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Frequently Asked Questions: Guiding

1. What kind of animals do you guide for, and where?

I guide in Alaska, California and Texas. In Alaska, I guide for Brown Bear on the Alaskan Peninsula.  In California, I guide for Desert Bighorn Sheep, free ranging Aoudad Sheep, free ranging Sambar Deer, Blacktail Deer, Turkey, Tule Elk, Pig and varmints. In Texas, I guide for Whitetail Deer and exotics.

2. How long have you been guiding hunters?

I have been guiding hunters for over 30 years.

3. What are your favorite animals to guide?

All of the animals that I guide are challenging, but my favorites would be sheep and brown bear.

4. I did not know that there are free ranging Aoudad Sheep, and Sambar Deer in California. How long have they been there and where are they located?

Both the sheep and the deer were introduced to California in the 1920’s; at that time they were contained within a high fence on  private property on the central coast of California. In the 1930’s a fire burned through the ranch, burning the game fence which enabled the animals to be free. Since that time, they have been free ranging on that ranch and surrounding private properties.

5. What would be the size of Aoudad Sheep that I would take with you?

In California you could expect to take a sheep that would measure 27 to 30 inches and weigh between 200 to 300 lbs. In Texas, the sheep are contained in 1,000 acres under high fence. You could expect to take a sheep that would measure 30 inches or more and weigh 250 lbs or more.

6. What caliber of gun would you recommend when hunting with you?

This all depends on what species of animal you are hunting.  If you were hunting Brown Bear in Alaska I would recommend a 338 Win. or 375 or larger because of the size of the bears.  If you were hunting in California or Texas for deer, pigs, aoudad sheep, or exotics I would recommend a 270 or larger.  If you were hunting for Desert Bighorn Sheep, I would recommend a 270 or larger that would shoot tight groups at over 300 yards. If you were hunting Sambar Deer or Tule Elk, I would recommend a 300 Win. If you would be hunting varmint I would suggest you use a 22-250 or 223.

7. If I hunt Aoudad Sheep or Sambar Deer in California what does a license cost and do I need a tag for either of these species?

On either of these animals you would need a California hunting license. To confirm current pricing for a California hunting license, one must inquire directly with www.dfg.ca.gov Costs are subject to a person being a resident or non-resident of the state.  There are no tags required for either species.  Sambar Deer can only be hunted during the general deer season of Zone A. The dates typically start on the 2nd Saturday of August thru the 3rd Sunday of September.  Aoudad Sheep can be hunted year round, but I try to hunt them in October thru December when they have their winter coats and the hair is in prime condition.

8. When is the best time of year to hunt turkeys?

The spring season is the best time to hunt turkey in this area. At that time of year you can call them into decoys. The fall season is more of a spot and stalk hunt. The spring season is from the last weekend of March to the first weekend of May. The fall season is one week before and after Thanksgiving.

9. I have never put in for the California drawing for Desert Bighorn Sheep. How do I put in for this hunt and what area should I choose?

First, you must buy a California hunting license, and then obtain a California Hunting Digest.  In the digest there will be the proposed Bighorn Sheep hunts, you most choose one of these hunts to apply. The deadline for applying for these hunts is usually around the first of June. You can apply at an authorized license agent or online at www.dfg.ca.gov  In the drawing 90% of the tags go to people who have the most preference points while the remaining 10% go to the general draw. An example of this would provide 4 tags in a certain sheep zone, 3 will go to preference point people and 1 to the general draw. You still have a chance to draw a sheep tag. There are 9 sheep hunt zones in the state. Please feel free to contact me before you apply. I will be happy to assist you in making a decision for a hunt zone to apply for, based upon information that you supply to me.

10. If I draw a Desert Bighorn Sheep tag can I hunt on my own?

Yes you can hunt on your own, but if you do not know the area that you are hunting or the habits of the sheep or how to judge the trophy size of the ram I would suggest hiring a guide. I have three types of sheep hunts available to the hunter to help their needs and budget. They are fully guided hunts, semi-guided hunts and daily hunts.  Contact me on pricing.

11. Are you still guiding Coues deer hunts in Mexico?

At the present time I am not guiding any hunts in Mexico. Because of the unrest and concerns of safety to those entering the country at this time, it is best to stay away from the areas we would normally access for hunting. If conditions change sufficiently to assure safe travel in and out of the country, then I may return to guiding hunters

Frequently Asked Questions: Taxidermy

1. What kinds of animals do you mount?

I specialize in large mammals from around the world. I do not mount fish, birds, reptiles or small mammals.

2. How long does it take to get my animal back?

It typically takes 10 months from the time any animal is received along with the minimum deposit on account, to the time of completion. No work is processed until the deposit is received. The deposit also affects the placement of the trophy in line for mounting. The reason for the length of time is as follows: Once an animal is received, the deposit is in place, then the animal is skinned, fleshed and salted in preparation of sending the hide to be tanned. This process can take up to a month. Hides, once dried are shipped to the tannery. Tanning of hides may take 4-6 months, before being returned to the shop for mounting. All of our capes and hides are sent out to be professionally tanned. The quality of the tanned hide is superior to any hide that could be tanned in house. Once tanned and returned, the animal is placed in line by order in which the deposit was received and falls in line with the work ahead of it.

3. How much do you charge?

Please inquire to pricing on the type of work you would need performed.

4. How do I care for the animal after it has been mounted?

To remove accumulated dust from the mount, it is best to clean them with a feather duster or damp cloth for antlers and horns. For the hair on any mounted animal, use a fine bristle brush to comb with the grain of the hair, a vacuum and soft brush attachment, again going with the grain or knap of the hair. A water wetted Q-tip may be used on eyes. For painted noses and mouth, a water dampened lint free cloth may be used to lightly remove any dust from those areas. Do Not saturate the hair but dampen it lightly, if the hair becomes too wet, dry with a blow dryer on a low setting, then comb the hair with a soft brush.

5. How does a person care for their animal after it has been killed?

Once an animal has been taken, it needs to be skinned and cooled right away. If you’re unable to deliver to the taxidermist right away, you must skin it. First take some measurements of the animal to help the taxidermist in using the right form to best recreate your animal. If doing a shoulder mount take a measurement from the tip of the nose to the front corner of the eye, then take a measurement from the tip of the nose to the front of the base of the horn, if you are going to life-size the animal you will also need to take a measurement from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail along the back then take a circumference measurement behind the front shoulders. When skinning a large animal leave the head and horns attached to the hide if possible. On smaller animals like a bobcat you can leave whole without skinning. At this time you must freeze the animal as soon as possible, double bag the hide or animal and wrap the hide around the face of the animal if you have skinned it and freeze it. If wrapped in this way the animal will be in good condition for up to one year in the freezer.  If you cannot freeze the animal put it in a plastic bag and pack ice around it. If you do not have any ice do not put in a plastic bag as it will retain heat and the hair will slip faster. If you do not have any ice, put the cape or animal in a wet game bag and keeps it damp and in a cool place until you can freeze it. At no time should you put salt on a hide or cape unless all meat and membranes have been fleshed off the hide with the lips and ears have been turned.

6. What payment methods are accepted?

On deposits we will accept checks, cash or money orders. On final payments we will accept cash, money orders, or checks with prior approval.

7. Do you require a deposit?

Yes. A 50% deposit is required before any work will be processed. If you do not have the required deposit at the time of giving the animal to us, regular payments can be made until the required deposit is accrued.

8. Can you fix an animal that has already been mounted by another taxidermist?

Yes. Only if the mount is less than six months old, then it is possible to remount it.  If the mount is older than that, the tanned hide will be dried out. Older dried mounts do not have sufficient oils remaining in the hide and it could not be utilized for remounting and only minor repairs may be made.

9. How long can an animal be safely stored in my freezer?

An animal may be safely stored in the freezer for 6 - 12 months. After 12 months the freezer tends to dehydrate the condition of the hide or cape. Any animal to be stored in a freezer should have the hide wrapped around the face and ears before being bagged. Double bagging is also recommended to further insulate the cape or hide from freezer burn.

10. Do you tan hides?


11. What parts of the animal do you use?

The parts of any animal being mounted are the hide which is tanned and the horns which are cleaned and attached to a form.

12. Can people visit your shop?

Yes. We welcome people to visit our shop to see the quality of work that is done. It is recommended that you call beforehand to arrange your visit to be assured that someone is available to assist you upon your arrival. There are times that the shop could be closed due to guiding schedules or errands.

13. Do you mount domestic animals or pets?

No. The reason for this is because most pets have died from old age or from a sickness and their condition was poor. Also animals struck by a car or lost in some accidental manner have hidden bruising and their hides will potentially not be in prime condition, causing hair slippage in the tanning process. This would not be discovered until after tanning the animals pelt. Because of this it would be hard to recreate the animal in the owners image.

14. Can you do custom mounts?

Yes, custom mounts can be done at an additional cost.

15. Will you do a special scene with my animal?

Yes, this can also be done at an additional cost.

16. Do I need any special paperwork if I kill an animal out of state or out of the country?

Yes. The hunting licenses and tags from the state hunted. If hunting out of the U.S.A. you would need the hunting license and tags from that country, plus export permit from that country, declaration for importation of fish or wildlife from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and also a FG901 form from the Department of Fish and Game of California which is a declaration for entry into California of any game, fish, birds, or animals parts.

17. Will you mount an endangered species?

Yes. Only with the required U.S Fish and Wildlife permits, and the collectors permits for you to possess this endangered species.

18. Can you ship completed mounts, if a customer is unable to take delivery direct from your location?

Yes . We may arrange boxing or crating services to facilitate mounts being shipped to customers request.
NOTE: All boxing and shipping is at additional expense to the customer. All Shipping is to be Prepaid and shipped FOB, Atascadero, CA. In rare cases, Customers may also Prepay the freight fees with their own accounts or by personal Credit cards direct with the freight carrier.

19. Will you allow me to pay for my animal in installments?

Yes. Mounts are to be paid for in full, prior to being released from our care.

20. What does "fleshing" a hide mean?

Fleshing is when you remove all meat, fat and membranes from the hide before the salting process.

21. Is it okay to touch the animal after mounting?

Yes it is okay to touch the mount, but it is not recommend. Frequent touching can cause an accumulation of oils from a persons hands being left on the mount harboring dust build up. The more a mount or hide is handled can cause the hair to wear thin and potentially pull out of the mount.

22. Can anyone do taxidermy work?

Yes. Anyone can do taxidermy, but it takes a person knowledgeable of the animal in nature as well as an artist to recreate it. One is best served by the person knowledgeable of the work they perform and having the skills to do so. It is always suggested that a person seeking the work of a taxidermist, for any work to be done, should visit and view the craftsmanship of each being considered.

23. Can you mount the full body of any animal?


24. Is it okay for me to watch you do taxidermy work?

Yes, as long as you do not get in the way or keep me from doing my work.

25. Will you teach someone how to do taxidermy work?

I have in the past, but will not do so, at the present time. Time teaching someone takes time out of the work schedule and compromises the current work for existing customers work being completed in a timely manner.

26. Will you mount an animal that has been hit with my vehicle?

It is possible to mount an animal that was hit with a vehicle but note that there is potential for hair loss or slippage on areas that there was trauma from the vehicle. NOTE: Any animal must be compliant to Fish & Game regulations, seasons, license and tags as applicable.