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Thread: How long is too long?

  1. #1
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    Default How long is too long?

    for taxidermy work?

    I am in no way "bad mouthing" a particular taxidermist or company, just would like some recommendations on what to do.

    I've read a lot of threads/posts about taxidermy but have not seen any on the subject of what a customer can do if their taxidermist is taking a verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry loooooooooooooooooooooooong time to finish mounts/rugs.


    My buddy has 3 animals at a taxidermist and all have been there for over 25 months (all 3 were dropped off within 3 months of each other). We put in a BBB complaint a few weeks ago because this is just getting out of control. The taxidermist does great work. A few months after dropping the animals off he spoke to a former customer that didn't get his bear rug back until the 23 month mark. That was when we began to get concerned. When we dropped off his animals, we were "verbally" given a time frame of 12-15 months, there is nothing in writing on a time frame for services completed.

    So the question is what to do? My buddy is paid in full, he did everything right (so we thought)...researched different options, looked at his work, which is great, but obviously we are in this situation now. Any recommendations would be appreciated, please do not bash any taxidermists, that isn't the purpose of this thread....if we can prevent another person from getting themselves into a similar situation then this thread will be successful.
    Missing the greatest state in the Union!

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    Did the taxidermist require that it be paid in full up front? Hindsight is 20/20, but I think the lesson learned here is in the future never pay for the work until you have the product in your hand. If I was in your friend's shoes, I think the first thing I would do is go down to the taxidermist and have a serious talk with him. It would probably be a good idea if you went with him. That way your friend would have a witness to what the taxidermist's response was. It might be a good idea to bring a tape recorder with you and tape the conversation. If the situation remains unresolved, then I think the next step would be to consult an attorney.

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    Member Spookum's Avatar
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    im married to an attorney, after listening to the disclaimer of "im not familure with the case blah blah blah" i got some good advice. You need to document EVERY THING. I pray you got a WRITTEN receipt with the date of delivery on it. if you didtn, dont freak out, you need this BEFORE you tick the guy off.

    Go in there and talk to him, be very understanding about "i understand it takes longer blah blah blah" and have him draw up a new receipt. Make sure it clearly labels the work to be done, the amount paid, and the time line to finish.

    Now you have a leg to stand on, if the work is sub par, or dosent get done, you can take it to small claims court and represent yourself.


    The key is DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. The best is by email or snail mail. All the documents will help you prove your case, if it should come to it. I hope this dosent happen to others!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Anything over a year is to long and anything over 25% up front is to much
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Never, Never, Never, pay any taxidermist more than you have to when you drop off your trophies. 50% is the highest I would even consider paying down. When you pay it all up front the taxidermist has ZERO incentive to finish work already paid for. I was once told by a friend who is a taxidermist this very advice, he said when he needed money, he would knock out the jobs that would put the most money in his pocket once completed.

    Never use any taxidermist without looking at his or her work and checking references.

    Over 2 years is NOT the norm and is getting into the irresponsible area. Most quality taxidermist shops will limit work to current customers until they work down their backlog.

    If it were my stuff I would start making frequent visits until he got the hint.

    Steve
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    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    2 years or more is a REDICULOUS completion time.

    I own 2 Full time taxidermy studios in 2 states & take in more work than most taxidermists can even fathom , & yet we are still 8 to 12 month completion.

    There are several things that can bite a taxidermist in the butt on completion time & I will show you a couple;

    1. the taxidermist waits until the end of the season to send his skins to the tannery, This automaticly puts him behind.

    2. other priorities are in the way of him completing customers work, ( Such as other job, School, Hunting/ Guiding, ect ).

    3. or just plain old NOT wanting to do the work & always finding a reason to not do it.

    4. Taking in more work than they can feasably do in the first place. ( HIRE MORE HELP)

    There are on occasion, instances that someone says ( I dropped off my project 3 years ago & still dont have it back, But neglecting to tell the same person that his lack of REQUIRED deposit for those 3 years is why the taxidermist will not work on his piece)

    I know you said you already paid him so yours is not that case.

    Many people dont remember that times of completion start when we get deposits & not when we check things in, Especialy when they pay payments on the deposit, or pay it off long after the drop off time was.

    Anouther thing is we try to talk the persons OUT of payment in full up front. This spreads out our bill money to insure we dont have a big blank spot with no money coming in.

    I had a client that we mounted a HUGE safari for that took a whole month to complete, When it was finished ( Right before Christmas), I called thinking we would have enough to pay bills & get some nice things for relatives, THEN i find out that he was on anouther safari & wouldnt be back for 3 weeks.

    That makes a big dent in the bank acount when you spend so much time on his projects with no other clients things rewady to pick up.

    On My contracts it states our completion times are 8-12 months.

    If the taxidermist does not have a contract, that you recieve as a reciept of checking in your piece you might also be asking for trouble.


    One word of caution: If you are happy with the quality of work from the guy & you knew he was behind when you drop something off, you might just want to NOT bug him & wait for it to be done.

    Taxidermists HATE when customers Constantly call to check on their projects. It does NOT speed up your completion time & in some cases it pisses them off & they will sometimes purpously work on other folks stuff & make you wait.

    Or the guy that calls EVERY month since dropping off his piece, & then when it is done on time, the guy doesnt have the money to pick it up.

    Some other customers forget that they are not the ONLY client they have & have no clue about waiting their turn & VERY quikly forget that 8-12 months is not the same as 3 months.

    Just sayin.

    If the guy does Very good work , I would WOO SAWW & wait, Your other option is to tell the taxidermist that if it cant be done within a reasonable time you will have to take your projects elseware.

    Sicking Better Business Beuro on someone does No good at all, because most people looking for a taxidermist go to the guys in the phone book or to a guy that was recomended by someone else.

    Plus if the taxidermist hears of the to BBB, it will come off as an insult & you might not like the outcome.

    Again I hope these are not the case in your instance.

    Just giving you a view from both sides of the fence.

    I am in no way trying to give your taxidermist an excuse, As i stated 2 years is completely crazy for completion times.



    RJ Simington

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    I've used a fellow forum member (hoytguy) for three brown bears and a couple of hunting partners have used him as well and all has been done in under 12 months--closer to 8 or 9 on average. Deposit is not an issue for me, as Jesse does great work and is a stand up guy. If I didn't know that to be the case I'd find a guy who I did know that to be the case......

    I'd have no problem with any delivery time-frame that we agree upon up front, but I'd be skeptical about it taking more than 18 months. 2 years sounds way out of line to me.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    No, the taxidermist did not require payment in full up front, buddy put down 50% and made monthly payments during the first 12 months thinking he'd have his mounts.

    We have both been making bi-monthly visits and monthly phone calls checking on the status of his work.

    Don't have a response Amigo Will...I always pay 100% up front...has only bit me once so far...but I do see the point of not paying to have some sort of incentive for the work be finished. On the other hand, if I have to hold $800 bucks over someone's head to get them to get stuff done for me, I don't think I'll ever drop an animal off to em...work should be done on merit, wages, and of course, because 90% of taxidermists love their line of work.

    An attorney?......pay someone $2k for $4k worth of bills to collect and pay another taxidermist $2.5k to finish? I see your point, but not sure about the whole court thing. Trust me....we have definately considered this though.

    Protaxidermy, is it out of line to check up weekly on this guy at this point? How many calls until bugging becomes harrasment? He has receipts/contracts but there is not timeline on them...I've never seen a timeline on a taxidermist's receipt...and have had some work done by bigger shops in Anchorage that are on TV (hint hint) even they do not put a time limit on their work.

    I agree 2 yrs is out of control...what are other options? Seems like we're up sht crk w/out a paddle!!!!

    Thanks for the responses!!!!
    Missing the greatest state in the Union!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I've used a fellow forum member (hoytguy) for three brown bears and a couple of hunting partners have used him as well and all has been done in under 12 months--closer to 8 or 9 on average. Deposit is not an issue for me, as Jesse does great work and is a stand up guy. If I didn't know that to be the case I'd find a guy who I did know that to be the case......

    I'd have no problem with any delivery time-frame that we agree upon up front, but I'd be skeptical about it taking more than 18 months. 2 years sounds way out of line to me.

    I agree...any pre-set time frame wouldn't bother me either...even if it was 30 months....but this guy just won't give a straight answer as far as a timeline is concerned, other than the verbal estimate of 12-15 months when animals were dropped off.
    Missing the greatest state in the Union!

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    Sponsor protaxidermy's Avatar
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    Maybe its time to stop by his studio & ask to see your project, no matter what stage it is in.

    Then if it is not even started, you give him the option of either getting it done in 3 weeks ( Thats enough time to mount & dry, anything) OR you take the Skins, horns/Antlers to someone that wants to do the work.

    Tell him you will pay for the tanning & thats it.

    His responce will be one of two things, You bet you can have your skins back ( if he is too busy to get to yours he wont mind a bit).

    or he will charge you for the tanning, & the form purchase (if he has bought it). In that case tell him you will pay him for your form & you will take it with you.

    OR, he will get the project done.

    Try not to be upset when you are talking with him, or things can get out of hand quikly, & I WOULD NOT take anyone with you. ( he might think your trying to bully him). Not a good foot to get off on.

    Look at the date that the FULL half down was made on & count your time out from THAT date. If it has only been 6 month ( just saying) Dont say ITS BEEN OVER 2 YEARS.

    Try to work it out without conflict & it will probably all work out ok.

    It souds like you already have your mind set against him , so maybe it would be best to seperate ties with you both.

    Several years ago I had a family that we mounted over $50,000. 00 worth of mounts each year for 3 years, but the Agrivation that came from their beter than though attitude twards my family, was not worth it & I finally told the father to come & pick up his skins , horns ,& everything.

    It was one of the best things I ever did. No more stress from them.


    NO, NOT ALL customers are like that but , & not all taxidermists know how to run an ethical business, sometimes, people are just not going to see eye to eye, no ,matter what is done.

    I do wish you the best & hope he gets your stuff done soon.

    RJ Simington

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    I have no recommendation, but I'll tell you what has worked for me . . . . .

    Draw up a proper Affidavit, signed and notarized, and deliver it to your taxidermist the next time you visit him. Explain that you certainly don't want to move ahead with it, but if something can't be worked out FIRMLY, you'll be attaching that Affidavit to the Claim Form you will have to file in Small Claims Court. Give him ten-days in which to decide whether to give you a firm date, IN WRITING, for completion of his work.

    Remember that he will be in line for completing your work according to the new FIXED schedule, or else he will have to return your trophies, your money, and pay any court and filing fee costs. That will be expensive for him. No attorney is required for Small Claims Court, though he has the option of fighting the matter and bringing his own attorney to court. If he loses in court, that will be an additional cost for him. Though you may not at this time have a written achedule for the return of your completed trophies, a "reasonable and prudent" person, including the judge, will consider the time you've waited to be excessive . . . . .

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    Your taxidermist should have given you a estimated date/month of completion. Some things take more time. My buffalo is susposed to be completed in 26 monthes from turn-in. Asked taxidermist about it when dropped off more stuff. he said may be one to two monthes longer due to form not fitting right.

    To me this is acceptable, to others mayber not. Big thing to realize is if you have a unique trophy- things may pop up that will extended the taxidermist time line. A deer that was taken during the rut may have a more swollen neck.. a buffalo may have non-standard horn..

    I believe I would contact the taxidermist before going to the BBB or doing something to report him negatively.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    I've used a fellow forum member (hoytguy) for three brown bears and a couple of hunting partners have used him as well and all has been done in under 12 months--closer to 8 or 9 on average. Deposit is not an issue for me, as Jesse does great work and is a stand up guy. If I didn't know that to be the case I'd find a guy who I did know that to be the case......

    I'd have no problem with any delivery time-frame that we agree upon up front, but I'd be skeptical about it taking more than 18 months. 2 years sounds way out of line to me.

    Thanks for the nice comments Mr Scott, I try my best..

    I can agree with everything that RJ has said pretty much in this whole thread. Hes spot on in all the valid points he has made. I think 12 months is a more than adequate turn around and should be no more than that unless their is some sort of circumstance.. Communication is important, as is a Drawn up contract of some sort that outlines the specific work to be done.. 50% deposit is the norm, and in my situation paying in full doesnt get ya bumped to the front..

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    I agree paying 100% up front doesn't get you bumped...that's not why I do it, I just want to be squared away with my taxi.

    Protaxidermy...my buddy goes every 2 months to his shop...his 2 bears and bou have both been tanned for at least 10 months and my buddy took a little over 8 months total to have paid in full.

    Grzzly, I like your suggestion, but isn't the max for small claims court $3K? That would actually cover everything.

    akgunandammo...agreed...we've only gotten a few definate dates from his taxi and so far no good....like I said before, nothing is or has been in writing except receipts for payment and the write up of what work is to be done. No dates are on anything, it has been verbal comm for dates/timeframes

    We are going to visit his shop on Wed and see what the update is...my guess is that he probably read this by now and has a good story lined up. He has about 10 days to reply to the BBB claim.
    Missing the greatest state in the Union!

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    On a related note..... RJ, do you have my wifes caribou head, the two moose racks, including my massive fork, and the hides done yet and ready for pick up? It's been a month and was hoping to have them on the lodge wall by Thanksgiving.... heh heh!

    I do have several animals at another taxidermy shop that they have had for 20 months. Hoping to have them soon.

    Claude
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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