Re: Walleye taxidermist
Congratulations on catching a trophy walleye. Those big eyes make awesome mounts and I hope yours comes out fantastic.
I wanted to address how a taxidermist comes to that all important price. I will use my numbers but be aware that all taxidermists are not equal in skills as well as the time it takes to perform each task. Hopefully this sheds a light on how a price is determined.
I start with materials and as mentioned each of us differ greatly. I carve my own bodies so obviously I have the cost of the foam, the blank eyes(I paint my own), a hanger, hide paste, sculpting material to rebuild shrunken tissue, paint, fin backing materials, shipping, etc. My cost for these materials would cost $35.
Secondly we have the Labor cost. To pattern, skin, flesh, and preserve the hide, and carve the foam body from the template I created would be about 6 hours. To restore the shrunken areas, paint and set the eyes and rebuild the fins would take about 4 hours. The actual paint work would run about 7 hours. Lastly we have to account for the time spent with the client discussing the mount and picking up the finished fish-I allow 1 and a half hours for this but have had many fellas spend twice that long. So the total labor hours would be 18.5 labor hours. Now labor price is all over the place. What does the taxidermy skill set deserve to be compensated? I will use $18 per hour for arguments sake but I charge slightly more than this in my shop. So labor will run $333.00
The third thing to weigh in is the overhead. This covers things that are not directly including in the material cost but do attribute to the cost of running a business such as electricity, rent, insurances, licencing etc. They are broken down into an hourly charge and in my shop I am lucky that my overhead is pretty low. I am at $2.50 per hour spent working and at 18.5 hours it would be $46.25.
Lastly there is profit to add in there. This will cover things like advertising, bandsaw blades, maintenance, and other costs. I add 15 percent to the price to cover these fees.
so now to the totals for your walleye
so these total $414.25
Now we take the total and add 15 percent to cover the profit for a cost of $62.14
These makes the total cost $476.39
Divide that total by the 31 inches of fish gives you a price of $15.38 per inch for the walleye on a hanger but not on driftwood.
As I said no 2 of us are alike. Many taxidermists just look at what the competition charges and bases their price from there without knowing the numbers. I know this from teaching 100's of guys fish taxidermy.
Congrats again on a nice fish and I hope your mount looks awesome!