Sitka Mountain Gear
Need advice on getting my bear back
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
mgmicky 07-Jul-18
Shug 07-Jul-18
Shug 07-Jul-18
CPAhunter 07-Jul-18
mgmicky 07-Jul-18
milnrick 07-Jul-18
Charlie Rehor 07-Jul-18
Ursman 07-Jul-18
spike buck 07-Jul-18
LBshooter 07-Jul-18
Trial153 07-Jul-18
spike buck 07-Jul-18
grape 07-Jul-18
Dale06 07-Jul-18
Glunt@work 07-Jul-18
SBH 07-Jul-18
Bou'bound 07-Jul-18
midwest 07-Jul-18
woodguy65 07-Jul-18
Matt 07-Jul-18
Franklin 08-Jul-18
Franklin 08-Jul-18
TSI 08-Jul-18
TSI 08-Jul-18
TSI 08-Jul-18
Screwball 08-Jul-18
spike buck 08-Jul-18
ryanrc 08-Jul-18
Jim B 09-Jul-18
Bou'bound 09-Jul-18
SteveB 09-Jul-18
drycreek 09-Jul-18
Bou'bound 09-Jul-18
wraith8 09-Jul-18
drycreek 09-Jul-18
BagginBigguns 09-Jul-18
milnrick 09-Jul-18
Bou'bound 09-Jul-18
JTreeman 09-Jul-18
DMC65 09-Jul-18
TSI 10-Jul-18
TSI 10-Jul-18
TSI 10-Jul-18
drycreek 10-Jul-18
Franklin 12-Jul-18
JTreeman 12-Jul-18
deerslayer 12-Jul-18
ryanrc 12-Jul-18
Franklin 12-Jul-18
From: mgmicky
07-Jul-18
I need some advice and hope fellow Bowsiters can help. I shot a P&Y black bear in Canada with my longbow in June 2017. The outfitter and I had an agreement that he would send the hide/skull to a local taxidermist to get fleshed out, so it could be sent to my taxidermist in NC. To make a long story short, I still don’t have it. When I inquired about the bear a month after the hunt, the outfitter said it was at the taxidermist and would be ready soon. Well, for months I felt like I had been getting the run around from him. Finally, last month he told me it was fleshed out and ready to be mailed, and this was the first time he gave me the name and number of the taxidermist. When I called the taxidermist he told me he just received my bear (1 year later) and needed the paperwork in order to ship it to NC. Of course I don’t have the paperwork and don’t know what’s needed. He blamed the outfitter for poor communication and not providing the proper paper work. The outfitter is blaming the taxidermist for taking so long and said he should have the paperwork. I’ve been more than patient in this matter and don’t know what to do. This is a terrible end to an otherwise awesome hunt that I gave a 5 star review. Does anyone have advice on what I can do to get my bear back? Is the hide even good after (hopefully) being frozen for a year? Accidents happen, and maybe the hide/skull got damaged or lost, but I’d rather hear that than not have an answer and continue to be in limbo. Thanks, mg

From: Shug
07-Jul-18
If the bear was sent out to be tanned... it doesn’t seem like a completely unreasonable amount of time yet... good luck

From: Shug
07-Jul-18
If the bear was sent out to be tanned... it doesn’t seem like a completely unreasonable amount of time yet... good luck

From: CPAhunter
07-Jul-18
Call the Ontario MNR and ask them what paperwork is needed. You’ll also need to call US customs and ask them what is needed. Likely just an export permit.

From: mgmicky
07-Jul-18
Shug, it was only supposed fleshed in Canada, not tanned.

From: milnrick
07-Jul-18
The tannery should be able to ship it via a forwarding service. He'll need a copy of your license (which your outfitter should have in his records) and a CITES permit to make it happen.

07-Jul-18
I’ve hunted in Canada since 1990 and never left an animal behind. In the future take the skull and cape with you and you’ll need nothing but your license to clear entry when you travel together.

Sounds like it’s just a matter of patience for this one. Congrats on your bear.

From: Ursman
07-Jul-18
Something similar happened to me a few years back. A taxidermist was working with the outfitter. He was having personal problems. Phone calls were unanswered. The outfitter put me in touch with a lawyer. Finally got the bear hide shipped to me.

From: spike buck
07-Jul-18
The Taxidermist is not suppose to receive the hide without the paper work on the bear. Taxidermist is in violation of the law if he has the bear with no paperwork!!!

From: LBshooter
07-Jul-18
I would put the blame on the outfitter and no one else. He should know what's needed and should know the taxi too. I would tell the outfitter to get it done its on him, and if it doesn't get done then it will surely effect his business. Unacceptable to get this kind of treatment after paying I'm sure a fair anount of money for the hunt. Almost sounds like they don't want to give your bear back.

From: Trial153
07-Jul-18
Name the outfitter so someone else doesnt go through the same hassle. I hate hearing this crap but its all to common.

From: spike buck
07-Jul-18
The Taxidermist "cannot" receive a bear without the required paperwork. Illegal to have a bear in his possession and not have the hunters license info. If no info available from the outfitter, taxidermist is by law not allowed to receive the bear!!

***When I bring a bear into Telesky Taxidermist, she will request the license and hunter info and because I crossed a provincial boundary, she will also ask for the export. If I did not have that info she will tell me to take it back and not bring the hide to her till all required papers are handed in with the bear hide.

***Side note... if your bear is being shipped to a country other than the United States, you are required to get a CITIES permit also, along with a export permit. Australia requires a Canadian CITIES before leaving Canada. Regulations state the onus is on the "hunter" to know what the country the hunter is shipping to requires for importation. A good outfitter and Taxidermist will know this information to help make your vacation memorable!!

From: grape
07-Jul-18
Chris (spike buck) is trying to help. He is an outfitter. You can play the blame game, but that will not get the problem solved. Take his advice.

From: Dale06
07-Jul-18
As said above, name the outfitter, he is the issue Good luck

From: Glunt@work
07-Jul-18
I lost a wolverine I left with a taxidermist in Canada. Probably won't be getting another one of those in my life. At least your bear is still there.

Let the outfitter know your next step is getting authorities involved and give him a week to react.

From: SBH
07-Jul-18
That sucks!

I had a bear that I never got back. The guy was a joke, I should have known better. It wasn't a big bear but it was my first MT bear with a bow. I only lost the hide which wasn't a big deal since it was small but still wish I had it for the memory. Hope you can get a good resolution and get yours back. I have no Canada experience so I'm not much help other then feeling your pain!

From: Bou'bound
07-Jul-18
I am familiar with the saga of this camp and taxidermist (who has no association with the camp) and can tell you that the outfitter is a straight shooter who is doing all in his power and more to unit hunters with their bears even though he has no leverage. I has seen for three years the games this taxi is playing and how the hunters and outfitter are trying to deal with it. In the end you will get your stuff, but it is a mess. Yu are fortunate he outfitter is doing as much as he is at his personal expense (time and money) to help.

From: midwest
07-Jul-18
Curious why you would have it fleshed out at one place then tanned somewhere else? I took mine home frozen with the required paperwork and had my taxi take care of everything.

Sounds like you should be able to get a copy of the paperwork you need so you can send it to the Canadian taxi and, hopefully, you eventually get your hide and skull back.

From: woodguy65
07-Jul-18
"Taxidermist is in violation of the law if he has the bear with no paperwork!!!"

Your getting some good advice from an outfitter in Canada. Based on that, my next call would be back to the Taxi asking him what he did with the paperwork because as you understand the law he can not accept it without the required paperwork.

Additionally I would let the outfitter know what the hell is going on and that the Taxi is blaming him. If this was any of the BS sponsors I'm pretty sure they would be calling the Taxi if not paying a visit, they would want to know about this sort of thing. At the very least the Taxi will no longer get any referrals/work from outfitter in future.

There are 2 sides to every story so after a respectful conversation with Taxi - maybe he can make some valid points as to the problem being the outfitter, either way, they both should be moving mountains to help you resolve this. If not come clean, name names, put it out there for all to see.

I used to work for a guy, who would have meetings with operations people, sales people and management, regarding production, revenue and sales. He used to have the meeting separate - inevitably one group or person would blame the other for an issue. He then started have 1 meeting with everybody - his favorite saying was "put all the liars in one room." Shit started moving forward after that. LOL

07-Jul-18
I feel your pain! Hope things work out.

As someone above said, please share the specifics so others do not get burned. That is what I tried to do, and found out through PMs that at least two other guys, one a rug, another the tanned hide, had the same thing happen from the same outfitter. I shared this with Pat. Fortunately the outfitter has since sold the business.

I agree with the above to bring any taxi work home to the U.S. from Canada. Again, best wishes.

From: Matt
07-Jul-18
See if you can schedule a conference call and get them both on the line at the same time. The stories may start to make more sense.

From: Franklin
08-Jul-18
The outfitter has gotten himself and the taxidermist in a jack pot. The taxidermist will usually turn...flesh and salt the hide. Then he will ship it to you or a tannery.

A bear frozen for a year will be fine. But the chance that you will be getting "your" hide and skull at this point is slim. There would be be no reasonable excuse for you not getting your hide back in a timely fashion if there wasn`t a problem. Especially if a outfitter works with a local taxidermist for his customers.

From: Franklin
08-Jul-18
The outfitter has gotten himself and the taxidermist in a jack pot. The taxidermist will usually turn...flesh and salt the hide. Then he will ship it to you or a tannery.

A bear frozen for a year will be fine. But the chance that you will be getting "your" hide and skull at this point is slim. There would be be no reasonable excuse for you not getting your hide back in a timely fashion if there wasn`t a problem. Especially if a outfitter works with a local taxidermist for his customers.

From: TSI
08-Jul-18
I’m the Outfitter in question and can say I’ve done everything I can to get it shipped aside standing on my head.The taxidermist recieved the hide it was fleshed and ready to ship and the skull completed and I paid for all of it!The taxidermist is not cooperating and I will be travelling at my expense again to get the hide shipped as soon as possible.At my expense as a courtesy.Best advice is don’t leave your hides behind taxidermists are separate buisness not associated with us and not either under my control in any way.Ive spent considerable money as a courtesy because I felt bad about it but it wasn’t my responsibility I’m not a taxidermist.The hide is safe and the skull is safe and finished I know The taxidermist and this person were dealing directly but have no idea why it wasn’t shipped but will make another trip to get it resolved at my expense .Only other option is call the taxidermist again or go the legal route.

From: TSI
08-Jul-18
We do not work with taxidermists period nor vouch for any.This Gide was left against my advice but I agreed to deliver it.As for legal crap I had both a hide dealers license and taxidermist license I purchased so as to allow me to transport the hide and store it briefly.Again at my expense.I assure you for the last time.

From: TSI
08-Jul-18
He will recieve the hide and skull as soon as possible I’ve seen it completed.

From: Screwball
08-Jul-18
TSI: Tip of the hat to you. Speaks volumes to you personally and your ethics.

From: spike buck
08-Jul-18
I have total faith in TSI!!! You picked the right outfitter mgmicky, he'll try his hardest to get your bear to you!!

From: ryanrc
08-Jul-18
No good deed goes unpunished. Bummer for both of you

From: Jim B
09-Jul-18
TSI,it's tough that you have to do all that but it says a lot about your character and business.Kudos.

From: Bou'bound
09-Jul-18
I am familiar with the saga of this camp and taxidermist (who has no association with the camp) and can tell you that the outfitter is a straight shooter who is doing all in his power and more to unite hunters with their bears even though he has no leverage. I has seen for three years the games this taxi is playing and how the hunters and outfitter are trying to deal with it. In the end you will get your stuff, but it is a mess. You are fortunate he outfitter is doing as much as he is at his personal expense (time and money) to help.

From: SteveB
09-Jul-18
Why doesn't someone here mention the taxidermist's name? Seems to me this would be the best way to get a response. Public exposure.

From: drycreek
09-Jul-18
If this has been going on for three years as Bou says, why doesn't the outfitter warn his clients not to use this guy ? And....if he does warn them, then IMO, they ain't got a kick coming.

Caveat Emptor......let the buyer beware. Or as Gomer Pyle so succinctly put it, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"

From: Bou'bound
09-Jul-18
The issues with this taxi are lingering from years ago, not new deals as the taxi is clearly not recommended to hunters, nor has he EVER been, by the outfitter.

The original taxi that worked with this camp was a best in class taxi and person. Unfortunately he was tragically killed in flood a few years ago and all his pending work was taken by this other guy as a way to try to prevent all the inventory from being lost in all the various states of condition it was in. The guy who inherited the work simply has neither the skill, time, capacity, business acumen, or communication skills to handle it. He is continuing to wade through the inventory after all this time and without sufficient systems to effectively provide service.

In the meantime the outfitter has gotten personally involved to try to be a local source of pressure, but it is only slowly resolving.

There are multiple people who post regularly on this site that have first hand experience with this situation and if they want to share names and contact info for the taxi they can. They could tell you all their stories of how they have, or have not yet, gotten back trophies from 3-4 years ago, what they went through to get to this point, and how pleased they were with what they got back if they wish.

What each of them would all agree on is that the outfitter was never an issue and has, and continues to, do all he can, to the limited extent possible, to try to get each lingering piece of work back in the hands of the hunter

From: wraith8
09-Jul-18
Drycreek, he does warn everyone about this taxidermist now. This was an issue didn't become apparent for more than a year. By then, quite a few of the outfitters clients had given work to the taxidermist. When I was there in mid-June last year, the outfitter was just becoming aware of the issues with this taxidermist. Many of us that had dropped off stuff in 2016 were having issues that we were beginning to relay to the outfitter. It was probably after mgmicky made his arrangements that these issues started coming to light. The taxidermist repeatedly over-promised when he'd have things done and became very difficult, if not almost impossible, to make contact with when those dates were long past.

From: drycreek
09-Jul-18
I understand the situation better now, it was confusing to me. Thanks Bou and wraith8 for clearing it up.

I see more complaints of this type (taxis) than I do of any other kind. What is is it about this profession that makes folks not perform as advertised ?

09-Jul-18
I wish this wasn't such a common theme for taxidermists. I'm literally 1 for 4 with finding taxidermists who do honest work. I'm glad #4 is top notch.

From: milnrick
09-Jul-18
Our group closed out TSI's 2018 Spring Season, the successful hunters sent theirs back to TX with a Taxi who was in camp with us. Conversely, two friends who accompanied us on our 2016 TSI hunt went against Dave's (and our) recommendations and left three bears behind, two for tanning and one to become a rug (sadly all work was pre-paid), the Thursday (day 4 of our hunt) we drove our friend to the guys shop and retreived the finished bear rug and hides only to learn that he had 'lost - misplaced' the licenses and had not applied for the cites permits. Our friends are in the process now of working with NB DNR to get the paperwork needed.

The moral to the story is: If your outfitter recommends NOT using someone, he did it for a reason.

From: Bou'bound
09-Jul-18
well since you are telling the details............ how about the one where a man shot a 400+ bear and waited two plus years for the just tanned / paid for hide. lots of chasing and it was finally sent to him a couple months ago. just one problem.............the hide sent was a 120 pounder.

fortunately the taxi said he made a mistake and since the hunter was going to back in the area to hunt this year they would switch out the 120 for the man's 400+.

From: JTreeman
09-Jul-18
You can count me in the lost bear camp too! I killed a nice p&y bear with Dave. Left it with the fella before his tragic accident. Left a small deposit, skull, and hide. I’ve asked about it several times wirh no satisfaction. I’m chalking it up to “I messed up, it’s gone, move on”. At this point if I get Something I’m pretty positive it wouldn’t be mine anyway.

Guess I’ll just have to shoot another big bear!

—jim

From: DMC65
09-Jul-18
Lesson is to always make your own arrangements to get trophies home . A good outfitter will have your hide fleshed ,ears and lips turned and salted. The skull will be frozen and if it starts to thaw out it doesn't matter. Take it with you and have the proper paperwork at the ready for airport customs or a border crossing. Hunting liscense is a must . Even if the head / hide is tagged you still need a valid liscense for the species ( Canada to us and vice versa). taxidermists are like building contractors . They don't need any Creds to hang a shingle and be in business and at best ,out of ten ,only one is fully legit AND honest! And like with a builder good and cheap don't go together.

From: TSI
10-Jul-18
The taxidermist issue has been a tragic mess,I don’t believe anything is lost at this point and I’m working on getting everything sorted out.But I can only afford so much at and it’s been difficult for myself to reach him as well.nearly 125 bears were in limbo whe the original taxidermist was killed and we spent considerable funds sorting out and securing hides in every imaginable state of completion.Im determined to do what I can and will update each person as we get their animal sorted out.many have already recieved their animals and the remaining should as well.I feel bad about this and it’s cost me a lot of lost clients.Anyone that is still waiting should notify me as I only know of those that have.

From: TSI
10-Jul-18
Jim I only became aware of your recently when you contacted me.I actually wasn’t even aware you had left your bear till you contacted me but I’ll now working on getting it resolved fortunately I have you bears skull measurements to use and a photo of the hide.

From: TSI
10-Jul-18
Bear with me I’ll get it sorted

From: drycreek
10-Jul-18
TSI, you sound like a stand up guy. I'm sure the clients appreciate that, at least I hope so.

From: Franklin
12-Jul-18
It just seems strange it takes this long to turn, flesh and salt a hide. I do 2 a day and I`m retired....lol

It also seems strange that if the hunter chose to use a taxidermist not recommended or affiliated with a outfitter, how does it become the outfitter`s problem. I assumed...incorrectly....that there was a working relationship between the 2 of you. You`re a good guy for putting in the extra effort that you really don`t need to be doing. IMO.

From: JTreeman
12-Jul-18
Franklin, I kinda agree, I’ve asked Dave about about it, he has checked on it and can’t get the taxi to do anything (same results I got). I feel Dave did what he could, and it really isn’t his problem. Bad deal all around. But at the end of the day Dave really had nothing to do with it, the taxi is the problem. Dave is just stuck in the middle, I understand that don’t hold it against him at all.

—Jim

From: deerslayer
12-Jul-18
I hunted with Dave this spring and one thing I can tell you is that he is an ethical, stand up outfitter, who goes above and beyond for his clients. I personally wasn’t comfortable leaving my bear in Canada and having it shipped to me so I decided to fly it home with me. Dave made extra sure that I had a good container which was well sealed to fly it home, which was something he didn’t have to do.

Sure hope this all gets sorted out for you guys who left your bears. Bum deal with the original taxidermist unexpectedly passing away. All I can say is that knowing Dave, I have no doubt he is trying his best to help out.

From: ryanrc
12-Jul-18
If the taxidermist died then that is just a bad break. At some point it is what it is. Use it as an excuse to go shoot another one??

From: Franklin
12-Jul-18
The bright spot is MANY times in the tanning/taxidermy part of trophy care and preservation, hides and capes do not make it through the preservation process. Bears are notorious for slippage as the fat retains so much body heat if they are left overnight in the woods or cannot be found soon they spoil and bacteria causes hair slippage. We are seeing TONS of this lately on deer....this "when in doubt...back out" is causing many capes to go bad, usually on the side the dear is laying where fluids pool and heat cannot escape. I could give you my opinion why this is happening but it would start a WAR....lol.

The point being, a bear hide with virtually any distinct markings can be found to replace your hide fairly cheaply.

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