Wondering about Taxidermist past Date

Birdbander

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This may be a lesson learned the hard way by me. I dropped off my first antelope head at the taxidermist in Wyoming last Oct 4th/5th for a European mount, no plaque and was told to expect it to be done 8 to 10 months. Seemed fine by me.

I haven't contacted them since because it was within the window given. Now that it's past 10 months (barely), I called & leftva message a few days ago. No reply. Sent a text yesterday as that was one way the voicemail said they could be reached, no reply yet. Sent an email today.

Should I start accepting that my first antelope skull & money are gone or am I being overly anxious?
 
I wouldn't be overly concerned just yet. Alot of taxidermists are one man shows and if they're on vacation, the messages are just piling up. 8-10 months seems excessive for a euro mount but if that's what he told you, I think you're still good. I'd keep texting and being the squeaky wheel and if you don't hear back in the next couple weeks, then I'd start to worry. Good luck!
 
I wouldn't be overly concerned just yet. Alot of taxidermists are one man shows and if they're on vacation, the messages are just piling up. 8-10 months seems excessive for a euro mount but if that's what he told you, I think you're still good. I'd keep texting and being the squeaky wheel and if you don't hear back in the next couple weeks, then I'd start to worry. Good luck!
Thanks, that does help. I appreciate it.
 
There was a very visible extenuating circumstance that may have played into why I was told that long, and now that the replies have help ease my concerns, I can see how that could have even caused some further delay. I had honestly forgotten until seeing Nick's post and that somehow jogged my memory.

Thanks all!
 
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I’ve yet to have a taxidermist turn around a project even close to quotes time. 2 years on a bear rug, full year on euros.

One reason why I do euros myself. Your experience sounds par for the course, I’d give it 6 months before you get to worried.
 
Is it your first interaction with this taxidermist?
My beetle guy takes what he takes.
Dropped this buck off the last week of September last year and got it back last week.
I've always been happy with his work so don't complain about the wait time.
I don't know why Bad Communication Skills is the #1 prereq for becoming a taxidermist but it's always proven to be true in my experience.
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Is it your first interaction with this taxidermist?
My beetle guy takes what he takes.
Dropped this buck off the last week of September last year and got it back last week.
I've always been happy with his work so don't complain about the wait time.
I don't know why Bad Communication Skills is the #1 prereq for becoming a taxidermist but it's always proven to be true in my experience.
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Yes, first interaction. Actually this is my first interaction with any taxidermist. It's clear to me now that I am concerned too early. Sorry folks.
 
I've been burned more times than I care to admit by taxidermists. Perhaps it's because I know how much work goes into what they do that I'm too understanding and have been screwed because of it.

Stay on him. The "ghost" treatment he's giving you is a red flag. I've seen good ones go south REAL quick and it's usually the one man shows that get overwhelmed and flush their career reputation down the toilet in a short span of time.

I don't mean to sound so pessimistic, but I'm just speaking from a broken heart lol.

I think you have a good perspective and always be prepared for the event that your trophy could be gone forever when dealing with a one man operation.

Edit to add that this is art and most of the time taxis over promise on timelines. As long as communication is good, I'm not concerned. When communication falls off, I'm dropping by to check on things in person.

Good luck!
 
One thing I have learned is to NOT pay upfront. Perhaps as a nonresident they would require that, but IME I’ve never been asked to pay for taxidermy up front. To me this gives you leverage and encourages the taxidermist to complete the work. Yes there is still the possibility of not getting the mount back, but at least you wouldn’t also be out money. Being out of state I would kindly ask for a pic when it was done to “show my wife/kids” but really to verify it’s done before paying if you have any suspicions at all.

Too late for that now but just my limited experience. I would also not be too worried yet but would continue to call a couple times a week until you get a hold of him and get an update.
 
I only do euros anymore, and my beetle guy only takes 3-4 months, max, and doesn't take payment until completion. I give him 1/2 up front anyway because he's a good dude. He says his taxidermy work has been taking a lot longer mostly because the tanners are way slow anymore, although even after a long wait it sounds like many of his clients drag their feet in picking up their mounts! However, in your situation I'd say 10 months is a long time for a euro, give him another call in a few weeks.
 
My taxidermist is small man show. Does everything outta his garage. Shoulder mounts are usually 5 months. All depends for him on the tannery. That said my mountain goat will be 1+ years because the he’s a small player and the tannery doesn’t have it done yet.
 
The deer I just got back was initially quoted at 1 year and I knew I was back of the line as it was a DEC hunt and he was already deep when I got my deer. At a month over I called and he was honest about where I was in line, told me to call back in a couple of months. Ended up just over a year and a half but it is good work and he answers every time you call.
 

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Anything more than 6 months is unacceptable to me and I ask them how long it will be right up front.

If they are not willing to commit to 6 months - 1 year MAX, I find another taxidermist.

There is absolutely no reason someone should have your animal for more than 1 year. None.
 
This seems way to long, I use a guy in central Montana and I’ll have whatever I drop off within a week or so before heading home.
 
It took me several years to find a taxidermist I like and communicates well. He does all of it out of a shop behind his house. He's always been straight forward and as a hunter himself he's not always available and I work around it. His time frame is never consistent because he's gotta a life just like the rest of us. I've waited for 3 yrs on a shoulder mount and sometimes it takes 5 months, just depends. I trust him and his work. So no matter what state I'm in I cape out the animal and just bring it back to my home state taxidermist. I wouldn't worry just yet, not until several weeks of no communication would I start to worry.
 
Jeez, my guy does a euro in two weeks. He doesn’t do beetles or anything and likes to work with the skull when it’s fresh before it gets too stinky.

I understand being worried. I brought a full buck into the processor and they said they’d give me the skull back when they processed the deer to make it easier on them. I was planning on having a euro mount done so I was only worried about the skull


When I went to pick up my meats, the skull was just sitting outside behind the shop on some cardboard boxes, looked like it had been back there for months. I was not super happy.
 
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