Submitted by Newbie on 08/24/2002. ( )

I have just begun learning taxidermy, so I didn't want to mount a nice eight pointer I got last season. I found a taxidermist close by and several people recommended him. I saw several of his mounts and decided to use him. I called him this morning to see if my mount was ready. He said he had bad news...his freezer had gone out and the cape was ruined. He said I could pick up the antlers later. My question is...Is that all there is? Here, come get your antlers. Doesn't insurance cover something like this? I'm at a loss, I don't want to cause any problems for him..he's a good guy and with me beginning taxidermy I would like to know for my benefit too.

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This response submitted by Toad on 08/24/2002. ( )

What did the contract say that he had you sign when you dropped off the cape. Mine has disclaimers. Yes there is insurance that can be bought but that just raises the price that I have to charge my customers. If they want the insurance then they have to be willing to pay for it and most of those that I deal with just will not.

The bright side

This response submitted by Glen Conley on 08/24/2002. ( )

of the story. You still have your antlers and you are wanting to learn
taxidermy. You will be looking for a replacement cape. If your first mount
doesn't suit you, you still have your antlers, and you can get another
cape. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. Hands on experience
and the people that visit this forum can help to get you where you want
to go. The archives here can keep you in study resources for some time.
I wish you luck.

Thanks for the responses!

This response submitted by Newbie on 08/24/2002. ( )

Thanks for responding, I just needed to vent. I know your right Glen, even after I dropped it off I was kind of depressed that I didn't at least try to mount it myself. I guess now I'll get my chance! Thanks again!

Hang on

This response submitted by cur on 08/25/2002. ( wildart )

The taxidermist does have a degree of culpability. He or she is responsibile for your trophy while it is in his or her care. That responsibility includes maintenance of equipment such as refridgeration devices. The very least this person should do is replace the cape that his or her negligence ruined.

Freezers may fail, in fact, they often do. Freezers do not, however, thaw in one or two days - even here in the tropics. When hurricane Frances flooded out two of my three freezers, I was able to salvage everything in them. Once, years ago, my former wife unplugged a freezer in order to plug in a appliance for a short time. The idiot forgot to re-connect the freezer and didn't remember for three days. When I found the problem, I again was able to salvage the entire this wasn't food for consumption, mind you, but skins and specimens for mounting or casting.

When I am to be away from the studio here for an extended period, I arrange for someone to remain to check my dogs, my home AND my freezers. That is just good common sense! (Possibly tempered with age and experience.)

We are too quick to let our comrades off the hook when situations like this happen. Perhaps it is a nagging fear that the same problem may happen in our facilities. That does not make ruining a client's property right, and no disclaimer can void personal responsibility. That taxidermist solicited your trust, and for whatever reason, that bond of trust was broken and no amount of lame excuse can erase his or her failure to protect that which he or she was trusted to protect. There are massive ice chests available today for little money. Dry ice can be obtained to preserve goods until another freezer can be obtained to replace failed equipment.

No money for replacement? No insurance? That all falls under the heading of shoddy business practice. Any business should have a capital reserve fund or replacement reserve fund to handle financial contingencies. Jewelers have safes and alarm systems. Commercial freezers are the safes in which customer's "jewels" are kept, and they too should be equipped with functional alarms. Major problems such as flooding and regional disasters should be foreseen and a contingency plan developed to prevent loss if at all possible.

I may not have a majority opinion here, but I, for one feel an intense sense of responsibility for that which I am entrusted to keep safe from harm and injury. I can't imagine another not feeling the same. The taxidermist should replace that cape, regardless. Had that option not been offered, I know where I would have put those horns.


This response submitted by CROSSHAIR on 08/25/2002. ( )

you dont know the whole story, so shut -up. one day something will happen tragically in you life that causes you to leave and not think of getting a freezer sitter. i hope yours defrost while your gone so you can buy all those capes for replacement. try to see if sears will replace your hamburger if the freezer quits, they wont.maybe when you cant buy those capes your customers will remember what you said and put there horns up your %$#@@!. thats the problem with this site instead of helping each other we act holier than thou and bash everyone with a problem. good luck

Bull____ !

This response submitted by Tom on 08/25/2002. ( )

I agree with Cur. Afreezer takes days to defrost, and unless your away for the week you can save most everything by fleshing and salting. There is no reason for a taxidermist to have a freezer full of hides when you can salt dry them and not give a dam about your freezer.

I`m with Cur also

This response submitted by Travis on 08/25/2002. ( )

I check my freezers everyday....and if I go out of town my neighbor checks them for me...I just recently got insurance for my shop...280 bucks for 10,000 dollars of insurance...that covers cost for replacements capes in case of a fire,tornado, ect...they will not cover tanning(of course) but it does feel nice knowing I got a little coverage to cover my the case above I`d say the taxidermists owes this guy a cape...

i agree with cur

This response submitted by dennis on 08/25/2002. ( )

these people trust us with thier trophies yes sometimes freezers go out its happened to me yhe customers should be contacted offered replacement capes and just count it as a costly learning experience its not thier fault and its only good business.


This response submitted by Ron on 08/25/2002. ( )

As much as I hate to admit it, cur is right. It's never happened to me yet but if it gets ruined in my shop I feel I'm resposible. Another cape would be the least I could do. Sometimes solving a problem even at a loss to your self can be the best advertising. A good business man will have few problems, but a great one will deal with those he does have. Ron

My insurance covers my freezer

This response submitted by Bill K. on 08/26/2002. ( )

Off course he is responsible. Maybe not legally though. A contract is usually intended to protect a taxidermist from improperly handled pelts and frivolous law suits. If he is trying to hide behind his contract because of his neglect, that's another story. On the other hand, it's probably not worth the effort pursuing the matter for a WT cape ...... or, if he did in fact suffer some form of tragedy, he could probably use a break. Unless he fesses up that he has insurance, it looks like you are looking for a new cape.
Good luck, Bill K.

A leak in the liner can leave the top forzen.

This response submitted by John C on 08/26/2002. ( )

I have had freezers go out, sometimes the liner has a leak in it, The top few layers of this will remain frozen and the bottom and middle with thaw and ruin. Dont know why it just does.


This response submitted by cur on 08/26/2002. ( wildart )

Sure, I don't know the whole story, but I won't shut up. You didn't offer a solution, you offered an excuse. I don't envy you whatever the personal problem or tradgedy you experienced, nor do I wish to. I still say that regardless of what happened to you, that does not resolve the fact that you had responsibilities that were not met.

I like your analogy too. What the hell does your personal hamburger have to do with a client's property? I have insurance on the contents of my freezers, but I would sure hate to have to use it. In fact, my homeowners insurance covers the personal food contents of my freezers. No contract can let someone off the hook for personal negligence. Slipping capes, ripped and torn hides from tanneries and many other problems are normally not the fault of the taxidermist. That is an understood.

Yelling at me or telling me to, "shut up" doesn't make me want to organize a pity parade for you. I noticed no portion of your reply that offered a solution, or a willingness to seek one. Like I used to tell my children, "Your lack of preparation does not constitute an emergency on my part.

Crosshair. If I have learned one thing from this forum, it is that the folks who come and go here are by and large a wonderful and warm group of people. Had you posted your tragedy herein, I would imagine most of us would have dug in the scrap pile and sent you replacement capes and whatever, free of charge, in an effort to help out. You are not the only person on this earth to experience tragedy or disaster. Most of us have - I certainly have. Perhaps you have told too many others to , "Shut up" and there was no one around to check your damn freezer as a result.

advise for crosshair

This response submitted by Tracy on 08/26/2002. ( )

you might be a little more friendly if you use your name,i agree with curr its a trust issue.


This response submitted by crosshair on 08/27/2002. ( )


contracts vs doing the right thing

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 08/27/2002. ( )

I dont agree with some of you. The guy is NOT legally bound to that cape if the customer agreed to specific terms on a contract...BUT, it sure is both good business as well as just the right thing to do if he would attempt to find a replacement, if the customer would like one.

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