Van Dykes

Submitted by Mike on 3/30/05 at 5:32 PM. ( )

Has anyone ordered from Van Dykes lately? I put in an order for a form on Sunday, I still have not gotten a confirmation letter so I have e-mail them and they told me it should be shipped in two to three weeks. Has anyone else experinenced this?

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Ordered on a Weekend...

This response submitted by Reid on 3/30/05 at 5:35 PM. ( )

A few weeks back and it seemed like it took a long time. Then I ordered during the week and it cut the time in half. I think the weekend orders get placed and shipped slower than the rest. Why that is, who knows.


This response submitted by Sam on 3/30/05 at 5:55 PM. ( )

I ordered some books last Friday and just got them today. I think they had friday and monday off for easter holiday.

They don't care

This response submitted by Josh on 3/30/05 at 6:02 PM. ( )

This has happened to me a few times and I ask the customer service and they don't even care they just say they are sorry, they don't think about us having deadlines or anything.


This response submitted by Never ordering from VD's again. on 3/30/05 at 6:55 PM. ( )

Someone at CABELAS must have been wound up on crack when they bought Van Dykes. Then they tried to improve the system hahaha, an already slow system made worse!

Cabelas needed a tax write off. screwed the rest of us in the procces.

Never had a problem ordering from...

This response submitted by Craig on 3/30/05 at 7:04 PM. ( )

Cabelas. Always on time!

2 1/2 weeks and still no confirm letter

This response submitted by Ronnie on 3/30/05 at 7:38 PM. ( )

I have even thought about canceling the order,just not sure how to


This response submitted by Drew on 3/30/05 at 8:24 PM. ( )

I ordered a form from them about a week ago and got it within 3 days. I was concerned because they had not charged my card the second day and they replied that it was being processed and that I would have the form within a day. They were right. Did you check to make sure it was in stock?


This response submitted by Mike on 3/30/05 at 8:53 PM. ( )

They told me in an e-mail that all their forms are made when they get ordered so I don't know how it can take between 3 or 14 days? She said it was because of teh Taxidermy season, isn't always taxidermy season for a taxidermy supplier?

What form did you order?

This response submitted by Drew on 3/30/05 at 11:04 PM. ( )

Just curious what form you ordered? This was the first time I ordered a form from them. It is the Hi-Country mulie form. The first thing I noticed is the eye set is off. The eyes look angled up, not 10 degrees down! So I called and spoke to a taxidermist there and asked if the eyes were positive set, and he hesitated. He told me to grind out the bottom of the eye socket on the form to pitch them down. Probably the last form I buy from them, I don't have time to modify the eyes on every form before mounting.

I'm not

This response submitted by John M on 3/30/05 at 11:39 PM. ( )

a brain surgeon, but I think Van Dykes may be going through some changes (ones I'm sure that will benifit us) and it's taking some time to work out (maybe more than they thought it would). I think Van Dykes is a great company that will work with you on any problem you may have. I've never up until the past few months have had to wait more than a couple working days to get a order in but have waited a couple weeks for some items recently. I'm definatley not going to jump ship on them though. They have always been good to me in a number of ways. Not only are they a good supply company but if you have a technical question call Gary or Olaus and ask them any taxidermy question and they, being pros in the field will happily help you out.

John you are

This response submitted by You all know on 3/31/05 at 1:28 AM. ( )

definelty not a brain surgeon. Every company has customer service to help answer your questions. But the Real Pro's in the field are Joe Meder, Dennis Behn, Joe Ferebee, Tom Weikum, Cally Morris, Tom Sexton, Roger Martin, Phil Helms, Mike Gillis, Perry Stout, Chris Barnhardt, all from Team McKenzie I could go on with the list and AWARDS they have achieved and innovative ideas for the industry. That's just team McKenzie not including the Noonkester, Buckeye, and Rhinehart teams.
You want me to tell you about Research Mannikins Bill Lancaster, Joe Kish, Stefan Savides, Erich Carter, Jim Pits, Bob Elzner, Mike Frazier, and many, many others. How many awards have they won, what have they done for the industry.
Still not a brain surgeon, How about Matuska Supply Company ever heard of them Brain Olson, Pat Wagner,Mike Yeska, Cory Caruthers, and Tom Matuska.
Should we go onto WASCO - Sallie Dahmes, Rick Carter, Ken Edwards enough said.
I could go on and on with the other companies, but I don't have the time. Sorry but I know you all have great service and products.

These are the "pros in the field"! What awards have Gary and Olaus won what have they done for the taxidermy industry. Who are they?Not much considering that Van Dykes does have -- John Schmidt, Don Holt, and Danny Owens sculpting for them. It looks like they are getting smart and getting Doug Roffers, Jodi Green, and DeWayne Dewey on board. Those guys are the pro's.
HEll-- everything you need to know about taxidermy is documented in the archives-- you want or need to know something hit the orange button and study. Order the books and videos read, watch and learn.
Any company will work with you with problems- but order some where else and you wont have these problems. Waiting a couple of weeks let alone one week for delviery of goods is unacceptable. If I sold something on here to you and I didn't get it to you for a couple of weeks my name would be mud smeared up and down the forums. So why defend a company that provides service with a sorry were run by some big outfitter that doesn't know the taxidermy industry.
Not a brain surgeon either............
but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express


This response submitted by Doug on 3/31/05 at 5:56 AM. ( )

Sounds like we've got a GR Jr. in the making!

Just a opinion

This response submitted by Wildwood on 3/31/05 at 5:58 AM. ( )

I haven't orderd a lot lately from Van Dyke's simply because of the shipping time thing (SD to IN). Van Dyke's is still a good company with the products we need as taxidermists. With the posts on here about poor service certainly someone from Van Dyke's are reading these weekly posts. I would like to here their response on this forum. As they know we are their customers.

you all know

This response submitted by John M on 3/31/05 at 8:45 AM. ( )

that was kind of rough don't you think? Thanks for leaving your name. Van Dykes offers everything I need and more. That's my opinion.


This response submitted by You all know on 3/31/05 at 10:57 AM. ( )

George Jr, your damn right! But they (VD's) cannot bully me around like they did to him. (I believe that was in the archives but was removed at the request of VD's) but we won't open that can of worms.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion and I respect your opinions but be sure that you're going to get mine and that is what makes this site so great. We can all go round and round and round on here, but it makes the industry that much better.
It is so sad that Van Dykes can't wake up and realize the potential that is out there. I mean every other week there is a post concerning orders and products from Van Dykes taking sooooooooooooooo long to be filled.
Kind of rough? The truth does hurt, but I was not slamming you, but I was slamming Van Dykes/Cabelas if you couldn't figure it out.
They won't respond to any posting on here, especially if they are bad, they just want the problems to go away, be forgotten, swept under the rug, etc, etc... They don't know enough about taxidermy and the industry to do anything other than that. As far as their products and materials go -- yeah I get stuff from them but you always get what you pay for.
Most all should know who this is anyways, leave your email address and I will email you back and let you know in person if you haven't figured it out.


This response submitted by Pot Stirrer on 3/31/05 at 12:31 PM. ( )

.......Little Buddy, you truely are the "Pot Stirrer Jr." If you're a republican, I'll vote for ya in a few years for President! But you said it like it is.....truely is!
Half the problem is the fact that they have a quicker turnover time with their employee's than they do product. Wonder why that is?
And to say that they make their mannikins to order is a total lie! On large "Lifesize" yes. But deer manninkins,Elk,Mulies,Antelope and small mamal lifesize and the such are cranked out on a daily basis.
As a customer, NEVER accept that as an excuse when talking to a Rep.

But the "Hi COuntry" Muliee were sculpted by both Schmitty and Joe Kish.I have mounted off of them and love them. Never had a problems with the eyes. The "Product Specialist you talked to Drew needs to do a bit more research on the products in question and not give you a guessing answer. If he truely knew the answer, there would be no need for any hesitation,ESPECIALLY if he knew the product. If it was Randy Life......hell,he mounted off one on page 40 of their new catalog. If he knows of a positive set eye problem,then he should address it to Gary Beigh,the "Product Manager".
But stay away from any and all Don Holt Mannikins. There is truely semetry problems with ALL his stuff. But they do make good artifical rocks.
John Schmidts Lifesize Mamals are some of the finest in the industry. Thats a step in the right direction. If McKenzie pulls him from VD's,VD's may as well call in a night. But because he's VD's sculpter, I guess the industry will never take his sculptings serious. Hell, John was on The Outdoor Channel with Taxidermy Trails with Dan Bantly where john won 1st place for his mountain lion sculpting and a wolf I believe That was at the last WORLD show. Now that says something about the guy!
But I truely believe that "Customer Service" starts with in a company. If you treat your employee's good,they'll try harder to please,which inturn rewards the customer with good product as well as a quict turn around time.Something they have yet to figure out.
Till then,Van Dyke's will remain "The World's Formost Sad Story"!


This response submitted by Jeff F. on 3/31/05 at 12:49 PM. ( NaturesTrophies@aol )

Most of us know who "you know who" is. I'll not say who but he KNOWS VD's inside and out. I called VD's yesterday about a product and they said it would take 7-10 days to get to Indiana when IT WAS IN STOCK! I told them I would call McKenzies. It really seems so simple of a solution that I can't believe it's not being dealt with. I only deal with them when I have to now and even that's to much. Plain old PISS POOR business. It's a shame too. They could pay for a new warehouse in no time flat if they just woke up and took care of business! Jeff F.

You All Know

This response submitted by John M on 3/31/05 at 2:24 PM. ( )

I guess I figured it out. Your one of the reasons I'm a VDs fan.

It Would be nice

This response submitted by John M on 3/31/05 at 3:12 PM. ( )

if Van Dykes would try to defend themselves and explain what they are trying to do to remidy the problems they're having. I did not mean any disrespect to You All Know

Anyone Ordered

This response submitted by Mike on 3/31/05 at 4:06 PM. ( )

Just curious has anyone order a form since Sunday and already recieved it? I think Van Dykes was just lying their way out of every question I aske them, I replied again with more questions yesterday and I still have not heard back.

John M

This response submitted by Pot stirrer on 3/31/05 at 8:23 PM. ( )'ll NEVER hear a response from Van Dykes about this matter on this Forums! WHY ? Glad you asked.Its because the big shots within Cabela's forbid it. Right Mike W.?
Trust me, all eyes are on this one at VD's today,and will be tomorrow as well. Olas is reading it, Randy is reading it, Gary is reading it, Michelle is bad mouthing us as she's reading it, even though they know its the truth. But all true puppets are operated by the strings of their masters. Sad! Until the strings are cut, the company will never be a threat to the likes of a McKenzie and the consumer will continue to suffer for it.
Don't get me wrong, there are many good people working within the company. There are many that fight every day to make it better. But it is NOT going to happen if Cabela's does not want it to happen! What is their reason? I think you all can figure that one out on your own. I fought a fine fight, "You know who" fought the fine fight and we all lost. The ones after us will lose as well. Its like bringing a knife to a gun fight. You're going to lose. Its a well laid out plan that none of you even know about, and none of us knew about going into the fight.T rust me when I tell you that there are/were many of us that fought for you, the consumer and lost the battle.

But there is still hope. You have the Brian Hellman's & Susie Smith's, Kathy Northrups, Michelle Hellman's, the John Schmidts, Toby, Kara's, Shawna's and several others in the "Taxidermy Division" of VD's that are trying to make VD's a better place to shop. I just look forward to the day where I won't hear "there is another clean up on isle 5"

Stirer out!

Thanks Stirer

This response submitted by John M on 3/31/05 at 8:57 PM. ( )

I just sent you an e-mail before i read your last post. There are good, great people that work there. It sounds like the episode on South Park where Wal Mart was involved and the people that worked there were apprehensive to say anything. Alls I'd like to say to the GOOD people that work at Van Dykes is keep trying I appreciate what you do, I'm sure your watching.


This response submitted by Drew on 3/31/05 at 10:54 PM. ( )

Why does everyone suck McKenzie's D***? Their mulie forms suck, they make the chest area too big, and the profile is off. They only look good from the front and they are a bitch to get the last 6 inches of sewing done because the chest is too large and you fight it the whole time. The elk? I guess they think elk look like heifers, the eye sockets sit up too high and the last one I ordered from them was not symetrical at all. I'll admit, they make nice whitetails, but lots of their forms suck.

Back to VD, the mulie form I bought from them has a problem with the eye angles. They need to be pitched down, but the main problem is they don't match each other. Simple fix, and I am not willing to write them off yet. I have always had great service from them, if you have a problem, just call them, don't email. Emailing companies hardly ever gets you a timely response.

All you need do is call Van Dyke

This response submitted by Tenbears on 4/1/05 at 9:33 AM. ( )

Customer service. and ask them why shipments are taking so long. I DID. I have been a customer for years. And regularly place orders from them. Although I would have liked a heads up when they realized they were going to fall behind. I now understand their situation, and will see it through. Seems That With all the other Taxidermy supply houses forging toward a monopoly. Some of the economic minded shops have decided that they can remove a bump on the back of the head. Or alter an eye socket. to get forms at half the price. It seems that this year Van Dykes has seen a 400% increase in orders. They were not prepared for that. In spite of the fact they have put on additional employees. they have gotten behind. And cannot keep up. The big ordering rush that follows hunting season. Should be tapering off. this will allow them to get caught up. And begin to work on stockpiling forms for next year. they are in the process of revamping their system. But were simply caught off guard. This is what I was Told. And believe me I asked every question with the outlook of a cynic.

I ordered from them

This response submitted by Bradlee on 4/1/05 at 10:47 AM. ( )

A few months ago . Recieved my order but it did take three weeks to arrive . I'm not sure they send a conformation letter because I never got one here . Good advice from me ? Never ever order a squirrel kit from them ! LOL The form you recieve could easily take a racoon instead of a squirrel ! LOL They send you a giant nuclear mutant thing that looks like a big house cat and you get they joy of sanding off about three quarters of the foam all day long ! LOL Bradlee

That's exactly what's wrong

This response submitted by You know Who on 4/1/05 at 11:22 AM. ( )

Ten Bears,
I find alot of that very hard to believe and most of what you said to be the problem. Economics or not why would you buy an inferior product to save a couple of bucks and a bump on the back of the head. I know most shops cannot alter a form for the few bucks they may have saved, if you break it all down, time to recieve form, labor, equipment and supplies, electricity etc. etc...

Taxidermy is supposed to be fun and I know reworking and altering a form is part of the game but is not fun. Drew hit the problem right on the head when he said he hates fighting the McKenzie mule deer form. Why do some companies push junk that they even know is not accurate? Because they can, because people think that by saving a buck or two up front they can get the same thing. Well there are a few talented artists that can and personally I'm not one, so I am going to buy the most accurate forms possible. Just go and look at some of the mounts on E-Bay to see that.
That's part of the game though, you find forms that you like and fit your critters best and then stick with them. Joe Meders whitetails fit my whitetails like a glove and that is why I use them.

Along those same lines what companies are doing the most to improve there products and product lines? I for one don't see Van Dykes buying all of Bob Snow's junk and selling it in a sale catalog as a way of improving products. With compare at prices- not even sale prices -- from other companies --now that is a a joke -- How can you compare a Bob Snow bear form that will take hours of alterations and compare it to a Rayline form. Yeah it is worth the extra hundred. Even just by looking at the pictures of some of those forms you can tell they are junk. And how do they justify advertising a line of white tail forms the Timber Edge series as being new? It has been in the last three sales catalogs. I mean I was born at night but not last night. They didn't change the forms or add to the line, Steve Rottrammel sculpted that line probably in the late 70's early 80's and now they are a NEW product. Does Van Dykes really think that us taxidermist's are that stupid? I think they do and therefore don't do much business with them, except for products I know are ok, and trust me I know which ones they are.
This does not only apply to foam products but other products too. How many maches do you really need? McKenzie carrries ONE as do most other companies one that works. If you want it to set up faster or slower add salt or baking soda no big deal. But Van Dykes has 5 different maches and they are all worthless. The fast set sets up in three days and the slow set sets up in 10 minutes sometimes is never sets up at all. But they mass produce it and when someone has a problem they replace it at no cost. Now your thinking hey they took care of me and I can live with this stuff I saved a buck or two and they will replae it if it doesn't work. Hell I can add salt or baking soda to make it work and spend the extra time messing with it. Well BULLSH$T there went that penny saved.

Just my opinion
You know who

P.S. To those who recently talked bad about me down there and you know who you are I haven't even reached the tip of the iceberg.

Food for thought....especially Ten Bears

This response submitted by Pot Stirer on 4/1/05 at 3:36 PM. ( )

Whith all the Taxidermy Suppliers Forging forward and merging together as 1 company,why has Van Dyke's never been approached by McKenzie to sell out to them as did Noonkester,Rinehart,Tom Powell,Rayline and many,many more? Because they DONT wnat them,period.
They dont need 1 1/4 pages of strictly Turkey Tail Mounting Kits.They dont need a fuill page of sheirs. They dont need several "Cheap" deer mounting kits that dont cater to the Profesional taxidermist.They dont want old,outdated Bird Mounting kits.They dont want fish mounting kits that you just fill the skins up with mache. McKenzie does not need a Rabbit mounting kit whereas the photo of the rabbit is not even mounted,but rather frozen to the shape of a mount because there was not a taxidermist there at teh time that knew how to MOUNT a Rabbit. No, McKenzie does not need these things. WHY? because these products do not cater to the professional taxidermist,but rather to those who have never mounted a thing in their lives.

Van Dykes has 5 full pages of strictly tanning chemicals,most inwhich are junk!Another 2 pages of tanning product from Knobloch's. Another 2 pages of "Tanning Kit's". they ever love their "Kit's".JUNK!

Lamp Shades dated back to the hopping 30's. Good greif!
Do you want to make a DeerfootThermometer? I'll bet all your customers have these on their "Must Have" lists.Call VD's...they have them!
If you need Bird Bodies from the 60's-70's, Van Dykes is your place.

Dakota that a product that the industry was fighting over!

11 full pages of Panels. McKenzie wants those. Yah,right. JUNK!

Bob Snow's stuff.........JUNK!

Hmmm....But there are good things VD's sells. They have the best wire out there.
Their "Natural Earliners are some of the finest on the market as is their "Natural Deer Eyes" and their "Natural Fish Eye's". The Aqua eyes.......PLastic JUNK!

Elzey's Squirrel Mannikins.....good stuff.
Doug Roffer's BEar Shoulder Mannikin as well as his "Tundra Caribou" series...great stuff.
Jody Green's Whitetail series....some of the very best on the market.

Now the "Synchron Eyes? JUNK! Just another item that does not cater to the professional.

I believe that this is,in part,what "You know who" is trying to get across.They have not and are not catering to the Professional Taxidermist,but rather to the 1st timer/once in a whiler.

Again, till Van Dyke's catches up with the rest of the industry,they remain the "World's Formost Sad Story"!

Thats also my opinion,
Stirer out!

You want to talk about junk...

This response submitted by Drew on 4/1/05 at 10:54 PM. ( )

Don't leave Jonas out of the mix if you want to talk about crap. How a famous taxidermy company can offer subpar forms, JUNK tools and still stay in business is beyond me. The only good thing Jonas has is their mule deer earliners.

Well For starters.

This response submitted by Tenbears on 4/2/05 at 8:28 AM. ( )

I have absolutely no Idea if anything said by the nameless group holds any validity. I have no way of knowing if what is being said comes from. Experience, and, or intelligence, or if it is simply propaganda That is being passed on by those who have read it elsewhere. I do not know who you are. so I can lend no credence to your words. You May Be fish Men who do not even mount Mammals.

I was told By Bill Yox That McKenzie did not approach any of those companies. It was the companies that approached them. so I guess the answer to your Question would be that Van Dykes obviously has not approached McKenzie.

The whole problem with people today in general, Not Just taxidermist. Although Many younger taxidermists certainly fall into the category. Is, that they want everything done for them. They want to be recognized as the best in the world at using the talents of others. Rather than being known as true working artists. One can take a picture of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel However that does not make them Michaelangelo.
For some Actually having to do the work constitutes a part of Taxidermy. Setting eye angle, and making adjustments to forms is simply a part of the process. You do realize there was a time when forms were hand made. when we actually used the entire Skull as a base for the form. Heck No you guys would not remember that. Because if things were still that way. If you actually had to rely on your own abilities. Half of Today's Taxidermists would be Machine operators. I recently read a thread here on the definition of taxidermy: (Moving skin) someone actually said that today Taxidermy is much more than that. I say that It once was. That many of today's taxidermist rely the materials they purchase to quantify their quality.
The same People who require The most innovative advances in the industry as a part of their personal ability to produce acceptable workmanship. are the very same ones who think that anyone who charges less than they do to be a hacksidermist. when In reality a skilled taxidermist can produce a top quality mount using products those individuals think to be inferior, combine it with raw talent and Still produce the mount In less time. Thus increasing their profit margin. Making the need for exorbitant pricing unnecessary.

We the willing, Being led by the knowing, have done so much for so many, with so little for so long. WE are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

proof is in the pudding

This response submitted by todd on 4/8/05 at 8:40 PM. ( )

just take a look in the catologs at the mounts. McKenzie rules!

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