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Thread: Marten Mount

  1. #1
    Member SperBear's Avatar
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    Default Marten Mount

    Looking to get a Marten mounted. Thought it'd be cool to have a full body marten "clawing" a ptarmigan or something like that, or even just a full body marten mount.
    Didn't realize how expensive it would be! Has anyone with little to no taxidermy experience tried doing their own work on a marten or similar animal? How did it turn out? Recommendations?
    Are there are any more affordable ways or taxidermists that do quality work?
    I called around and most wanted around $500-$700 for a full body marten mount, and I can't afford that right now...
    Thanks in advance for any tips, suggestions, advice.

  2. #2
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Have you tried making any phone calls to taxidermists that are in the lower 48? You'll be very suprised at the differences in prices.

  3. #3
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    I agree, the difference between the prices in the lower 48 and here in Alaska are huge!! I understand that the cost of living is more expensive up here and all but I think some some of these guys charge a ridiculous amount. Martens are small and wont cost anything to ship, save your $ and send it down South!!

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    Come on... Most of us get COLA up here and IMO we need to support the local economy. Some guys are very high, so shop around and make sure you gets references or inspect their work before you put any money down.

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    I agree, the difference between the prices in the lower 48 and here in Alaska are huge!! I understand that the cost of living is more expensive up here and all but I think some some of these guys charge a ridiculous amount. Martens are small and wont cost anything to ship, save your $ and send it down South!!

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    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    I'm tired of hearing support your local economy, thats BS. Why is it that I can take a deer into a taxidermist in the lower 48, with the skull still in, and get a wall pedestal mount for $350. Here, they charged me $100 to flesh, $150 extra for the pedestal form, and $750 to mount it. $1000 for a deer mount that a guy in the lower 48 can do just as good for less. Another example... I sent a brown bear to a very reputable taxidermist in Montana to get rugged. Cost is $250 per sq. foot and he does the fleshing for free, and bleaches the skull for free and guarantees the rug to me in 9-12 months. My LOCAL taxidermist charges $275 per sq. foot, $300 to flesh it, $175 to bleach the skull, and has a 2-3 year wait. Example 3... I am paying Knights Taxidermy in Anchorage $500 to put some caribou antlers on a plaque when they charge $150 in the lower 48 to do it.

    Sorry for the long winded post but I'm getting sick and tired of " support your local taxidermist" when it seems to me like I'm getting ripped off. Cola or no Cola, why pay several hundred dollars more of my hard earned money and get the stink eye when you dont flesh an animal....when I can take it to another guy for alot less.

    I also have heard more horror stories of hides left to rot, crappy work, and animals taking too long to get back in this State than anywhere else in the U.S. Maybe an Alaskan taxidermist on this forum can chime in and set me straight, but for now thats my .02 and i'm sticking to it!! BTW SperBear, full Marten mounts down South average about $160. Good Luck

  6. #6
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    I'm tired of hearing support your local economy, thats BS. Why is it that I can take a deer into a taxidermist in the lower 48, with the skull still in, and get a wall pedestal mount for $350. Here, they charged me $100 to flesh, $150 extra for the pedestal form, and $750 to mount it. $1000 for a deer mount that a guy in the lower 48 can do just as good for less. Another example... I sent a brown bear to a very reputable taxidermist in Montana to get rugged. Cost is $250 per sq. foot and he does the fleshing for free, and bleaches the skull for free and guarantees the rug to me in 9-12 months. My LOCAL taxidermist charges $275 per sq. foot, $300 to flesh it, $175 to bleach the skull, and has a 2-3 year wait. Example 3... I am paying Knights Taxidermy in Anchorage $500 to put some caribou antlers on a plaque when they charge $150 in the lower 48 to do it.

    Sorry for the long winded post but I'm getting sick and tired of " support your local taxidermist" when it seems to me like I'm getting ripped off. Cola or no Cola, why pay several hundred dollars more of my hard earned money and get the stink eye when you dont flesh an animal....when I can take it to another guy for alot less.

    I also have heard more horror stories of hides left to rot, crappy work, and animals taking too long to get back in this State than anywhere else in the U.S. Maybe an Alaskan taxidermist on this forum can chime in and set me straight, but for now thats my .02 and i'm sticking to it!! BTW SperBear, full Marten mounts down South average about $160. Good Luck

    wow you get off cheap still..

    skull 200

    fleshing 40 per hour average 6-8 hours..

    last big one cost over 2400... @ 8'

    who is that guy in MT? what does shipping cost?
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    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Just some options but fleshing, hey I do that myself I will be more than happy to work on my own time for $40/hour even if it takes me twice as long ($20/hour). Bleaching skulls for $200, I highly recommend the beetle treatment through Vandykes http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/.

    I have used a local taxidermist for bear but having second considerations in the future, not for price or quality of work but for time, currently he has two browns from me (one that I took down for my brother in law), initially the taxidermist told me 12-14 months and then later he said 18 as he was backed up I told him no problems with 18 months as my brother in law is in Korea for work. Anyway he has had my brother in laws since the first week of September 2007 and mine since the last week of May 2008. Spoke with him a few months ago and told him my drop dead time was April, he said no excuses for the delay. Troubling thing is I have taken 6 other bear (browns and blacks) to this taxidermist over the past 7 years and he has always been reasonable on time, now it seems I'm being rewarded for my patronage with bear back in 30 months? I'm going to have to shop around more, but I do like the guys work.

  8. #8
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    I had a marten mounted a few years ago, and I'd highly recommend the taxidermist. He did an amazing job and at a very fair price. I think it was $225 at the time, including an oak base with custom log setting. He was a pleasure to work with, and emailed me pictures during the mounting process just to make sure I was satisfied in the direction we were going. I don't have any photos here in the office with me, but I'll post one when I get a chance at home.

    Anyhow, the guy's name is Steve Huffman, and he's out of Aguilar, Colorado. http://www.huffmantaxidermy.com/ His contact info is under the "Shipping Instructions" page.

    I'm not going to get into the whole "support your local economy" debate, but I'd recommend Steve simply because he's done good work for me in the past. He specializes in small mammal taxidermy, so is well experienced with things like martens. I simply mailed him the frozen marten, and he shipped it back when finished, well packed in a crate, for something like $50. The only downside was turnaround was almost a year...

    It's been a few years since I've done any work through him, but you might give him a call and get a quote on the marten and shipping to AK.


    On a side note... his brother Todd Huffman out of Trinidad, CO specializes in birds and has done some great work on ducks and grouse for me and my friends. http://www.birdmanstudios.com/ I'm not tied to these guys in any way, other than they've done great work at a reasonable price and I'm a satisfied customer.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  9. #9
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    hmmm... taking a look at Steve's website I see he's also moved into the "pet preservation" market. That's a little creepy to me, ha ha, but I suppose if there's a demand...

    Anyway, I'd still recommend him and bet he'd do a great job on your marten.
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  10. #10
    Member CGSwimmer25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    who is that guy in MT? what does shipping cost?
    Vince, his name is Dennis Dumont, Libby Montana. He does just about every bear a Coastie gets here on Kodiak through word of mouth, I looked at several of his rugs people had here and was convinced to send it to him after seeing the quality of his work. I shipped it Fed Ex second day air @$140.

  11. #11
    Member #1duck's Avatar
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    Fortmans taxidermy out of Ohio had my black bear rug done in 3 months for 1/2 the price of what they charge up here to do it. I'm all for supporting local business but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

  12. #12
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    Default GCSswimmer

    I will try and answer some of your questions and shed some light on your theory and help ceducate a few people...

    GCSswimmer: Why is it that I can take a deer into a taxidermist in the lower 48, with the skull still in, and get a wall pedestal mount for $350. Here, they charged me $100 to flesh, $150 extra for the pedestal form, and $750 to mount it. $1000 for a deer mount that a guy in the lower 48 can do just as good for less.

    1. In the lower 48 the cost of living is 1/2 in most states and even less then that in others.. Few states are even equal or close to the cost of living here in Alaska.. In say Louisiana, texas, etc..you can buy a 2400 sf house for 40K, whats that a 120.00 a month mortgage payment, try to find a house in Ak for under 250K.. and less than a 1800 a month mortgage.. Gas is triple here, 185 a gallon their, 340 here, natural gas, electricity, the list goes on and on.. so to be able to survive.. taxidermist have to figure out what they need to live on.. and provide for their families, not to mention they have to buy health and medical insurance.. no employer to do that... and if they get hurt or have a family emergency.. then what?

    2. Supplies, materials and SHIPPING: its crazy, the price of materials, and the shipping alone is astronomical.. Their are suppliers on every coast in the lower 48, and some in the middle.. taxidermy studios down their either drive to them and pick up HUGE loads or have them shipped at way less than shipping to Ak is..Pedestal mounts take up a bigger box to ship. theirfore a bigger box = higher price... materials on the back to finish, and to get the supplies here.. and time to do it.. Not saying your right, or wrong.. just pointing out some misleading info here..

    GCSswimmer: Another example... I sent a brown bear to a very reputable taxidermist in Montana to get rugged. Cost is $250 per sq. foot and he does the fleshing for free, and bleaches the skull for free and guarantees the rug to me in 9-12 months. My LOCAL taxidermist charges $275 per sq. foot, $300 to flesh it, $175 to bleach the skull, and has a 2-3 year wait.

    My guess is your guy in Montana has a few guys hired to help that get paid minimal, do things such as shipping, receiveing, fleshing, etc. and thats his deal.. flesh for free.. skulls are free.. feshing takes time, time is Money.. Taxidermist are Artists and laborers..Don't mechanics and every other laboror in the nation get paid hourly labor.. I bet you pay a auto mechanic 80 bucks an hour to look at a transmission.. but no one bats an eye.. but 7-8 hors of fleshing a fat, greasy stinky bear... poorly prepared by the jolley hunter.. Must be free.. just another FYI

    GCSswimmer: Example 3... I am paying Knights Taxidermy in Anchorage $500 to put some caribou antlers on a plaque when they charge $150 in the lower 48 to do it.

    I can't comment on this.. as talking about other taxidermist in the profession is bad bussines..I can only comment on what I do and what I charge accordingly... I charge 185' for black bears and 195' for browns.. as for the antler mount.. I assume i nthe lower 48 their mounting whitetails and mule deer.. not many caribou in the lower 48,

    I will also break down a cost estimate and profit scale on say a average 6' black bear rug

    fleshing/Tanning 250
    form, materials 140
    shipping 60
    Rugging 400
    Total 850.00

    Quote estimate on a 6' black bear @ 200 a foot = 1200.00 this gets you open mouth, snarl, whatever.. double felt, lined backing, D-rings to hand on the back.. etc.. the whole shi-bang...

    profit 450
    - taxes 109
    so in the end the taxidermist made roughly 325.00 on a bear rug..that took roughly 20-30 hours of labor to complete.. and thats before paying himself..

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    Member AK Trout's Avatar
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    Question Moyles?

    Has anyone had mounts done through moyles? I have heard a lot about them for tanning but nothing about their taxidermy
    I'm also looking to get some full done on some furbearers I have trapped this season.

    Trout--

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGSwimmer25 View Post
    Vince, his name is Dennis Dumont, Libby Montana. He does just about every bear a Coastie gets here on Kodiak through word of mouth, I looked at several of his rugs people had here and was convinced to send it to him after seeing the quality of his work. I shipped it Fed Ex second day air @$140.
    well hope fully we will be sending one from the islands this fall too!.. put in for DB261&DE723 back to back on affognak
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Huntress's Avatar
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    Ak Trout,

    I'd suggest giving Kathy a call at Foxy Beaver Taxidermy (907.892.8938). She is located in Big Lake, she's doing our porky as we speak.



    Also, if your an AFTA member she gives a 10% discount.




    Quote Originally Posted by AK Trout View Post
    Has anyone had mounts done through moyles? I have heard a lot about them for tanning but nothing about their taxidermy
    I'm also looking to get some full done on some furbearers I have trapped this season.

    Trout--
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

  16. #16

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    I can verify the shipping costs of taxidermy supplies to Alaska. My buddy has been a taxidermist in Alaska for years and a life-sized bear form costs more to ship than to buy. It is still expensive to ship even when the forms are cut into multiple pieces so they fit into smaller boxes. I personally can verify the high cost of shipping raw furs to the tannery. Since the skins are stretched and dried, it makes it hard to fold them up into smaller boxes without damaging them (or actually breaking them in half). Shipping is charged two ways; by weight or by dimension which ever is greater. As for other taxidermy supplies like chemicals it is very difficult and expensive to get them here. If you want to search for more facts go to http://www.taxidermy.net It's a forum page much like this one.
    PC gag in place.

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    Go ahead and send it out to the world.. If you add every thing up( finding a taxidermist, phone calls, shipping, I advise to insure your shipping ext) you have spent more then finding one in Alaska, but its your money.
    My Marten run about $350.00 add a Ptarmigan starting at $300.00. I donít think thatís bad at all.
    Now for you how are paying $300 for a shoulder mount, take advantage of it now. This guy will not be in business long. I can just cover my materials with that, and a man still needs to cover overhead, and have some to put in pocket, that is always nice. Send it out to someone how has never seen a Ptarmigan and see what you get back good luck.


    I have more to say but I will hold my tongue.
    Alaska Mountin' Man Taxidermy
    North Pole, Ak 99705
    (907) 488-7083

  18. #18
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntress View Post
    Ak Trout,

    I'd suggest giving Kathy a call at Foxy Beaver Taxidermy (907.892.8938). She is located in Big Lake, she's doing our porky as we speak.



    Also, if your an AFTA member she gives a 10% discount.

    Your having Jim mounted?
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  19. #19

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    just like a grizzly bear mount(Jim). Have to cut the form up in lots of pieces to get it up here...lol

  20. #20
    Sponsor Hoytguy's Avatar
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    Default AK dube

    Yo must be a taxidermist as well.. Its not a cheap bussiness to operate eh? ..I just spent the past 8 hours fleshing 2 musk ox.. LOL

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