Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by wfisher, Jul 12, 2016.
What should i expect to pay for a smallmouth bass mount?
$22.00 per inch and up. anything less and the quality of work is debate able.
Expect to pay whatever the chosen taxidermist charges. Taxidermy is a spectrum of quality from total garbage to total gold. You can assume that the taxidermist that charges more does better work... but that's all relative. If you're concerned with price, you will probably receive a lower quality mount, on average. Price also depends a good deal upon where the taxidermist lives. The east and west coast taxidermists typically charge more than those in the midwest. Perhaps because of the cost of living or just people's expectations... who knows. If price isn't the object, find pictures of someone's work you like and go with them. If you're price shopping, just start checking webpages. Typically the guys/gals who charge a premium don't even list prices, but typically they are the guys/gals that put out quality work. These are just my opinions.
Agree location will make a big difference.
Forget about the price...go look at the work the person does and choose the one you like best. Keep your fish frozen in a vacuum sealed bag until you find the right person and the right price you agree to.You might have to ship the fish to the right person. Incredible the way people just look for price without checking out the taxidermists' actual work. Good luck...JL
My two younger brothers and I shot our first canvasbacks the same season and for many reasons considered them a trophy and had them mounted. None of us had ever brought anything to a taxidermist at that point and this was prior to the internet so finding someone to contract for any kind of work took a considerable amount of time more than it does now.
They chose to bring theirs to a guy that charged $100 that our cousin had used. Not caring for the work I'd seen done I found a different guy after checking several places and then reading about him in an article printed in the DU magazine. He charged $315, which is higher than a lot of guys all these years later are charging. We did detasseling each summer and made a couple grand as kids which was a lot...but even still it was a considerable amount of money for me at the time.
Their guy told them six months and it turned into a year and a half and kids being kids they were anxiously calling every two weeks for almost a year before finally getting their ducks back---necks stretched out longer than a goose, doll eyes the wrong color bugged out, shriveled feet painted black with a brush and rustoleum paint positioned flat like it was water skiing, wings crumpled and not carded, feathers non-groomed generally, dirty, greasy, hideous looking ducks they were once proud of and excited for. That's what they got back.
It would have been bad as it was but what made it worse was that 'my guy' told me a year and twelve months later I got back my duck I wanted to be posed like it was coming out off a Les Kouba print...and it was, and also perfectly groomed, positioned, life-like in every way, the guy didn't have a feather out of place, you half expected the eyes to blink when looking at them, the feet were injected and painted masterfully, the neck shape still one of the best I've seen, so it was exactly what I wanted except better.
For a year I had to listen to my little brothers mock me and take crap for getting 'ripped off' and 'throwing away a couple hundred bucks.' It didn't bug me because I knew what the end result would be.....
.....both of them admitting they actually paid a $100 to be forced to look at a piece of garbage that upset them for five years before so much grease leaked out of it in the trash it went; garbage ending up where it belongs, at a landfill. A couple decades later and over a dozen moves starting when I left home for college...the amount of after party's and keggers, drunken fights, chick drama, if only stuffed ducks could talk....all that and then some I fondly get to look at my duck and it literally looks just as good as the day I picked it up.
I got a bargain. They're the ones that got ripped off. It pains them to this day to see my duck and on many occasions when they're over visiting I've caught them staring at it with an odd look on their face, a look of regret and jealousy. If they could go back and pay $1000 to have their ducks mounted by the same guy that did mine they'd gladly do it, they'd do it in an instant without a heartbeat of hesitation.
Don't shop on price because you're only factoring in what it costs at this single point in time. Get it done right and get someone good and you'll get something back that is appealing to you and amounts to art, and you'll be able to enjoy looking at it from this point in time to the day you die most likely...and then your kids or grandkids after that will probably enjoy looking at it and telling their kids and grandkids the story behind it that you told them.
Or you could try to save the amount of money that it costs in gas to go fishing a couple times in the difference between someone good and someone who you're paying to let you hang a piece of crap on your wall to be disgusted by. Your call.
You said it Matt. So many think they are all "shopping" for the same thing, like a Ford F-150, and some folks will give them a better price for the same article. a mount is a mount, right?
I actually referred a customer to another great Wisconsin fish taxidermist yesterday. Why? I could see from the castings available to me on a fish his size that he could provide some better poses. He gave the guy a damn good price, and his painting is superb.