Question for the pros

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Question for the pros

Postby Duck Nasty » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:17 pm

Well my retirement is coming up and I am truely thinking of making a profession out of mounting birds. I'm going to try and get several schools done this summer and next year. I'm in the dark about trying to set up a professional business out of it. I know I need to get the federal and state permits, are there any other permits that I will need. What is needed to get the USDA certification? What might be some good advice to get a shop up and running.
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Re: Question for the pros

Postby duxrus » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:14 pm

My honest answer .....

First you must be able to produce good quality work so until then there is no future business . Quality work comes from both taxidermy skills along with an artistic twist. All the schooling in the world doesn't guarantee either.

Fast forward to producing good to great work. Advertising will only get you so much work compared to the almighty word if mouth that just takes years. Too many people jump the gun and try to start a business way too soon.
For every bad mount that goes out your door no matter new or old to the business, it will cost you ten fold in lost clients .

As far as a USDA permit, you only need one to accept out of country birds being imported. It is about 700$ a year so unless you have guaranteed work of that kind I wouldn't get it. That also increased the governmental headaches x 1000

Be patient, do your best, and don't look to have freezers full of profitable work for years to come.
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Re: Question for the pros

Postby Duck Nasty » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:22 pm

Thanks dux

I should have added I'm not planning on starting up for for another few years but trying to get everything lined up for when I do. I know I am just a beginner now and have a lot of work to do from now until then I just enjoy doing the work and would like to pursue this as a career.
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Re: Question for the pros

Postby duxrus » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:28 am

The main equipment that are musts for "me" are...

Fleshing wheel
Tumbler
Air brush
Good air compressor
Ample working space
Great lighting

Once you get your hands dirty then you should start asking the questions as to where to buy this or that. I buy all my syringes from a local pharmacy for .30-.40 compared to the ones for 1.25 in most catalogs. IMO buying the latest bird bodies with all the detail for 10$ is a waste when a cheaper brand can be bought for 6$. With the way I use fillers you can't see any difference. Now the only material on a bird I will not budge of are the eyes. I use the expensiv acrylic europe eyes because I think they produce the best look compared to the .99 glass ones that some use.

You will develop your own methods along with likes and dislikes but time will tell.

Listen , take notes, take pictures, and all importantly ask questions while taking lessons. Practice is the only way to learn so dive in head first and ask for HONEST critiques without sugar coatings. Others can see flaws that you will overlook. We all do awdome work through our own eyes :)

Have fun and good luck
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Re: Question for the pros

Postby Longhornriver » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:03 pm

It took me 2 years of training with some of the best, to kick out a great looking mount. There are a lot of schools and they promise you a lot. I have seen some terrible birds come out and I have seen some on the very first try that were first rate quality. Just take the time to practice. As far as bird bodies, the other gentleman was right, buy cheap, because after the feathers go on, filler and clay, all that detail does not show up. Here is something you should start right now, buy a big scrape book and start clipping pictures of birds. Live, dead and mounted and sort them by type and put in the book. My book is now 4 scrape books and has hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Reference picture, you can not ever have enough, good luck.

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