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Opinion needed...I'm out $650...

Discussion in 'Taxidermy Forum' started by Cougar125, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Cougar125

    Cougar125 Refuge Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Whidbey Island, WA
    My husband (Cougar125 and owner of this account) was recently was deployed to Afghanistan. While deployed he decided he wanted to get a Baikal teal mounted as a collector piece. He never would probably have little chance to harvest one in real life, so he decided to go with one from an aviary.
    Fast Forward...
    He was home during the middle of deployment due to his father being fatally ill and came across a local taxi shop. He stopped by and checked it out. After talking to the guy about "his" work and looking at stuff that was in progress as well as finished birds, he asked if the guy had any connections on exotic birds which he affirmed stating he would get back to my husband.

    Fast Forward...
    He found a "mature" Baikal a breeder had for sale. The breeder sent an invoice for the bird and had it shipped to the taxi.

    Fast Forward...
    Bird arrives still alive so the taxi smoke checks him and puts him in the freezer. Hubby got a call a few days later when the bird was frozen solid so I could come look at it. It looked alright frozen, but he was unable to pull anything apart to look at anything else.

    Fast Forward...
    He got home from deployment and inquire on the bird. The guy just finished it and needed us to send somebody to his shop to pick it up soon because it took up "a lot" of room. We sent my brother-in-law (who knows nothing about taxidermy) the money and he went and picked it up.

    Fast Forward...
    We went down this last weekend to see family since my dad had just been released from the hospital after an 8 month stay. While down there my hubby was going to retrieve the bird for my collection.

    WE AM NOT happy with the bird one single bit. WE attempt to contact the guy several times, leaving voicemails, text messages, and facebook messages before he finally responded. Hubby told him he was severely unhappy with the bird and that he wanted to meet with him to go over it, pointing out exactly why he was unhappy. The taxi insisted that he could not meet with us but was willing to discuss it over the phone. We pointed out that it would be next to impossible to point out to him the flaws over the phone and insisted meeting. He again refused so hubby told him over the phone. Without further ado, our PIECE OF ****!!!

    Specifically asked that the eyelids be tucked per the reference picture. Original head used, no problem with that. Chin is overly bubbled/droopy.
    [​IMG]

    Slight Mohawk and unevenness on the back of the head.
    [​IMG]

    Eyes are not set even close to even! Head lacks any sort of symmetry and droops on one side. You can even see where the feathers on the top of the head do not lay correctly. There are 2 large wires protruding from the top of the head.
    [​IMG]

    Another view of the head where the wires are...
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    Right side of head. Eyelid not tucked, cheek drooping, chin bubble evident.
    [​IMG]

    Back of the head from an angle.
    [​IMG]

    More.....
     
  2. Cougar125

    Cougar125 Refuge Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Hard to focus without a macro lens, but you can see the chin bubble.
    [​IMG]

    Did he even primp or card the bird? I say no because the main tail feathers have more than an inch spread (up and down) between the top and the bottom.
    [​IMG]

    Belly sewing?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the pile of feathers that came off when hubby ran a lambs wool duster across the bird. HALF of the tertials came off and were evidently super glued back to the skin. This was obvious because the glue was on the quills!
    [​IMG]

    After explaining everything above the taxi told us that he was unhappy that we ("his customers") were unhappy, but there wasn't anything he could do about it. Furthermore, he informed us that he wasn't happy with how the bird turned out either but he was willing to pass it on. He blamed that the quality of the bird was on the breeder. Ok...there is some truth to this, but he completely passed the buck. Why would he let us have something he wasn't happy with?

    We asked what he intended to do about the bird and he told me there wasn't much he could do. We asked him for a refund. He said the best he could do was a partial refund and wanted to know why we expected one. BECAUSE YOUR WORK IS ****!! He got defensive and said he had happy customers all over the states from eBay. We told him he needed to make it right and then he hung up.

    I know the policy for sponsoring site sponsors and stuff, but this is a BEWARE OF post. Dan Wellert of Big Sky Wildlife Taxidermy in Caldwell, ID is a hack. The work he has in his home is not his work and most likely the work of somebody else. I found him on eBay and looked at some of his other "work". It is all crap. I will be trying to contact him again regarding how he intends to make it right, i.e. a refund...

    Ok...now that this I have vented, please post your critiques of the bird as well. I'm sure he will find this thread and I want him to know what people really think of his work.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Bender

    Bender Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,565
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Cleansing Waters of Lake Minnetonka, MN
    That isn't good. I agree you got ripped. How to get yourself a refund, or fair shake from the Guy no idea... Not trying to rub salt in an open wound, but had you gone with one of the Sponsors here I'm 100% sure you would have been treated fairly. You're not the first Guy to learn the hard way about Taxidermists, and quality Bird-Work...
     
  4. Cougar125

    Cougar125 Refuge Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Whidbey Island, WA
    You are correct. My husband, who is sitting next to me, knows of great taxidermists and would've paid the same price, but he wanted the Baikal and this was the first guy that said he could get it.
     
  5. Cripplecreek

    Cripplecreek Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Location:
    Colfax, NC
    I'm not trying to be smart here, but honestly I'd say that bird is as good as anything he has on his facebook page.
     
  6. Cougar125

    Cougar125 Refuge Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Very true, and that can be seen now. We only recently learned about the facebook page, but he misrepresented himself in person when the hubby went to the shop to look at "his" work.
     
  7. Porter23

    Porter23 Refuge Member

    Messages:
    88
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    What method of payment did you use?
     
  8. ratherBhunting

    ratherBhunting Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,006
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    California
    You should be a competition judge
     
  9. Cougar125

    Cougar125 Refuge Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Paypal. I'm looking into a dispute already.

    I've got stuff that I've had done that wasn't done by competition guys, but they provided what they promised. I was promised something and it was not delivered.
     
  10. TheDecoyDude

    TheDecoyDude New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Location:
    United States, Louisiana
    Some guys just shouldn't mount a rare and expensive bird like that. Shame you got stiffed!
     

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