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Taxidermist Swapped my cape

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by ColtonDave, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. ColtonDave

    ColtonDave New Member

    I just received my mount back from a taxidermist from a Wyoming antelope I harvested last October. After getting it I noticed the coloring was completely different. Mine had a large black cheek patch and a very distinct line between the black, white and tan colors on the face. I contacted the taxidermist and they admitted they did swap my cape out. They felt the neck was to skinny on mine and decided without my knowledge to put a different cape because they felt it would look better. My buck was a large full rut buck and I cannot believe the neck was too skinny. Besides, don't taxidermist match the form to the cape, not a cape to a form. Unfortunately, the taxidermist is in Colorado and I live in Oregon so I didn't see it until it arrived after being shipped.
    What recourse can I have on this. I spent thousands on a guided hunt and more than 1000 including shipping to get a mount I didn't harvest
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Man, I am so sorry! I know capes sometimes slip, and pronghorn are notorious for hair loss, but, personally, when something like that happens I make sure to contact the client immediately to determine the course of action to take. I would think something happened to your cape. I can’t imagine why they would arbitrarily swap a cape for asthetic reasons without consulting you first. The reasons given for swapping capes don’t make sense, and there should have never been a cape swapped without contacting you first. If the taxidermist in question is not willing to make it right, you would have to file a claim in the corresponding court in Colorado. I don’t know what other options you might have.
    nick_3401 likes this.

  3. Richs Taxidermy

    Richs Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Sounds like they ruined your cape and switched it with something they had on hand,it will be a long road ahead to proof the truth.
  4. ColtonDave

    ColtonDave New Member

    I have an email from them where they flat out said they did it because they thought it would look better. And the only reason is they felt the other cape had a skinny neck. I made sure all of it was through email. Atleast I have that
  5. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    If that taxidermist is telling the truth (which I doubt) then demand that he send you your original cape along with a refund of the mount and shipping cost. If he does not send it to you, then tell him that you will file charges against him for theft of your cape and hire a lawyer to sue him to regain all your money lost including all expenses of the hunting trip and metal anguish too. Also tell him that if her does not comply that you will also make it your life's mission to ruin him by going after his taxidermy license and passing the word through all means available. My guess is that he either lost, ruined, just wanted to use your cape for another purpose or mixed it up and put it on another client's mount. In any case, he wronged you and owes you.
    msestak likes this.
  6. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    Sorry, but this is not good advice. A threat of any kind never boads well in court. The best advice here is to get off taxinet, contact someone who actually knows the law, I.E. a lawyer and let them advize you on your best course of action. I do know this, judgement usually favors the first to file the complaint through the proper legal channels. In other words, if you are serious about getting the results you desire, do not be the one who contacts the taxidermist who did you wrong. When he gets a letter from your lawyer, he'll know he's screwed and will most likely settle out of court. After all, that's a lawyers main goal anyway...
    eurosbyRT, msestak, skinner26 and 6 others like this.
  7. juli

    juli Active Member

    That's no way to operate a business. I had a mule deer come in with an already tanned cape. The tan was shitty and when I wet it up I could not get the neck (behind the ears) to more than 19" - This is a BIG December muley, mind you. Then the ears started to fall apart when prepped...At first I thought the taxi who had prepped/tanned the cape had switched out or gotten capes mixed up.... I called the hunter and told him we needed a replacement cape that would actually look proper and not be falling into pieces down the road, after the mount was complete. Fortunately the taxi he had do the original prep and tanning (they sent the cape to be tanned) gave him a replacement cape that is now at the WG.
  8. Trophy Specialist

    Trophy Specialist Well-Known Member

    He said in his original post that he already contacted the taxidermist so I guess you didn't even bother to read his post before bashing my advice. You also want him to spend a lot of money on an attorney before even trying to resolve this himself. Unless he has access to free legal help, I would say you are the one doling out questionable advice. Also, the taxidermist is not going to file any complaints, so your comment about being first to file a complaint is also bad advice in this case.
  9. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    If you got a presentable mount back from the taxidermist, then be happy with it. He was obviously trying to help you. Antelopes are tricky sumbitches to mount. The original cape could have had issues other than size. Life is too short to get all bent out of shape over something like this.
  10. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    Bless your heart...
    rogerswildlife and BrookeSFD16 like this.
  11. Jackson1814

    Jackson1814 Active Member

    Nothing here is criminal, it's a civil matter. Be a professional and handle it through an attorney if need be. Why threaten to hire an attorny, just do it if you need to.
  12. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    Sorry this happened to you, but most likely the cape slipped. There are various reasons this can happen, and they are not all the taxidermist fault as to why the cape slipped. Like JoeyM said, "antelope are tricky sumbitches".

    IMO, The taxidermist did screw up by not contacting you and letting you know what happened and then lying about it. I doubt he still has your original cape, and most taxidermist have you sign a contract stating something about them not being responsible for tanning and what not.
  13. jorgy

    jorgy Member

    Ive been in law enforcement for over 20 years. This is a civil matter all day long. I have been a taxidermist longer than an officer, and yes, antelope capes suck for slippage. Im sure if you pushed the issue you would find that those large black cheed patches he had slipped hair.
    John C likes this.
  14. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    it is a civil matter and most likely will not be settled without an attorney involved.

    if the markings on the original cape were unique maybe he kept it for himself to be used in competition, maybe the hair slipped as others have stated.

    the excuse that the neck was to skinny doesnt make sense to me, something else happened and i believe it was one of the things i already stated.

    some people do shady things, maybe this person did, maybe they did not, i do not know.

    get an attorney but make sure what ever settlement happens that the taxidermist pays for your attorney.

    Best of Luck.
  15. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    a taxidermy site is the wrong place for the advice you are looking for .... as you probably concluded by now ... go on a big game hunting site

  16. YOu will not recover the money for the trip, because the trip is a personal enjoyment... The cost of the mount and cape is all the judge will allow because of this.
    Kerby Ross likes this.
  17. Some states do not allow recovery of attorney fees in small claims. Some states dont allow attorneys in small claims.
  18. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    sounds like a civil rights violation not to allow an attorney
  19. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    yup const right of representation
    msestak likes this.
  20. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    • BEBEB822-D719-4B62-BA5B-6906214CB06B.jpeg
    Looks fine from here
    woakley144, boogger47, John C and 4 others like this.