Contributors to this thread:
In 1985 I shot a Cougar in Colorado I was 19 years old. I saved my money booked the hunt and traveled from NJ to Colorado with no help from anyone. Not the greatest hunting achievement ...but at the time it was a big deal for me.
Now to the point....I worked at a taxidermy studio here in NJ and the tool that owned the place took close to 6 years to get around to mounting my cat. When he soaked the skin for mounting it fell apart. (Acid rot). The skin ended up in the garbage.
What's the longest you have ever waited to get a mount back from a taxidermist?
Shiras Moose- Waiting since October 2011...Wyoming Wolf- Waiting since Sept- 2011....British Columbia
All my animals will come home with me from now on, these guys do not know how to please their coustomers and in turn will lose business. Good for them! JJ
6 years for a cougar. I survived cancer during that time and vowed I would never wait again. I now have a young, talented guy with a young family. He wants and needs to turn his work around. And, no, I won't give up his name :) Dave
9 months and that was because I was doing a Fighting Bulls pedestal mount and we had to get it so both 6x6's could swing out for dismounting and still have them locked horns once in place on the pedestal.
Other than that---6-7 months from sheep to buff....
Good luck, Robb
50+ years for a kodiak brown bear
of course I have not dropped it off yet
as a matter of fact now that i ponder it i have not killed it yet.
Charlie Rehor's Link
Has anyone ever had a gator mounted? My 6 and 7 year old daughters wanted to go on a gator hunt in LA this summer and want the heads done but my local taxi hasn't ever done any of them. Any suggestions?
It's a lot easier to be a good "taxi/artist" than and "taxi/artist and a businessman". Unfortunately some fine taxi/artists go down in a financial blaze along with their customers mounts and money because they are clueless as to running a business. EVERY year there are posts on Bowsite of guys getting abused by good taxis but lousy businessmen.
In my opinion if you wait longer than a year you have the wrong guy. I have had over 60 mounts done in the last 30 years by two different taxidermists and never waited longer than 8 months and never had a problem. It's too important to mess around.
Dennis is as good a businessman as he is a taxi/artist.
Just short of a year for my brown bear but the taxidermist wanted to show it at sci in reno.
20 YEARS for a small whitetail horn mount. Taxidermist is a good friend and just kept putting it off. Most of my stuff I get pretty fast though.
You should never have to wait more than one year. If they are taking longer they are already into the next season and will continue to get further and further behind. My first mount took almost 2 yrs. It was just like Charlie said the man did great work and was an artist. He was a terrible businessman and had horrible customer service skills. I had to threaten to take him to court to get it finished. Needless to say he is no longer in business.
I've been waiting for my 190" Illinois deer since November 9th. Thinking about a law suit.
Charlie hit the nail on the head there. Or some taxidermists take on too much, get burnt out and struggle to get work done. I had this happen to me. A gal was married to that manger of a pro shop and she did good work, but her husband and coworkers knew lots of hunters and she got a ton of work in a short amount of time. They moved and she did slowly work on them, but had also taken another job. I think it was about 5 years to get my black bear and she never finished my full body black buck, but I got the rack, hide, and my deposit back. Then I brought it somewhere else. I have a couple pronghorn and one whitetail being done by my good friend and well known taxidermist, Klaus Lebrecht, and the goats were taken 5 and 6 years ago, but I'm OK with that. I worked off these mounts in his antler shop and he is always busy. His work is well worth the wait for me.
A word to the wise, or for what it is worth. i was a taxidermist for over 12 years at a very reputable shop. A year is about average if it is a good shop and they know what they are doing. Never pay for a mount in full, no matter what the savings, because there is no incentive to get it done for there is no more cash coming their way. A good shop will always send out the hide, cape, etc. to have it professionally tanned, the ones that do it in house with pickling, self tans, etc, I do not and never will trust them as far as the tanning goes. For a up and comer or new shop they always have a great turn around because they do not have a lot to do, but then the word gets around that they are fast, and now they are swamped and terrible return times, they cannot win. Guys be patient, a year is the norm unless otherwise noted for whatever reasons. just my two cents worth.
Took my first PY animal in Colorado in 1990. I had it mounted in Colorado and shipped to me. UPS said to come to their distribution terminal near my home to pick it up.... and when I got there they couldn't find it. They eventually paid me the value of the hunt on insurance.
In 1997, they called me to say they had found it and I went and picked it up at the same distribution center. Not sure if the refund of the hunt cost was worth the 7 year wait!
Shot a red stag dropped it off to the taxidermist near home in Australia he said id have it back in 6 months. A year and a week on and still waiting.. Very not impressed and doubt ill be using his services again. Cheers Mick
Stick and string....you got the tanning statement wrong...I never trust a tannery. Nobody handles my skins better than me...I got so tired of sewing up holes and fixing stupid mistakes....I have mounted over 600 bobcats and tons of deer...in 12 years I have never had one complaint about the longevity of the fur...ever....what a redicoulous statement...there are life issues that do happen in peoples lives..like my wife having breast cancer threw me way behind but I contacted my clients and most do understand...those who don't can simply come pick up their stuff and deposit...it swings both ways..
3 and a half years for 2 whitetail deer to be mounted, it was a guy I went to school with, never again. Now my guy takes about a year. Mike
Thanks guys....since a few taxidermists replied... On the flip side what's the longest you have waited to have a client pick up an animal?
I used to get them back by the next hunting season, but my guy is full time now and it is usually within six months. He will turn really big ones fast so they can go to the shows.
My local taxidermist told me he'd mount a pheasant for me I killed over my German Shepherd "As long as you don't mind the wait" That was in 1991!!!! I'd say after 22 years I don't mind waiting???
I'm with you on the flip side. I had a few mounts that still wouldn't be picked up. 2 have been mounted for 7 years, I finally gave the mount away for charity. Never heard a word from the owners.
Shug...got a 160 hanging on my wall for 3 years now..guys has paid for it and everything...I worked with him for 2 of those years...have no idea why its still on my wall..lol...divorced and single too..strange things...
I have been waiting for 3 months for my lion mount... LOL Getting a little restless with the taxi :)
Longest I think I have had to wait was about a year and my uncle did that one. The mounts that other taxidermists have done for me have been done within 6 months max usually, which is really nice. Most from Travis have been done in half of that which is even better.
12 years, ....and still waiting.
...though the rumor is the horns are actually on the form now!!!
I have used different taxi's due to going to the ones that are better at different species. I have NEVER waited more than a year; which I believe is the norm.
If I had to wait for more than 2 years; I would go pick my animal up and take it to someone else.
Been waiting on a wolverine I left with a taxidermist in Canada in 1995. Actually he disappeared around 1998 so I quit waiting :^).
Travis, first of all sorry about your wife, and what you are going through. You are right about tanneries SOMETIMES putting or I should say shaving to close to make a hole, etc. Maybe try another tannery. I am not putting down taxidermy, I was simply stating some issues I have had with my mounts from the so called in house tan, maybe you do it better. This is my opinion, and have a little over 128 mounts in my house, most from myself, but the other from other taxidermist. As far as turn around, yes there are life altering events, and there are just the ones that have an excuse no matter what.
It took a while to get skins and horns back from Africa, but once my Taxidermist had them it was under 9 months.
I currently have a Bison that I arrowed in February 2012 and it is going to be ready for me to pick up this weekend. That is one of the longest I've had to wait.
It took me 5 years to get a northern pike. I have been waiting since 1988 for a bird mount. I called the guy once a year. Every time he said: I'll put it together tomorrow. I gave up on him after a few years. The clown finally moved out of state. Leaving behind a lot of unfinished work. There was a lot of unhappy clients! I also have another fish that has been at a taxidermist for 15 years!. Doubt if I'll ever see that thing. By the way, these were 3 different taxidermists! Believe it or one of them is still in business.
When I was working at it full time, my turn around was 9-12 months. When I started, I was doing my own "tanning" although it was only a formic acid pickle. Once I started doing over 100 pieces a year, I had to start using a tannery and never looked back. When you are sending out over 300 pieces a year and working alone, you can't do your own tanning and get the work out the door.
Most everyone of mine run 18mo to 2 years. He's good and a friend so I'm ok with that although at times, like now, I'm ready to get my bear and mtn goat back
AaronShort Date: 16-Apr-13 Has anyone ever had a gator mounted? My 6 and 7 year old daughters wanted to go on a gator hunt in LA this summer and want the heads done but my local taxi hasn't ever done any of them. Any suggestions?
AaronShort, I will give you a little advise. If your taxidermist has not ever mounted one, then don't take it to him. Find someone that has mounted them with great success. A friend on mine learned the hard way on a big 11 plus gator.
usually 16 months or so but some almost are 2 years. some wait up to 3 years which is bullcrap.
Yesterday I picked up my Bison Shoulder Mount, so it was 1 year 2 months after shooting it.
There was a 540" Bull Elk Mount he was doing- ranch bull of course.
Now, I am waiting on my Antelope Skull (Beetled) to arrive at the house. It was last September, however my guy Brett Morrison of S. Skull Works has his wife and cousin doing work as he is in Afganistan...