Choosing a Taxidermist
How do you
"Choose a Taxidermist"
heard the horror stories about how a friend shot
this beautiful, enormous whitetail. He takes it
to a guy down the street that assures him that
"he can handle the job" of turning this thing
into a life-like wall-hanging trophy. The hunter
finally gets his deer mount back and swears it
is not the deer he shot! To make matters worse,
the deer begins to "shrink" once hung in the den
and within months the wife is threatening
divorce if the "eye-sore" is not retired to the
taxidermist is sometimes like playing the
lottery; there is always a chance you could
choose the right one. The PTA suggests a few
things to help sportsmen decide if the
taxidermist chosen is the right one for them.
Is (s)he licensed by the
In Pennsylvania, a
taxidermist must be licensed by the PA
Department of Agriculture. In the case of
waterfowl or migratory birds, a taxidermist
must also hold a federal taxidermy license.
Simply put, "Have you heard
anything bad about the person?" If so, check
it out thoroughly. A taxidermist can never
please everyone, but it's not out of line to
ask for a client list and simply call a few
of these and ask them if they were satisfied
with the taxidermy work.
Don't be afraid to ask
Will you guarantee your work?
Do you use professionally tanned skins?; Or
use dry preservatives? May I see a few
finished mounts? How much expertise do you
have? Do you have insurance in case
something happens to my valuable trophy?
Above all, go and look at the individual's
work, don't just shop for a cheap price and
quick turn-around over the phone. Make an
appointment with the taxidermist and ask
your questions directly.
Price of the finished mount is always a
tough call and sometimes hunters get hung up
on the price alone. Consider price carefully
and always remember the saying "you
get what you pay for" wasn't
dreamed up yesterday. If one taxidermist is
mounting deer heads for $150 less than most
others, be suspicious of the quality going
into the work. Buy the best quality you can
afford. After all, you may have waited a
lifetime for this special trophy. Picking
your taxidermist carefully will assure your
trophy really will last a lifetime.