Sunday Morning Questions...Part 15!

Submitted by Rick Krane on 6/4/06 at 12:54 AM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 71.255.142.99

Good Sunday Morning! Even in the dark days of the latest greatest divide in the NTA we still will have a bit of levity with the Sunday morning questions! LOL! No politics here... just taxidermy questions for the members and the non-members of the NTA. We share in equality with our experiences to have some fun (I hope) and to learn from one another.

I have decide to mix it up a bit as I have in the past few weeks in making this more of a general taxidermy Sunday morning so more folks can participate. Last week was another really "Big) week with many new contributors and lots of great regulars who add to the mix of sharing knowledge to benefit all of us! Last week we had 14-forum contributors 13 who phoned in the answers and 11 emailed me personally. For a total of 38 participants 7 of which were totally new to the Sunday morning questions. That is so cool!

I have heard from some that have said that they would like to post but the string is to long. However I assure you I have also heard from many who read every word and take a great deal of useful beneficial knowledge away for the experience of the contributors. So if you are hesitant to post because of the size of the string don't sweet it just write and participate your input benefits many!
So with out further ado! Lets Get the morning stared to a new week with some fish/ taxidermy talk! WOW week # 15 and it still is going strong! The good people at WASCO give us the free opportunity here to share information so we can be better-informed taxidermist! So in the spirit of WASCO generosity we share freely with each other!

Well here this weeks food for thought is so have at it!
1.) Finish this statement. I could or should charged more for my work if I only could have...

2.) Do you have 2 standards for your work? If yes Why? Tell how you explain the difference and why there is one to a customer that show room quality is or may not be what you give as a standard of general work.

3.) It is day 1 in your pursuit to be a taxidermist, if you could do this at no charge or cost to you would you go to a taxidermy school. Learn on your own with books, tapes, or other educational material or would you take one on one workshop? What would you do? Tell us how your plan would look and what your goals and time lines would be if it were day one all over again.

4.) How did you come up with your own personal standard or level of quality? In other words what was your deciding factor on how much time and how far you will go to recreate the species for your customers?

5.) Fill in the blanks, In My area deer heads go for $... Fish go for $... Per inch, a fox goes for $... etc... Why do you think what you charge for your work is the most you can get for your work in your area?

6.) What is your process to notify a customer that their work is done?

7.) What are your thoughts over the years in your experience is the reason why most taxidermy business fail? In the past a taxidermy shop would last about 10,years and now it is more like 5 years why is this different today?

8.) Are the migratory birds laws fair today or are they obsolete? What are your thought on this and how would if you could change them?

9.) What is a naturalist in a taxidermy sense? Is a taxidermist and a naturalist the same thing?

Bonus question
10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?

Extra Bonus Question! Can you answer the questions this week with out bring up the non-sense and the hard feeling in the NTA. I dare Ya to just leave it alone just for Sunday! LOL! Hey I had to try!

Give it a shot!
Any one who emails me personally with the answers will get a few free reference photos from my personal collection. I still want you to answer here so other can benefit form your input on this topic line.

It is all because of you and your awesome replies this has become so successful! From beginners to the seasoned pro's every one contributes and all benefit from your great experiences! Let see if I we can get more responses on the forum as well as in my email. I will give you some free fish reference photos for the asking just for contributing! As always I just think your answers are so good more and more contribute on here for all see!

My Best and have fun with this!

Rick Krane
Anglers Artistry
312 Chesterfield Rd
Hinsdale, NH 03451
603.336.7296

Return to Fish Taxidermy Category Menu


I'm First Today.

This response submitted by Richard C on 6/4/06 at 1:46 AM. ( ) 4.156.135.21

It pays to be a night person. That "early bird gets the worm" syuff is for the birds.
#1-- Taken that business 101 night class.
#2--No
#3--One on one workshops. They weren't available when I started.
A 2 year time line to get it all established.
#4--The live specimen was the standard and I worked to that end, still working on it .
#5--Area averages deer--450.00 , fish 12.00 per inch , right now I'm 200.00 more than the average deer price,that price really narrows down the potential clients. One never knows how high the highest is unless you work the price up on aregular basis.
#6--Phone first than mailing of bill.
#7--Lack of CASH FLOW due to underpricing your labor and product.
The new guys are smarter than the old farts and realize sooner that there is no real money in this and it's alot of work and time (labor intensive)and bail out. How can a young guy with a kid or two support them on taxidermy with bad cash flow and always working. So the wife gets a divorse and now the dumb bast%%d has child support and alimony on a business that he couldn't support them on before . So he becomes a deadbeat dad ,gets locked up and his cell mate Bubba has eyes for him.
#8-- Totally obsolete. Most of the taxidermists I know have dumped the migratory bird business. They don't need the hassle . Nobody pays them for the record keeping or pays them for the visits. If there is a mistake the fine is worse than if you were a small drug dealer. At least the drug dealer made enough money to pay his fine. And what do you do with that labor intensive duck if the client don't pick it up' I know you can put it where the sun don't shine.
What migratory birds need is a sea of "undocumented alien taxidermists " mounting them. Nobody would dare touch them.
They will never be changed. The "bird flu" may have some effect on things. The "Flu" may panic the politicians to remove all laws on them , no closed season or limit, you know what brain surgeons the politicans are , all partys.
#9-- A naturalist would be a preparator I think. A preparator did taxidermy. Where and when the word taxidermist came from, I don't know.
#10-- See last line above.
I hope I'm still first, it took a long time to answer these, Cecil is correct .



ok

This response submitted by samantha on 6/4/06 at 4:28 AM. ( ) 58.104.10.13

1.) Finish this statement. I could or should charged more for my work if I only could have... been a bit stronger-willed.

2.) Do you have 2 standards for your work? If yes Why? Tell how you explain the difference and why there is one to a customer that show room quality is or may not be what you give as a standard of general work.
No, just 1.

3.) It is day 1 in your pursuit to be a taxidermist, if you could do this at no charge or cost to you would you go to a taxidermy school. Learn on your own with books, tapes, or other educational material or would you take one on one workshop? What would you do? Tell us how your plan would look and what your goals and time lines would be if it were day one all over again.
If it was going to cost me nothing i would have attended the US school with the best personal refrences. Then get in a few 1 on 1 classes. It would have been nice to get the right infomation and up to date methods from day 1.

4.) How did you come up with your own personal standard or level of quality? In other words what was your deciding factor on how much time and how far you will go to recreate the species for your customers?
I just do the mounts as if they were my own. I am my biggest critic.
I usually push for a client to do more with thier mounts and often get frustrated if i cant make it more natural looking. But its thier $$ and i respect thier wishes...eventually.

5.) Fill in the blanks, In My area deer heads go for $... Fish go for $... Per inch, a fox goes for $... etc... Why do you think what you charge for your work is the most you can get for your work in your area?
Gee .. this is a tuff one. Price varies alot across the country here. I am the only taxidermist in my immediate area and have charged what i thought was about right without worrying what joe blow down the road was getting. I buy all my forms though, some make thier own. Going over the last years figures ...i need to up prices 10% min.


6.) What is your process to notify a customer that their work is done?
A phone call has always been enough...touch wood.

7.) What are your thoughts over the years in your experience is the reason why most taxidermy business fail? In the past a taxidermy shop would last about 10,years and now it is more like 5 years why is this different today?
Dont really know any failing here - just retired.

8.) Are the migratory birds laws fair today or are they obsolete? What are your thought on this and how would if you could change them?
NA
9.) What is a naturalist in a taxidermy sense? Is a taxidermist and a naturalist the same thing?
Someone well read or has a good understanding on the history of animals. I think they can be the same thing. People who mount animals as they were - not as they 'have' to be.
Bonus question
10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?
1913?


why not, here it goes

This response submitted by Mr.T on 6/4/06 at 6:22 AM. ( ) 64.31.6.19

1.) I could or should charged more for my work if I only could have a NTA logo on my business card... ;-)
2.) No, one size fits all.
3.) Even if it was at no cost, I still would have other cost of living and keeping a perfect credit rating and would still learn on my own, because everything would be free. There is nothing more rewarding than when a plan comes together. Workshops would work into my style the best as going to school would take me away from the wife, who without I am nothing. A time line to get started would be two years, for learning, that is never ending.
4.) I borrowed a simple mission statement from a friends business that goes something like this, To achieve consistent growth through customer satisfaction, employee involvement, continuous improvement, and cutting edge technology & techniques. The continuous improvement thing sticks in my mind, I am part time so I do what ever it takes to make it look good to me, as almost anything will look good to the untrained eye of the customer. It is my name going out the door. If I ran a shop, it might be different, as the need of a production line type service would bind my talents.
5.) $350- $12 per inch- $300 fox, My prices are still floating to a higher plane as I haven't yet found where to stop yet. You know that continuous improvement thing?
6.) Phone call, second phone call, letter.
7.) Poor or no planning, it is what you put into it. To pump out cookie cutter mounts tempts a person to cut corners and lower their standards and give just good enough quality to get buy and down the road. A good morel person will have problems with that, a hack wont. Setting prices to low to start out with to get business hurts both the contractor and his competition. Poor business ethics, short dreams, short goals and no road map will kill a business.
8.) The laws are to protect the numbers of birds still living, if the counts are low, we got to do something to help maintain the flocks. However, ducks are everywhere, the environment through pollution kills more ducks than hunters do. However, the laws have created the pen raised bird business.
9.) If a taxidermist wears cloths while working, he or she is not a naturalist.
Bonus question
10.) Taxi means to move, dermist came from epidermis or skin. I think is was placed into the dictionary when the North beat the South, Rebs called it something else but had to conform.


From the Taxidermologist! This is an honor!

This response submitted by Rick Krane on 6/4/06 at 1:20 PM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 70.109.153.116

While I should have posted this answer elsewhere, in my opinion, the Fish Category is not the appropriate place (as is other questions such as whether bird migratory laws are fair don't seem appropriate with the fish category). Many people on the forum only read one category and perhaps the Sunday Morning questions should be moved to the Taxidermy Industry category.

Bonus question
10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?

Great question! filled with many vagarities.

When it first appeared in an American Dictionary could perhaps be discerned, as there are people who spend their lives deducing origins of words. However, when a particular word is actually coined, and then used to describe a particular job or lifestyle is more interesting to me. For example the term Taxidermologist. I did not invent the term, as it came from a good friend in New Jersey whose Father was the last staff taxidermist to be employed by the American Museum of Natural History. The term dates to at least 1989 when I met Dave (Bruce) Schwendeman at the NTA meetings when it was held in Pittsburgh on a separate tour/field trip NTA members came through the Section of Birds when they visited the Carnegie Museum. Dave described the term and I loved the title Taxidermologist as it describes my passion much more so than any other term. I was able to get it in print for the first time five years later in Breakthrough #35 in a Sense of History trivia test. When I joined this forum in 2000, I began using the word taxidermologist as my moniker.

So back to the question. I have pondered this question for many years and never was entirely satisfied with a good answer. So this morning I pulled out all my information on America's first great taxidermist - Charles Wilson Peale. I have many books dealing either directly with him or mentioning him and Xeroxes of original letters, and pertinent Xeroxes of the printed letters from the "Selected Papers" series. Peale had an amazing run a museum director, portrait painter, inventor, and taxidermist in Philadelphia, but in all the letters he sent to Europe and within America, I could not find ONE instance where he used the term taxidermist or taxidermy. After his death when his son Titian and Ben Franklin took over the operation of the Philadelphia Museum, and Titian published arguably the first American Text detailing "... Directions for the Preparation and Preservation of Objects of Natural History" in 1831", the term Taxidermy did not appear in print within the 29 page text.

Also in 1831 there was a publication titled "Manual of the Practical Naturalist or direction for collecting, preparing, and preserving subjects in Natural History..." printed in Boston by Lilly and Wait, where the term Taxidermy was used in the text, crediting it to two publications in 1802. While portions of the publication were written from an American standpoint though, to any Taxidermologist, the entire text was a rip-off of the earlier version from 1820 of a pub titled "Taxidermy or the Art of Collecting, Preparing and Mounting Objects of Natural History for the use of Museums and Travelers" printed in London. Evidently, America on whole did not adopt the term "Taxidermy" until somewhat after 1831.

The text coming out in 1865 by S. H. Sylvester of Massachusetts was the first American title using Taxidermist in the title " The Taxidermists' Manual, giving full instructions in Mounting and Preserving Birds, Mammals, Insects, Fishes, Reptiles, Skeletons, Eggs, &c." It was this book that first got Akeley started in taxidermy as I found out from the author of a new biography on Akeley currently being worked on (I provided him a Xerox of my copy).

Any critical thinker though, will go back to attempt to trace where the term Taxidermy had its origin before the 1820 version. The most authoritative early bibliography of Taxidermy literature in the world was undertaken by the Society of American Taxidermists and published in their third report in 1884. The author was L. M. McCormick at the U. S. National Museum who utilized information by Lucas, and other members of the Society, Oliver Davie, Theo Gill, the Library of Congress, the Patent Office, etc.

At the time I found this publication, I only had a Xerox of the 1823 version, 3rd edition, of the 1820 book. I found this book in the bibliography with an annotation - First edition 1820. The first five editions of this translation were not signed. The sixth (1849) is revised, and a few notes added, and signed "Mrs. R. Lee, formerly Mrs. Ed. Bowdich.) who claims the credit of writing the first English treatise on Taxidermy, forgetting that the first three editions, at least, were literal translations of Dufresne.

Dufresne had a publication in 1819 Taxidermie. in Dictionnaire d)Histoire Naturalle, Volume XXXII, pp. 529-592, and a second book in 1820 "Taxidermie, ou l'art de preparer et de conserver... The translation to english by Bowdich never gave Dufresne credit.

The most influential book of Taxidermy in English in the 19th century was that written by Captain Thomas Brown. This publication was also primarily based on the work of Dufresne with which Brown was a good friend and supplier of specimens. This book "Brown, Capt. Thomas. 1833. The Taxidermist's Manual; or the Art of Collecting, Preparing, and Preserving Objects of Natural History. Designed for the Use of Travellers, Conservators of Museums and Private Collectors. xii + 150 pp. + 6 plates) was Printed unchanged from this first edition to at least 28 English editions into the 1880's, and many revised American editions and cheap paperbacks into the 20th century.

So, back to the origin of the word. Dufresne was the chief preparator at the Paris Museum beginning in the 1780's at least and had correspondence with Peale and actually transferred the recipe for Arsenic soap to him in that era. Dufresne's first publication of the word taxidermie in the Bibliography was in 1803 and appeared to be a first edition of the 1819 publication in the Dictionnaire. The first title in the list though that included the word taxidermy was 1800 -

Daudin, F. M. Sur l'art de la Taxidermie considere par rapport aux Oiseaux; c'est-a-dire, sur l'art de depouller, de droguer, de conserver et de monter les Peaux d'Oiseaux in Trait Elementaire et Complete d)Ornithologie, Vol ii, 1800 pp. 439-462. My wife and I actually translated portions of this work in 1983 but damned if I can find the translation in my file. She was taking a class in Museum studies and I suggested this topic while we were dating. 23 years later, and I still refer to it. Daudin, was based at the Museum in Paris, as was much of the best science in Europe. I don't actually know the real origin of the term, but I have always wanted to give credit to Dufresne since he was the Chief of the Laboratory of Preparation.

10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?

France circa 1800. Dufresne had a publication in 1803 Taxidermie in Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturalle - that would qualify as a dictionary.

First in America - circa 1865?


Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu


from our friend in WY!

This response submitted by Rick Krane on 6/4/06 at 2:27 PM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 70.109.153.116

Good morning Mr. Krane. I see you have decided to come back again with your TAXIDERRMY questions to make me think on a Sunday morning you wise guy. Don't you have better things to do than make an old man have to get up and read this stuff? I'm kidding you Rick. I'm glad you take the time and do this for me and every one else. I hope I don't make the other boys and girls mad with my answers this week.

1.) Finish this statement. I could or should charged more for my work if I only could have... Asked for it. If you don't ask you will never even have the chance to get more for your work.

2.) Do you have 2 standards for your work? If yes Why? Tell how you explain the difference and why there is one to a customer that show room quality is or may not be what you give as a standard of general work. What the hell is this with the 2 standards? Don't you guys give your best work to your customers? When I got in to the taxidermy business we worked hard at preparing manikins to accept the skins to look as real as possible. I'm no Jonas Brothers studio but I think the work they did and I do is good taxidermy work. It is like being a used car sales man to show one thing and give another. A lie is a deception of the truth. So show your work that your customers will expect to get and stop this crap about 2 standards.

3.) It is day 1 in your pursuit to be a taxidermist, if you could do this at no charge or cost to you would you go to a taxidermy school. Learn on your own with books, tapes, or other educational material or would you take one on one workshop? What would you do? Tell us how your plan would look and what your goals and time lines would be if it were day one all over again. I would work as a skinner and then I would learn to build manikins and study my anatomy, then I would learn to taxi the skin while capturing the ability to find the essence of the animal in the skin and manikin last I would learn to finish the piece in a natural setting that doesn't take away from the animal as the main focus. That is how I did it many years ago and that is how I would do it again. Maybe you can do it faster today but I bet I will be still be here when you lost the passion for taxidermy.

4.) How did you come up with your own personal standard or level of quality? In other words what was your deciding factor on how much time and how far you will go to recreate the species for your customers? I modeled my self after the peers I worked with side by side. I had to keep up with there quality or I was out the door. I found it take no more time to do it the right way as it does to half ass it.

5.) Fill in the blanks, In My area deer heads go for $... Fish go for $... Per inch, a fox goes for $... etc... Why do you think what you charge for your work is the most you can get for your work in your area? WOW that is to hard to figure you should have asked how much does a full time charge or a ham and egger. Maybe 500.00 for the head, 15 for the inch and 450 for the fox. I charge a lot more because I do this for a living not a hobby. My wife doesn't pay for my addiction that is on me.

6.) What is your process to notify a customer that their work is done? A phone call. How else would you do it? That is a stupid question Rick. Even for a beginner that is really dumb. You should have asked what I do if they don't call me back. Maybe next week sport. What do I have to give you the questions to? Kidding you Rick.

7.) What are your thoughts over the years in your experience is the reason why most taxidermy business fail? In the past a taxidermy shop would last about 10,years and now it is more like 5 years why is this different today? Not making any money because they have no business sense at all. You don't cut your throat then walk to the hospital wondering if you are going to make it or not. A bunch of hobby guys who want to take a stab at making a few bucks only hurts the real full time taxidermy businessperson. The ham and eggers only confuses the customer when it comes down to price and quality. I once liked it when I hear that another one bites the dust but I really like it now cuz I can get the there stuff for 10 cents on the dollar on ebay.

8.) Are the migratory birds laws fair today or are they obsolete? What are your thought on this and how would if you could change them? I have to agree with Rich C on this one. Teddy Roosevelt or JJ Audubon ain't coming back for the dead and this one should be buried right next to him.

9.) What is a naturalist in a taxidermy sense? Is a taxidermist and a naturalist the same thing? A practionor who can make the most of displaying in a way that makes you feel you're in a moment in time. Are they the same? Well it all depend on what or who your calling a taxidermist. Back in the day yes I would say many were but today I think they are a SOG or an assembler with a catalog.

Bonus question
10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?
From 2 Latin words. I'm not that old to remember but ask George Roof he maybe the one to answer this one.

OK Mr. Krane I have had enough of your nonsense for the week I'll give your questions a B this week. I like last weeks better. If you need help on your next week's questions don't ask me. I hope you aren't to thin skinned I know you fish guys are a bit different. I have to kick the dog now.


From the non-taxidermist

This response submitted by Nathan on 6/4/06 at 5:00 PM. ( ) 71.232.125.78

Mr Krane, from the viewpoint of a non-taxidermist, I am unqualified to answer a number of your questions, but being part of the great, unwashed masses who at times finds myself looking for a taxidermist, please allow me to comment on a few of your questions. In my experience, taxidermists fall into several categories, the same ways that sportsmen do, i.e. "dominionistic sport hunter, naturalist/hunter, method hunter etc. You have in your ranks hobbyists, full-time professionals, and elite taxidermists who don't do much in the way of production taxidermy, but instead choose to teach others the secrets of the trade. For those who compete and still maintain a full-time taxidermy business, there does, indeed seem to be a disparity between competition and commercial grade work. This is not necessarily a negative thing, seeing as you reach the law of diminishing returns if you put an excessive amount of time into a commercial piece and still charge an average commercial price. Perhaps those talented enough to be well represented in the blue ribbon category of major competions should make available the option of competition quality for customers that know the difference, and are willing to pay for it. I fully realize that a large majority of folks out there think that paying more than say, 10.00 per inch for a fish is ridiculous, but you get what you pay for, and maybe the idea of a multi-tiered price list isn't so far-fetched after all. This all ties into your question of why most taxidermy shops are rather short-lived. If you have the talent to do elite work, AND can attract upscale clients who have the appreciation of the work, and the money to pay for it, you could probably make a taxidermy business work. As far as the question of being a naturalist goes; If a person is not a naturalist, but is a taxidermist, they probably aren't very good at what they do. The best taxidermists that I've been priveledged to witness have all been students of the animals, fish and birds that they have recreated. Work done without passion is simply work. Work done WITH passion becomes art, and at its' highest levels, art is precisely what an elite taxidermist creates. Nature itself is the highest art form, and if you can successfully replicate what nature so elegantly produces, you can count yourself truly gifted.


JL's slant on things

This response submitted by JL on 6/4/06 at 8:17 PM. ( wmlures@metro2000.net ) 216.177.1.148

(1) ...if I could have more time to spend on each mount.

(2) I only have one standard...mine. Since I don't have a showroom customers do not have the opportunity to compare my competition work to my "normal" work.Also I sell all my competition pieces so even though one might still be in the shop to be viewed only my customer work is there to look at.

(3)I dont really know how to answer this one since I learned 55 years ago from books.If I started out today I would probably do it the same way but with the new teaching aids available, like DVD's tapes, books, seminars, etc.I don't see how taxidermy can be taught in a classroom in the time given, also you are only being exposed to the techniques of that particular teacher, and they may not be the truly right way to do it.Gary Bruch and Rick Krane are excellent fish taxidermists, but neither can make money at it so they teach.SORRY guys but you know I'm right. If the student applies only their techniques and tries to earn a living that way the world of taxidermy will be full of teachers looking for students...lol

(4)Time spent to satisfy my own criticism. After all that's all that counts...that and customer satisfaction.

(5)I never pay attention to what the other guy charges.I get $550 for a deer without a panel, $16 per inch for fish and $750 for a fox or similar animal.

(6)I just call, and since I get 50% down before starting a job and 100% for waterfowl, mounts move out pretty quick.

(7)The biggest reason that I can see is those "businesses" were never run as a business, also the quality of the work may not be at a level that attracts business.Prices were too low to support the business. I find a lot of "taxidermists" simply price their work based on what they could afford to pay for the same mount if they were having it done.Then they get more work than they can do in a reasonable time frame and they burn out.On the other hand there are those who put in too much time and effort trying make the "perfect" mount and can never make a weekly paycheck.

(8)Why is everyone down on migratory bird laws? Just follow them and you have nothing to worry about.I'm not qualified to change or interpret laws.Ask a lawyer to mount your duck...lol. Get the point?

(9)I believe that Audubon was a naturalist. He collected specimen and cataloged them either with study skins or by illustrations. I take a skin and try to re-create the animal in a credible way...I'm a taxidermist.Thats the difference.

(10)I'm with Christoforo...who cares?

Have a great week...If the weather clears i'm going striper fishing.I need reference pictures to be able to write-off the gas for the boat...lol.


Nathan

This response submitted by Richard C on 6/4/06 at 8:20 PM. ( ) 4.156.189.178

Very well put. I was just thinking yesterday ,No postings from Nathan lately. Thought you dried up and the wind blew you away. Nice to have you back.


Sunday Evening Answers

This response submitted by Chad on 6/4/06 at 8:57 PM. ( mountncritterstaxidermy@yahoo.com ) 24.206.217.225

1.) Finish this statement. I could or should charged more for my work if I only could have...

1.) I could charged more for my work if I only could have the customers willing to pay the higher rates!

2.) Do you have 2 standards for your work? If yes Why? Tell how you explain the difference and why there is one to a customer that show room quality is or may not be what you give as a standard of general work.

2.) Absolutly not. What you see is what you get. I do all my work to he best of my ability, no matter who it is for.

3.) It is day 1 in your pursuit to be a taxidermist, if you could do this at no charge or cost to you would you go to a taxidermy school. Learn on your own with books, tapes, or other educational material or would you take one on one workshop? What would you do? Tell us how your plan would look and what your goals and time lines would be if it were day one all over again.

3.) I think if I could do it all over, I would first go to school to get the basics down. Then I would spend time with some of the best in the industry so I could learn one on one. Nothing like learning from the best that specialize in one area.

4.) How did you come up with your own personal standard or level of quality? In other words what was your deciding factor on how much time and how far you will go to recreate the species for your customers?

4.) I always do each piece to the best of my ability. When I feel I have done all I can do to create realism in a piece, I leave it alone. While I am never fully satisfied, there comes a point where I know I have done the best I know how. I do each piece this way and I know every customer is getting what they are paying for.

5.) Fill in the blanks, In My area deer heads go for $... Fish go for $... Per inch, a fox goes for $... etc... Why do you think what you charge for your work is the most you can get for your work in your area?

5.) Skipping the first part of this one for now as I am raising rates. I dont think I am currently charging the most I can get or the most I am worth. Thus I am raising rates. However, I dont think you ever charge the most you can as there is always someone who can afford it. I think the cut off comes when you are not appealing to the majority of customers.

6.) What is your process to notify a customer that their work is done?

6.) As I am still on the small side of business, I mostly call my customers to tell them their mount is finished.

7.) What are your thoughts over the years in your experience is the reason why most taxidermy business fail? In the past a taxidermy shop would last about 10,years and now it is more like 5 years why is this different today?

7.) I think most business' fail because of poor money management. They dont charge enough and they end up with more overhead than profit. I also think that the competition is getting stiffer and those that dont do quality work are not sticking around as long as they used to. The more educated public has higher standards than they did in the past.
8.) Are the migratory birds laws fair today or are they obsolete? What are your thought on this and how would if you could change them?

8.) I feel the laws are nuts. I don't even bother myself with getting the permit. I just dont do migratory birds.

9.) What is a naturalist in a taxidermy sense? Is a taxidermist and a naturalist the same thing?

9.) I feel a naturalist is one who recreates nature in its most accurate form. Some taxidermists are naturalists, actually, most are. However, there are a handful who break from the norm and are true artists, they incorportate marble and sculpture into thier work and that seperates them from the rest.


Bonus question
10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?
10.) Dont think I can add anything to this one.


tres 2 cents

This response submitted by tre on 6/4/06 at 9:48 PM. ( travro@aol.com ) 205.188.116.133

1.) Finish this statement. I could or should charged more for my work if I only could have...the will power to never stop learning
2.) Do you have 2 standards for your work? If yes Why? Tell how you explain the difference and why there is one to a customer that show room quality is or may not be what you give as a standard of general work.
2.)no all my work will be to the best of my(knowledge)!
3.) It is day 1 in your pursuit to be a taxidermist, if you could do this at no charge or cost to you would you go to a taxidermy school. Learn on your own with books, tapes, or other educational material or would you take one on one workshop? What would you do? Tell us how your plan would look and what your goals and time lines would be if it were day one all over again.
3.)Great question!i would do the one on one schooling..after trying
books and videos first and spending a ton of moeny just to not be at the level i want to be..is a heart breaker..i guess the old sayin is takes money to make money...yes it means alot of time being away from family..but when your push yourself to become a good quality taxidermist the videos dont cut it for me..i dont know why but the guy on the vcr tape just wont answer my questions or explain why he is doing what he is doing..i think he may be stuck up...lol
4.) How did you come up with your own personal standard or level of quality? In other words what was your deciding factor on how much time and how far you will go to recreate the species for your customers?
4.)i will know..when the fish even makes me say...man that looks real!
5.) Fill in the blanks, In My area deer heads go for $... Fish go for $... Per inch, a fox goes for $... etc... Why do you think what you charge for your work is the most you can get for your work in your area?
5.) not sure yet
6.) What is your process to notify a customer that their work is done?
phone,mail
7.) What are your thoughts over the years in your experience is the reason why most taxidermy business fail? In the past a taxidermy shop would last about 10,years and now it is more like 5 years why is this different today?
7.)..man.thats tuff one...not sure!i have my wifes support so far..but the big cost in schooling i know is weighing on her heavy...
8.) Are the migratory birds laws fair today or are they obsolete? What are your thought on this and how would if you could change them?
8.) just follow the laws..can you kill a deer without a tagg,,,,is that harsh...?
9...9.) What is a naturalist in a taxidermy sense? Is a taxidermist and a naturalist the same thing?
9.)?
10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?
10.)not sure


A new particapant from Maine. Welcome aboard!

This response submitted by Rick Krane on 6/4/06 at 11:33 PM. ( rmkinc1@msn.com ) 70.109.164.124

A full time taxidermist from Maine 1 year 4 months and doing great!
1.) Finish this statement. I could or should charged more for my work if I only could have... found a way to get more out of my customers in my area but they won't pay much more than I charge.
2.) Do you have 2 standards for your work? If yes Why? Tell how you explain the difference and why there is one to a customer that show room quality is or may not be what you give as a standard of general work. I don't compete but I will some day. I do the best I can and give them what I think is the best I can do.
3.) It is day 1 in your pursuit to be a taxidermist, if you could do this at no charge or cost to you would you go to a taxidermy school. Learn on your own with books, tapes, or other educational material or would you take one on one workshop? What would you do? Tell us how your plan would look and what your goals and time lines would be if it were day one all over again. I would if I could take classes with the big name guys.
4.) How did you come up with your own personal standard or level of quality? In other words what was your deciding factor on how much time and how far you will go to recreate the species for your customers? I work at stuff til it is done I finish deer in about 3 hours and it takes me 6-8 hours to do a fish.
5.) Fill in the blanks, In My area deer heads go for $... Fish go for $... Per inch, a fox goes for $... etc... Why do you think what you charge for your work is the most you can get for your work in your area? I get 350 for a deer. 9.00 for inch on fish, and I don't do foxes.
6.) What is your process to notify a customer that their work is done? A phone call. How else would you do it? I call them and they pick it up for the most part.
7.) What are your thoughts over the years in your experience is the reason why most taxidermy business fail? In the past a taxidermy shop would last about 10,years and now it is more like 5 years why is this different today? I graduated from a big school and have been doing it for a year now. No one else in the phone book so I have it all to myself. I wan to be the biggest in my area.
8.) Are the migratory birds laws fair today or are they obsolete? What are your thought on this and how would if you could change them? I got my federal license and I think I'm legal so I don't worry about the federal law stuff with birds.
9.) What is a naturalist in a taxidermy sense? Is a taxidermist and a naturalist the same thing? I think if you do taxidermy ion a realistic natural way you are a naturalist taxidermist
Bonus question
10.) Where did the word taxidermist come from? When was it first added to a dictionary?
From taxidermy it is a person who does taxidermy. A long time ago?


Richard C

This response submitted by Nathan on 6/5/06 at 8:42 AM. ( ) 71.232.125.78

Thank you for the gracious "welcome back". I haven't disappeared or blown away. There simply hasn't been much to comment on since Cecil's self-imposed exile. I've been watching the posts, hoping that all of your NTA members can stop the infighting and pass the peace pipe around. The organization is starting to resemble the national political landscape, though the discord of disgruntled taxidermists could never hope to equal the copious greenhouse gases being emitted by our country's liberal politicians.


Return to Fish Taxidermy Category Menu