......That I have to Be Licensed, Make receipts in triplicate, keep records on all migratory birds, be open to spot inspections by D.N.R. Pay all appropriate Taxes, and All the while having my prices undercut by unregistered part time taxidermists (lots of them) Who do none of the above....I don't believe in turning people in, but I wish the D.N.R. would address the problem and issue warnings. Fair is Fair, It might make them raise there prices!
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we feel your pain . this is an issue that will rage as long as cockroaches exist. steer the law their way or just go on about your biz. it sucks but we all started somewhere. hoping i don't get checked.....
I don't think you jumped in with both feet and got a licensed right away.DID YOU! you were (as they put it in the union world) a SCAB taxidermist at one time.So you keep getting your Good clients and turn out great work and let us that are learning and trying to get into your position deal with the bargin hunters and try to perfect the art of taxidermy.Some day we (scabs)can run a top notched shop like the one you run and up our prices and make a full time position at taxidermy.
Your right, and when I started I did operate on the side for 2 years before getting licensed, I don't see anything wrong with it. However There are some people who do it for 5..10 years for (friends) Have excellent paying jobs, and are charging $2.00 an inch for fish, This makes it Very difficult, and if you are trying to go full time you will see this soon enough.
I do not mean to be argumentative or disrespectful in this at all, but please don't assume that anyone did it illegally before they were licensed. Taxidermy can be learned without flying by night. When I was just learning (I will always be learning) I NEVER mounted anything for anyone else; simply because it was illegal. It was probably morally wrong too since I had the potential of screwing up someone else's specimen. I would think that your state has a clause that would allow you to work on your own things at least. Now before someone says, "Look he's gloating!", let me just say I'm not looking for a halo or a medal or whatever. But what I AM saying is that if I can do it then anyone else could do it too. I joined my state's taxidermy association, worked on my own mounts and took them to competitions. The knowledge I picked up from some of the best in the industry is well worth any price of admission.
Besides, are you sure that you wish to deal with bargain hunters. Usually, it seems to me, these types demand more without knowing what it is that they are demanding as it pertains to taxidermy. In other words, I believe that they think you can flip a switch on a taxidermy machine, put in a dead deer and out will come this beautiful mount. We both know that it doesn't work that way. Now, one can make the argument that the bargain hunter deserves what he pays for. And that may be true, but...... What happens when that guy thinks you messed up his trophy, whether you really did or not? What if he decides to report you to your licensing authority with some cock and bull story just to cause trouble? (I understand that can happen even if you have a license but at least you would have the protection of that license.) Now, is it really worth that kind of trouble? We just had a very interesting discussion on this very subject from a guy in PA. I know you want to learn but taking the risk of getting into trouble with the law or even messing up someone's trophy probably isn't worth it, at least to me. Wouldn't working for another taxidermist be better, at least until you know the basics. These forums are also a good place to learn. Or even better yet, join your state association and attend the conventions. The things you will learn there! And it's cheaper than paying a fine.
In PA, where Rob is, you are made aware of the fact that you need a license, no secret. Rules are rules, just like zoning laws in a community. I dont think beginners need to scrape the clients off the bottom of the barrel to start with, though. That whole analogy about climbing the ladder? As a beginner, I would want to start off at one of the middle wrungs, as I see it. Who said you have to start at the BOTTOM? Good luck and learn the right way first.
In my state, If I remember correctly, without digging out the Bi-Laws, a person does not need a taxidermy license to mount fish.I mounted fish for 15 years before purchasing a Taxidermy License. By the way, WE TAXIDERMISTS ought to be more concerned about all of the states that will issue a license to anyone, including my dog.