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Replacing customer's trophy

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by 3bears, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I see posts titled all the time begging for this, that or the other, especially waterfowl hell I've received phone calls of the same. My question is, how many do that without informing the customer? I'm not pointing any fingers or making accusations against anyone in particular. I think it boils down to personal morals. I wouldn't do it, even if I screwed it up, without informing the customer. In the case of waterfowl, would it not be illegal? Not every thing killed or caught makes a good mount, that is for sure, but why would you intentionally give them a mount that isn't their's? I don't expect anyone to openly admit doing it but rather just trying to discuss the subject and please keep it professional
  2. whitetails and fish only

    whitetails and fish only Well-Known Member

    I don't think you should intentionally give a customer a replacement, but if you leave a beautiful wood duck on the bench and the cat gets it and you replace it with another of the same quality, I think that would be ok. One mature wood duck pretty much looks like all mature wood ducks. Also, Antlers are all one of a kind but capes are generally the same.

  3. JerseyJays

    JerseyJays Well-Known Member

    Never without asking first. If it's not theirs they probably don't want it.. unless it's a cape then they might okay with it- but again- I would never swap without their agreeing to do so.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
  4. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    you'd be surprised how much of this is done across the country and I'm sure the world. in the more than 45 years as a taxidermist I have known it to happen by tons of taxidermists from the largest shops to the smallest ones.
  5. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    museum man, I don't believe I would be surprised at all. From what I see here, I get the impression it happens frequently.
  6. I agree with Jersey Jays
  7. Rausch

    Rausch Well-Known Member

    I think it’s easier for people on here to ask for a replacement for a client than it is to ask for something for them self. Then if they don’t like the price or condition they can just say the client didn’t like it and that is that.
  8. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Rausch, that makes sense, I hadn't thought of it like that.
  9. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I did it once and would do it again under the same circumstances

    A dad brought in his two young first time hunters with ducks. When I went to mount them one of them had been retrieved by a dog that destroyed it. A patch of feathers were missing on the back of the neck and body about 2x2”. Don’t know why they didn’t see it. It was a hen pintail and so I bought one from Dave Ahlgren to replace it. I did not want to disappoint a young hunter. They were both ecstatic to get their birds.
  10. bhymel

    bhymel Member

    I did it with a Wood duck, childs first bird .
    It was in horrible shape! And I gave it to him.
    Guess I may have felt a little guilty!
  11. rbear

    rbear Well-Known Member

    How about pieces parts of a mount? Do you replace a foot, an ear, a tail without telling someone?
  12. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I’m replacing my sheeps balls, does that count?
  13. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Nope, it gets listed on the final bill, if I have to do that much in the way of repairs.
  14. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Nope, it is yours, so I'm sure you're aware of it.
  15. hounddoggy

    hounddoggy Member

    I only had to do this once. N.C. Game wardens took a deer from my shop that was killed in a c.w.d. State. It had been tanned and skull cape clean and ready for mounting. I pleaded with them which only seemed to make them want to take it more. The deer was a first kill for a 9 year old kid. Grandpa took him hunting so for many reasons it was special. Just so happend that I had a mounted 7 pointer in my home that looked very similar to the kids deer. Grandpa approved and offered to pay LARGE for the mount. It meant nothing to me and I let him have it. The kid never knew the difference so all was well.
  16. JuJu Bee

    JuJu Bee New Member

    Nothing wrong with replacing with a piece equal or greater value and only if it`s damaged. Most deer can be matched almost without notice. I have yet to hear a hunter tell me how he shot his deer because "he had a beautiful cape" lol.
    Swamping capes for personal gain would be unethical.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Well, I, PERSONALLY, think "morals" have NOTHING to do with it. It may be your personal "ETHICS" but has zilch to do with morality. If your grandmother buys you a gawdawful Hawaiian shirt for Christmas and you don't like it, would you take it back and exchange it? Or do you wear it in front of her and take it off as soon as you're out of her sight? Either way, is that "morals", "ethics", or "hypocrisy"?

    Childs first bird, a bufflehead hen that he'd shot at about 15 yards. He is so happy with his first bird and his dad knows it's trashed but they bring it to me. The little boy is begging me to save his most prized trophy he took with his dad. I agree, knowing full well that I have a couple of bufflehead hens in the freezer. I refuse to take a deposit. When they leave, I toss the bird and mount my hen. When he comes back, he's beaming from ear to ear. I hand him the duck and tell him I'm mounting it for free because as a new hunter, he deserves a reward (and he's been my faithful customer for the last 27 years and last year I mounted his son's first deer).

    Dad calls me up distraught beyond words. His 17 year old son went out opening morning, shot a fair sized buck, got in his car to go to school and was killed in a horrific car accident half way there. Dad had skinned the buck out, and put it in a bushel basket. When the news got there, he forgot about the deer for several days and when he found it, he put it in a walk-in freezer. He brought the deer to me and cried his heart out that the deer was the last memory he had of his son and I needed to do whatever I could to save it. When the deer thawed and I opened it up, and frozen maggots start falling out. All the hair on one side of the fold is stuck in the other side leaving bare skin on one half of the neck. I cut the antlers off the putrid hide and measured the neck. I go into my freezer and find a similar sized deer and mount it with the son's antlers. I call them and both parents and sister show up and cry their hearts out as they take the boy's last trophy home to put on the wall.

    So OK, what do you do in those two cases? And if you waffle on either one, you're just being a hypocrite. I sleep well at night and regardless of what your opinion is, it won't effect my sleep patterns. I did it then and I'd do it again tomorrow.
  18. tem

    tem Well-Known Member

    George. your to cool.
  19. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    OK Georeg maybe the word morals wasn't the best choice, but I still don't agree with you about right or wrong on this one. You are always quick to pipe in that not every animal makes a good mount. That I agree with but I also believe it is not in the best interest of anyone to replace a trophy, without first informing the customer. If they just wanted a damn mount they could buy it off of ebay. They brought you their trophy, that they harvested. They want to remember that moment in time by viewing thier trophy, not a replication. I'm not trying to pass judgement but, I am saying that it isn't the way I choose to handle the situation.
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    You give your clients far too much credit. They bring you a duck with the bill shot off. Do you tell them youre using an artificial head? They bring you a deer covered in mud and blood but expect it to be sparkling when they get it back. Every salt water Fisherman gets a repro. 99% of hunter dont even recall what the hide looked like but they know their antlers. Theres such gawdawful work out there that it should prove to you how few notice a hide or even what a deer looks like. Check out these "wild boar preserves and the "swap out hides customers get back. I'm not Dr. Phil. I dont tell them I dont sculpt the forms or make the eyes. If a hide is good and mountable, it goes on that deer. I dont swap a hide for convenience or to steal a "competition quality" hide, I'm saying there is no set rule. Sometimes it's just like the saying:"The less you know about how bologna is made and how Congress is run, the better off you are." If i get a trashed animal in, I USUALLY tell the client befire he signs the contract and i make a note ON THE CONTRACT. Still, there are times and exceptions.