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Author Topic: Taxidermist Troubles  (Read 9985 times)

Offline bgreen

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Taxidermist Troubles
« on: October 27, 2007, 09:49:35 AM »
Just a bit of information about a local ( Port Orchard ) Taxidermist ( not Stokes )  and my troubles so it won't happen to you. The short version is, this taxidermist ruined my bear hide I took him to small claims court and won. He had 30 days to pay the court ordered money to me and he did not pay. I attempted to contact him several times to resolve the issue and he refuses to pay. I would never send any business to this guy. 

Offline bucklucky

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2007, 11:47:29 AM »
How did he ruin the bearhide?

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2007, 11:52:37 AM »
I know a taxidermist in Port Orchard.  Curious, how did he ruin your bear hide?

Offline bowhunterty

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2007, 12:07:12 PM »
Which one?  My buddy shot a bear last night and the guy was suppose to come out and take care of it today.

Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2007, 12:15:55 PM »
bgreen - How about more info? When and where was the bear killed? How long did the taxi have it? What did he do to ruin it?

Don't drop a bomb and run.




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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2007, 12:30:34 PM »
It would be nice to here the whole story.  Who it was, what money he had to pay you,....like deposit or what.  Don't you sign a waiver that says bummer dude if I mess up, those kind of things.  I really don't think its slander if you tell the truth.  I wouldn't recommend him because......

Offline bgreen

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2007, 12:44:49 PM »
again a very long story.shortened for here.
 October 2006 shot a bear dropped it off to Wings to Tails Taxidermy, paid a deposit.  several phone messages,  E mails etc I found out there had been no work done to the bear as of August of 2007. So I requested to get my bear back and take it to somebody who would be able to mount it. I finally was able to pick up the bear In August with the taxidemist having done nothing to the hide, he also keep my deposit. I took the hide to another taxidermist who told me it was rotten which you could tell was the case from both the smell of the frozen hide and the color of the frozen meat. So I sued on September 26 2007 ( and won ) Now the taxidermist I sued is refusing to me. The Taxidermist had 30 days to pay me or work out a payment plan, he never has attempted to contact me. That's the story. I know things happen maybe he has done good work before. I just know that my dealing with this guy have been less than favorable.

Offline Antlershed

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2007, 02:27:55 PM »
This isn't the first bad story I have heard about Jim at WTT....I have no first hand experience with him though, so I can't directly comment.
-Brent

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2007, 05:33:39 PM »
OK thats not enough info for me.

When did you shoot it? 

How long after you shot it did you skin it?

After you skinned it, how long befor you got it to the taxidermst?

How did you store the hide befor you got it to the taxidermist?

If you didn't skin it, How long after you shot it did it take you to get it to the taxidermist?

Did the taxidermist say anything to you about the smell of the hide when you brought it to him?

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2007, 05:41:06 PM »
Did the taxidermist skin the bear out?

If it was skinned befor you took it to the taxidermist did he put it right in the freezer?

If you froze the bear did you wad the hide up with the head in the middle of the hide?  of did you fold it leaving the head on the out side.

These may not sound like important questions but they are.

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2007, 05:51:10 PM »
No it is not an interrogation!

I believe Bucklucky and Boneaddict understand where I am going with these questions.

Also, befor any of you begin to think I am siding with the Taxidermist, I am NOT.  

If the taxidermist did not take proper care of this hide than he needs to suck it up and pay up!  If Bgreen miss handled the hide than it is a whole nother ball game.  I just don't want to see a taxidermist name strung through the mud if Bgreen had a hand in his hide being rotten.

Bgreen's story is a little vauge.  Their is realy no detailed information their.  That is why I am asking him the questions.  To fill in the gaps.

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2007, 06:15:47 PM »
LOL... I forgot my maners.   :chuckle:

Offline bgreen

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2007, 07:25:09 PM »
This seems allot like my court case regarding this ( which I won )  but here you go

When did you shoot it?  I shot the Bear on October 14 2006

How long after you shot it did you skin it? I skinned the Bear when I got home about 2 hrs later

After you skinned it, how long before you got it to the taxidermist? Bear was brought to taxidermist on October 16

How did you store the hide before you got it to the taxidermist? The hide was stored in a refrigerator

If you didn't skin it, How long after you shot it did it take you to get it to the taxidermist?

Did the taxidermist say anything to you about the smell of the hide when you brought it to him? There was NO foul odor and nothing was said by the taxidermist when I was there going over which type of mount I wanted

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2007, 09:43:37 PM »
Sounds like you did just about everything Right!  One thing I would mention is do not store hides in the refrigerator if at all possible longer than 12 hours.  Get them into a freezer as soon as possible and fold them.  Do not roll them. 

It sound like either one of the taxidermists left the hide out of the freezer way to long.  Either waited to long to put it into the freezer or waited to long to start preping it after they pulled it out. 

Most of the hides that come into my shop get split turned and salted as soon as they come in the shop.  I only freeze if I have to.  If the cape is iffy (prone to slip) It gets preped and salted right away, no exception!

Offline bgreen

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2007, 05:53:22 AM »
Michelle
This whole process is very upsetting to me. This was my first Black bear. The next bear I get I will send to you.

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2007, 06:28:31 AM »
He probably had a power outage or something and lost his freezers, then didn't have the balls to step up.  I have no idea what kind of return you can get for it, but he should have definately given your deposit back.

Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2007, 08:34:42 AM »
Quote
This whole process is very upsetting to me. This was my first Black bear.

I know how you ya feel..kinda.. I have a mount of my first bear, but really no pics. My second bear the camera malfunctioned and again no pics, but even worse...after awhile I realized that my second bear and my brothers first bear mount were not even our bears. We both killed 2 yr old boars around 150 lbs gutted and got back mounts that had bigger heads and paws.  Oh yea, no pics of my 3rd bear either. I did not put the camera back in the waterproof bag and I went under while crossing the river..water and cameras equal no pics.

As someone stated in your post at PP ....bears are easy, go get another.




Offline WAmuleyHunter

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2007, 09:25:51 AM »
im confused, wouldnt the problem with this whole situation be with the guy who had a court decision and court order to pay this man back within 30 days and didnt??? i must have missed the boat. at this point it has nothing to do with how when or what he did or didnt do to the bear before it got to the taxidermist. its already been decided and ruled on. Obviously the hunter did everything right and the blame and bad choices were made on this taxidermist.  I am sure you and your attorney have already contacted the judge and or court to file the grievence that he didnt not fullfill the courts wishes. and i am sure there will be jail time, or another fine on top of the first ruling.  If you havent contacted your attorney you should monday morning.  Good luck and hope things get worked out.

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2007, 09:31:16 AM »
I've thankfully never dealt with the legal stuff, but would think now he should have a warrant out for him or something.  A court order is a court order.

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2007, 10:38:45 AM »
Michelle
This whole process is very upsetting to me. This was my first Black bear. The next bear I get I will send to you.

I completely understand how frustrating this can be for you!  I'd have been beyond pissed if it were my bear.  The court did rule in your favor and you should get paid!  I'm sure you have already, but if not, get ahold of your lawyer. 

i must have missed the boat. at this point it has nothing to do with how when or what he did or didnt do to the bear before it got to the taxidermist.

Yes, I beieve you did miss where I was going with my questions.  Bgreen came on this site stating his bad dealings with a taxidermist.  Telling everyone that the taxidermist screwed up his bear hide. 

If Bgreen would have answered the questions saying.  The Bear was shot on Monday.  It sat in the woods overnight,  I got it skinned out late Tuesday.  I left it in my garauge til next Monday til I got it to my taxidermist.  I would have told him flat out it was more than likely Bgreens fault the bear hide was bad.  That he can't bad mouth the taxidermist! 

I thought that the first 2 stories Bgreen posted were real vauge.  I didn't want someone getting bad mouthed if it probably wasn't his fault to begin with.  I am not trying to be a jerk, I was not trying to side with anyone.  I was trying to determin who was most at fault. 

That is why I asked those question.

Field care is a HUGE factor when it comes to getting a good mount or rug.  I have been doing taxidermy for quite a while.  If field care wasn't a big deal, I wouln'd have it, On my website, In my posts on here, I wouldn't go to the leangths I do to promote it.  If it wasn't important, I wouldn't waste my breath!



He probably had a power outage or something and lost his freezers, then didn't have the balls to step up.

This could be a possibility for sure.  If this did happen Bgreen should have been contacted. 

As someone stated in your post at PP ....bears are easy, go get another.

Yes he can go out and get another bear, but.......you can't have your first one back.

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2007, 10:53:36 AM »
Ohhh yeah,  from what rI ead it didn't seam to me that bgreen was asking us advise on how to get his money.  He was telling everyone that a taxidermist messed up his bear hide. 

Regardless whose fault it was, their was a court order for the taxidermist to pay bgreen for damages to his hide.  There for he MUST pay.  Regardless of whose fault it realy was the taxidermist needs to pay because of the court ruling.



Offline bgreen

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2007, 08:23:39 AM »
I don't mind answering questions, for I have nothing to hide. I just wanted to let everybody know about this guy.

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2007, 10:05:32 PM »
Actually this small claim suit is a civil matter, the taxidermist*censored* has no chance of getting jail time, extra fines, etc...no civil warrants... Getting a lawyer to force payment will cost more than the award....

I would also contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint against the business.
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Offline popeshawnpaul

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2007, 10:40:30 PM »
There will be no jail with this civil issue.  I would suggest you contact a number of collections lawyers.  There are significant things you can do in this situation including the filing of liens.  Most lawyers won't charge you up front.  (most of us don't bite either...despite the rumors)  I would suggest a contingency fee agreement.  Most of my colleagues will simply take a percentage of whatever they can recover from him.  Is it worth it?  Heck yeah, nothing to lose on a contingency fee agreement. 

On the flip side, maybe the guy lost power last year like we all did in the wind storm or something.  There may be a good excuse.  However, people can deal with these issues if notified and made aware.  When you attempt to deceive, you lose all credibility...  Is it possible he thought it stayed frozen and he wasn't aware it went bad?  Not sure it matters but something to think about.

Offline Otto1

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2007, 06:59:15 AM »
I have had dealings with WTT....Feel free to PM me

Offline Black Ghost

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2007, 03:35:38 PM »
I here ya Michelle!  Everybody wants to blame the taxidermist, but I can't tell you how many times somebody shows up with a animal, been dead over 1 week, never been in the freezer, and expects the hair to stay on the hide.  But I have also heard of the taxidermist blaming the tannery for screwing up, when there should have been better care in preping! 

Ultimately, you need to get the hide to the taxidermist as soon as you can.  Skip the parade around town.  Sure take some pictures, but don't wait to get the animal to the taxi!

I had a guy get all bent out of shape, when I told him his coyote was slipping.  All I did was take it directly from him, allow it to thaw overnight and check the hide.  Can't stop hair from coming out, if it wasn't taken care of properly or quickly.

Offline Otto1

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2007, 04:39:58 PM »
any update on the situation?

Offline Coasthunterjay

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2007, 05:05:59 PM »
holy crap does this ever bring up some garbage :bash:. this hole thing here pisses me off and is one of the biggest reasons i have decided to start studieing to become a taxidermist.

Here is my story............. about six years ago i shot a gorgeous white chested black bear and was planning on getting it taxi'd. so i immediatly THAT DAY skinned it and took it to a taxidermist. I figured it would take a while to get it done so i didnt thinkk anything of it and a year went by. i called the guy up and asked him how my bear was doing thinking he finished it and maybe had lost my number and was just waiting on me to come pay and pick it up. Well the guy said he had ran into some problems and hadnt even started it yet but it was comming soon and wants he started it, it wouldnt take long. well i forgot about him again and about another year went on my dad said something and so i was like OH *censored* i need to call the taxidermist. so i call him up and he said it was being tanned and it was only going to be a month or so that he had ran into more problems and he wouldlet me know. about another 8 months goes by i call this guy up and he tells me" um....yah i kinda massed your hide up and i cant do anything with it. but its on the house and im sorry". does that replace how much that memory ment to me. The guy had double tanned it and shrunk and burnt my hide and thisere were holes and soft spots everywhere on the hide. and the ears and nose practticslly all fell off.

what whould you do in this situation? not very trustingwith any taxidernist, i dont have the money as it is to get anything taxidermed and when i actually get something that i think is worth getting done it is really good!

Offline Michelle_Nelson

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2007, 06:48:07 PM »
Coasthunterjay

You will have a new found respect for taxidermists and the work that goes into a skin and mount once you start working on your own mounts!  You will begin to understand how important field care is and why I talk about it as much as I do!


I have been a member on this site for quite a while.  I have tried to answer everyones questions on this site related to taxidermy.  For those who have questions don't wait til the last minute, ASK!  I have no reason to lie.  It doesn't do me or my reputation any good to lie!

My shop is not run like an assembly line.  Each mount is treated individually.  I try to have all Capes/Hides split turned and salted the day they come into the shop.  I try never to freeze a raw Cape / Hide.  When I do have to freeze capes it's because I have no other choice.  Either I have to many heads in at one time or I have somewhere to go.  I go out of my way for customers! 

Longtatlaw brought me a bear on a Friday (I believe it was) at 10:30 pm.  I was up til 5:30 am fleshing, splitting and salting his bear.  GOcougshunter brought me his first whitetail he killed a week or two ago.  I think he dropped it off at 6pm.  I started working on his cape as soon as he left my shop.  It was split and salted before I went to bed.  They both went to the tannery on Tuesday of this week.

I don't fool around when it comes to customer work.  It does me no good to piss off my customers.  If I piss off one customer their more than likely going to cost me more work in the future.  Any of theirs future work and probably their Friends work too!  It does me no good to lie.  If someone brings me a hide and I question wether it will make it to the mounting process I let them know before they leave my shop.  If at any time a cape / hide slips I let them know!

I am not claiming to be the "perfect" Taxidermist.  I claim to be honest! ! !  I occasionally cut holes and so does every other taxidermist.  Everyone is human even me.  So are the people at the tannery I use.  Everyone is human and makes mistakes.  If someone claims they don't they are full of crap! :)

Offline huntnphool

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2007, 07:14:57 PM »
Wow what a mess. I havn't met Michelle but she sounds like she has a well run business. I guess I am fortunate to have found the taxidermist that has done all my work for many many years, Garth Gildon at Fidalgo Taxidermy. Besides Michelle he is another trustworthy person to handle your mounts.
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Offline Hunting Cowboy

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Re: Taxidermist Troubles
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2007, 11:28:37 PM »
Wow what a mess. I havn't met Michelle but she sounds like she has a well run business. I guess I am fortunate to have found the taxidermist that has done all my work for many many years, Garth Gildon at Fidalgo Taxidermy. Besides Michelle he is another trustworthy person to handle your mounts.
I agree huntnphool! Sad deal all around. I also have some of Garth and Tami's work on my wall. They mounted one of my blacktails and a Raccoon a few years ago and of course their work is amazing. Great folks, great experience!

I also agree with Michelle's comments. I had a part time Taxi business for several years. You really do gain a lot of respect for these folks doing professional Taxidermy for a livelyhood. I can see why the true professionals charge what they do. The vast majority of customers are great. But every once in a while you get one who will bring in a hide or cape that is really poorly taken care of and the expectation is that you as the taxidermist can turn a piece of crap into a piece of wildlife art.

That being said, I have no reason to question Coasthunterjay and what has happened to him. There are bad apples out there doing taxidermy work. That's why it is extremely important to check references of potential taxidermists and inspect their work. Do not choose a taxidermist by the cheapest price or by the quickest turn around time!

The quality of a finished mount is so much better when a fresh specimen is properly prepared & taken care of immediately & completely from the get-go. Contrast this with a trophy that has been left in the back of a truck all weekend or a throat that has been cut or a buck that was dragged 1/4 mile down a gravel road, or the hunter who has improperly caped his trophy, or a properly caped trophy that was salted with rock salt and thrown in a freezer for a month unprotected. There is no comparison and it happens more than you think. That's why there is such a need for replacement capes.

Unfortunately, there are some taxidermists that are like the one described by Coasthunterjay (And I am not familiar with this particular taxidermist). Like Michelle, If someone brings in a questionable hide, I let them know before they leave the shop what the situation is.  I also call them immediately If a cape/hide slips. Being upfront about a questionable situation is just good business. As a hunter, I respect and appreciate a straight forward analysis of the condition of my trophy.

I had very few problems with customers simply because of being up front. These days I enjoy doing our own taxidermy (When we kill something worthy) and it's rewarding being able to preserve our trophies that serve as a representation of our family adventures.

 


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