Submitted by Rotten Ralphy. on 11/18/1998.

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As we all know you must start some where to learn this art. But what do you do when these guys start hanging around the shop?(l) I dont intend to teach them, I am here to make a living. I have giving others short instructions on problems they have, and never even received a thank you, the only thing I have ever seen from them is the cut prices, hack something else up, I get to fix the thing, then here comes another hacksidermist. It history repeating its self. I am not bitter over this but most of these yeawhos will not join even the state assoc.(l) I think unless they can show me their state and national current membership cards, I will show them the road, does that sound fair? (l) I am a lifetime NTA member and also a state assoc. member. Thank You, Rotten Ralphy

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Oh, Yea . . . Get Me Started Again!

This response submitted by Jerry on 11/19/1998.

( jds@vvm.com )

Ya just had to puch my button, didn't ya! I agree 100% with you. While I believe in helping other (real) taxidermists with everything I know, there should be a line drawn somewhere in the sand. I had a guy who came out to my shop occasionally and sat around to talk. The first time or two it was OK because I would just keep working. I was naive enough at that time to believe him when he said he was "just interested in how it was done". The final straw came one day when I was working on an elk eye and the phone rang. When I came back, this guy was sitting in my stool, WORKING ON THE ELK EYE! My politeness reverted to my wife's attitude (see my posting in this category about my wife) and I told him in no uncertain terms that he was NOT to attempt to work on any mounts in my shop. I explained that I was the one who had to deal with the client if anything was screwed up and I didn't appreciate his actions. Needless to say, he left and hasn't been back. The kicker was that a couple of months later I saw him at a public deer hunt where he was frantically passing out flyers to everyone walking around. I got one and saw that he was now in "business" doing taxidermy (at about half my price). I approached him and mentioned that he once told me that he had never mounted a deer head. I was curious as to where he had learned. His response? . . . yep, you guessed it . . . HE LEARNED FROM WATCHING ME! He still hadn't mounted a head but he knew how to do it from watching me a couple of times!!! I was furious and let him know it - not that he went in business (I am NOT afraid of competition!) but that he would take a trophy which could mean a tremendous amount to the hunter, and risk ruining it because he was incompetent. It's "hacksidermists" (I LOVE that word, by the way!) like that who will make a client gunshy of the entire taxidermy industry. And the extra gasoline on the fire was that the ***hole virtually photocopied MY brochure! Ya know . . . it's kinda scary when you begin to UNDERSTAND the armed postal worker!! ;^) OK, I'll put the soapbox away again . . . but just for now! Jerry

No Compete Clause

This response submitted by Chris B on 11/19/1998.

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RR-- You might consider a "No Compete Clause" for anyone you train, or at least I think that's what they call it. Before you train anyone, you get them to sign a "contract" that they will not establish a business or engage in the art/business of taxidermy within 10 miles of your present establishment for a period of 10 years (miles and years can vary according to both of your wishes). It may not be entirely legal, and you might consult with a lawyer, but most people back off very quickly when you even mention this! Another consideration, lots of "full-timers" have shops separate from their showroom, and like some garages, do not allow visitors in the working area of the shop. I also know one "full-timer" that has a "10-minute time limit" sign in his shop. It states something to the effect that both his and the visitors' time is limited, and will they please limit the time that they "visit." If worded nicely, most people will get the point.

Know How You Feel

This response submitted by Ronni King on 11/20/1998.

( kingst@odsgc.net )

To Jerry, We know how you feel!! My husband and I have a business. About 2 years ago a guy came in and told Gary he just wanted to learn for himself. He started coming around more and more. I, being the meanie, chased him off. Shortly after that a friend of mine handed me a brochure and said I might be interested. My husband about had a heart attack when he saw that the pictures on the brochure were his taken right from his brochure and the directions and pictures for skinning were identical. Guess who?? Hey did that guy move up there? We did contact a lawyer, it was very difficult to find someone who knows about copyright laws but we did succeed in giving him a time limit to change his brochure, and he did. We also had our lawyer draw up a contract for an employee that, if terminated, he not engage in any form of taxidermy work, neither individually or as a consultant, within a 150 mile radius, for a period of 5 years. I had thought about charging him for teaching like the schools do, but he said you would likely not get it and spend more money and time trying to drag him into court to get it. Hope I helped someone, if even to know , it happened to someone else.

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