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Replacing customer's trophy

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

  1. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    In the scenarios George described above I would have handled it exactly like he did. It comes down to a judgment call on your part. What's the old saying? "What you don't know won't hurt you." In this case the client didn't know and it didn't hurt them in the least. And in the case of the seventeen year old boy, it may have even comforted them. There may be times you should tell the client; these were not it!
     
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I had to replace a cape once. Was upfront and told the guy and he was upset. He said he wished I would not have told him.

    Sometimes you can't win.
     

  3. hounddoggy

    hounddoggy Member

    985
    1
    Awesome stories! Cecil, sometimes it just danged if you do danged if you don't. When I started out, my teacher had to shut me up because I had a bad trait of criticizing my work. As taxidermist we will see things that, unless pointed out, will go unnoticed by our customers. I can find no fault in telling a customer that You had to switch capes.Heres a story on that. Young hunter shows up with a muddy wet buck. It spent the day in the back of the truck at the local high school. On day two he brought us the deer. It was not saveable. My teacher uses a back up cape. Once called the boy shows up with his friend that helped him drag the deer through the muck under the moonlight. He's happy and excited and takes his deer home. A week later he stops by and asks we we were sure it was the right deer because it looked lighter in color. My teacher tells him it changed colors when all of the mud was washed out of it. Not very honest but It pacified the young fella and off he went.
     
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Hounddoggy, I like your teacher. But that one is reasonable. The one about the pig farm makes that pale in comparison. A guy went to a nearby "Wild Boar" farm and shoots his skeet pig. It's a big black hog. He leaves it at the site for their "staff taxidermist". A few months later he gets his hog back from the UPS guy. When he opens the box, there's a smaller RED pig in the box. He calls the form. The "taxidermist" tells him that the color changed and the hide shrunk when it was in the tanning solution. He came to me to verify the story. I never could get the story out as it was all I could do to keep from lying on the floor from laughing so hard.
     
  5. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    5,594
    978
    MN
    George, I know you have many more moons behind you than I do, especially in this business but, I was always taught to treat others the way I wanted to be treated and that is how I live my life both personal and business. I, myself was the recipeint of a switched trophy, prior to becoming a taxidermist. I was furios, A 17 inch black crappie does not come back as a 14 inch, fish don't shrink 3 damn inches. In the end it was part of what gave me a push to dive into wonderful world. Maybe I should be even more pissed?
    I can't remember which word best fits the definition, doing what's right even when nobody is watching, is it morals or ethics?
     
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    3bears, I've never short sheeted another GI or shortchanged a customer. You see, I preface my work with a good inspection prior to. All my fish come back equal too or perhaps a tad bigger than the client brought in, all the deer go out the same size that I measure them as the client stands there and watches. (It goes on a "data sheet" I keep with the work order and when he comes back pissing and moaning that his deer was bigger than that, I hand him a tape and the data sheet.) When I get frozen specimen in, I inform the customer that the work will be predicated on the condition of the animal after it thaws. HOWEVER, I've lost tans that I did and some that were professionally done. If the deer had no redeeming qualities and I have a spare, then so be it. (In 60 years I may have had half a dozen and two of those I've told you about).

    So splain this one to me. You mount a deer and the client takes it home to a smorgasbord of dermistid beetle. He brings that deer back to you to "fix". So what do you do? Obviously it has to be replaced and he thinks nothing about it not being the "real hide" at that point as he JUST WANTS THE ANTLERS SAVED. Do you really think he's going to tell all his friends that though he killed the deer with those antlers, the skin is not from the real deer? That's just human nature so if I have to replace a hide at my own expense, I see no difference.

    BTW, in that same 60 years, I've replaced dozens of capes on freshly mounted animals that other taxidermists screwed up. They don't seem to mind a replacement hide when they get it back looking like a deer instead of an aardvark.
     
  7. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Aardvark!
    LMAO ;D
     
  8. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    5,594
    978
    MN
    I get your point George and like I stated, I'm not trying to be judgementel. I may have done the same thing with the deer that was for a grieving family. I have replaced capes on deer but not before descussing it with the customer. Those scenarios you described with damage or piss poor taxidermy are totally different than what I was referrring to and are acceptable to me, with the customer's OK that is.
    Now with regards to waterfowl, would it not be illegal, if you replace a customer's bird and charge them your going rate? They did not provide the bird they picked up and paid for.
     
  9. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    No, it’s not illegal. Are charging to mount a bird or selling? You are charging for your labor. The bird is gifted.
     
  10. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    5,594
    978
    MN
    Dave, wouldn't it be legal to do that it on ebay or something like that then? Only charge your labor rate plus materials. I don't believe it is.
     
  11. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I believe it’s the intent of what you are doing. If you posted on Ebay a free duck that I will mount as opposed to an already mounted bird. One of those issues I wouldn’t want to find out in court though.

    I know of one bird conservation group that has raised funds by auctioning off a bottle of booze that came with a free bird mount.