How long is too long? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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How long is too long?

I was fortunate to take a 542 lb black bear in 2003 here in Pa. I took it to a taxidermist who has done a lot of other mounts for myself and my family. I wanted a lifesize/full mount on a base and gave him $500 down so I wouldn't have to pay so much when completed. I still didn't get it back. I have stopped by his place but he is never there. A sign has been hanging out stating he is not taking any new work and is finishing what he has. He does not have a phone. I have left notes at his door asking him to call me or write me. My dad bumps in to him now and then and asks for a status report and he tells my dad he is still finishing things up. Bad thing is he has two of my brother's bear (one from 2003 and one from 2005) as well as a gobbler from 2006. He has a coyote my cousin shot in 2004. And he has a gobbler and two grouse of another cousin's from 2002.

I've asked for my $500 back and my bear. I had my dad carry a letter I typed up with him and when he saw the guy a few weeks ago he gave it to him. Still hasn't got in touch with me. I'm wondering if our animals are even any good to mount after all this time? Where do we stand legally? We still have our receipts/slips that he gave us when we dropped the animals off although they are not dated. I am thinking we will never see our animals again. Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 05:58 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

How long is too long? ...

ITS 2012


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 06:05 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

Hand delivering a letter to him means nothing in court---especially since you did not actually do the delivering. You need to send him a Certified Letter with a Return Receipt Request asking for your bear and your money back and give him a "reasonable" amount of time---like 10 days. 11 days AFTER he has recieved your letter, if he has done nothing, you may then file a claim in Court. Your local DJ can help you with the paper work.
Realistically, however, it doesn't sound like things are going well for this guy so you may be out the money---you can't get blood out of a turnip. You may also be out your animals.
If I may ask, why did you wait this long to try to do anything about it? I mean, wouldn't it stand to reason that if he couldn't complete the job in a year or so and took work in after you that you would be in serious jeopardy the longer you waited?

Send him a Certified letter explaining that you are willing to take legal action to resolve the situation and see if that doesn't make things happen. I wish you wouldn't have waited so long though.....

Good luck!
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 06:07 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

I can't believe you have not pursued this YEARS ago,like 2004 or 2005 I hope you at least get your money back,but I wouldn't count on it.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 06:35 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

I took a buck and a pheasant to a Taxi one time and it took him 15 years to do it..His excuse which is a good one he works full time and does not have much time for Taxi work...You knew when you took it to him it would be a couple years you should have taken it to a full time Taxi but they are much more expensive...
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 06:46 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

You knew who you were taking to so go make a personal visit to him...
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How long is too long?

He was just doing it part time and I had waited up to 3 years to get other mounts back from him. Other items that our gang had taken to him between 2003 and 2009 were completed quickly. Deer shoulder mounts sometimes came back in less than a year. The bear I took in 2006 he had the rug back to me in less than 2 years. He is very reasonable with prices so we've never pressured him too hard and just figured he'd get things done soon. Several years I expected but not this many. We haven't taken anything to him for about 3 years as the sign is out about not taking new work. In fact he had called me about 3 years ago and asked how big our doors were as he was going to start on the base and was concerned about getting it in our house.

I guess my biggest question is can the hides/skins last that long and still be usable for a mount? And the other thing was what steps can be taken if push comes to shove? Thanks for the information as it looks like both questions were answered. 15 years is a long time to wait burk!! Hope to see my bear again before I leave this world. Guess I needed to blow off some steam that's been starting to pressurize after over 8 years.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 07:19 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

You took him a bear in 2003 and it wasn't completed by 2006, so you took him another bear? The 2006 bear was done and the 2003 still isn't? Something doesn't quite add up there. I highly doubt you will ever see your bear again. Best of luck!

Iím a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 08:32 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

I feel so sorry for you! I know what you are going through. I am new to this forum and have enjoyed reading all of the postings. I have yet to post my taxidermy story "stolen bear from Fayette Co" but will soon. I have a ton of information to share with you as well as phone #s and the steps you can try. I would call you though because its to much info. to type, although others sure could learn from what I went through. My sister is a Pittsburgh Attorney and she and her associates tried to help me however not many judges know much about taxidermy. I was advised to drop my case even though I would have won because I would have spent more money in legal fees than I would have won. Your bear hide is worth 3,000 plus the 500 deposit that you gave the taxidermist. I can give you the Harrisburg # for the PA. Game Commission chief prosecutor who can issue your attorney or DA an official certificate and law code #'s for the 3,000. What would help you is if a lot of you could get together and file a class action suit. The DA from Fayette Co. who said he was helping me told me my bear was not that important because no one was killed. The taxidermist who had my 2008 hide also had a crooked PA State Police friend from Uniontown who was helping him. The mistake that they both made was when my taxidermist switched my hide with a summer road killed bear hide he forgot to put a hole slice in the bears ear. I had pictures to show which ear and placement of the official ear tag. I called my taxidermist every 3-4 months and was told multiple lies. I even called the PA Department of Agriculture and found out he did not even renew his license and he was advertised as a 36 year licensed taxidermist. Your road ahead might be long and I would be glad to help you or any hunter with this troubling subject. Their are a lot of hard working terrific taxidermists out their and a few rats who give the profession a bad name.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 11:23 PM
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Re: How long is too long?

It's way to long. I get worried after 6 months. LOL
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