Issues with the Artistry of Wildlife

KEC

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I contacted Dennis Thursday regarding my capes and horns that have been held up at the tannery due to covid-19 shutdown and his illness. He returned my e-mail within a few hours very much to my satisfaction. I deal with the public on a daily basis, and I understand the challenges associated with trying to satisfy everyone all the time. Now, complicate this with an unplanned illness and a global pandemic. So far from MY standpoint, he is doing the best he can and will retain my business.
 

K-man

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Just to check in - Has ANYONE received a finished trophy from Dennis in the last 30 days or so?
I understand if you don't want to post, if you want to P.M. me that will be fine also
Thanks
 

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I sure hope everyone who has issues with him Has them resolved quick and in a satisfactory manner. I also hope Dennis is recouping well.
 

Maizhen88

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Just to check in - Has ANYONE received a finished trophy from Dennis in the last 30 days or so?
I understand if you don't want to post, if you want to P.M. me that will be fine also
Thanks
Just curious if you got any responses to this directly?
 

rinehart0050

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I picked up my trophies about a month ago. I believe there are issues with shipping/trucking right now due to covid. Caused transpo cost to spike. I drove up to Michigan and picked up my trophies- they all look outstanding.
 

K-man

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Just curious if you got any responses to this directly?
Have 2 P.M. from people in the same boat as me...
I picked up my trophies about a month ago. I believe there are issues with shipping/trucking right now due to covid. Caused transpo cost to spike. I drove up to Michigan and picked up my trophies- they all look outstanding.
Good news for you, I appreciate the response. Is Jamie not delivering for Dennis anymore? I can understand why Dennis is not delivering himself, but Jamie has delivered in the past. Their time may be better served in the studio instead of on the road.
 

Robo2709

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Does any know if Dennis is still set up at his studio and if I can reach him there. It's been 2 years since my bear was shipped to him. Last time I spoke with him was October 25th. I understand he has been ill and I'm unsure if he plans to continue his work. I'd like to stop by and personally recover my bear. Please provide an updated phone number, address email, etc so That I can reach out.
 

Robo2709

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I sent an Email to The Artistry of Wildlife Taxidermy after 5 years of the absolute worst communication asking for an invoice for the balance for what I owed....finished and unfinished.
I paid my bill and collected all of my property from The Artistry of Wildlife Taxidermy.
One finished elk and a box of frozen tanned capes and a box full of boiled skulls/horns

It was only after getting the elk home and hung that evening that a hunting friend pointed out the poor eye details and cracks.

I'm having a local taxidermist fix The Artistry of Wildlife Taxidermy work as I type this.

I hope anyone who moves forward has better communication and cooperation from Dennis then I did.

Decent guy to talk to until I fired him.....not a good guy after that.
Where did you go to get your skulls and hides? Who did you speak to? s there anyone assisting Dennis that I can contact?
 

Royal27

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Does any know if Dennis is still set up at his studio and if I can reach him there. It's been 2 years since my bear was shipped to him. Last time I spoke with him was October 25th. I understand he has been ill and I'm unsure if he plans to continue his work. I'd like to stop by and personally recover my bear. Please provide an updated phone number, address email, etc so That I can reach out.

He supposedly is still working although there haven't been any reports of anyone receiving anything that I've heard of.

@The Artistry of Wildlife email is cremudgeon34@yahoo.com and the last phone number I had is 810 334 3640. He's stated in this thread that he prefers the e-mail but that doesn't always work either.

I asked for an update on my remaining lost items on August 11th and haven't received a response.
 

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Where did you go to get your skulls and hides? Who did you speak to? s there anyone assisting Dennis that I can contact?

This is a long and deep story
I will make it short
I emailed TAOW to arrange a pickup date and pay my bill.
Nothing for days
Then a lengthy PM here on AH.com
Not at all pleasant about my decision to get my stuff and leave the horrible relationship.
In his PM he tells me he will involve his local police and have them present while my wife and I visit his studio to settle up our debt........nice
Then weeks go by with no replies.
Luckily Dwayne came to my rescue and arranged my property and provided me with a final invoice.
Dwayne dropped off my one finished mount and all of my raw wet tanned capes and horns at my place of buisness a couple weeks into February.
Dwayne to the rescue.....sadly he and TAOW have parted ways.
After some of the things he told me.....he's probably better off for doing so.
Good luck to you sir.
 

wesheltonj

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This is a long and deep story
I will make it short . . .
After some of the things he told me.....he's probably better off for doing so.
Good luck to you sir.

If I remember correctly, you said that you wanted Dennis to space out your work so you did not have to pay for the mounts at all at one time, which Dennis did. And then you complain that you did not get your work timely. I understand you are not happy with Dennis, from all the times you have posted, but you had no complaints with the quality of the work, correct? I think you said your Elk was great.

Not taking sides here, but the guy was out for months, and he certainly had a backlog before he was sick, every taxidermist does, maybe not as large as Dennis. I suspect they're a reason he had a large backlog, and that's the quality of the work he turns out. While I understand everyone wanting their stuff as fast as possible, sometimes that just not possible. If he spends all his time answering calls and email, when is supposed to finish the work. He has already said that he has hired help to get him caught up.

If it was me and anyone kept disparaging by business, you had better had all the facts on your side and not just hearsay. Just friendly advice. And no, no one has asked me to say anything.
 

tedthorn

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If I remember correctly, you said that you wanted Dennis to space out your work so you did not have to pay for the mounts at all at one time, which Dennis did. And then you complain that you did not get your work timely. I understand you are not happy with Dennis, from all the times you have posted, but you had no complaints with the quality of the work, correct? I think you said your Elk was great.

Not taking sides here, but the guy was out for months, and he certainly had a backlog before he was sick, every taxidermist does, maybe not as large as Dennis. I suspect they're a reason he had a large backlog, and that's the quality of the work he turns out. While I understand everyone wanting their stuff as fast as possible, sometimes that just not possible. If he spends all his time answering calls and email, when is supposed to finish the work. He has already said that he has hired help to get him caught up.

If it was me and anyone kept disparaging by business, you had better had all the facts on your side and not just hearsay. Just friendly advice. And no, no one has asked me to say anything.

I state nothing but facts and only answere questions ask of me sir.

I wish all involved the very best of luck
 

Royal27

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While I understand everyone wanting their stuff as fast as possible, sometimes that just not possible.

I will boil this down simply, from my perspective only.

I don't want my stuff as fast as possible. I want commitments to be met, especially when they are made repeatedly. I don't think this is an unreasonable expectation. If someone is straight forward and open with me I'm pretty forgiving. When they aren't however; I lose patience rather quickly.

You're a judge. I'm sure you look at a first time offender differently than you do someone who's been in front of your bench ten times for the same offense saying, "I will never do it again" each time.

I've had PMs with literally a dozen people on this. ONE has had work there for a reasonable time frame. All others, myself included, have been there an excessive amount of time, meaning multiple years at the shop with promises of significantly less time for completion.. And all of those, again myself included, were made promises that weren't met. And for clarity, the broken commitments were pre-illness, or at least started there.

I'm truly happy for those such as yourself who had a good and timely experience. That hasn't been the case for many of us.

If he spends all his time answering calls and email, when is supposed to finish the work.

Perhaps if he'd met his commitments the calls and e-mails wouldn't interfere with his work time.
 

rookhawk

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Here's my view of taxidermists in general. You get a few types:

1.) The incredibly fast taxidermist pumping out garbage unworthy of my dumpster.
2.) The high quality taxidermist that sets dates of six months and delivers in 4-5 years.
3.) Dennis.

Give the man a hall pass if you wish. I certainly would, his taxidermy is 10x better than most others for 0%-10% more costs. His turnaround was always shockingly quick. He's an artist in the literal sense, push his buttons and you'll piss off an artist. There are plenty of liars out there that will say they'll do it faster or there are slobs out there that indeed will do it faster.

If I was in Dennis' shoes having suffered a near-death experience I'd probably be sitting back right now ignoring most everyone and hoping they take their stuff back.

Dennis: for the record, you have a lot of my taxidermy right now. When you are ready to do the work I'd like to have you do the work because I want art and I'll wait for the art on your terms. If you do not wish to do some of the work, I'm happy to pick up the hides and horns on your terms.

What I want do is bust Dennis' balls because I'd be quite afraid he'd send me all my hides back and I'd be forced to hire an incompetent taxidermist or a never-meets-deadlines taxidermist. I don't like my alternatives if I piss off Dennis.

What I know:

Dennis took 14 months to complete a Whitetail mount for me. It is the finest whitetail I've ever seen and everyone that has viewed it has stated they've never seen better. He said it would take a year. He drove a few hundred miles to deliver it to me. 5-stars.

Meanwhile, I ordered a TURKEY PLAQUE from another taxidermist. They said it would take 4 months. It took exactly 3 years. It looked mediocre. It cost a fortune. I could have done the same work myself.

Bottom line, you need to decide if you want to be patient and flexible with Dennis. One rule of life is you better know your Best-Alternative. I don't think many people want the altenrative to Dennis but they are inclined to go-off on him right now. I'm sure if you call and say "give me back my stuff" he'd respond. If you don't want your stuff back and want great taxidermy, I suggest you give him some breathing room as he is recovering from a serious health issue and a tremendous backlog of work.
 

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I will boil this down simply, from my perspective only.

I don't want my stuff as fast as possible. I want commitments to be met, especially when they are made repeatedly. I don't think this is an unreasonable expectation. If someone is straight forward and open with me I'm pretty forgiving. When they aren't however; I lose patience rather quickly.

You're a judge. I'm sure you look at a first time offender differently than you do someone who's been in front of your bench ten times for the same offense saying, "I will never do it again" each time.

I've had PMs with literally a dozen people on this. ONE has had work there for a reasonable time frame. All others, myself included, have been there an excessive amount of time, meaning multiple years at the shop with promises of significantly less time for completion.. And all of those, again myself included, were made promises that weren't met. And for clarity, the broken commitments were pre-illness, or at least started there.

I'm truly happy for those such as yourself who had a good and timely experience. That hasn't been the case for many of us.



Perhaps if he'd met his commitments the calls and e-mails wouldn't interfere with his work time.

Proper communication is the cornerstone of every business....
 

Speedster

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Here's my view of taxidermists in general. You get a few types:

1.) The incredibly fast taxidermist pumping out garbage unworthy of my dumpster.
2.) The high quality taxidermist that sets dates of six months and delivers in 4-5 years.
3.) Dennis.

Give the man a hall pass if you wish. I certainly would, his taxidermy is 10x better than most others for 0%-10% more costs. His turnaround was always shockingly quick. He's an artist in the literal sense, push his buttons and you'll piss off an artist. There are plenty of liars out there that will say they'll do it faster or there are slobs out there that indeed will do it faster.

If I was in Dennis' shoes having suffered a near-death experience I'd probably be sitting back right now ignoring most everyone and hoping they take their stuff back.

Dennis: for the record, you have a lot of my taxidermy right now. When you are ready to do the work I'd like to have you do the work because I want art and I'll wait for the art on your terms. If you do not wish to do some of the work, I'm happy to pick up the hides and horns on your terms.

What I want do is bust Dennis' balls because I'd be quite afraid he'd send me all my hides back and I'd be forced to hire an incompetent taxidermist or a never-meets-deadlines taxidermist. I don't like my alternatives if I piss off Dennis.

What I know:

Dennis took 14 months to complete a Whitetail mount for me. It is the finest whitetail I've ever seen and everyone that has viewed it has stated they've never seen better. He said it would take a year. He drove a few hundred miles to deliver it to me. 5-stars.

Meanwhile, I ordered a TURKEY PLAQUE from another taxidermist. They said it would take 4 months. It took exactly 3 years. It looked mediocre. It cost a fortune. I could have done the same work myself.

Bottom line, you need to decide if you want to be patient and flexible with Dennis. One rule of life is you better know your Best-Alternative. I don't think many people want the altenrative to Dennis but they are inclined to go-off on him right now. I'm sure if you call and say "give me back my stuff" he'd respond. If you don't want your stuff back and want great taxidermy, I suggest you give him some breathing room as he is recovering from a serious health issue and a tremendous backlog of work.
 

Speedster

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I had Dennis do a kudu. He did great work. I talked to Dwayne and decided to pick it up myself last February. Was Dennis communicating with me before his illness? No.
Rookhawk, I believe you are painting with a pretty wide brush .Just because a taxidermist delivers in a timely manner and does not take years does not make him a liar or slob. I had another taxidermist shop do my other mounts. I feel they did great work also. The owners had gone on safari themselves and had done quite a bit of African mounts. I visited their shop. Three guys. I liked what they showed me. Got online and saw that they had won several awards at taxidermy shows.The difference in communication was night and day. When I called they never answered but I left a message and they called me later in the day every time.
If you are willing to wait years and have little to no communication, fine. However, I do not feel I have read anything on here that has been unreasonable regarding expectations from Dennis. If you want to run a business, do your customers right.
 

rookhawk

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Taxidermy isn’t a business as we think of it. It’s largely dealing with artists. The more brilliant and capable the artist, the more you just indulge eccentricities in exchange for masterpieces.



I could run a taxidermy business better than anyone, but you’d absolutely hate the product. (Right brain guy in a left brain occupation)

I can guarantee you that you can get your hides back from Dennis if you want them. I’m sure with his health and backlog he’d be delighted to return unfinished work. I believe he has indicated moving forward he is going to select his commissions selectively and throttle back.

Different perspectives. You’re wanting to push him to do your work and I’m hoping not to push him so he doesn’t refuse my work. I’ve not seen any work better than his so I’ll wait.
 

Speedster

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As you said, different perspectives. If you are willing to wait, more power to you. But I repeat,
I don't believe the expectations that have been expressed here are unreasonable.
 

K-man

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I can guarantee you that you can get your hides back from Dennis if you want them.
I'm sure if you call and say "give me back my stuff" he'd respond.
If you have read any of my posts on the subject, I have had a ridiculous time even getting Dennis to respond at all. Phone messages, e-mail (his preferred method - then he said his ex-wife deleted them all) and P.M. on this site. All I was asking for was a quick cell phone picture of the work he said was done and in progress. Nothing more, no demands or deadlines, just a quick cell picture. NOTHING. I can't even get a response so I can drive 15 hours to pick up my unfinished work. I think you are mistaken about being able to pick things up. Others here on this thread have tried and either got the wrong trophies, and can't find the correct trophies. I understand your thought about giving him time to complete your work, that's your decision. My desire is for everyone to have a good experience with at least some progress being made out of the studio. Good luck with your mounts.
 

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