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The Dark Side to the Taxidermy Net

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by George, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    OK, i't vent time and time to piss in a few bowls of Post Toasties.

    For all the good things this site had given to our industry, the one that has suddenly begun to bother me is where people who couldn't find their asses with both hands become instant icons passing out information to those who simply don't know any better. You know the syndrome, "Well, I read it on the Taxidermy Net so it must be true." Well, I hate to break the news, but this site has allowed some to rise above the level of their incompetence. Pure and simple.

    Many times individuals will post pictures of work that just terrible and inevitably, someone will chirp that the mount looks "great" or "super job". That's a great reason for the quality of work in this industry to look as it does. I'v always claimed that my work is "average", but after seeing some of the things out there that I've seen, I don't know if my work is that bad.

    Some guy asks how to remove the cases off sheep or better yet, bighorns. I simply don't understand where the problem lies. If you cut the horns off and put them in a plastic bag, by the time most of you get home from your trip, they're going to be rotted free anyway. Then you simply THROW the horns onto the floor and 9 times out of 10, the cases slip off and the skull is a slimy stinky mess that has to be cleaned up and the cores clipped. For pronghorns I'm constantly hearing "Put them in a microwave". EXCUSE ME? Pronghorn horns are modified hair just like a rhinocerous. A microwave heats from the center out. To microwave a pronghorn horns, you take a very real chance of blowing your horn up. That hair will split because something has to give inside that horn when the marrow is boiling. No one bothers to tell you "how long" or "at what heat setting". I assure you, if you leave your horns in MY microwave for 20 minutes as I heard one guy suggest, you may as well get out the cheeze and plan on eating that sucker.

    How many have seen, how do I make my own fleshing wheel, bird tumbler, PAPER MACHE? If you are that damned cheap or that poor, you really do need to consider another line of work. And I don't care if you DID steal the materials from your employer and use his equipment to weld them, that's TIME that can be better used in other venues.

    Next,it's the constant NO BRAINER: Where can I find a good source of salt? Excuse me? I mean what kind of knot head wouldn't have done that before he did lots of other things. Most anyone knows that you can buy large bags of food grade salt from Costco or SAMS or even Food Lion. You could even find a local bakery and see about buying it there Next comes the cheaper grades of salt like cattle feed stores and the Tractor Supply. How can ANYONE perform taxidermy without SALT? And if you had to buy one pound boxes, store name brands are less than 50 cents a pound. Yet once a week, sometimes twice, every week, some new guy shows up and asks that same dumbassed question.

    The scariest has become these home "tans". I don't care if you are Julius Caesar, if you home tan a rare and valuble animal, you're a nitwit! ANYONE who insists on tanning bears, the big 4, the grand slam, buffalo, elk, or any of those animals that cost you more than $500 to shoot is just an idiot looking for natural selection. What happens if something goes wrong??? WHAT? You screw around with a Marco Polo, a muskox, an nyala, or a grizzly bear and you don't have enough money to buy paper mache or your own fleshing machine, where in the hell are you going to get the money to buy a replacement hide? You can rest pretty assured that the hunter who took the animal can afford a good lawyer - how about you? And don't insult me by telling me that you're protected in your contract by that "Tanning is done at the owners risk.". Yeah, right! The dumbass who spilled hot coffee in her lap at McDonalds will tell you different. You can get sued for anything and on the odd chance that they win, what do you do next? Joe Kulis was sued by a lady who didn't know all her poodle's guts were removed for freezedrying. SHE WON! Luckly, Joe accepted a TV offer from some washed up hack of a judge, but had it been in real life, it CAN HAPPEN. As I posted in another thread, I have the customer sign the contract stating that I"m sending his hide out to a commercial venture to be tanned and I have no responsibility until that hide is returned to me. I've insulated myself a bit, but I'm STILL capable of being sued.

    Now I feel better. Especially knowing that some of you will never admit to having some of those ugly babies yourself.
  2. RJ Simington

    RJ Simington Active Member

    Come on George, Its too close to christmas to get your grinch on LOL.

    I think that most of us that actualy run a taxidermy studio would agree with everything you said.

    Except, My tanning is done in my studio & I mix my own hide paste. He he he.

    Just had to say that.

    Have a good holiday season George.

  3. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    Geeez George,,,,,Hope that isnt about those sheep I need done asap.... I agree I am a Nitwit, but this is a special circumstance...... ;D ;D
  4. bill@hogheaven

    [email protected] New Member

    George ...Some of the chances I see people take with irreplaceable trophies scares the hell out of me. The high praise some of these mounts get swells some heads Im sure. This IMO is why so much mediocrity & down right lousey taxidermy is out there. The final straw is to see someone live in beginners for a few months & then start sharing their "expertise" to all who will listen. The blind leading the blind.
  5. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    AHHA!!! this is about me!!!! ::) ;D ;D
  6. nibjones

    nibjones Join your States Taxidermy Assoc.

    Very good post, George. I wonder the same things sometimes, especially when someone who has mounted one or two deer heads give some one else a great job, I hope my third looks like that. Granted, I am not perfect, nor do I know everything but, I don't claim to either. Very good.
  7. Actually George I am agreeing with you. You are so right. I have felt the very same way for a long long time. I'm just glad YOU are the one who plastered it on the forum. You have a thicker hide then most and can take the beating that is about to begin by the very same you just have written about. ;) :D
  8. RDA

    RDA Active Member

    ok Ill play, ;D This is a PUBLIC forum, with all levels of talent from below novice to some purdy good uns! :eek: ::) all are entitled to a voice. Yes, ive seen the posts George refers to, and he has a point to a point... :D But the right of all is freedom of speech an important ingredient of this forum not to mention the constitution... ;D Now let me ask you,,,,,has there been a post by some "newbie" that made you think- maybe click a light on for ya???? HHHHMMMMM ??? :D I know Ive had that expirience- just sayin ;D
  9. jvbj01

    jvbj01 New Member

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with this site.
  10. Moosabec Taxidermy

    Moosabec Taxidermy New Member

    George, that was a very good honest commentary and I have to agree with everything you said, but only to a point... Many new people come here to learn about taxidermy, and I feel we owe it them to share what we have learned over the years? Taxi-net didn't exist when I first started, and had it of existed back then it would of saved me from making many needless "stupid" mistakes that could of been easily avoided... I see that few of us do things the same way, but does it always make the end result wrong because you personally don't do it that way, or you think we're stupid for asking or trying something new or something we just don't know how to do and someone jumps on and gives them an answer which at times may be wrong or just something from another point of view? For an example, I like Krotann, you don't, but it works and many good leading taxi professionals in here swear by it. Time will tell I soppose, and from the way it's going it will long out live you and I...I also realize that not everything discussed in here is always totally the correct way to do things, but some of the info gathered in here is damn good stuff... Like you George, I'm just an average taxidermist still trying to perfect my craft, and like you, I'm old schooled, but I still have the ability to learn and I've learned many interesting things in here, and by the same token, I've seen some stupid stuff discussed in here to that I hoped that the person reading it would have enough common sense to avoid it, but none the less, do we throw the baby out with the dirty bath water here? No, keep and protect the baby, throw out the dirty water, and put in some clean water and finish him up the right way... And law suits, awww, lets not go there, I just averted one by the skin of my teeth, and I wont mention why because you said that I lost credibility in here for coming in here voicing my concerns on that matter which by the way turned out be a successful happy ending... George, you're probably one of the most knowledgeable taxis in here and your taxi skills may far surpass mine, no doubt, I've read your threads, but don't slam the ones trying, or the ones not as high up the ladder as you are. You were a newbi once too, so soon you forget... So, help us George, to become good knowledgable taxidermist because thats why most of us are in here, TO LEARN, but too much bickering and bitching, I KNOW I'M GUILTY AS CHARGED, but, it has become the norm in here, AND THAT IS THE PROBLEM, and that will be the reason for the ultimate failure of this valuable site... And that would be a tragety because we can't seem to agree to disagree and that is the reason for why too many stupid fights occure and that more than the false and wrong information given in here is whats going to kill this site...
  11. catman

    catman Active Member

    George, I make my own paste and mache, have for twenty four years. I have tanned hundreds of irreplacable skins and I have even asked some other local guys where they get thier salt. Some would say your work is below average some would say mine mine is. What difference is it to you that people voice an opinion? There is no one out there that is above criticism. Are you just having a bad day? Maybe feeling a little underappreciated? I know you as someone who is passionate about this Taxidermy world we dwell in, but come on old man you can post better than this.
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Look, I said what I said and I'll keep saying it. It was NOT about Ron and it was NOT about Krowtann, it was about the symptomatic attitude that has come here. When we started, we had real honest to goodness icons here. Bill and Rick were, of course, but we had John Bellucci, Patrick Rummans, Jan Van Hoesen, Dave Luke, JL, Richard Christoforo, Lars Jensen, and other truly gifted professionals. They tired of having to speak down to "those individuals exercising their right on a public forum to voice their opinons" and they drifted away. We're really close to this being a beauty contest with everyone blowing roses up everyone else's ass.

    As far as liking or not liking Krowtann, it's irrelevant, simply because my comment stands alone. I wouldn't use MY FAVORITE on those hide either. As for it being a "rush", Ron, I always figured that today is the gift that might not see a tomorrow. If they want it "fast", the "fast" is still decided on my terms or they are welcome to take it elsewhere. There's still that basic lack of understanding of animal physiology. Many of you've seen those EXTENDED bears that look like weenies or extended muzzles on deer that make them look like anteaters. And in those gawdawful, hideous pieces, SOMEONE says "Great Job". Now just what does that say about YOU??? If YOU don't step up, then you are being assumed to agree with the compliment.

    I've gotten a host of PM's already on this and one guy implied that perhaps he shouldn't say something because it would offend ME because this person was a friend of mine. Sorry guys, I love most of you, but I'm still a fat old bear when it comes to the truth. If your work looks like the south end of a chicken flying north, I'm just gonna tell you. Read the signature line carefully. I live that.
  13. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Good post George, but you are preaching to the choir...the ones who need to read this probably never will. I love this forum, I spend way too much time here, but there were so many years that I was having to figure stuff out on my own, that I cannot resist checking in here several times during the day to see what tidbit of information I can learn.

    I really miss the Orange search button option. I believe lots less people are "searching" for information before asking questions in the new forum than the old one.
  14. I am in no was a pro, or have I been in the industry for years and years... but I have learned a lot, and most through trial and error. And 99% of it all from this site.

    I have used bondo and earliners.
    I have used a tannery, DP, LiquaTan and Krowtan.
    I have wrapped bodies and used pre-made forms.
    I have used a fleshing machine, hand fleshed and used a pressure washer.
    I used mache, clay and apoxie sculpt on eyes.
    I have washed birds in soap and gasoline.
    I have used expensive 2 lb. boxes of salt from the grocery store and cattle grade salt from the feed store.
    I have used real bird heads as well as artifical heads.
    And the list goes on.......

    Every one of these things have started out as a beginner's question post and turned into a great debate. And usually it is one of the "pros" who chime in right away either denouncing or promoting each thing. Who is right, which product is the best, which method is the correct one? There is no answer to that, and no one has the right to say one or the other. Suggestions can be made, facts and chemical properties can be listed, even picture turtorials can be posted. But no one can say what is right and wrong. I have seen beautiful trophies costing hundreds of dollars mounted with DP, horrible mounts with capes from top notch tanneries, Best of Show mounts with bondo ears.

    I guess my question is, why the aggressive stance on these diffrent methods and products? If they dont work for you, dont use them. Sure, let others know of your bad experiences with something, all helps newbies. But to slam someone for using something you dont like, well,....
  15. Mike_Pa

    Mike_Pa New Member

    Its a Fourm thing,same thing happends in the Call industry...Guys post a picture and bang...there it is...boy thats a nice Call...bet it sounds as good as it looks.When ya know dang well the guy just started and the Call sound like Chit ..lol But on the other hand I see when the comments can be helpful to push new comers to strive for better because it made them happy.But again its the same dumb questions...How thick is your pot...How do you hollow out your Call...same ole same ole.But when sombody needs help in that field,I will help them. This site and my Taxi friend has helped me learn and will try and not ask the same ole same ole...lol As far as Building a Flesher...not to sound like an Ass,but being on a Fixed income 1900 dont come easy or 500 for that matter.I dont think that question is unreasonable. I have seen Fleshing Machines and inspected them and watched them being run. They are of Elementary level construction. I could build one in 7th grade Metal shop. Having said that.....was the dumb question of Flesher RPM I posted a while back causing people to lose sleep?? If so...I appoligize!! I will build a Flesher BETTER than Quebec,Dakota or what ever. Maybe people need to be knocked off a high horse where there a legand in there own mind in any business Thanks for listening!

    P.S. This wasnt directed at anyone! Im here to make friends and learn and just have fun.
  16. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    Like Joe Kish said in the 70's , "The problem with taxidermy is it has no standards" . It's now almost 2009 and "taxidermy still has no standards" 39 years later. The price structure is a glaring example of the lack of standards in price alone. You have 175.00 dollar deer heads and 800.00 deer heads. Jonas Bros was getting 250.00 in the 80's , 29 years ago. Moose ,you have a 600.00 head and 15 to 1800.00 dollar Moose heads. Not sure on the fish but I think I read 8.00 a inch and also up to 30.00 a inch.
    With all the books ,video's and tapes and school and work shops there is no reason there should be bad work out there. But why do a decent job when "you can't get that price in your area" Some shops are quite capable of good work, as they exhibit in their show pieces BUT their prices a predicated on a lessor quality . Why , because they "can't get that price in their area ", "no standards" and if we are as dumb as George says we all know the public is even dumber.
    I know that in these places where you can't get that price in your area that everything costs less, auto's truck,s TV,s ,camera,s gas, stoves,s , your UPS driver is only getting 2/3 rds the salery of the one,s in the urban jungle , even your federal income taxes are figured at a lower percentage than the big city taxes. I understand that , you have me convinced. God, I need to find those little pieces of Utopian white bread America. You guys are keeping a good secret here, and I don't blame you a bit.
    You are correct George and things will never change, it's the nature of this theoretical business.
  17. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    You mentioned the Constitution and freedom of speech . I think Obama is going to roll up that Constitution real tight and put it where the sun don't shine along with freedom of speech so grab your ankles and wince as there will be no reach around or KY jelly to go with it .
  18. The ones that really get under my skin are the ones that are looking something for free. I have answered several post, about capes for beginners, already split fleshed and tanned. But they are always looking something cheaper, because they are newbies and don't have the extra cash to put into it. Or, they are looking supplies or forms or someone to skin and turn and flesh their animals because they don't know how, but they want it done cheap or free. Everytime someone ask about supplies I post a link to "WASCO", I guess they have trouble finding it.
  19. NJTrapper

    NJTrapper Member

    George, I think I know what you are talking about. It's almost like a political correctness. If a newbie puts up a mount and you can see the flaws why tell them "great job" If they are putting that mount up for all to see and are asking for a critique, how are we, anybody, helping them by telling them it looks great. Right from the get go they should be told. I started taxidermy in the 70's on my own, hand wrapping bodies and they looked like crap. I got away from it because there was no one to teach me. Now we have the internet, and you can post your questions and show what you are doing and get feed back from some great people in the field of taxidermy. Although I have been doing taxidermy for years, I feel like a newbie with all the new products there are, I'm playing catch up. I have joined my state association to learn more, and this last show in July I got my hat handed to me. And to that I say Thank-You to the judge. Not so much that the mount was bad, I did not pull off "the wet look" and was told so. If every judge told me I did a great job, How would I learn anything? George, I know, in the future, if I should post any mounts for critique, I will definitely count on folks like yourself to hammer it and not blow roses up my arse, by all means tell me my baby is ugly.
  20. BWS

    BWS New Member

    I agree with the post....

    Hee-Hee...however, i'm in the same boat with RJ...i don't send skins out to tan, and i mix my own paste ;)