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Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Artie mags, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Artie mags

    Artie mags New Member

    Did a mount for a guy more than 2 years ago.Well got 50% down so I was covered. He then goes to jail so I figure I'll never see this guy again. Well when out of jail his buddy contacts me and asks if he contacted me to get the deer.I said no.He then tells me he was going to the Va and wouldnt be back for 6 months. After many attemps over the 2 year period I Basically wrote it off as gone. Since in NJ you cant sell antlered mounts I had to keep it. Well my son gets a new girlfriend who loves deer and hunting and shooting.When she came to my house she loved all the mounts. She really wanted one so yep I gave her the mount that I figured would never be picked up.Well of course after she had it for 5 days this guy calls me and says he is ready to pick up his deer!!! Luckily I got it back from her and he now has his deer and I was paid the balance.. Funny thing is actually was a good thing that law was on the books or he would have been SOL!!
  2. What I do, is when I get stuck with one and someone has a deer with a bad cape I just swap the horns out and give them that deer.

  3. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I hope you got storage fees. I had a guy with a similar story. He called on his pheasant mount after two years, I gave him the total outstanding balance and he refused to pay it, so I donated the mount to PF. He gave me a sob story about going to jail. Boohoo, I asked him if he thought my mortgage company would accept that as an excuse, the answer was obviously no but he got the point.
  4. cameron2

    cameron2 Well-Known Member

    Hahahah!! Tell him it will be done in two more months . . . you've got it on express order at the tannery!!
  5. Hedhuntr

    Hedhuntr Member

    I got a guy who brought me two sets of antlers to put on one large plaque. I took them in with the promise of a deposit in a week. Since I have done 2 other mounts for him I just went ahead and did it. Well a year later no pickup. I called him several times and left messages and finally got a hold of him and he tells me he's now separated from his wife, he's living at his sisters yada yada yada. I told him for the price of a tank and a half of gas you just screwed an honest guy trying to make a living.
  6. Fawn

    Fawn New Member

    There is a local guy here who had a bear rug done by another taxidermist about 17 years ago and due to a divorce and move and yada yada yada he never picked it up. Every time I see him he asks, "Hey do you think that guy still has my bear? I should go pick it up." Hahah, I tell him not likely but you have to ask him! I think he expects me to track it down for him - pft.
  7. I took one my daughter shoot 2 years ago to a local guy, before I felt comfortable doing one on my own. I hate to go get because I feel I gave my word to pay him for his work. Anyway every time I call him it is the same story "about another month" at $300 pay and I have the rest in hand. Guess it goes both ways for some.
  8. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    I was stuck with a deer head once. I had the deposit, but no way of getting in contact with the client. He went through a divorce and left the state for Alaska and I never expected to see him again. I sold the head to a good customer for her B&B. She just wanted the head for the northwoods "feel". About four years later the original client calls and asks it there was any chance I still had his head? It seems he had gotten back together with his wife. I really didn't recall the head or where it went, but I told him to bring me a picture of it and I would see if I could find it. I had an idea that I might know where I had sold it, but wasn't really sure. I took the picture and a different head over to the B&B and sure enough it was there. I swapped the heads out and recovered the original client's mount. The B&B owner was happy, as long as she had a deer head on the wall. I got rid of a head that I was going to replace anyway and the original client got his head back.....and gave me $100 tip for helping him out. I also got a couple more mounts from him and even more from his extended family over the next few years.

    Unfortunately, the story has a sad ending. Eventually, he and the wife split up again and he killed himself. I haven't been stuck with very many mounts over the years, but since then I try to keep track of their disposition.....just in case.

    Life happens and people experience things out of their control. I once had another client die and I never found out about it. His phone was disconnected and the mail to him came back. About a year later his daughter contacted me about his mount.....she wanted it as a memory of her father, if I still had it. I did because it was a nice display mount. I was well compensated in that case, too. The point is.....not every mount that you may get stuck with is because the client is a deadbeat.
  9. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Im kinda surprised some of you take the attitude you do on this. This is like the third topic today Ive commented on, surprised at how people answered. I guess its me?

    For the record, I also will use the mount elsewhere, stock cape or display, but I NEVER sell the antlers...they werent mine to begin with. Ive got some antlers still from the late 80's that guys havent been back for...yet.
  10. jk

    jk Active Member

    Many years ago I had a guy stick me with a 28" northern pike. I tried to talk him out of mounting it since it was so small but he insisted. I got it done and found out he was in jail. I took him to small claim court to get a judgement and thought this would be the end of the story. I gave the fish away to a science teacher. About 3 yrs later he contacts me. He was out of jail, got his life turned around and was trying to get a home loan. Since there was a judgement against him still on the books he could not get the loan. I told him what I needed to settle up even though I did not have the fish, he sent me a money order and I sent him a "paid in full" receipt. He was happy and I learned something in the process. Don't underestimate small claims court.
  11. Mason

    Mason Active Member

    we consider all antlers, skins, etc. our personal property once the contract is signed. they are no longer the customers, till they are purchased back from us when the balance is paid in full.
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Ron I understand what you are saying but I don't believe it would fly under the law. An animal is considered the owner's possession regardless of where it is stored or located, definitely when it comes to migratory birds. This is written in many hunting regulation books.
  13. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    I see where Ron is coming from, as we have also beat this topic to death in past posts, and we all compared it to a mechanic not giving the car back until paid, etc. But to me, it can be separated, antlers from mount. Ill use the mount, but the original antlers are removed if sold etc. To each his own. Especially in this day and age where so many dont have enough work, I like to stay on the good side of it... 8)
  14. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I don't mess around with deadbeats. After it's completed, I give them two weeks to pick up their mount and then I start adding a $1 per day storage fee to their bill. After six months, contractually, the mount is mine and I put it up for sale. I have one now that contractually was mine back in January that is up for sale. That customer wouldn't even make the smallest payment or even return my calls. I make more money on a mount when I sell it anyway, so it's no problem for me.
  15. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Whether we all agree on how to treat our customers, I still give the following advice, which also needs to be checked in the legal end too... check your local AND state law to make sure youre in the right to do so.
  16. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Two weeks? Wow, that seems excessive. Our customers wait 6-12 months plus for us, often live in other towns, and owe us hundreds of dollars for a "luxury" item. Two weeks barely allows for common issues like waiting until the next payday, weekend plans, out of town ect. I guarantee even if it's only a buck, some of the guys you hit with it are going to grumble to their buddies about it. But, hey, maybe you have too much work and are trying to kick some of it down to the competition?
  17. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    I normally give my customers an estimated completion month when they drop it off. If they will not be able to pick it up during that month, then they need to tell me so then, so I can delay mounting it. This happens occasionally and is no problem. I also normally call them to let them know two-three weeks before I plan to finish it (just before I mount it), which gives them another chance to delay the completion. I call them again when the mount is ready for pickup. If the customer communicates with me and can't pick it up promptly when it's done, then I will not charge them for storage. If they are good, repeat customers, then I also extend more leeway. It's the ones that won't even answer my calls or return them that tick me off. Those kind of customers are encourage by me to go somewhere else as I don't have the time or storage space to deal with them. I normally fill up and turn customers away once I hit my quota. How do other businesses operate? What whould the auto repair shop do if your car was fixed and ready to be picked up and you didn't bother to even return their calls and ignored them for months? What would an attorney do if he or she completed your will and you ignored him and refused to pay up? For some reason, taxidermists are supposed to just take it on the chin. Why?
  18. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    Good point. I'd go one step further and make sure to have a good lawyer go over all your contracts/work orders and policies and provide you with written feedback and make sure you are covered legally.
  19. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    I'm not saying anyone should take it in the chin, and you HAVE to have a policy for dealing with people who don't pick up their mount in a reasonable time frame. We just have different ideas of reasonable. My auto mechanic doesn't have my car for a year, and my attorney doesn't live 30 miles away. If that works for you and your clients, great! I'd rather save the time on the phone giving heads up calls and give a month for pickup before accessing a storage fee. Perhaps room is an issue for some, but with 50% deposit, 95% of my customers come right down to get it. My two cents, not busting anyone's chops :)
  20. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    No doubt. In Ohio you HAVE to send them 2 registered letters. THEN you have to go to small claims and get a judgement...THEN you can only sell it for what you are owed...any MORE goes to the CUSTOMER! :p