Whats a good price?

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Whats a good price?

Postby arizonaduckhunter13 » Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:59 pm

Whats a good price to get my first drake mounted either flying or cupped i checked into one guy near where i live and i think 325 is a little pricey
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Postby Pete-pec » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:00 am

I've heard prices from 100 to 250. Your price seems a bit high, but you usually get what you pay for.

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Last edited by Pete-pec on Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gooseboy » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:06 am

Thats seems pretty high.
The group ended up with 420 birds.

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Postby huntmq1 » Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:48 pm

Sounds really high to me. Well actually it doesn't sound to high....I'll say it...it IS to high! You get what you pay for, UNLESS the guy is trying to rip you off! I don't think that ole saying about paying/what you get applies here. Sounds to me like he's trying to make his truck payment for the month off your bird! $350 for a duck? Whats this master taxidermist charge for deer, etc??? :cool:
Hey, did you grab the blind bag with the shells when we left the truck?
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Postby jjohnson_714 » Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:06 pm

guys like shane smith and the birdman studios charge $250 for a duck and they are some of the best that you can get from my research. so i say anything very far above that is over priced.
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Postby duckbuster » Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:38 pm

that is really high.....for ducks and pheasants and those birds generally 130-160 is a decent price....geese ur looking more 150-175 even 200 for big ones....always always shop around look at a few guys work...the taxidermist i have found that does mine is cheap compared to anyone in town but he gives me better service and is the same quality
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Postby Daisycuttin » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:39 am

350????? :thumbsdown: wow. here in arkansas the average is about 110 per bird regardless of pose. There is a guy on this forum from Missouri that I hear is awesome and has been charging only $55 per bird his whole career and still does.
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Postby weedsnager » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:41 am

that's way to high........you can get it done by some of the top waterfowl taxidermist's in the country cheaper then that.
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Postby Pete-pec » Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:04 am

Some parts of the States are absolutely flooded with people that call themselves "Taxidermists". The problem with a flooded market, is that you have to either lower your price to compete for a market-share, or you keep your prices where they should be, and take in less work. I'll say it again, you get what you pay for, and that is usually true. Now that doesn't mean that you pay $350 for a mount, but you should be paying the taxidermist for the work performed. You wouldn't expect to pay the plumber $55 for a house call even if it took him only a half hour to unplug your drain, why would you expect to pay a taxidermist $55 dollars to do many hours of work, that quite frankly takes more skill than a plumber. (Please no feedback from the local plumbers union :toofunny:)

The average price in my particular area (which happens to have quite a few taxidermists) is around $200 per duck, in any pose.

Now whoever is charging $55 for a duck. Please send me a PM so I can give you some advice on how to do less work and make more money. Or can you tell me how you are making any money at all? I'm not here to insult you, I just don't get it. I'm no speed Demon, and don't do taxidermy for anyone other than myself, but I spend 2 hours alone on skinning, fleshing and washing. another hour running wires, and attaching the artificial head (which I'm sure you're not using due to cost). another hour or two sewing, caulking, shingling feathers, and taping and carding the feathers into place. Here comes the kicker; the cost of materials: Artificial head $7, glass eyes $2 to $5, foam body $5 to $7, wire, caulk, etc. $2. Materials alone run around $15 to $20 not to mention the labor which is 5 to 7 hours to make it look adequate. I don't know about you, but I get paid $30 an hour at my job. Is that above average? maybe, but even at $20 an hour your still looking at $100 to $140 in labor alone. Lastly, you need to charge something due to product demand. Not everyone can mount a duck. I'm not saying that you can't learn, but you will pay for that as well if you're looking at a reputable taxidermist with award-winning credentials.

So my summary is:
$350 = Too much!
$150-$200= Average.
$55 = Too little. AKA slave labor! If you raised your prices and did good work, you'll bring in less work, but make up for it in higher cost. Not to mention that if you raised your prices, then your competitors would as well, then the guy who outperforms the other will end up with the greater market share. Not everyone price shops. Alot may, but there are people willing to pay for quality.....Even in Missouri! :laughing:

-Pete
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Postby huntmq1 » Wed Nov 29, 2006 4:34 pm

Wheres this Missouri taxi. at? I've NEVER seen another taxi. on here from Missouri, I'm from Missouri and have been on here for almost 2 years and cruise the Missouri forums. Never heard of him/her. Pete, you? If he/she is doing them for $55.....I wanna know how! Our motto here in MO....SHOW ME! I'm no professional taxi. by any stretch of the term, but when I do my own ducks in my buddies shop where he makes a pretty good living, the rough materials alone cost me almost $27. Thats at cost. That does not include wire, tape, cards, sewing thread, paint, super glue, caulk, etc..
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Postby Daisycuttin » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:53 pm

I also do most of my and my buddies birds and i am definately no pro. But it only averages me $11-$12 per bird materials. ( body, eyes, neck foam, wire, glue, sewing, paint, and feet preserve). Initial prep: I.E body and neck removal, skull cleaning = 20-25 minutes max.
Cleaning: I.E defatting, blood removal. takes 2 seconds to put it into a kerosene bath. several hours later (not counted as labor)
Rinse= 2 minutes. Drying= place in sawdust tumbler for a couple hours (also not counted as labor time)
Assembly: I.E foam body fit and placement, wire addition, sewing, posing, air brushing and feather tucking 1-1.5 hours.
Grand total 2 hours labor.
People who do it for a living can do 3-5 birds at a time in the same time frame.
A mount done properly and to the liking of the customer is worth its weight in gold. Some people actually do it for the love of the art and not the financial gain. I have done some beautiful mounts for friends and family and I have also done some crap that you couldnt even use as a decoy. I will happily trust this taxi charging $55 to mount my birds as show pieces, and continue with my hobby as just that.
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Postby Pete-pec » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:27 pm

Hobby here as well. I still would question the de-fatting procedure you're referring to. Do you actually de-fat the bird? Do you use a wire wheel and actually remove the fat from the feather butts? My understanding after reading your response says that you just soak it in Kerosene. Am I reading this correctly? I believe putting a bird in a tumbler for 2 hours would break up the Quills and bend the Rachis on your feathers very badly. I've done a few for twenty minutes on very low speed and had some bending. I may tumble a Turkey or a Goose, but rarely tumble ducks anymore for that particular reason. Does grease come out of your birds after time at the incision?

I'm not busting your chops, I'm just not sure you're doing modern bird taxidermy. I've got some old books from the 60's that refer to those methods, but people around here expect more. If the $55 price range involves those methods you are referring to, then I can understand the price a little more, but I still think it's too cheap even if it's for the "love of the art".

I love it more than anyone I know. I shoot each specimen and examine it hoping it will one day be on my wall!

I think it would be great to find a guy who charged so little, and heck if his quality was truly there, I'd send him my birds!

Please don't think I'm trying to pick a fight, because I'm not, I'm really one hell of a nice guy, who's willing to share some new ideas to improve everyone's bird taxidermy. Just ask me! :laughing: :thumbsup:

-Pete
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Postby Daisycuttin » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:02 pm

actually as far as the kerosene is concerned, the birds we get around here generally have very little skin fat. that said it usually dissolves rather quickly and cleanly, on occasion there is some fleshing required but not usually. where the tumbler is concerned, the one i have is is a 30gal drum tumbler that only spins at 20 rpm. at that speed the bird does not tumble so much as slides in the sawdust wicking away the moisture. time was just an estimate to prove a point. I only tumble them until they are dry( check every 10-15 minutes). Haven't yet experienced any feather damage. I have some of my first ones from 4 years ago and haven't seen any grease around the incision or the eyes. These are the methods that were taught to me and I guess I never thought to see about any new ones. Ill get some pics of the guys work on here as soon as possible. Im not certain of his methods, but the pics i have seen look great (I have yet to see any in person). But for that price Ill give him a shot.
If ya don't like being peppered, don't set up near my spread..!!!!!

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Postby Pete-pec » Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:36 pm

I was hoping that you didn't take my remarks personally, and you didn't. That's cool! Sometimes people take someone Else's typing the wrong way, and that was not my intention at all.

If the guy does work that inexpensive, and the work looks good, then more power to them, and you. I haven't made any considerations as of yet to perform taxidermy for money, but personally I take a lot more time than the average guy (narcissistic), and am never completely happy with my own work enough to do work for someone else. I tend to be my worst critic. therefore, I would have to charge more than that even though I do it for the "love of the art" my own self, based on man-hours alone.

By the time I'm finished with my personal collection, I may be comfortable enough to do a bit of dabbling for a little extra pocket money.
I've had plenty of offers, but I need to finish my collection first. :thumbsup:

By the way, I can buy the fact that the birds may have very little fat where your from. When they start here they have upwards of a 1/4 inch of fat, but by the time they migrate south, they can lose nearly half their body weight. I would love to not have to flesh puddle ducks. A thick layer of fat followed by skin as thin as toilet paper. :thumbsdown:

Good luck on your hobby,

-Pete
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Postby donell67 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:49 pm

the highest ive heard of before was 250. my cousin does my birds for cost. he does and awesome job. some where on here is a canvasback he mounted.
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Postby StormWidgeon » Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:36 pm

Solvents do not really cut the fat off the skin. It does some but, solvents are used primarily as a water displacement.

I use to tumble my birds but I too feel that it is hard on the feather. Now I just wash and rinse really well. Press dry with a couple towels and then turn the blower on the shop vac and blow dry the feathers. This gets the the feathers dry but still leaves the skin on the underside damp long enough to work with. I have had a few birds after a solvent bath dry out to fast, before I could get it all sewn up.

Not to mention the health and flamable hazards associated with solvents.

Just my take on things.
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Postby kywaterfowl » Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:15 pm

I just sent 6 in to get mounted and they charged me 85.00 each. I'm in Ky.
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Postby bird man » Sat Dec 16, 2006 6:07 am

Wow $85.00 thats whats I charged ten years ago. I guess some people like working for below min. wage.
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Postby zier » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:23 pm

you get what you pay for
you pay for what you get
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Postby drake23 » Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:42 am

i could get a deer shoulder mount for that price
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More tneh you think

Postby Stoger » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:54 am

Who can say how much is too much??? And you do get what you pay for! I am a taxidermist in Maryland and I charge $260 for a standing mount and $310 for a flying mount (duck). Flying birds are more work periodt. To properly groom a flying duck, I will take a couple of hours. Start to finish it takes me about 10 hours to do a flying bird. So given that, I have $20 to $25 in material leaving $290 to pay myself and cover my overhead. So many guys forget about the rent for the shop and all of the utilities. So how much am I making? Certainly not a killing!
I think a person should pay for a bird mount what they feel that bird is worth to them. Always look at a taxidermist work before you commit. If price is the bottom line, quality should not be a factor. :hammer:
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Postby Matt Jones » Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:25 pm

bird man wrote:Wow $85.00 thats whats I charged ten years ago. I guess some people like working for below min. wage.

I agree.

Cost of materials for me is around $50 a duck. It takes me probably 10 hours to do a bird including finish work. So that guy is either working for $3.50 an hour or he is cutting corners and not taking the time necessary to do a bird right.

I'm not trying to ruffle anyone's feathers, just stating my opinion.
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Postby Rudso » Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:21 pm

I agree with the most, $350.00 for a single mount sounds $100.00 to much, unless maybe the taxidermist is doing the mount in a glass case of some sort. One of the best taxidermist, in my opinion, who dose my mounts charges $250.00, and he is really good! He dose it mostly as a hobby and there is a long wait to get a mount back from him but his work is worth it. I mean if he charged $350.00 I would gladly pay that if he was mounting my waterfowl, but luckily he cares about his customers to keep it at $250.00. What I am trying to say is that if your taxidermist is really good and popular with other hunters, he may charge a higher price than others, and it may be worth it depending on the results he creates but if you seen some of his work and think it's avg., continue on your research towards a better taxidermist.

Here is a mount my taxidermist did for me

Image

Not mine but this my favorite mount from his work...

Image
DU
CWA
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Postby Adjhunt » Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:44 am

I've had 3 mounts done for me, The first 2 were $25 each from last years season, and then just had another done for $20.... Can't beat that!
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Postby Redheaded Girl » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:44 pm

i know a gentleman that charges various prices...65 and up for birds..builds his own bodys for the ducks uses the original bone structure and wire..birds look great and he makes a profit...i spose it depends on the taxidermist and as pete said the area...all u can do is check around.. :hammer:
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