With an industry standard anywhere from eight months to two and even three years, taxidermy is a master class in patience. Unfortunately, the length of time it takes to get a trophy back from a taxidermy studio is often long and frustrating. But why does taxidermy take so long? It’s often as simple as poor management and insufficient business savvy. Here’s what to understand about the taxidermy industry and why turnaround time is so lengthy.

The Taxidermy Industry

To understand the delay in taxidermy, one must first understand the industry itself. The vast majority of taxidermist studios are very small operations, with one to five people. Many taxidermists begin in the industry simply because they love to hunt and fish. But an appreciation for the outdoor life doesn’t mean these people have the business background or management skills necessary to run an efficient operation. Often, this inexperience becomes glaringly apparent in the delays it creates.

An integral element to a successful, efficient taxidermy studio is long-term financial planning and the ability to be prepared for any number of unforeseen circumstances. In the smaller studios and for sole proprietors, the financial requirements and unexpected obstacles often result in significant time delays and other issues.

The Taxidermy Process

In the standard industry process, animals arrive at the taxidermist to be skinned. At many studios, there is often a lengthy waiting period of several weeks to several months until there are enough skins to be sent off to the tannery. The skins can take six months or longer to be returned from the tannery, and once they’re back at the taxidermy studio, they’re often shelved until the projects ahead of them are completed. Limited staff and limited financial resources (which are necessary to purchase the products for the mount, such as mannikins, eyes, and other elements) mean finished skins can sit for months, even years, before work actually begins.

While there’s often a misconception that taxidermy itself requires all of that time, it’s actually getting to your skin that takes so long. Once yours is brought forth, it takes relatively little time for a skilled taxidermist to mount, dry, and finish your mount.

A Different Approach

Mike Boyce of Animal Artistry entered the industry just like many others — he loved hunting and fishing, and he too had no business experience. But early on, he knew that to bring his vision to light, he would need to do things differently. Through trial and error, Mike created a new form of taxidermy while also building a sustainable business model. It is through his many years of experience and our constant attention to an efficient process that we are able to produce quality mounts in 90 days — guaranteed.

The Takeaway

Almost always, the excessive delay in taxidermy is the result of limited staff, limited resources, and an inefficient system. If you don’t care to wait a year or longer for your mount, we understand. And we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our ninety-day turnaround.