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Deer Cape Swap ----Ethics (POLL)----

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by AndyO, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. Well - I suppose when they pick it up you could ask them how they like their antlers - since it really isn't their deer if you swapped out the cape. We already got a guy on here wondering if he got the same bear back. I bet most of my customers would not notice, but, I don't want to have to deal with the ones that would. It's just not ethical to swap it out without asking.

  2. SR1

    SR1 Divorces cost so much cause they are worth it!!!!!

    It is their mount not yours plain and simple I would never do anything like that without the customer approving it first.

  3. Kevin Halle

    Kevin Halle Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't do it without talking with the client!
  4. I have always called the customer to get approval before changing capes, its just the right thing to do, with the exception of one customer whom I had to change the capes on two of his deer, but he is a friend and has always said make my deer as pretty as you can, he does not like scars and cuts and things on his, so knowing this I thought it was OK to change capes and he approved when he picked them up.
  5. Hum and yet will not put two eyes in a fish mount! I see a lot of two sided people posting to this.

    What about the people who would not do a neck mount of something shorter????

    Just a thought if you send it out looking like crap, it may hurt your reputation down the line.

    I would call the client and have them come and see the difference.

    I do know sometimes when youhave washed a cape up and finally gotten it clean it looks different and some people just dont understand that.

    Last year I had two of those dirty nasty bloody capes that looked awesome after they were cleaned up and the clients thought I swtiched capes. Not the fact that their capes were very large for our area and they have zero clue hopw hard a North Ark. deer with a 24-25 inch neck is to find!!!

    I use some shampoos for same stuff I use when showing my paint horse. makes a world of difference.

    Maybe the real cape will not look so bad after its mounted?
  6. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Well-Known Member

    capes are a commodity that i dont just toss in free at random. If there is a problem with a customer cape, i repair it.
    Barring any suitable "fix" (which is rare) i will call the client and offer to SELL him or her a replacement.
  7. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    What in the crap do fish eyes have to do with this thread? John, your posts always confuse me. ::)
  8. Got one im swapping out right now, not saying a word. Cape came in split halfway to the neck, both armpits are cut out, excessive skinning cuts all over. IMO, any hunter who will butcher a deer like this for mounting doesnt know a nictitating membrane from an anal membrane, and sure as hell wont know his cape has been trashed and replaced.
  9. I would like to know how people deal with their customers when their tannery butchers 10-15 capes in a batch you send them? Do you call all 10-15 customers and explain the tannery, they trusted you to use, screwed up their trophies or do you simply mount up the replacement capes the tannery gives you? Does your reputation take a hit if your tannery screws up their hides?

    I've never had a tannery screw up a large batch of capes so I wouldn't know how to handle it. I know there are a few on here that had major amounts of capes trashed though.

    Just so you people know, and no rumors get started, I don't swap out capes without notifying my clients. I did think about it earlier today when I found some unexpected damage to a cape I was working on. Funny how a small puss spot can turn into a softball sized bald spot after a rinse :'(
  10. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    Andy, I have had a very reputable tannery screw up some very expensive capes. I contacted each and every client letting them know the situation. They appreciated the honesty, and my tannery replaced the capes. Everything worked out in the end and since then I have done more work from these clients than I can mention over the years. It is a tough situation and decision, every client is different on how they would react. However, most of the clients I deal with are a great bunch of people who worry more about quality than price. For the record, I do not use this tannery anymore, their service was stressful on alot of occassions.
  11. MattHCT

    MattHCT New Member

    A phone call is quick. Call them!
  12. kennygribbins

    kennygribbins god , family first !!

    call them first save headache later
  13. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Every situation is different. Can depend more on the clients "attitude" than anything. I do tend to lean more in Bill's way of thinking about capes being a commodity. I charge $75-$150 for replacement capes so I generally look forward to a trashed cape & a customer with a Visa card :)
  14. gunner62

    gunner62 Gunners Buckhorn Taxidermy

    I agree with Goerge also what they do not know will not hurt them, I do not want a crappy looking mount on they're wall and them telling people that I mounted it. Most of the cape problems I've incountered have been the guys that ruin the hides dragging them, skinning them, or poor care altogether, never had a customer question a cape upon pick up in 22 years. Kinda like the military DON"T ASK DON"T TELL
  15. mdupertuis

    mdupertuis Active Member

    I have replaced capes and handled it both ways. A few I called and told them when I thawed them out, their capes had some serious damage and they were willing to purchase a replacement. A couple others I either damaged with my fleshing wheel, or the tannery damaged. These I replaced at no charge since it was not the customers fault. I replaced the capes with very similar capes and they were none the wiser. One selling point I use for selling a replacement cape is the turn around time. Since I have a stock of tanned capes on hand, I can put their mount in line sooner since there is no 60-90 day wait for the tannery to get me the hide back. Like Michael P said, every situation is different.
  16. Twisted.

    Twisted. Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

    Im young and dumb but i still have enough sense to do whats right.
    Call YOUR customer and tell them what the deal is, most wont care or will pay. Id never just swap out a cape without letting them know first.

    Its like taking in a 200 inch deer and having it replicated.....you accidently drop the real rack and break a beam off......................but you just continue mounting their deer with the replica instead of the original horns. Still looks the same right?
  17. Kevin M.

    Kevin M. Active Member

    So if they are stupid enough to do all this . Then I hope you are going to charge them for the cape !! Because Stupid should hurt. But unless extra charges are written into your contract. Then you need to call for approval.
  18. sarahdj

    sarahdj Active Member

    In my opinion, and my past experience, ethics are everything when someone trusts you and pays you to take care of them and their critter. Bottom line- the cape doesn't belong to me/us- it's theirs. If it doesn't belong to me- I always, ALWAYS ask. I check it out best I can when it comes in or call them when it thaws for me to handle and mark on my worksheets what it's condition is. If it's iffy- I tell them and give them the option of a replacement. But- if they say no- the replacement if needed later does cost as I've dropped the tanning money and labor into theirs already. It's up to them. But bottom line- it's not my cape and not my place to decide if it's good enough. It belongs to them and it's their call. I have one here now that the guy shot in the face. Both entrance and exits are just below the eyes, and he wants to use his cape. It's his call- his money and his critter! Do I agree? Depends on why he's leaving it. But it's not my call. I do always offer a replacement! What comes out of my shop directly effects what other things come in. If I can't make it work- I tell them- and they knew ahead of time that it was iffy and it would cost if it had to be a re-do. It's my reputation on the line for work quality but also for work ethic and honesty. Before I started taxidermy, I shot my first bear. I took it to a shop closer to where I killed, rather than local, hoping they would have more experience with bear- before I knew what I know now. I got back a totally different bear & it ticked me off pretty bad. It was bigger than mine and it was of different coloration. Mine had a jet black muzzle- this came back brown muzzled. Not paint- fur. I have my hunting pics to back me up. They blamed the tanner. This was a very well-reputed shop that my family had used in the past. They should have let me know the moment there was an issue- not when I was picking up and them hoping I didn't notice! I will never knowingly do that to my customers as I know from experience how that feels.
  19. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Ethical---no, practical--yes. Each situation is different.
  20. sarahdj

    sarahdj Active Member

    I agree Joey- just be upfront about it.