In part one of this taxidermy series, I mentioned the importance of choosing a good taxidermist and how the not doing so hurts the hunting community and taxidermy in general. How do you actually choose a good taxidermist? It’s actually easy to do but requires some work and preparation. Here is where you start.
The most important quality that you want to find in a taxidermist is one that is a good business person. One good sign of a good business minded taxidermist is one that has been in business for a while and is established with a steady customer base. Although the good business qualities won’t ensure a quality mount, it is the best place to start looking at whether or not you are interested in a good taxidermist.
A sold business minded taxidermist will keep your mount safe and secure. They will also make sure that the turn-around time on a trophy is within a year’s time. Anything after a year is not a good sign as it means that a taxidermist has taken in more work than he can handle by his/herself. In fact, when a good taxidermist is overloaded to the point where they are taking over a year to complete a mount, it means they need to hire at least some part time help. That is just good business.
Another reason it’s bad to use a taxidermist who takes over a year to get work done is the possibility that they are misappropriating their deposit money. A bad business person ends up running their business like a shell game. They put themselves in a bind and cannot do work unless there is a supply of new deposits coming in to fund the materials needed to complete mounts that should have already been done. It is a vicious cycle and that is why you want to avoid taxidermists that are not good at business.
When a taxidermist gets to the point where they are needing new money to finish old work, the chances of ever catching up and moving on is small—barring a large project that would pay enough of a deposit to get someone all caught up. That almost never happens and it is a gamble to think otherwise. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any gambling going on when it comes to my trophy and neither should you.