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What are the most frustrating things you experience as a commercial taxidermist?

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by kjjones, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. kjjones

    kjjones New Member

    I just thought it would be interesting to hear what y'all find to be the most frustrating thing(s) you have to deal with being a commercial taxidermist. I am a beginner myself but thought it would be interesting to hear all the not so good stuff that I and others might have to look forward to in the future of starting our own businesses.
  2. Tri-State

    Tri-State Member

    One thing that bothers me is the thanklessness of being a boss. This probably caries over for most industries. Customers and employees don't care as much as the owner does. Customers and employees don't care that the owner does care the most. To the customers all taxidermists are trying to screw their customers. To employees all bosses are out to screw them. An employee won't even tell you thankyou on payday when he gets his check and you have to go home and tell your wife you still couldn't pay yourself and you sit down at a table to look in your kids eyes as they eat macaroni and cheese for the third time this week. When you get to work the following Monday half the employees show up hungover and some not at all. Then they start crying about how tough they have it and they aren't being compensated enough. You will bend over backwards to help a client and not get compensated for it and then he won't even say thank you. Everybody will want your help and your favors and not a one of them would notice if you were dead tomorrow.

    I am not crying about it. I am telling you the facts of being a business owner because you asked. I chose this life.

  3. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Tri-State, there was a time and not too long ago that I felt the same way that you do. You are correct in your statements that it's all about everybody else and nobody gives a rats azz about you. I've tried to change that though at least in my business. It has taken me 30 years to FINALLY get a group of guys that I TRUST, RESPECT, and ENJOY to be working for me. NO DRAMA!!! I hope and pray that nothing changes at least for a while!!!!! Ha Ha!! I know what you mean about nobody caring. I can tell that you do because it bothers you so much.....Hang in there, that macaroni and cheese ain't that bad......!
  4. bzb_1

    bzb_1 Member

    X2 on what Tri-State has said...I am not full time taxidermist but running the small business that I have and my wife has an extremely successful small business with about 20 employees. It is frustrating helping her. She comes home constantly complaining about why her server didn't do what they were supposed to and I have to remind her that they don't care... I have had numerous jobs before starting my career as a police officer. Each of those jobs I always advanced to being a supervisor. When I was a volunteer firefighter I advanced to captain. I LOVED LOVED LOVED each of those jobs until I became the boss...In the police academy they came to me and asked me to be the class president and I rejected it...the president that was picked second ended up getting fired and I was elected and took the job...guess what I loved the academy until I became president of the class...the other recruits drove me crazy...My current supervisors keep trying to push me to compete to get promoted but I continue to reject. Its for the exact reasons Tri-State has laid out.
    People don't generally work or care as much as I do and it irritates me to no end. I truly enjoy taxidermy but if I ever get to the point where I have employees I am pretty certain that I wont enjoy it as much as I do now. Right now my biggest complaint is slow customers coming to get their stuff...I always get a deposit but did not when I was a beginner and it was a huge irritation then.
  5. Looking at all the 160" plus whitetails, and I cant kill one. :( :( :( :( :'( :'( :'( :'(
  6. Buckhorn TS

    Buckhorn TS New Member

    This one gets me. How can a person make a living with this price?

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire

    Attached Files:

  7. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    WOW Ben all 3 of mine say thank you EVERY time I hand them the check.

    Harry. It's nice when you don;t have to look over anyone shoulder and they know what you as the boss wants and expects and demands.

    The Biggest BITCH, It''s part timers that will never understand the REAL taxidermy BUSINESS. Relying on it totally for your income and others that rely on your for a job.
  8. adamstaxidermy

    adamstaxidermy New Member

    Customers not picking up their mounts in a timely manner has become my biggest complaint lately. Customers don't seem to understand that just like them, their Taxidermist expects and depends on payday at the end of a work-week. ALWAYS get a deposit before starting!!!
  9. chrisfeldt

    chrisfeldt New Member

    Tri-State: I think that what you say is partially true, most of the time. However, where I work, a great many of us are appreciative of our boss and our customers. We do thank the boss and not just on payday. Thanking a boss only on payday would kind of be disingenuous. Plus, if we didn't value our customers well enough we would be biting off the hands that feed us. Perhaps I'm just too old fashioned compared to the modern worker, but in my experience every workplace has a mixture of good and bad employees. And don't forget, that in some places (not where I work) there are inconsiderate bosses who care little for their employees or customers. :)
  10. I am a one woman operation so I don't have to worry about a boss or employees and lucky for me most of my customers pick up their birds when they are completed. I think that getting in pin feathered and shot up birds are the most frustrating and also after I spent many hours on a mount a customer just shoves them in their cars hitting their wings and/or having their dogs with them and letting them sniff and lick them! Other than that I love what I do and I try not to get stressed out by keeping it to a bird a day. ;D
  11. kjjones

    kjjones New Member

    Thank you to all for all the replies already. Its really great to hear about all the not so good sides of taxidermy and the aggravations and how you all handle them!
  12. Richard C

    Richard C Well-Known Member

    Buckhorn TS
    That's nothing, there's a long established taxidermist in New Hampshire that advertises Moose shoulder mounts for $750.00 and a second taxidermists in NH that's ads call for $800.00 with a after season newspaper ad price of $500 or 550.00 ,forgot which. They must have a "in house" form company and 55 gallon barrel of dry preservative.
    The more taxidermy advances the more it stays the same or steps backward.
  13. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    Tri-State pretty much nailed it.
  14. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Tanneries, endless long hours, the customer who tries to bully you around. Not very often but every now and then you get a customer who you cannot please no matter what you do. I have concluded that these types are control freaks, and maybe even a little jealous of you , I'm not quite sure though. I will change one or maybe two minor things on a piece but that's all, I refuse to be pushed around in my own business. Anyone who's done this very long knows who I'm talking about, it's like " can you pull that ear forward just a little maybe a 1/4 " or so" , that left leg just isn't quite right " Catman posted a m lion on here a couple of years ago that a customer sent back and it was absolutely beautiful, couldnt have been mounted better,when I saw it I thought oh boy he's got one of those! So it happens to everyone if you're in it long enough. This business is no different from any other, as you can see from the responses , PEOPLE are what cause all the serious headaches.
  15. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    I disagree Jerry. Were the A-holes. It's always the taxidermists fault. Cuz we are out to screw all of our customers.
  16. backcountrychad

    backcountrychad Active Member

    My issue are the wanna be part-timers. They all think its gonna be puppies and rainbows. They undercut you on price, (after friending you and picking you for how to info.) Then stick their business cards everywhere you have yours. I could go on and on.
  17. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    LOL Jerry you had to mention 1/4 inch on a deer. ear ...LOL

    I have done work for this client...I saved a rotten green bear he hadn't found for 2 days then skinned it and took it to HIS taxidermist...
    His Taxidermist went fishing that day and his bear was lying on the floor in his shop. He called me and asked what I thought about saving the bear
    A friend of his told him I can save just about anything, I had for him....
    His guys REGULAR TAXIDERMIST looked at it said I will flesh it salt it tomorrow and sent it off if it tans okay of not it's lost and he took the day off fishing a weds.
    Left the bear on the floor , IT"s JUNE GUYS !
    I told him to go get his bear from this guys wife... he did . It was GREEN I mean green and stunk to high heaven.
    A Gallon of DA and lots of salt while I fleshed and a spray of pure concentrated lysol and I got it done LATE that night.
    Turned out okay.

    The next year he shoots a nice buck bow hunting 2 days later he finds it, This one was neon green. I had to rough fleshed, real rough, this one and get it into a pickle within only 10 minutes salted and lower the ph to 0 to save IT .

    He decides the following year to get a deer mounted he gets it back complaining about the price all the way, He can't understand why I'm $175 more than his regular guy! and..... ALL I HEAR IS ONE EAR IS ABOUT is one ear is 1/4 to far back for his liking....and everyone that comes into his bow shop hears nothing about the rotten bear that we saved or the 2 day old oct bow killed that lay dead in for 2 days and saved that one....They here about the deer and are shown the ear he doesn;t like !!! He picked the ear pose out of a book and I missed getting it right it by 1/4 of an inch! LOL

    This year he get a bear calls me and tells me on the phone this year when I quote him the list price....."Dennis your good but your too expensive, I have to take it somewhere else"......LOL Seriously he said that to me on the phone.... I said OKAY and hung up...I'll bet he was waiting to here something other than CLICK...

    PS I never charged him more to save crap rotten bear or deer...

    If your in this business for the love forget it...If you die tomorrow your clients will just go elsewhere....LOL

    HOW SOON your hard work and extra's are forgotten...I won't be missed by many when I'm gone....You have got to laugh about it.... 1/4 " inch LOL
  18. Michelle_Nelson

    Michelle_Nelson Bring on the Bears!

    Seriously what do you say when a customer says something like that to you? A 1/4" on a deers ear? Thats rediculous to me.

    I've got 2 guys (Father & Son) coming to the shop today. Supposed to be bringing me $1000. A Deposit that I should have had years ago. Had the Dad's Half Life Size Bear since 2009 and His Sons shoulder mount Bull Elk since 2010. They have given me $100 each a total of $200 when they were dropped off. I am already into there mounts $950 between forms, tanning, and labor.

    I'm sure it's going to be MY fault for not staying on there ass to bring me there 50% deposit. I'm not there Mother. How many times do I need to tell them? Even though it is in my contract that they signed. I tell them when it is dropped off. Also have told them repetedly since taking in the item. I'm probably going to have to listen to then tell me over and over how they don't remember me telling them about the 50% deposit.
  19. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    I actually like the other Taxidermists around me. Most I have good dealings with and if I need eyes or a jawset on short notice I can go to them and vice versa. I will never run out of work and cheaper taxidermists work full time at keeping cheap customers out of my shop! After 30 some years in this business it's burnout I fear most. When I was younger I was a machine, but now I have to ease up on the gas at times. When I am done with this new shop I am going to consider finding a young gung-ho taxidermist and put them at a workstation.
  20. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

    I hate all of it. Lol But im just a part time wanna be. No actually I wouldn't wanna be full time. As it is iv lost all my hair on my head and my beard is turning white.