Re: How long is too long?
Dont mean to bring you down, but the deposit you gave him for a bear of that size would not cover the cost he would have into mounting it. he might have a day into fleshing, 3-4 months at the tannery, a week to have supplies shipped, a day into form preparation, a day into mounting, a few weeks for the mount to dry, a few days into habitat recreation, and a few hours into finish work, give or take. That doesnt add up to years. Bears are expensive to do, and like i said, 500.00 would not cover his cost. My guess is he used your deposit and hasnt had the money to buy the supplies for your bear. As far as the bear still being mountable, if it was properly tanned, it should be fine. If the raw skin has been in the freezer all this time, there is no way of predicting until it is thawed out and checked. I have had raw skins that were wrapped good, with very little trapped air that were fine for a few years. I have also had deer that customers had frozen from archery season until after Christmas that have had serious freezer burn. It basically comes down to how he cared for the skin. Bears can be a lot of work, and can be difficult if you are not experienced with mounting large lifesize animals, but they are also a big payday for a taxidermist. I cannot see why a taxidermist would let a bear sit for years, unless there was a problem that he is not telling you. Good luck.