I have been a taxidermist for over 20 years and every year I try to write a little about how important it is to choose a good taxidermist. Since deer season is fast approaching in most of the country, getting ready to take your potential trophy to a good taxidermist is an important part of preparing for hunting season.
Hopefully, you already have a steady and reliable taxidermist who is professional and gets all of his year’s work completed and picked up before the new hunting season arrives. If your taxidermist takes longer than a year, you need to consider a few options and questions so that you can re-evaluate your trust in him or her.
The truth of the matter is that if a taxidermist is taking longer than a year to get all their work done, it is not a sign of how good they are. Contrary to popular belief, it is a sign of what a bad business person they are and that should be a red flag no matter the quality of their work.
Getting too much work in should be impossible for a good taxidermist. If a taxidermist needs help, then they should have the wisdom to hire part time help so that they can get work out in a timelier manner. Another great benefit of part time help is that someone is there to cover for your taxidermist if he or she happens to get hurt or have a family emergency. This is just good business 101.
Another possible problem with your taxidermist taking longer than a year is that they could possibly be spending the deposit money long before it is time to order the tanning, forms and supplies needed to complete a mount. This is actually common in taxidermy and only the rare, professional taxidermist avoids this terrible business practice by properly planning and budgeting.
Remember, it is easier to find a good taxidermist than it is to find a good business person, but you should know that these two skill sets are required for maintaining a reputable taxidermy shop.
So, should a taxidermist take a year to complete a mount? The short answer is an absolute NO. I know dozens of taxidermists, and I know all the excuses for why they take longer than a year, but in reality, there are no good excuses for taking that long.