In the late seventies, immersed in a fast growing father-son taxidermy, David discovered his passion for wildlife art. By the age 20 he was well on his way to establishing himself as a master bird taxidermist. He then decided to try his hand at sculpture. He showed promise early and gained the support of his father and mentors. His early sculptures caught the eye of Loyd Woodberry, the renowned sculptor and taxidermist. Loyd also mentored David and would later say that “there was not a finer bird sculptor than David Hibler”. With some guidance from Loyd David took to sculpting like a duck to water. He began showcasing his talents with his break out piece “Mr. Bob” a lone bobwhite rooster in a look out position.
He went on to make larger pieces, like “Nervous Nature” a whitetail buck, “Death From Above” a life-size owl catching a cottontail rabbit, “Spring Fever” three 1/3 life-size tom turkeys, and the piece that truly separated himself from the competition “Frightened Covey” a harris hawk ambushing three bob white quail. After “Frightened Covey” David, becoming increasingly busy with his family and the fast growing taxidermy, went on about a twenty five year hiatus from the bronze art. During that time he continued to refine his sculpting skills working on smaller cold cast projects and teaching his children the ways of taxidermy and sculpture. In 2017 David’s son Allen Hibler, who under his father’s wing had been experimenting with sculpture and cold cast bronzing, was commissioned to sculpt a stone sheep bronze for a long time client of the taxidermy. As a result of the connections made from the stone sheep project and the lessening of David’s responsibilities for the taxidermy facilitated by his two sons working for him full time, David made the decision to reenter the Bronze game and pursue his passion. He has come out with several new pieces, including but not limited to, “Brief Encounter”, “Suspicious”, “Blue Bull”, and “Ghost of Namibia”.
Allen has been apprenticing under his father David since he could form clay. He has acquired his father’s passion for taxidermy and wildlife art. Allen completed his first sculpture “Wapiti” at age 11, and has been sculpting ever since. He has sculpted multiple pieces which include a single flushing quail, a covey of three flushing quail, a stone sheep, and has multiple pieces in the works. Allen also enjoys art forms such as painting, colored pencil drawings, and fish reproductions. He also uses this training in sculpture to create elaborate taxidermy habitat scenes. Allen is privileged to study under two taxidermy and wildlife art legends, his grandfather Joe T. Hibler and his father David T. Hibler. Allen commits much of his extra time to refining his skills in the aforementioned art forms and has big plans for the future.