I was a taxidermist for over 25 years, so you might be interested in my take on your situation. First of all, YOU didn't do anything wrong. In fact, you have been more than patient with this joker. As I read your posts and the responses from other members, I found myself getting more amd more angry to the point where I only got through about half of the posts before I just had to write this. Guys like this give all taxidermists a bad name. I could go on with my feelings, but I'll try to give some constructive postive advice to you and the others who read this thread.
First, it's a good idea to visit several taxidermists to check out their work and to get a "feel" about them and their set up. And don't wait until you have an animal in the back of your truck. Start visiting these guys off season. During your visit, ask if the taxidermist belongs to the National Taxidermists Association or state association. In addition to seeing what's on their walls, ask them to show you pictures of their work.
Second, ask for references - AND CALL THEM to ask about delivery time, quality of work, etc.
Third, after you've made your choice, be sure to get a contract, signed by you and the taxidermist, and REQUIRE him or her to give you a finish date IN WRITING on the contract. (That was something my contracts always included. In fact, unlike some taxidermists who try to get you to leave your trophy with them by giving you an unrealistic early date, I always gave an outside time, so when I called "early" to say the work was done, the hunter was always pleasantly surprised. This got me LOTS of return customers and recommendations.)
The thing with the cape swap really got me pissed off. This is nothing less than stealing from you.
This whole thing reminds me of a taxidermist story I heard which shows how guys like this give taxidermists a bad name:
A disgruntled hunter walks into a bar, and after a few drinks, he starts complaining about the bad taxidermist that screwed up his mount. He gets louder and louder and all worked up until he yells, "All taxidermists are a**holes!"
At which point, the guy next to him responds, "Hey, I resent that."
The hunter replies, "What, are you a taxidermist?"
To which the guy next to him says,"No, I'm an a**hole."
Go to the home page of this site and check out my article on choosing a taxidermist: "The Hunter-Taxidermist Team".
Last edited by onehorse; 01-02-2011 at 10:41 AM.