Dragging out the soapbox again!!!!

Submitted by Jerry on 11/16/1998.

( jds@vvm.com )

Today, I got to take apart a deer head that an unknown taxidermist had mounted for one of my clients about two years ago. He wanted me to re-cape the antlers because he couldn't look at it any longer. At first glance I though, "well, it's not TOO bad". Then I got within 30 feet of it . . . it was a long hair'ed Nebraska deer. The hide that goes around the pedical BELOW the antler burr was partially on TOP of the burr - but just on the left antler. For whatever reason there was a 4" triangular piece of lighter colored deer hide sewn into the right front side of the neck - easily seen. The color was different and the hair was shorter on that piece. If that wasn't enough, the direction of the hair was about 30 degrees different from the hair on the deer. The hair at the seam down the back had been glued down the entire length with hide paste. Behind the antlers was an area about 2" across where the hide did not meet - although you could see that this "taxidermist" had tried to make it meet because there were stitches criss-crossing the hole. Taking the mount apart was easy. Since the "taxidermist" had not sanded the form the hide past didn't stick. When I took the skull plate out, it was pretty obvious that it had never been cleaned - ANY. There were chunks of meat the size of fajitas on the skull plate that had dried to the bone.

Folks, it is my policy to not talk bad about my competitors - whether they are down the street or across the country. But this is an exception! I know that I'm preaching to the choir here because I know that NO ONE reading this forum would ever do a mount like this - let alone take any money for it. What really gripes me is that it is "rip-off taxidermists" like this person who creates doubt in a client's mind whenever he walks into ANY other taxidermy shop . . . and I resent that!

What is MOST perplexing to me - and I wish somebody would please explain this to me - when this person finished this mount, did they step away from it, take a good look at it and say, "Yea! That's the look I wanted!"?

OK, I'll shut up . . . for now! Jerry

Return to Category Menu


This response submitted by Paul Coenen on 11/16/1998.

( chiefriv@cheqnet.com )

Was this a professional taxidermist or some guy giving it a try?

Some guys really get me!

This response submitted by Court F. on 11/16/1998.

( )

OK... a few years ago my grandfather had a deer mounted. The taxidermist in town (for some reason) had taken out the entire back of the deer's neck and replaced it with a peice of another deer's hide which is much darker in color and is sloppily attatched with some kind of glue that not only looks messy but it dripped on the front of the deer's neck ,too. Of course, the hair is stuck down in thoes places now and all this mess is quite noticable by anyone. The 11 -pointer was also missing all his eyelashes! It's a real beautiful deer with grey highlights above his brows and on his face. It's a shame this deer was not mounted with care and quality.

Thats how i got into this mess

This response submitted by Dave on 11/16/1998.

( rkerr1998@aol.com )

So a few years back before i married my wife we were out fishin. Not just fishin, but FISHIN in the pourin rain complete with lightnin and thunder. After draggin her around for a few hours in that mess we decided to take a brake cause she was gettin tired. While lookin for a place to sit we passed up alot of water and she says we should try a few casts before sittin down.( gotta love that) Well to shorten the story, she lands a 6 lb bucket mouth after a hellacious fight. Being the biggest bass either of us has caught to date during open season, we decided to get it mounted. It came back 6 or 7 weeks after we dropped it off and looked great for about a year. Then the paint started flaking. Then it was down hill. After noticing that i saw that the entire mount just didnt look quite right to me. Thinking i could do better gets me to where i am today. I'm busy enough now doin the odd customer mount with thoughts of someday goin full time. Curious as to if anyone might have an idea as to how to strip the paint off. Im thinkin of strippin it down as much as possible and then redoin it, maybe even gettin a repro head for it so the mouth is at least the correct shape. Then i wont mind lookin at it hangin over the computer as much. Tightlines, Dave

Time to bring out the stripper

This response submitted by Rick on 11/16/1998.

( dleteff@eatel.net )

Tightline Dave, Whats up? Now about stripping that fish, go to "fish taxidermy" catagory and scroll way way down to "repainting a large mouth bass" What you need is in that discussion. Now back to "want to be taxidermists". After I picked my jaw up off my keyboard and recomposed myself, I had to read it again to make sure I read it right the first time. It's almost impossible to believe that people would let something of that nature leave there shop. I can just about promise you that they don't do taxidermy work any more. Not with repeat cust any how. Repeat bussiness is the best appreciation (I guess that's the word I'm looking for, ya'll now what I mean) that any one could recieve. In opening my bussiness to the public I've had one person in particular bring me three deer heads in the last season. {remember now, I just started taxidermy for the public just this past year) This makes me feel good and gives me reasurance of myself. Nuf said, better go now.

A little more suds . . .

This response submitted by Jerry on 11/17/1998.

( jds@vvm.com )

This mount was actually done by a "professional" taxidermist. The client now has 38 mounts with me and had this one done only about 3 years ago - before I seriously started doing his work. My client is the type who will just pay for the mount because he figures the guy REALLY needs the money if he's willing to charge for a mount like that one - BUT - he won't go back. I know there are some folks out there who's genetics have been put in a blender on "puree" for 30 seconds but I cannot fathom the idea that I would have a mount that looked like this and expect a client to pay for it. When the client first looks at it, what do you say to him . . . "looks good, huh?" . . . "well I did my best but he had a couple of fightin' scars on him" . . . or just "I hope that's close cause I haven't a clue as to what a deer is supposed to look like!". I'm sorry, I just don't get it . . . Jerry

My Real Name Is "Frank"!

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 11/17/1998.

( ArtistExpr@aol.com )

As many of you on these forums know, "Frank" SHOULD be my middle name. If I had a client who brought a bad mount into me for a critique, he knows I'm not going to sugar-coat anything - that I'm going to be "frank".

This has been the case, where I've had a client go elsewhere to save a few $, only to come back to pay for not only a new mount, but also purchase the new cape for it as well! So the guy ends up paying twice for a deer mount, plus the cost of the cape. How they think they're ever saving money in the first place is beyond me!

And how someone can think they can get away with producing s**t taxidermy just kills me. Yet, they're out there.

Most of those that need to "fill" an area, usually the seam, are using a cape that is untanned - either raw ("dry-preserved") or just pickled, and way too thick - resulting in no stretch and needing a filler. The extra piece of deer hide sewn into the seam area.

That, or they try to give the client back a Clydesdale version of a whitetail deer, replete with the white bib and all other hair markings/patterns way out of whack!

It is DAMMNED AGGRAVATING to know that we are out there doing our best, HIGHEST QUALITY work, and there are still slobs out there cranking-out the crap! The beat goes on... John B.

Are they tukeys or turkey buzzards???

This response submitted by Dave on 11/17/1998.

( rkerr1998@aol.com )

Buddy of mine recently remounted some birds from a long time hacker around our area. The customer picked them up, went home and made some phone calls. After talkin and visitin his shop he agreed to let him have a try with the understanding that there were no guarantees as to how they would turn out. After soakin them down he went to remove the skin and found the incisions and holes werent even sewn up, they were nailed together, to the form, with roofing nails. No wonder they looked like crap. I'm not big on birds but would expect you need to move the skin round some to get the feathers positioned in the correct areas to have the right alignment. Well the birds came out a hell of alot better than they did when they came through the door and the customer was ecstatic. He immedialtely pulled everything from the other guys freezer.( bear, deer, duck, etc. quite a few of em) Unfortunately the original hacksitermist is still in bussiness today. He also butchers deer too. Maybe he should just settle for the butcher part. Tightlines, Dave

oh, man,gripe gripe gripe

This response submitted by deer woman on 11/29/1998.

( )

Hi, haven't been posting in a while- but now since the subject of hacksidermists has arisen, time to rub in my 87 cents. YES-i hate them too, but remember we were all beginners once and some of our first peices to clients might make us embarrassed today. However we strove for quality and learning and reference and state/national associations, competition ribbons and learning, and learning and learning. I have been doing taxidermy 5 years, am 26 years old and people say i look 16 or 17. Lately i have been very fustrated becuase i still keep getting work in at a SSSSLLLLLOOOOWWWW pace.I advertise to heck,DO GOOD DAMN WORK, have a good customer base biult, go to sportsmans shows, etc, but i still get the turtle's share of the work, while cruddy oldtimers and fresh young total hacks seem to continue getting in the lions share( the young hacks may have more than 5 years taxidermy time, but they are young hacks becuase they do not have any more than 10 years). The problems, as i have isolated them in my quizzical mind, seem to be 1) price and 2) my femaleness. Price is a factor, since so many idiots out there just want a quick cheap mount. Now believe it or not, my prices are cheaper than what all the big quality guys charge, but yes are higher than the hack's prices. i charge 255.00 for a mount that should be at least 325.00. I really hate it! I keep raising the price every year, but i get in no more mounts than the previous yea. Sure , I'm making a little more, but really, this stagnation is making me ready to go postal on the hacks! 2)my femaleness- does this really make such a huge difference? Are guys threatened by me? Is it cause i'm, not a "guy" and i can't go"ugga ugga" with them when they bring their "ug ug" kill in? I have been laughed at in the face before when i tell guys I'm the taxidermist( at shows and stuff. I need advice, and quick! What can i as a woman do to get in more work?Believe me, if it were'nt for taxidermy, i'd be stuck in a mental institution somewhere! AHHHHH!!!!


This response submitted by RICK on 3/18/99. ( )

Look,...there even wellknowen female taxidermist like Sallie Dahmes and Jan Van Hoesen to name a few. Iam shere thay don't go "ugga ugga" with their customers. Any way it takes time (so i tell my self).Thats a guy's opinion.

Return to Category Menu