Located in beautiful Missoula Montana Wildlife Analytical Laboratories™ (www.DeerAge.com) is owned and operated by Heather and Chad Stevens. Heather has an extensive scientific background specializing in animal histology and Chad has over 20 years in the hunting industry as a taxidermist and avid bow hunter. Together they make the perfect pair to run DeerAge bringing together backgrounds that ensure we understand your needs as a customer.
About Heather Stevens-Owner and Director of Operations
My name is Heather Stevens and I have spent my entire career dedicated to scientific pursuit. I attended Washington State University and graduated in 2009 with a bachelors degree in microbiology. After school I began working for the state veterinary diagnostic laboratory, where I learned to become a skilled histologist; I also acquired my international histology certification. In 2011 I quit my job to open Nationwide Histology inc with the goal of providing the highest quality service for research clients across the nation. After partnering with Wildlife Analytical Laboratories it quickly became my favorite line of business. It was (and still is) all I could talk about. When Henry & Mary approached me with the idea taking over it was an easy decision. I love this company! I love what we do! I has been a joy from minute one. I enjoy learning more and more about wildlife stewardship and I look forward to continuing to provide quality service and work hard daily to ensure we become the best in the industry. I take pride in improving every aspect of our service and have a multitude of research projects planned to bring further value to our customers.
About Chad Stevens-Director of Marketing
Chad became interested in hunting at the age of 12 and at 16 attended the John Rinehart school of taxidermy in Wisconsin. Shortly after graduating Chad opened his own taxidermy studio and has been operating for over 20 years. Currently, Chad has stepped back from taking in any taxidermy that is not a custom project or exotic animal to become the Director of Marketing here at DeerAge. Chad handles all of our social media accounts, handles vendor relations, and handles all of our merchandise/product development. Here is what Chad has to say about how he became interested in conservation, “I’ve always had a strong drive towards hunting and conservation and my dad taught me that time spent in the field wasn’t just about the kill but also about what can be learned from being in nature. What I like about cementum annuli aging is that it helps me learn more about the game I pursue, gives me challenges and goals to achieve and helps wildlife managers make the most accurate judgements based on age to help all game thrive. My role at DeerAge is exciting because I get to share in the experience of all our customers through cementum annuli aging.”
The History Of DeerAge
DeerAge was founded in mid 2004 by Henry and Mary Chidgey with a simple and focused vision. Their vision was to provide accurate and timely forensic cementum annuli aging of whitetail deer and other game mammals with a high degree of customer service. They believed that there are many people, who are passionate about hunting and managing habitat to realize the maximum potential of their deer herd.
In 2014 Wildlife Analytical Laboratories partnered with a larger lab, Nationwide Histology inc (Currently still owned by Heather Stevens) to handle the increasing volume. With a full team of highly qualified histologists, Nationwide Histology was able to produce top quality slides at a much faster rate which allowed the quick turn around we so proudly offer. At the end of 2017 Henry & Mary Chidgey decided to retire and sold Wildlife Analytical Laboratories to Heather, who is not only a passionate scientist but also enjoys the outdoors and spending time in her husband Chad’s taxidermy studio.
A message from Henry and Mary on retirement
My name is Henry Chidgey, a proud American and son of the State of Texas. I have spent much of my life in the pursuit of knowledge and techniques to manage habitat for wildlife, especially the whitetail deer. Our company, Wildlife Analytical Laboratories™ was created out of the belief that with accurate, precise, timely feedback of age to hunters and others interested in managing whitetails for maximum trophy potential—whether buck or doe—the fulfillment of many hunters’ dreams today and in the future will be realized. My wife and life partner Mary and I thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you andyour commitments as wildlife stewards over the last 15 years. It is time now for us to pass the torch to the next generation who we believe will do an even better job at serving you. Heather and her team will be taking over the business at the start of 2018. Heather has become, in addition to a valued part of our service delivery over the last 4 ½ years, a dear friend and trusted colleague. We are confident you will come to trust and value her as we have. Of course, Mary & I will continue to support Heather in any way she desires.
By the way, we will insure that any specimens or correspondence that comes to us here in
Burnet will be immediately forwarded to DeerAge.com in Missoula.
A son of Texas and a patriot of the United States