quit not long after I started. While most people understand why, it bothered me that I had quit so fast. So, I went back and began learning the trade, and I have been there ever since. My uncle needed a flesher because of the large amount of work he had coming in. He wanted to mount the hides and have another person prep them for him. I am now that person. I skin out the animals that clients bring in and then remove all the fat and grease from the inside of the hide. It’s a very tedious job. Any holes or cuts in that hide will usually show up when the hide is put on a form. I flesh it all, from swans and ducks to raccoons and coyotes to deer and beavers. I had to learn how to flesh between the quills inside a duck without tearing their thin skin. A lot of taxidermists don’t flesh their own ducks because it’s such a delicate process. I had to learn where all the little pockets of fat are in different animals because if it is left, 5 years from now it will seep through the skin of your mount and turn it yellow.
While I don’t mount yet, I must know the steps of the mounting process to know exactly how to flesh the hides. I have to know what form he uses to know where to cut the hide. I have to know how much skin he needs left to tuck in the form. Uncle Buddy says I have a good eye, and he wants me to go over every finished mount to make sure everything looks good. Another job I do is lining the feathers up on a mounted turkey. There must be 7 or 8 mounted in the shop right now, and I’ve realigned the feathers on them all. I create a system that works well and is time efficient for every job I do at the shop, and so far it has worked well for me!