Mounting a memory: A taxidermists tribute to a fallen friend

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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STERLING, Okla. (KSWO) -A young taxidermist from Sterling won best in show with a deer mount at a competition over the weekend.

But it wasn’t just any deer-- it’s the last deer his best friend shot before a crash claimed his life in 2019.

“It was amazing just to see what he did and just to know that Blaine was a part of it,” said Lynn Alexander, Blaine’s dad.

21-year-old Blaine Alexander was a quiet, caring young man, a volunteer firefighter and someone who loved to hunt and fish with his buddies.

“He was my closest friend you know,” said taxidermist, Dawson Register. “Talked to him all the time. We hunted with him all season long. That’s kind of how we became friends. He could tell I was a quiet kid, he was a quiet kid in high school.”

When a crash near Fort Cobb killed Blaine in September of 2019, Register found a way to memorialize his friend using one of the hobbies Blaine loved most, hunting.

“I wanted it to have a lot of meaning for his family, but also you know for me I wanted to win the show,” said Register. “And with his deer, it meant a lot.”

“I thought it was awesome,” said Lynn Alexander. “I thought it was really nice to do a tribute you know something to remember him by.”

Blaine shot the monster buck about a half a mile from their house.

“He kind of had been tracking him for a while, seeing him on camera,” said Alexander. “Oh I think he was probably just ecstatic about it, big as it was. He had been looking for him for a long time. That’s the biggest one”

Over 75 hours of blood, sweat and tears were put into making this prize winning deer, with the added sentiment of Blaine’s family brand... hearing his name called for the award, was one of the proudest moments of his life.

“I just hope that they can see all the work I’ve put into it and how much I cared about Blaine just how bad i wanted to win with his deer,” said Register. “I hope they’re proud of me for it.”

He says he may enter it into another competition in the future, but until then it will be on full display at the Alexander residence.

“I think there will be a very big flood of memories when it comes in, you know it’ll almost be like having him back somehow,” said Alexander. “We appreciate everything. It’s really special.”

Dawson was one of the youngest taxidermists at the Oklahoma State Taxidermy Convention last weekend.

He won best Professional Closed Mouth whitetail, against over 20 other entries.

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