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Taxidermist and a "lost" hide?

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Messages posted to thread:
Stickflinger 29-Dec-09
loadedforbear 29-Dec-09
fuzzy 29-Dec-09
Bou'bound 29-Dec-09
kellyharris 29-Dec-09
Owl 29-Dec-09
mikewood 29-Dec-09
swamper 29-Dec-09
Bow Drawn 29-Dec-09
fuzzy 29-Dec-09
KJC 29-Dec-09
Randy 29-Dec-09
Bou'bound 29-Dec-09
MoCracken 29-Dec-09
XMan 29-Dec-09
FlatLndr 29-Dec-09
Northwoods 29-Dec-09
Deflatem 29-Dec-09
LKH 29-Dec-09
gobbler 29-Dec-09
city hunter 29-Dec-09
Bear Track 29-Dec-09
gobbler 29-Dec-09
ryanrc 29-Dec-09
muskeg 29-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
ryanrc 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
ryanrc 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
Extreme 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
MoCracken 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
MoCracken 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
MoCracken 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
Bou'bound 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
ryanrc 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
Bou'bound 30-Dec-09
fuzzy 30-Dec-09
4406v 30-Dec-09
Bowmin 30-Dec-09
FlatLndr 30-Dec-09
Bou'bound 31-Dec-09
flip 31-Dec-09
shortstop 04-Jan-10
Bear Track 04-Jan-10
Steve H. 04-Jan-10
thesquid 04-Jan-10
Stickflinger 26-Jan-10
Blaise 26-Jan-10
fuzzy 26-Jan-10
Chip T. 26-Jan-10
muskeg 26-Jan-10
Chip T. 26-Jan-10
muskeg 26-Jan-10
city hunter 26-Jan-10
travis@work 27-Jan-10
thesquid 27-Jan-10
guidermd 27-Jan-10
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From: Stickflinger Date: 29-Dec-09
Well it looks like the taxidermist has lost last springs bear hide. Has anyone ever had this happen and what do you think the taxidermist should do? This was an expensive "once in a lifetime" hunt up north that we will not be able to go on again.

From: loadedforbear Date: 29-Dec-09
Did you ask him how much $$ he lost it for?

From: fuzzy Date: 29-Dec-09
what has he offereed in compensation? what does your lawyer say about his offer?

From: Bou'bound Date: 29-Dec-09
All he can do is replace the hide with a like specimine. He should have contacts that would get him one in a reasonable amount of time. Certainly the cost of the taxi work should be gratis or heavily discounted. The hide is a nice momento, and it won't be your's when you get it, but it is about the experience and adventure and memories and he did not lose those for you.

did he call you proactively to say there was an issue or did you have to drag it out of him

From: kellyharris Date: 29-Dec-09
he didnt lose your hide he sold it no doubt about it.

How in the heck do you lose a bear hide??????? I would seek legal council.

He should pay you to go on another hunt. You hunted to get a hide he lost it (sold it)....

i THINK YOU COULD PROVE IN COURT THAT IT WASNT JUST ABOUT THE HUNT BUT IT WAS ABOUT THE HIDE FROM THE HUNT ITSELF...

From: Owl Date: 29-Dec-09
Had the hair slip on a 7' cape that was to be a full body mount. That hurt a bit but the loss darn near saved enough in taxidermy to go again. (must look for the silver lining, must look for the silver lining...:))

Best you can hope for is your deposit back since HE lost it.

From: mikewood Date: 29-Dec-09
How do you lose a bear hide? Some taxidermist use an outside service for tanning, some for stitching the backing. Hides can be lost in transport or by the other party. Not a good situation but does mean the taxidermist is a crook.

From: swamper Date: 29-Dec-09
If he is a reputable tax. he should have insurance that covers his behind.

From: Bow Drawn Date: 29-Dec-09
Is the taxidermist in Canada or here in the States?

Reason I ask a friend of mine had this happen to him with an outfitter and the taxidermist in Canada. If the taxi service is in Canada and you are here in the States then you might be calling that province's big game office and explain it. The bear hide was found once they were involved.

If the Taxi is nin the States then I'd get legal council on how to proceed.

From: fuzzy Date: 29-Dec-09
I am not sure replacement with another hide, and/or return of the deposit is the extent of your expectation for recompense. I am not an attorney. Check with one. I hope he has insurance againast such incidents, because I am pretty sure he ma be liable for the cost odf the hunt itself, including travel, lodging, food, "opportunity cost", etc.

From: KJC Date: 29-Dec-09
I can't imagine how you could lose a bear hide! I don't think I'd get a lawyer though. He'd probably cost you more than another hunt. I'd go after him in small claims, get what you can get and go on another hunt. Do you still have the skull?

From: Randy Date: 29-Dec-09
No way would I take a "like specimen" He is liable for the complete cost of hunt,at least do the 5 grand in small claims

From: Bou'bound Date: 29-Dec-09
randy - honestly IF you're an american and the taxi is in canada you'll be lucky to take what he gives you. if he is in the US you may get the cost of a hide or rug out of it.........if he has integrity and makes such an offer.

sometimes reality ain't fair...even if we stamp our feet and hold our breath

one thing is for sure..........the taxi is not payin' fer any hunt guys. you're dreamin' ........... what is he "obligated" to do, keep sending the guy back for a bear until he scores? How many trips is that for?

From: MoCracken Date: 29-Dec-09
If someone loses my photo album of my trip around the world, would you think they owe me another trip around the world? They owe the actual cash value of "like, kind and quality". Unfortunately this is difficult to determine on a bear cape. But the best you can do is try and locate a similar cape like on ebay or a taxidermy site to obtain a replacement cost value. Good luck.

From: XMan (mobile)Sent from Mobile Phone Date: 29-Dec-09
Wow, I have to agree with others, how did he "lose your hide". That's impossible unless he sold it or sent to a tanner and it didn't come back. He needs to get you a northern hide from a like sized animal IMO

From: FlatLndr Date: 29-Dec-09
You really have to talk to him.And not to be nosey but you need to include more details on the post if you want our opinions

From: Northwoods Date: 29-Dec-09
Obviously you need to try get to the bottom of the situation before doing anything. But if you can't get anywhere and/or you find out the taxidermist is at fault, I say legal action is warranted.

Lawyers are expensive, but it is my opinion that you could lean on the taxidermist with the threat of litigation and see some results. You then always have the small claims route which is not a bad option.

As to damages, providing a replacement of "like kind and quality" has little to do with the damages you could seek in this matter. You had a one of a kind item that was being held in bailment by the taxidermist. You would be entitled to any amount of damages you could prove. Replacement value is only the start of deterimining damages, and I am not convinced you could even place a "replacement" value on something that is so unique.

From: Deflatem Date: 29-Dec-09
He could pay to send you back up there for another hunt.

From: LKH Date: 29-Dec-09
First, What did he offer to do to make up for the loss?

From: gobbler Date: 29-Dec-09
I find bear hides and deer antlers around my taxidermists shop all the time laying out in the street where he lost them. It's a common occurance.

He didn't lose it, him or his tannery probably sold it. Or it got destroyed during the tanning process, I think that happens more often than we think.

From: city hunter Date: 29-Dec-09
wow that hurts sorry for you ,, he should do the right thing , but dont count on it .

From: Bear Track Date: 29-Dec-09
I've been a taxidermist for 36 years besides an outfitter. Your taxidermist's reputation should be worth more to him than the cost of replacing your hide. A quality taxidermist will measure your raw hide, make note of any markings, spring or fall bear, and IF the tannery some how looses the hide, finding a replacment should be relativly easy, and you should never know about it. It's a cost of doing business like other businesses.

I know, I know, hides should never be lost, but I'll tell you, if your taxidermist has freezer quit, or his helper leaves a hide outside the freezer for a couple days (could happen) the hide is lost, missing or rotten, but he should make sure you got "your bear" no matter what. The bad publicity is not worth it. We're not crooked, but human and I'd bet the farm, your taxidermist did not do this on purpose. Well maybe not the whole farm, but some of it.

We don't run around in circles making more work for ourselves, I can tell you that. I don't know if his out-sourcing caused your hide to go missing, but he made an error saying he goofed up on your trophy. This will cost him lots. You have freinds and they have freinds, and it snowballs from just this one bear.

Still, I'm sorry your hide is lost. Ron

From: gobbler Date: 29-Dec-09
Even though any hide lost is bad, I hope that it was a black bear and not a grizzly. You just said bear up north.

I brought one of my grizzlys back from BC and it didn't end up on the plane when I got back. That was one sleepless night. It came in the next morning and thankfully was still ok.

From: ryanrc Date: 29-Dec-09
bear hides don't sell for that much. he would make more from doing the mount and charging you. he probably really lost it and that plain sucks. but look at it this way, now you have a reason to go on another hunt and the taxidermist should do your next mount for free!

From: muskeg Date: 29-Dec-09
This could be the situation that is going on in Craig on Prince of Wales ...

If you had a hide / skull at the fleshing / expeditor in Craig you should contact ADF&G in Craig or Ketchikan ...

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
Bou, perhaps you should ask around a bit.

And not, he is not obligated to keep senduing the guy on hunts, just replace the hunt he lost (the memento to), due to the taxi's negligence. It's up to him to connect again.

If a man is in business he should have the wherewithal to make his mistakes right.

Losing or irreparably damaging someone's trophy, isn't rectified by replacing the hide. It's rectified by replacing the hunt.

Ask insuarnace adjusters how they value animal mounts lost in fire, flood, etc.

From: ryanrc Date: 30-Dec-09
insurance companies and the courts only give you what something is worth, they do not take into account sentimental value. what he is out, i one green bear hide of a certain size color etc.

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
ryanc, that's contrary to my understanding. and I am not talking about "sentimental value" I am talking about replacement value. you can only replace a lost hunt memento, with another hunt.

From: ryanrc Date: 30-Dec-09
insurance deals with replacement value. this is not a replacemnt value case. even if it were, the cost to replace would be that of a similar green hide. just the hide, not the method in which it was obtained(i.e. hunting trip). the best he would do in any court is getting the money to buy a green hide, which, doesn't cost that much quite frankly(i doubt more than 200 bucks). He is better trying to get some free taxi work done on his next trophy. Also, since black bear hides(assuming this isn't a grizzly/brown bear or a rare color phase) aren't worth much, the taxi had no real motive to lose it, so i doubt he sold it.

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
of course it's replacement value. a tradesman lost his property due to negligence. he is entitled to replacement.

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
and he did not lose a bear hide, he losta memento of a hunt. once again, I challenge you to discuss this question with a homeowner's insurance claims adjuster, rather than inject your personal opinions.

it is exactly parllalel to loss of a trophy in a disaster. MINUS the cost of the taxidermy work, any of which has already been paid which should be refunded, of course.

From: Extreme Date: 30-Dec-09
depends how he "lost" it If a freezer went bad and the hid spoiled there isnt much he can do other than replace it or offer you what it is worth. If he just lost it and cant find it something is up and I would talk to a lawyer. If he sent it to a tannery and they lost it I would get in contact with them and your taxidermist and try to come up with a solution. Have you ever used this taxidermist before? I have a taxidermist that I trust very much I have no doubt he would make things right and go to all ends of the earth to set the problem straight.

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
Extreme, I disagree. How the taxidermist lost it, is irrelevant. He is responsible for the loss.

He has (should have) back-up stratgies for loss of a freezer, as well as insurance against such losses.

Lets say this was your vintage '57 'Vette in the body-shop and it was lost in a roof-collapse.

You would expect compensation, n'est pas?

From: MoCracken Date: 30-Dec-09
fuzzy...insurance company's don't pay for replacement hunts, due to a lost cape or trophy. The hunt is not the loss.

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
MoCracken, you are an insurance adjuster?

From: MoCracken Date: 30-Dec-09
No, but I've been in the field for 34 years. You?

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
not at all....I am just trying to get someone who knows the answer to the question, to speak up

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
In my mind, there's no doubt the hunter is entitled to replacement value.

Theres also no question but that the taxidermist SHOULD carry some insurance on his businees, to cover such losses, and also take resonable care to prevent them.

The question is, WHAT is being replaced, and how do you assign a value?

The loss is, in my mind NOT a green bear hide. The loss is a hunt-memento or "trophy".

I am by no means an expert here, but I have no doubt that these questions come up, and SOMEONE knows the correct answers. Opinions are not satisfactory, the gentleman has taken a loss, and needs to know what compensation to ask for.

From: MoCracken Date: 30-Dec-09
fuzzy...I'm an insurance company contractor who handles homeowners claims for them every day. Think about it, if my home burnt down tomorrow and I have 22 mounts in my throphy room that are destroyed, do you think they are going to send me on 22 new hunts? My son was in China this past summer and bought us all gifts, they are destroyed, are they sending him back to China this summer to replace them? My wedding album, gone, should we call everyone and let them know we're having another wedding to replace our pictures on Allstate. ( That one I would let them slide on. Once was enough!) My point is, the memory is not insured, no one can take that away short of death, the loss is the cape.

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
OK, that's a good solid answer! Thanks! :-)

From: Bou'bound Date: 30-Dec-09
fuzzy, taking the advice of a wise man who posted above "perhaps you should ask around a bit".

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
LOL...Bou, I have. Two calls in, and an email sent.

But I DO like MoCracken's answer and his creds.

What puzzles me the most is why I even care! I am not a trophy hunter, gave away most of my mounts a couple years ago, and don't ever plan on having anything else mounted.

Go figure!

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
here's an email reply:

"Thank you for your question. These items are probably covered on your current policies, but specifically how they’re covered, and for what amount, are the questions you’ll want to ask.

Depending on your home insurance or other contents coverage, it’s quite likely that you do need specific coverage for these items. In home (or renters, or condo) insurance terms, that’s usually referred to as scheduled articles or a personal articles floater (PAF). They both mean a type of endorsement (change) to your policy contract that specifically mentions these or other items. They can also be purchased as separate policies, although that’s not necessary.

In general, you and your insurance company or agent will come up with certain classes of items you want covered on the floater, such as taxidermy mounts, valuable antiques, jewelry, etc. Then, you will come up with a limit of coverage for items in the class (either as a group, per item, or a combination of both). A common way to determine replacement value is to provide a recent receipt for the item or to submit a recent appraisal. Then, the insurance company should pay up to the limit agreed on to repair or replace the item. If you don’t agree to accept the repair or replacement, your claim should be settled on an actual cash value (depreciated) basis. If the item can’t be repaired or replaced, the company will owe you the agreed value of the item, up to policy limits.

Another reason to consider this type of coverage is that it’s often broader than the coverage provided under your home insurance policy, in addition to covering more expensive items. For example, while your main homeowners policy may not cover theft or vandalism of personal property, a PAF generally does, worldwide, and generally carries no deductible – whereas your normal personal property coverage is subject to a deductible.

We would definitely recommend that you review your current policies and their coverage of these types of items to make sure they’re properly covered in the way you want. On a personal note, if these were my mounts, and they were important to me, I would speak with my company or agent about getting additional coverage for these items.

I hope this is useful information. Please feel free to send further questions or comments, and thank you for visiting insurance.com."

From: ryanrc Date: 30-Dec-09
fuzzy, i am not in the field, but i have watched every episode of peoples court ever produced! you actually learn quite a bit from that show and i know i am correct! if that helps, although my wife says i think i am right about everything :)

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
there ya go then! I haven't watched a single TV show in over 5 years, and very few the 41 years before that, so my knowlege is limited ;-)

From: Bou'bound Date: 30-Dec-09
not necessarily fuzzy..........you may not have watched TV, but have you recently stayed at a holiday inn express? if so you may have the answers which you seek........tap your inner soul for the truth and the light of wisdom

From: fuzzy Date: 30-Dec-09
Bou, no, but I have inspected a few. Do they do taxidermy work? What am I missing?

From: 4406v Date: 30-Dec-09
If by the term "lost" he means I CAN'T FIND IT.I'd say there's a problem.If by "lost" he means the hair "slipped" during the tanning process and therefore the hide is ruined.That is the risk you take and not always the fault of the taxidermist.

I have a bear lifesize mounted and although I enjoy looking at it,knowone can ever take away the awesome memory I have of my hunt.The mount does not equal the memory.

From: Bowmin Date: 30-Dec-09
So where is "Stickfinger" We need the rest of the story.

From: FlatLndr Date: 30-Dec-09
Bowmin-EGGGzactly

From: Bou'bound Date: 31-Dec-09
he's "hide-ing"

From: flip Date: 31-Dec-09
Am going to retrieve 3 hides from an incompotent tanner Sat morning.One is a fellas first bear, one is my sons first bear and one is one of mine that I gave a fella for fleshing ours.They have been there over 2 years and we believe one is ruined.Idiot clames he cant get the greese out of the hides. It wont be pretty when we confront him.Hope we dont make the news, but we are pissed.Il list the guys name when we get this over with so others dont get burned. Theres only one first bear and I dont know how you can put a price on it!

From: shortstop Date: 04-Jan-10
Lesson for us all. As much as I hate paperwork, maybe a contract needs to be signed prior to dropping off hide that details responsibilities if this happens.

From: Bear Track Date: 04-Jan-10

Bear Track's Supporting Link

I'll step in here again if you don't mind and add another 2 cents.

A few years ago, I gave an insurance estimate for a set of moose horns a customer of mine, left in his back yard and had not brought them in for horn mounting yet. Over night, someone stole them. He wanted the cost of the hunt included in my quote. The insurance company just wanted antler value as the hunt was not lost, just the antlers. And I've given estimates for bear rugs stolen and lost in house fires. Only the hide has value to the insurance company it seems. This is in Manitoba, elsewhere may be different.

From: Steve H. Date: 04-Jan-10
Stick:

Make sure and check on Muskeg's post above and if that is the situation do as he suggests....

BTW, IF that is the case , it isn't just a "your" bear hide thing, but an EVERYBODIES bear hide thing (unfortunately).

From: thesquid Date: 04-Jan-10
Be nice to see this on Judge Judy.

From: Stickflinger Date: 26-Jan-10
First of all I would like to thank everyone for all the replies. I didn't want to say to much until I knew for sure what was going on. The hide was missing / not being returned from the tannery (not in canada) but the taxidermist assured us that the hide would turn up which it finally did last week, and yes it was the original hide in good shape. Should be done in a few weeks and will post some follow up pics. Thanks again for all the help in what could have been a bad situation.

From: Blaise Date: 26-Jan-10
Nice, looks like everything is going to turn out ok. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

From: fuzzy Date: 26-Jan-10
whew! thats great!

From: Chip T. Date: 26-Jan-10
Don't you all just feel the love now after all the preceeding BS:)

From: muskeg Date: 26-Jan-10
all the preceeding was not BS .... there are about 200 Prince of Wales Island hunters that have been affected in that ongoing mess ....

From: Chip T. Date: 26-Jan-10
Muskeg- Perhaps BS was to harsh for what I was thinking. For those of us that don't know..what is the POW mess that you are refering to.

Chip

From: muskeg Date: 26-Jan-10
The situation that Steve H and I were referring to is ...

a fleshing / expediting service in Craig didn't seem to expedite or even flesh many of the Bear she took in ... the ADF&G and Troopers recently went to her place with warrant in hand and the situation was bad. Many hides not recoverable, miss labeled, along with many skulls. Some were in a frozen condition and are able to be matched up with the hunters.

The ADF&G is working hard to get things straightened out. But many hunters’ hides are just ruined. Some will never even be able to be ID'd.

But all the down $'s or even full payments probably won't be recovered.

Sad situation.

So if you hunted POW Island in '08 or '09 and left your hide / skull with the lady ... you need to contact ADF&G in Ketchikan or Craig.

From: city hunter Date: 26-Jan-10
wow what a nightmare

From: travis@work Date: 27-Jan-10
"If by the term "lost" he means I CAN'T FIND IT.I'd say there's a problem.If by "lost" he means the hair "slipped" during the tanning process and therefore the hide is ruined.That is the risk you take and not always the fault of the taxidermist." Thanks 4406*

Lost is a relitive term in the taxidermy world..If the fur slipped because the skin was mishandled by the owner then the taxidermists is not liable..I have all my clients sign paperwork staing I am not responsible for any fur slippage, fire, acts of nature ect..Bottom line is alot of people roll bear skins up before they freeze them..it could take days for that inner skin and meat to freeze therefor leaving room for it to spoil...if "lost" in this case means it didn`t tan up correctly then it is the clients fault..I get mishandled hides all the time on whitetails and I`ve never paid for a replacement cape..Not many of ya know how frustraiting it is to spend 4 hours on a bear cape getting it ready to tan and then it just falls apart afterwards....bottom line in this scenerio is people need to learn how to handle their capes in the field..

If the skin is lost at the tannery(which I don`t use) or in shipping then perhaps you`d have a case...read the contract ya signed when ya dropped your animal off...

Glad your bear cape showed up...still this is a good case for people to learn from..alot of things can go wrong but one thing I won`t be responsible for is slipping fur...cross your T`s and dot your I`s..

From: thesquid Date: 27-Jan-10
I had a bobcat hide lost back in 1959 by the Taxidermist and then found out that it was just tough $hit to me. I sure hope things have changed to the better since then.

From: guidermd Date: 27-Jan-10
i dropped off 33 fox hides(red and grey/all prime) and paid in full to have them all tanned. several years of calling and checking, along with lip service on each phone call, and i was finally told they were "lost". this taxi was a good friend too........... they were worth a good bit of money, i skinned them all and cleaned them up myself, they just needed to go to the tannery. 2 weeks of non stop trapping with good results all gone. i really do wonder whatever happened to them..........??


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Subject: RE: Taxidermist and a "lost" hide?

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