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Help with taxidermist challenge

 
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mevertsen
(662 posts)
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Aug-05-17, 
08:17 AM (MST)
"Help with taxidermist challenge "

I could use some advice. I am wanting to see if it's crazy for me to be upset or if I should work towards another solution.

I killed a good mountain lion in January 2016. Looked around and talked to a few people and settled on a taxidermist in Utah. Sent the lion and 25% in February 2016.

Met with him in June (and had 50% down at that point) and the agreement then was that he would ​get it done Jan/Feb this year. Kept sending payments and paid in full last December.

I have kept in touch and it's kept getting pushed back and backs and back further.

When we met last year, he told me he doesn't like to do full size mounts in the fall because of deer and elk season, so the Jan/Feb timeframe seemed reasonable. At that time he was waiting on the lion to come back from the tannery.

It's August, and we had a conversation about a month ago that he would have mine done and send me pics of the form prior to completion, all before he left on an extended hunt... Today.

No word yet. No lion. And he has all of my money.

I have proof of everything. Bank documents of the checks being cashed, delays, etc.

What do I do? I have seen him post a lot of stuff of work he has completed. I am pretty sure a lot of it has been killed after my lion. Pretty frustrated at this point.

Thanks.

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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Help with ...  D6native      Aug-05-17   1 
  RE: Help with ...  Cornhusker      Aug-05-17   2 
   RE: Help with ...  mevertsen      Aug-05-17   3 
    RE: Help with ...  Bowdeadly      Aug-08-17   4 
     RE: Help with ...  stalker      Aug-09-17   5 
      RE: Help with ...  Bowdeadly      Aug-09-17   6 
       RE: Help with ...  stalker      Aug-09-17   7 
        RE: Help with ...  Bowdeadly      Aug-09-17   8 
         RE: Help with ...  wybighorn      Oct-04-17   9 
          RE: Help with ...  mevertsen      Oct-16-17   10 
           RE: Help with ...  Millsworks      Nov-14-17   11 
            RE: Help with ...  mevertsen      Dec-19-17   12 
             RE: Help with ...  Millsworks      Dec-19-17   13 
              RE: Help with ...  Stubaby      Dec-19-17   14 

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D6native
(477 posts)
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Aug-05-17, 
12:19 PM (MST)
1. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

In my experience, taxidermists are like custom rifle builders . The good ones are always super busy and almost never meet their delivery dates .

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Cornhusker
(3811 posts)
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Aug-05-17, 
09:34 PM (MST)
2. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

I've never paid in full before an animal is completed but obviously this mistake is already done. What hold do you now have for him to complete the mount? I don't buy the idea that good taxidermist never get jobs completed on time, I think the best taxidermist are organized enough to get thing done in a timely manner otherwise customers tend to hurt their reputation on the Internet.

I would at this point talk to him in a firm manner advising him that you will bring the county attorneys involvement into the situation if you don't have a satisfactory mount in your possession within whatever time frame is acceptable to you. I hope you get a well done completed lion which you may but I would avoid letting this drag on as I think it gets easier to continue to put the time frame off the longer it goes.

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mevertsen
(662 posts)
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Aug-05-17, 
10:29 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

>I've never paid in full before
>an animal is completed but
>obviously this mistake is already
>done. What hold do
>you now have for him
>to complete the mount?
>I don't buy the idea
>that good taxidermist never get
>jobs completed on time, I
>think the best taxidermist are
>organized enough to get thing
>done in a timely manner
>otherwise customers tend to hurt
>their reputation....

Regarding payment in full. If it was an $800 deer mount it wouldn't be a big deal to come up with 50% once it's done. A $4000 mount is another story for me. I needed to get braces for my daughter, so wanted to get the lion paid off before that bill hit. Holding onto $2000 is rough with an unknown finish date and a family to raise. I wanted it done. And I figured actually paying it would be incentive to get it done.

I just bought a custom stock for my rifle. It was paid in full up front and delivered one week ahead of schedule.

The big question in my head is why is taxidermy expected to be any different?


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Bowdeadly
(205 posts)
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Aug-08-17, 
07:05 AM (MST)
4. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

LAST EDITED ON Aug-08-17 AT 07:09 AM (MST)

LAST EDITED ON Aug-08-17 AT 07:07 AM (MST)

It's not that Taxidermy is any different, it's that Taxidermist's are different. Some don't care, some are thieves, some are good, some are bad. But for the most part taxidermy takes time. When someone gives you the excuse well I really don't do lifesize during deer season then you might be in trouble. The longest it takes to tann now days is around 3 to 4 months. That's Tannery time. But if it takes the guy 1 year to send it to the Tannery well that's a different story. The guy should follow a 1st in 1st out schedule. Once you start moving people around it can get ugly. Unless they pay an expedite fee of course. Once you pay full price some folks think it's ok to put you on the back burner. They probably already spent the money and see no initaitive to get your lion done. Plus mountain lions are tough to mount and rarely do the forms fit the skin without many hours of alterations. This is not an excuse though for putting other in front of yours. Just show up at his shop everyday and let him know u want it taken care of.

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stalker
(229 posts)
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Aug-09-17, 
11:48 AM (MST)
5. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

You have all the right to be concerned and upset that you do not have your Lion back yet. It sounds as if you are doing all the right stuff as far as talking with your taxidermist, keep at it but also try to keep it civil. You do not want to piss them off and have them do a crappy job. If you signed a contract with them (I hope)does it have any time frame of completion? You state that you have all documentations of set backs but I am assuming that nothing is signed? You could setup a time to meet with them and ask for a signed completion date. As for tanning times they vary a lot from tanner to tanner. My 2 main tanneries are out to 7 months but this should not be an issue at this stage. Does your taxi have your lion back from the tannery? As for 1st in 1st out that is not always going to happen but it should not be that far off. As for "not doing life size during deer season" I also tell my clients this but that still leaves 8-9 months a year to get it done. You do have legal rights and can pursue them if you choose. Just make sure you have all your ducks in a row or it can come back to bite you.

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Bowdeadly
(205 posts)
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Aug-09-17, 
12:11 PM (MST)
6. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

What tanneries are out 7 months. That's crazy. 4 months is the longest iv waited from the wildlife gallery.

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stalker
(229 posts)
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Aug-09-17, 
12:18 PM (MST)
7. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

>What tanneries are out 7 months.
>That's crazy. 4 months is
>the longest iv waited from
>the wildlife gallery.

Just looked today at the Wildlife Gallery and they are quoting 110-120 days. That is working days so that would be 6 months. They were out as far as 220 days earlier in the year. Moyle is quoting 7 months and has been for over a year.

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Bowdeadly
(205 posts)
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Aug-09-17, 
07:35 PM (MST)
8. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

I stopped using WG when they went full blown taxidermy studio. Now all their stuff probably gets tanned 1st leaving the rest of us to wait over 5 months. Great customer service. Bill at Glacier fur takes care of me now.

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wybighorn
(261 posts)
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Oct-04-17, 
12:08 PM (MST)
9. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

Any update on your situation?

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mevertsen
(662 posts)
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Oct-16-17, 
08:55 PM (MST)
10. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

Well, the taxidermist did make it back. I still don't have the lion. I also have had major vehicle issues and work schedule conflicts so I haven't pushed the issue as he is 400 miles away.

I think I got the truck fixed, so I will be pushing for it soon.

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Millsworks
(271 posts)
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Nov-14-17, 
06:20 PM (MST)
11. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

I say you waited this long and waiting a few months more isn't the end of the world.
If 90 days from now, you don't have your speciman completed, you can formally have a conniption.
Regardless, skinning, caping, tanning and possibly storage fee will still be your responsibility to pay for, before any refunds would be given.
Patient customers are usually rewarded with a great mount and sometimes extras to apologise for lengthy turn around times.
Impossible to precisely know how long a project can take. Multiple overage times on a hundred or more projects will push back finish dates.
A 60-90 day overage is very normal for a busy Taxidermy shop. But, a year can add up quickly for a single owner operator that has a heavy year of work load.
Just keep up with a freindly reminder every three or four weeks.
You'll likely have better experience that route.

Next go round you can try some other shop. Quicker turn around times come from shops with a full crew of Taxidermist on the pay roll full time.
So, do higher prices though, and not necessarily better work.
Part time shops sometimes are the way to go if they have plenty of experience.
But turn around times will very greatly from year to year at small one man shops.
Life size mounts take up lots of space and require full attention. The want to put it off till after season probably was at least wise if not necessary.

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mevertsen
(662 posts)
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Dec-19-17, 
08:06 AM (MST)
12. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

I got my lion last week. He did complete it the way I wanted it. It was also done at about the same time of another lion that was killed the same day mine was.

I am very impressed with the quality of work.

The time still has me a little bit.

I will have to consider a few things I think before deciding to send another thing to him.

He is a one man shop and has his life as well.

I did talk to him some about the time, and even when I was in his shop, it was full of recent animals brought in to be mounted.

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Millsworks
(271 posts)
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Dec-19-17, 
03:32 PM (MST)
13. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "

Taxidermy on a time scale is super tuff.
Impossible to predict the year to year work load, the amount of repair time per project, and sometimes the hours of conversation with customers adds up quickly.
We can only give an education guess at best.
Hope you like your mount.
Most taxidermist are extremely under appreciated and bad mouthed constantly for taking longer than people think it should.
Not to mention we usually are lucky to make a living with what it works out we get paid an hour.
Most work 7 days a week + holidays and still have trouble making more than 25-30 thousand a year.
Would make more flipping burgers.

But I do it because I love it and what it represents.
Every once in a while it's worth it just to see the face of an over joyed customer.
The best taxidermist is always busy and back logged, and doesn't need to advertise for work.

Most are doing all they can to make people happy.
Tuff for sure to please everyone.

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Stubaby
(1040 posts)
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Dec-19-17, 
09:50 PM (MST)
14. "RE: Help with taxidermist challenge "


Tough deal. Glad you got it back.

Let see the cat!!!


"That's a special feeling, Lloyd"

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