Bad taxidermists are a pet peeve of mine. I can't believe some of the mounts you see at deer shows and other wildlife exhibits. Do people not know what deer or duck is supposed to look like? From learning experience, do your homework, and no matter how good of "buddy" he is, don't give him your duck or deer to do unless he is better than anything you have seen so far. If I choose to get a bird done, then it is something special to me, and I want that memory to last a lifetime. I have learned from experience, and even threw a bufflehead in the trash, that I was tired of people laughing. Make sure your taxidermist is a duck hunter, or very knoledgable of birds, and I prefer a bird only, taxidermists. Be sure and look at as many ducks that he/she has done, cause, just because you see one that is great, does not mean that they all are(been there, done that, got the t-shirt). I have since found a great one, and I will recommend him to anyone. The local Gander Mountain where my parents live, have some ducks there, that are absolutely terrorfying to look at. My wife does not even hunt or know what a duck is supposed to look like, and she even cringed when she saw them, point is, is that this guy had to be somewhat confident in his abilities to mount birds or he probally would not have put them in the store. If that was my birds, I would want my money back, or take him to court. And if no one has the guts to tell him that they look like crap, then he will never do any better, and continue to do shotty work. It bothers me that people that go into the store, see his mounts, and if they do not know better, then they will think that, thats what ducks are supposed to look like. Go to the Gander Mountain in Greensboro NC and you will wee what I mean, sorry if I stepped on the taxidermists toes that done the work there, but its the truth. I don't know if this helped you any, but I needed to vent a little.
There is no such thing as a cripple being too close!!! If so, you might never see it again. I'm not going to take that chance!!!