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Mike Whiteside, an avid outdoorsman, has been experimenting with taxidermy for two decades, gaining skills from professionals. His heated garage has become his workplace, surrounded by the creatures he's preserving for posterity. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Taxidermist Whiteside preserving trophies

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At a young age, Mike Whiteside developed a penchant for Minnesota's woods and waters.

He arrived from Illinois with parents and siblings to spend summers at his grandparents', Bill and Ada Iles, resort on Lower Bottle Lake, assisting with chores and dropping a line at every opportunity.


The retired military aircraft mechanic, who spent several years in Japan, began experimenting with taxidermy 20 years ago, completing projects for friends.

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