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How long does it take?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by rice194, May 14, 2007.

  1. How long does it take to be good commercial whitetail taxidermist? My second year is winding down and will have completed 50 whitetails. I've had no complaints and have been told I'm better than or just as good as others in the area. That's not why I do it.
    I treat every deer like it is my own and customer satisfaction is number one with me. Anyway, on every deer there's always something I don't like or does not match reference, either eye symmetry is off, or the ear butts are weak , the seam is rough or ear edges are not sharp or maybe the nostril skin moves ever so slightly. I will admit that I am always looking for mistakes ( man I've made allot) but I try to learn from every one. So from you whitetail masters out there how long was it before every thing started to look the way you wanted it to, and match your reference?
     
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    The question is not how long, there is a point in time if you are not happy with your level of craftsmanship, it is then time to pay for some outside help from a pro. Nobody gets better by doing the same mistakes over and over again, or keep doing it for 30 years hoping some day that correct accurate craftsmenship will just show up and make us "good". Commercial deer can be professional grade with some instruction from a teacher/mentor that is in a masters division at your States Association. It is time for you to join and get you craftsmanship TRULY validated to see what areas you need help on. If you knew, you would have them fixed already. Some things only a Doctor can fix, and you have to pay him too. It is time to crack the wallet and get some weekend training, or enter a show and get a critique. Either way, you need to invest in some finish training and you can find it anywhere. But please do not post pictures here and ask just anybody, the instruction received back from pictures here is to soft. You are not the first one to be standing where you are right now. Anyone that gives a crap about customer service will have a continuous improvement mentality. My advice is to pay the price, bite the bullet, and go spend a few days with Bill Yox, Joe Meader, or any other quality instructor around. The State Show is the cheapest lesson you can get, and the return always pays you back if you invest the effort to get to a show, or hire a pro.
    Personally, I hate to give a customer a commercial grade mount, when I know I can do better for them. I want to give them my best, commercial seems like grade "B" in my book. Everyone that hasn't been to a show believes their commercial work is "as good if not better then most around" until they get to the show and have an eye opener. Uncredited taxidermist have no idea where they stand on quality if they go by friends and family's critiques. An outsource advice from someone other then the taxidermist down the road, will do you wonders, and the best taxidermist are at the shows. If you want to be among the best, go to where they are. Guys that don't go to the shows for improvement, let them do the "commercial grade" mounts.
     

  3. Shannon

    Shannon New Member

    280
    0
    Great advice, Mr. T. I don't think that there is a set time when everything just comes together for you and your deer look like you want them to. Everyone has a different learning curve, some may learn faster than others. I'm a whitetail only guy, learned from Joe Meder, been doing whitetail only taxidermy work for seven seasons, competed in 2 competetions so far, and still am not completely happy with my work. I think that always stiving to do better is what seperates the great taxidermists from all the rest. By not trying to do better on each piece, your work will stagnate, and will never get better than what you are now putting out. You have got the right attitude. Now as Mr. T said, go get some higher training,and enter your states competition. It surely won't make you a worse taxidermist. ;)
     
  4. Mr.T thanks for the Great advice and I mean that sincerely. Your right customers who really don't know what there looking at ( the fine details I mean) and comparing my work to some mediocre taxidermist down the street does no good. I guess you made me realize I'm at the limit of my knowledge of what a deer looks like and how to achieve it. I will be making plans to take a class from Joe Meder or Bill Yox or one of the other whitetail masters.
     
  5. R Qualls

    R Qualls New Member

    Dont forget Tommy Hall in North Carolina
     
  6. Todd K

    Todd K New Member

    I have been putting deer together for 14 years. I dont consider myself a "master taxidermist" as far as competition work goes but I do consider myself a very good comercial taxidermist. I agree with Mr. T, Find someone fairly close to your location and pay for a one on one lesson. Also, just having good reference to look at will not get you to a higher level of taxidermy. You have to learn how to interpret what your looking at. Also, you have to be satisfied with the amount of money you are making in relationship to the quality of work your putting out. In my professional opinion, make sure you will be able to get top dollar for your work. Especially if you get some training. I made that mistake years ago and I'm still paying for it! Join your local taxidermy assciation and you will meet some excellent taxidermists who will be willing to help you out. Plus, you will have access to some great seminars and workshops. Good luck on your journey to becomming the best taxidermist you can possibly be!
    Todd
    Woods & Water Taxidermy
    Ohio
     
  7. driller

    driller Guest

    That's some good advice.