This site covers alot of territory, was just wondering.... Out of all the taxidermist that you guys know, I don't want any names, is there some taxidermist out there that works solely by himself or herself, (without employing a helper or two)that does a ton of taxidermy work, would like to here some realistic numbers such as 150 game heads a year or 200 fish a year, Just gives me something to think about, and a great discussion! Thanks Joe
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I work totally by myself. I do up to 200 deer a year, 20 or so turkeys, equal amount of ducks and pheasnts. various african game when I'm in the mood to accept it and some fish. I seldom get to hunt anymore, I work and average of 6 sometimes 7 days a week. I am tired, burned out and broke. Now theres you something to think about. But do you want to here the really sad thing here..I wouldn't want to do anything else. Good luck. Ron
wow! thats amazing,I heard of guys that do that many mounts in a year but it was always second hand talk, so i didn't really believe it, But that is darn good! I am going to take the test this sept to try and get licensed for pennsylvania. I know guys that do 115 deer heads a year and that sounds like alot. Do you mind me asking what state your from?, (don't have to answer) I'm sure you probably don't do your own tanning? Well hey, that is an accomplishment in itself. good job. Joe
What is your backlog? It HAS to be worse than mine because simple mathematics says that you must turn out a mount each and every day with a workload like that. I took in 150 deer only once in my career and I swore right then I'd never EVER do it again. I've kept that promise.
Basically, I work by myself and I still contract out specimen to others. I try never to exceed 150 PIECES per year. I keep my prices high and they're competitive because others around here have learned the hard way like I did about lower pricing. I discourage extra work by giving customers a TWO YEAR wait (though I seldom exceed a year). I'm a taxidermist because I enjoy the work and I'm getting near the point where the WORK is becoming a job. When it gets to be a job, it's no longer as much fun to dedicate all my life to it. That ain't happening. Al Holmes made a great comment in a business seminar once. He said "Taxidermists shouldn't have more than one freezer. When you have more than one, you tend to want to have them all filled. You can't make a dime when your freezer is full. You only make money when your freezer is EMPTY." Don't get caught up in a numbers game where "mine's bigger than yours".
I am from Alabama. I don't always do 200 deer a year but I have done so in the past. I average about 130 whitetails each season plus other game heads. As far as tanning I use it all. From Dp to commercial tanneries. I also own a $1800 magnum auto tanner. My prices are very low compared to what I see on here sometimes but I am on the high end for my area. I live in the middle of nowhere, very rural, and do no advertising at all. Not even a yard sign, but I get work from as far away as Arizona.
George, I try and turn out two mounts a day on deer, can't always do it though. Two to four ducks a day when I do birds. An eight hour day is a joke to me.
You are right "for once" "just kidding" this has turned into a job. I have put a stop to it though. I finally got the nerve to tell people to go to hell with their dead animals. Damb it feels good. I get more excited telling people I can't take anymore work now than I did getting work 20 years ago. My problem has always been I'm just to nice a guy, never been able to say no. I also have too many friends that I do favors for like the one I mentioned in the above buffalo story.
Joe, take everyones advice and ease into it. Don't burn yourself out. If you do good work and charge for it people will still come.I do not know a taxidermist, even the really bad ones that don't have plenty to do.
I do about 130 mounts a year, mostly gameheads and lifesize.
I dont usually dont work over 8 hours a day. Definetly not Sat. or
Sundays. I keep my backlog under a year, 10-11 months. I am one of the highest in my area also, but not as high as some on here.
I would say I have the life, as least for now.
I retired from ranching 3 years ago, opened up my own shop in a beautiful location and couldn't be happier. Wished I'd of sold the ranch years earlier. Any ways, my son moved down and works with me now and we're in the process of moving into a larger shop. We're expecting in about 150 deer, 15 to 20 Aoudad, probably the same in Pronghorn, 3 to 5 Mtn. lions and bobcats and a few javlina. We get in a few birds and fish and some exotics. I usually go the shop 7 days a week, though on Sundays it's it's usually just for a few hours.