I got in a mule deer from new Mexico, and it was caped and frozen. I thawed it, measured it and the fleshed, tanned and shaved it. Measured again and everything was good. I ordered a form a touch larger than the measurments i took. I mounted the Deer and had to remove a small amount from the form and stretch the cape to get it to fit right. The mount looks very good, the customer came and said, man that Deers neck was allot bigger than that! He went on about how big its neck had been. The Deer was shot while in Velvet, so you know it wasn't swelled much if any. I believe it's neck is bigger now than it was when it was alive. What do you do in situations like this?
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My receipt has a place for the measurments and the form number and company name. When they bring in the deer I measure the deer and they sign the receipt. If it is frozen I so note it and call them when it thaws out with the measurements. That way there is no problems.
customers always want bigger necks.you can only do what the cape will let you do and still be right.i explain that a deers skin does not grow when he is in rut. the deer has alot of loose skin on the rest of his bodythat pulls up when his neck swells . he gets more slack when rutting because he will lose weight. we are not god.
If you have to, just remount it. To make a neck look alittle bigger sometimes I will cut out about a full inch of the length of the form. You can also splice the cape along one side the length of the neck in a long V starting about 5" down from the ears and about 1- 1/2+" wide at the bottom, then you just move the splice up and forward toward the ears and resew it on giving you a bigger neck. If you think this guy will hurt your business with badmouthing and complaining about the mount sometimes you just have to smile, be nice and say you will do your best to make him happy and do it. Think long term, and not just the few dollars you will loose on it now. Thats tough but it pays in the long run everytime.
My pat statement to any customer coming in and stating, "Can't you make the neck bigger?" is that "It is what it is". ANYTIME you play games with a hide, you're asking for trouble for YOURSELF in MY OPINION. I can't grow hair back that falls out becuause Klem carried his deer around for 3 days in the back of the pickup truck and I don't grow larger necks than what the skin dictates.
BTW Keith, that's not exactly true. LIVE DEER SKIN is quite elastic and the rutted deer doesn't pull his navel up to his Adam's apple in order to "rut up". That's why guys who use DP can always get their hides on heavier necked forms that those of us who tan them. A green hide stretches MUCH farther than a tanned one. IN MY OPINION, the guys who use DP are the ones who've convinced hunters that we can puff up those necks like that to begin with. It's up to us to change that mindset.
They always stink. I never have and never would or will use DP; MY opinion is that using DP is cheap taxidermy done cheaply, which is the cause of decay in any art or craft. My advise again is to think business "long term", not short term. Throwing him and his deer mount out of the shop with an attitude is NOT the way to build a business or a reputation anyone with any sense really wants. If you don't need business, money, or a good reputation, of course, tell him to kiss your ass and throw him out. Its just NOT what I would do or advise. It can be "fixed"
This guy is a good customer,I do not want to offend him. I actually pulled this thing off the form after i had it mounted becasue i couldn't get it to fit right. I take great pains to make sure i have done the best job i can do with every mount. I never cut corners. I remounted it the next day after my anger had subsided, and got what i feel is a real good job done. It's neck measures 20" under the ears after i mounted it. That's pretty big for a mulie in velvet if you ask me. We'll see what happens when he picks it up, he saw it before it was finished.
I also record the nose to eye and top neck measurement on my workorder/contract and I measure it right in front of the customer if possible and have him sign it. If it is recieved frozen, I video the tapemeasure around its neck when it thaws out. I also always video any cape damage and the final neck measurement used to order the form along with anything else that I feel might come back to bite me on the ass. After I take the neck cercomferance in front of the customer, if the customer starts taking about how big the deer was when he shot it (they were always over 200 pounds dressed in their minds) I will use the top outside neck measurement of their deer and measure a couple of my studio mounts in front of them to show them how big their finished trophy is likly to look. I had one guy come in this fall with a 12" wide 7 pointer that he claimed weighed 200 pounds. The ouside, top neck measurement was only 20" and the nose to eye was only 7". I have a similar sized buck mounted in my studio and when I showed him the tape around that mount and told him that his finished mount would be similar in size to it, he commented that his deer must have shrunk while in his freezer because it was much bigger when he shot it. It was only in his freezer for a week. He also cut the cape short, which I informed him (also noted on the contract) will also necessitate an even smaller form. I'll probably shorten a form though so as not to further make his "200 pounder" look like the 110 pound buck that it really was.
I agree with your statement. A 20" muley in velvet IS a nice sized animal and certainly wouldn't be all "rutted up" at that point.
Jim, I fear you protest too loudly. "If you don't need business, money, or a good reputation" sounds good for a sound bite, but my REPUTATION creates my business and my customers know it's not for sale. I'm sure I do lose customers by being that way, but I don't insult them when I tell them I can't or won't do certain things they've seen in a bar downtown. My best customers accept that. They know that I measure their animals when they come to the door and if they want a bigger one mounted,they need to shoot a bigger one to bring in or pay me to find a bigger hide for them.
either George, and I know its a good one. Do and be what you want, I really do not care.
I gave MY opinion and you attacked it as not caring about my reputation or the money. I call you to task on it and you get terminal jock itch. I guess YOUR OPINION is supposed to mean more to you than mine does to me? "Mine's bigger than yours" never did too much for me either.
a cape must be mounted the size that it actually is, you shouldnt have to try to make it bigger by any means.Measuring it in front of the customer and getting it in writing is a good idea too.
at least thats how I read it, and you George are taking my comments harder than you should or its really meant. For a cranky guy you also seem very touchy today? You're right, I am wrong. Peace to you task master.
I looked at your website and I noticed two things. One you need to push more hide up on the top of your mounts and groom them proper. You would be surprized how much bigger you can make a neck just by taxing the skin and grooming properly. Please don't take offense to my comments as I think you do some nice work.