Lifesize Black Bear Hide

Submitted by River Rat on 1/24/06 at 3:07 PM. ( )

Wondering what it costs to have a tannery tan a lifesize cape. Bear was 370lbs live weight about 6 1/2 foot long. Reason i am wondering is that i have had a bear at a taxidermist for 16 months and the only thing that has been done was the hide was sent out and tanned. I was told 1 year max on turnaround, well that was 4 months ago. Just callled the taxi and nothing has been done. I was told end of January it would be done, well unless they bust there a** it won't be done by then. Seems like every time i call them oh it will be another month. The new excuse is , well its tax season money tight. F**k that they have $1,000 dollars of my money, my hide, and my P&Y skull. I am usually pretty calm but i am getting a little agitated if you can't tell. Once i find out what it cost to get the hide tanned i may go and get the hide, skull, and my freakin money minus the cost of the tan. This is the first thing i have ever had mounted and also my first bear,and it was even with my bow. I am trying to quit smoking and this stress is really not helping
Thanks for any info!

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Tanning Black Bear Hide

This response submitted by Jerry on 1/24/06 at 3:51 PM. ( )

I would have charged you around $600 to tan the hide and that would have included fleshing, salting and shipping the hide to the tannery and the turn-a-round time should have only been 10 months at the most. I hate to say it, but you may never see that bear again. Good luck and I hope your successful at getting the bear back.

River Rat

This response submitted by Jim B on 1/24/06 at 3:52 PM. ( )

Sounds like a really nice bear.I know it's really frustrating waiting for something you want so badly.I won't make excuses for your taxidermist because I don't know his situation.I will tell you that it's not that unusual for a person to get behind in this business because a taxidermist never knows how much work may come in between the time you drop your work and when it is mounted.All the guy can do is give you a good faith estimate on time based on the last couple years.You need to know that someone had to also skin and flesh that bear and that's a lot of tedious labor on top of tanning costs and shipping to and from the tannery (which isn't cheap these days.Also keep in mind that when you pull it from him,you need to take it to someone else and start the waitng process all over again.I assume you thought he was a reputable taxidermist and you liked the quality of your work or you wouldn't have trusted him with a trophy like that that obviously means a lot to you.Why not go in, talk to him again register your concerns,ask him if you are sure he can meet his most recent time estimate and then be a little patient.Check back to see if things are progressing.If his work is good and you can get it in another month or two,I think that would be your best option.My guess is,you are fuming because you've been holding a lot of this inside and haven't said what you want to say-to him.If it were me,I'd do it calmly but get to the point.I wouldn't want a taxidermist mounting my bear after I insulted him or made him mad.I personally do my best work when I'm calm,unstressed and in a good mood.Good luck to you and congrats on the bear.

Quite A dilemma

This response submitted by Tenbears on 1/24/06 at 9:00 PM. ( )

First Off. "Jerry" Your post was accurate. Right up until you assumed that because the taxidermist was overworked, he was automatically a thief.

Jim, I liked your post. It was made with reason, and rationality in mind.

Riverrat. My heart goes out to you, and to your Taxidermist Too.
I do realize your bear is important to you. and you are in a hurry. I also realize that the taxidermist is running over his projected date of completion. But I am willing to bet you have NO contract. so whatever "he Said" Now Just On an estimation I will bet you have called the guy a dozen times. Just to check how things were going. the first 3 you talked about your bear, hunting, and relived the hunt. Probably kept the man on the phone 30 minuets each time. Then you have called to check a few more maybe tied up 10 minuets of his time. That equates to 2 hours of his time. Now imagine if 200 customers do the same thing. that 2 hours now becomes 400 hours. Lets take that 400 hours and divide it by an 8 hour day. IT equals 50 days. divide that by 5 days a week, and you have 10 weeks. Two and a half months, that means if all goes correctly you and others like you have caused the man to become 2 1/2 months behind. The worst of it is that is 2 1/2 months of time he is not going to get paid for. to be honest. After you called the third time. I would have moved your project to the back of the list. which is what he probably did. Now to make things worse. you are expecting a P&Y skull back, although it is posable for a 370 Pound bear to make Pope & Young rarely does one in that size range have the 18 inches required. Trust me I mount in excess of 40 bear a year, and guided for bear for 10 years. It might make it. but I would not count on it.
When you get your skull back, and it does not make it. You will undoubtedly swear the guy kept your skull. You must have liked the guy, and thought he did quality work. or you would not have brought the bear to him. I suggest you be patient. Next time look for a taxidermist that will give you a contract spelling out completion times, because you can bet right now you will not get any of your deposit back. He can and will justify keeping it all.


This response submitted by Ron on 1/24/06 at 9:19 PM. ( )

Was the taxidermist named Shawn McCrary?

Heard a similar story recently regarding a wolf.

River Rat

This response submitted by Ron on 1/24/06 at 10:03 PM. ( )

River Rat,

It's not tax season - but I think the MONEY IS TIGHT part is correct.

Look for more excuses to be coming your way. You WON'T get your deposit back and the guy would love for you to walk away from that.

I'd let the guy know you're not going away and that you will be in touch regularly and that you are documenting everything. Send him a certified letter with a xeroxed copy of the receipt and xeroxs of any other docs you have on the bear. In my experience, your likelyhood of getting your bear will go up if your are persistant and have good documentation. When you end the conversation with the taxidermist, advise him, "I'll call you in 10 days for an update." I just want to check in and stay involved.

It's not going to help you to get Sh**ty.

Everyone should do mucho research before they hand their dollars over to someone. This is a common story.



This response submitted by River Rat on 1/25/06 at 9:07 AM. ( )

Thanks to all who responded. I know they have my hide back from the tannery because i saw it. All they have to do is put it together. Its not my fault that money is tight, they have more $ of mine than the reqiured deposit so get my form and mount the thing. A friend of mine has had 2 bear mounted by this person and the longest it took was 11 months. That was half the reason i took it to them, beacause they were a couple months faster. I even know a person who took their bear to the taxi 2 months after i did and they had it back in less than a year. Why did their bear get done before mine? I do not care if the bear is world class when i get it that will be the last time i ever take anything to this person. I have already taken my business elsewhere with a whitetail, and a few wood ducks. I was told the wood ducks would be done in 6 months it only took 4. My buck from this year he told me April probably will get it in March at the latest. This guy is a real professional and works his but off, i cant tell you how many times i have driven by his shop at midnight and he is still working. He may be 10% more expensive but it is worth every penny with his work and no B.S. ever.

River Rat

This response submitted by Jim B on 1/25/06 at 3:15 PM. ( )

I don't blame you for getting discouraged or for switching to a taxidermist you like better.That's the consequences of getting behind in your work.Tenbears makes a really important point about customers calling and asking about their stuff.Customers have no idea the cumulative affect of this on the businesse's schedule.This is labor intensive work and every minute spent talking and listening to customer's hunting stories,robs work time.This is especially critical if the taxidermist is the only worker.I don't believe for a minute that you are not going to get your bear back.There is however no reason for the other customer to get his back ahead of you and there is no reason why you can't bring it up and ask why.It might give you a little leverage and him a little incentive to get moving.Glad you found a taxidermist you like.Hang in there,hope you get your bear soon.Just remember,the new taxidermist sounds good and sounds like he'll be getting more work because of it.Word of mouth gets around.guess what this leads to? Don't get mad if in a year or two he accumulates more work than he can handle and gets behind-mark my words.It happens to the best of them.

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