I've been doing taxidermy part time for about 5 yrs now and just the other day a guy (an aquaintance) called me and said he shot a nice buck and is considering trying to mount it himself. he asked my advice and I told him that there are kits available and that maybe he should try that route. Well then he asked if I could help him or maybe give him some tips and pointers. He also wanted to know if he could look through my catalogs for ordering. Fortunatly our conversation was interrupted and cut short before I could really give him a straight answer. He is going to call me back in a few days.
Now, should I help him in any way I can? After all it would be good P.R. Or should I just give him some phone #s of some supply co.s and tell him to get some catalogs and he's on his own from there?
I'm considering borrowing him a deer mounting video, and my Breakthrough W.T. manual tell him to watch and read and If he still wants to go for it than I will help him as much as I can.
I'm a little afraid this would be shooting myself in the foot, because The word is just starting to get out there about my buisness.
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He could become yourso called competition or a good friend. WHich do you want, should he someday out class you with deer mounts then whos fault would it be? Yours for helping him get started or your for not continuing your taxidermy education?
I have a great friend and buddy, I dont see him very often, I do his fish and if I ever get a bird worth mounting he will do it for me, at one time we were competition in the same town. He has a nack with birds and small mammals. But I can smoke him on fish and deer. We have hunted together and fished together.
If I were you I would help him, why? Simply because if Pearl Henderson, Ivan Harvey, Sam Touchstone, Mr and Mrs. Haynes, Yox and George and John B. Frank, Don Frank, The late Don Mathis and Joe Meder, Salley Dahmes and many more had not shared their knowledge where would we be today.
I would be in the dark ages and so would you, yes I shared my knowledge with many people, some whom post on here.
If I do a better job, I will get my cliential, you will find yours and who knows your buddy may bring you that once in a lifetime buck he harvest for you to mount.
Hope this has stirred your thoughts some. Do what YOU can LIVE WITH. JOhn C//
This is very true about what John has said. I have even help my competitors. Why? To better this industry. Just because you give him a book, video, advise etc, etc. Like the old saying goes youcan lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it. The same goes here. You can give a person all the advise in the world but that will not make him a master in taxidermy. That person himself has to prefrom all the work.
That's when a lot of people find out how this business is really done.I can not tell you the amount of clients I have had that stated man I tried doing this and it's for the birds. How do you do it? I just sit and laugh and say pracitce, schooling, books etc. These clients will appreciate what you do much more than you think. So give a quick helping hand. This may be his one and only one he does,make it the best.
The chances of this guy becoming your competition any time soon are nil. If you dont help, and he seeks help elsewhere, and then decides that taxidermy isnt his thing, he will be sending his friends to the guy who helped him. You said this was just a "acquaintance" at this time, not a friend. As for the video, I would draw the line here. You may never get it back or have it returned damaged. Show him the advantage of purchasing the tape himself, i.e. permanent reference at his disposal. Give him the toll free numbers to get his own catalogs from WASCO and others and wish him luck.
You say this guy is an "aquaintance" which I think means that he isn't a close friend, just someone that you know.
I sense that you are apprehensive about helping him, and Yeah, if he is pushy enough, you could end up basically mounting his head for free.
You can be helpful without giving free lessons to the guy. be polite, offer advice, and answer questions. It might make you feel better to end it at that point. It would also give him a chance to learn on his own, and realize how complex and time-consuming this business can be.
If you feel like he is "crossing the line" then take control!
he might ask to bring his stuff over and mount it in your shop(its happened to me before). that would be a good time to say "I don't mind giving free advice over the phone, but in-shop lessons cost 75.00/hour".
He'll take the hint, and realize where the "line" is.
this is how I'd handle your situation----
** answer any questions and offer advice
** don't loan your books or catalogs,instead give him the numbers
and tell him to request his own catalogs
** you could recommend to him which books or tapes to buy.
**send him to this web site.
**offer to look over his mounted head when he is done.
If you do those things, you are being extremely helpful, while allowing him to realize the complexity and expense of this business
for himself. THAT is a win/win situation.
Well this is how I feel and I dont mean to step on anyones toes. Ive been the beginner(we all have) and if someone didnt help me through my first mount, I'd probably still be working on it today and that was three years ago! The local taxer is 17 miles away and I called upon him for help,(17 miles between taxers isnt that far from where i'm at in no where illinois) he was a great help to me. Even invited me down to the shop to watch so i could learn. I basically taught myself out of a book (Breakthrough whitetail manual) and one W.T. video by Don Holst, I didnt go to school to learn and was very appreciative of all the help i received. Heck I've even called Bill Yox on advice to alter a form so that the brisket was facing the wall (Still working on that one Bill) My Advice is to lend a helping hand but, dont do the mount cause you'll never learn without hands on.