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Lost Trophy/ Coming Home


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#1 McBruce

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 09:57 PM

This story goes back to 2006 when Mark Fav ( Rowdy Yates ) Pat Ph. and Myself went to Canada for a fall black bear hunt. I've shared the main part of the story before...4 day hunt and we never saw a bear.....the outfitter offered discounts or to stay and hunt for 7 days. We opted for the longer hunt and stayed. The over all trip was a nightmare. Lost luggage, lost passport, rental car not there when we landed, bad hunting, coming home, flights miss booked, missed flights, additional nights in hotels.

The upside, Mark and Pat each got nice black bears. ( a bit smaller then they wanted ) but still trophies. ....Me I went 7 days and never saw a bear.

Mark and I returned in the Spring of 2007 and I got my bear, Mark had some good shore lunches and did some fishing. ( no bear for Mark )

Fast forward.....Mark got his rug back in normal decent timing. Pat on the other hand had long delays. Almost a year before he got his rug. Me.... I was informed by the taxidermy shop that my bear had been tanned, but no further work was done, because they didn't have proper paper work. Outfitter denied this and stated they did have the paper work. ( what am I suppose to do? I'm in Colorado, the outfitter is in Sask Canada and the Taxidermist is in Winnipeg Manitoba. )

Then we got the word, the taxidermist was going out of business. 100 years of doing trophy mounts and they were going under. The single largest and one of the oldest taxidermy shops in Canada gone....and no word on my bear .

I contacted the outfitter who didn't know what to tell me other then he was working on it. A year goes by....my bear is gone... I know it. Then I get word, the outfitter had someone go and pick up the missing hides and hauled them to Moose Jaw Sask. Canada. to a different shop.

There is a whole story about this shop that isn't pretty. When it was all said and done, I've been on the phone to the Colorado DOW, the U.S Game and Fish. The Sask Dept of Environment who in turn referred me to a local C.O( conservation officer ) and then in turn I was sent up stream to the Federal level of the Canadian CITIES permit offices.

ALL IN ALL.... I just received these photos from the taxidermist that my bear rug is found, completed and done. However they want 50% more money then quoted for me get my rug back. ( well after all those phone calls....) the invoices have been corrected however I need to personally head back to Canada and pick up my rug. ( since I have family in North Dakota ) its going to be a vacation with a few days side trip. So no big deal.

I showed the photos to my wife and some friends and they asked. How do you know it is your bear.
My bear had dark rings round his eyes, looked like a raccoon mask...in the rug photos you can see those rings. Also my bear had red legs and a blondish body...again same in these photos and NO ONE at the taxidermy shop knew any of these details....so I'm sure it is my bear....Hopefully this time next month I'll have him home :)

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#2 tomscheland

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 06:11 AM

niceeeeeeeeeee, i know you will enjoy your trophy..... and so will dakota...lol congrats bruce
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#3 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:39 AM

I thought by now that had been cleared up. What a load of crap to deal with - .Posted Image This kind of stuff would ruin a guy from ever bear hunt again.



I can remember that beautiful bear riding in front of the boat with me on the way back to camp that night while the guide had his moose hind quarter riding in the rear with him. Posted Image Posted Image That boat was riding very low in the water on that twenty mile ride back that night. Exciting ride and I enjoyed every minute of it.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 07:30 PM

Wow sure glad you got it. That sure was a lot of hoops to jump through. Beautiful rug though.
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#5 McBruce

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:32 AM

Mark:
I'll not give up hunting...might as well stop breathing for that to happen. But yea it has been a mess. And when I can write the articles and publish them that I am working on....it will be eye opening to alot of folks just what care we should all take when picking an outfitter and a taxidermist. I can tell ya this....make sure your outfitter and taxidermist are on the up and up and check all the gov. agencys to make sure they are licensed and in good standings. Because the way it is viewed, if they do something wrong, in the end you are the hunter and you are responsible to know what is legal and what isn't. Also, paper work paper work paper work. NEVER book a hunt or do business without getting contracts and ways to track your document your business dealings with these folks.

if something goes wrong....it can save you a ton of headaches when dealing with gov agencies.
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#6 ricfirefighter

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 07:59 AM

stop by the Cabela's in Rapid City on your way through and say high. Just look me up in the archery deptment.

#7 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:32 AM

Mark:
I'll not give up hunting...might as well stop breathing for that to happen. But yea it has been a mess. And when I can write the articles and publish them that I am working on....it will be eye opening to alot of folks just what care we should all take when picking an outfitter and a taxidermist. I can tell ya this....make sure your outfitter and taxidermist are on the up and up and check all the gov. agencys to make sure they are licensed and in good standings. Because the way it is viewed, if they do something wrong, in the end you are the hunter and you are responsible to know what is legal and what isn't. Also, paper work paper work paper work. NEVER book a hunt or do business without getting contracts and ways to track your document your business dealings with these folks.

if something goes wrong....it can save you a ton of headaches when dealing with gov agencies.


I for one would gladly read your article Bruce. I know you'll never give this thing up - that would be asking you to stop breathing LOL.



That's very good advice.


I heard a similar story told by the Eichler's while I was there last week at the outfitting home. Fred was booking a brown bear bowhunting trip in Alaska. Bowhunting brown bear is tough enough and dangerous deal plus hunting there in the Alaskan weather and terrian conditions makes for an extremely difficult hunt and takes an experience guide. He and Dwight Schuh were going together. They did all the referral checks and reputation, looked into the outfitter's registration for his paperwork and when they arrived in Alaska they had new guides, registered in Alaska but very green. The trip almost ended in several guys drowning because of their lack of knowledge and ability to know where they were hunting. Let alone they were hunting brown bear with bows and it was a one guide to one hunter and editor of Bowhunter Magazine Dwight Schuh had drawn the more experienced guide and Fred Eichler got the greeney (first ever guiding job) guide. Fred had years of experience and realized very soon in on this trip he would be guiding the guide.

They had two boats, both boat's engines failed early in the trip up river, one boat flip over because no engine power loosing all the gear and Fred's bow and stranded them on the bank. The outfitter had no back up plan for this kind of situation or a plan B in case this might have happened or a way to contact anyone by satellite phone. They got lucky when two native Alaskans Inuits canoed by to give them the help out. The Eichler's and Dwight Schuh were extremely surprised on how BAD this turned out from their research. The outfitter handled this by giving them another trip for free.

If these guys who both have all sorts of contacts and volumes of knowledge about that sort of thing got screwed by this outfitter then what's the novice bowhunter in for?

Edited by Rowdy Yates, 26 August 2009 - 08:40 AM.

"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#8 McBruce

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:26 PM

if I come through that way Ric you can count on it ;)

Rowdy.....you're right, two guys with those connections ( what outfitter would send them out with green horns to start with ? )

I can't go into to much detail at this time...but I will...when I can.

I came across another person who hunted with the same outfitter and used the same taxidermist. He was told his bear was done and they wanted payment, for the rug. he had a trip planned to Alberta...so he went by and showed up to pick up his rug himself. Only to find out when he arrived is Sask. ....the rug wasn't there.

At this point the taxidermist has 600.00 of his money....wants another 400 to finish the rug and 500 to ship it..( when he was there and could have brought it home himself )

i'm waiting to see how this one plays out. starting to see a pattern with this taxidermist up there.

Sure wish I had brought my bear back for Paul to do :)
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#9 bonecollector34

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 09:48 AM

Nice bruin sir

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#10 sticknstring

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 05:32 PM

Nice rug Bruce! he's got character, definitely different from your norm. Grats once again!
I also stand behind what you're saying....I just got my letter from coppersmith in Dallas, my africa stuff is finally en route for Texas!!! It's been over a year since I went!!! Many phone calls and e-mails later...things somehow went right-for a while there I thought it was all lost.

#11 Hatchet Jack

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 07:42 PM

Beautiful rug Bruce - what an ordeal.

Congratulations on finally getting to the bottom of it. Some times I think God just tests us with these trials to see if we'll maintain composure. I'd like to say I've always passed the test, but then I'd be committing another sin (smile).

The good news is that perserverence paid off this time and you'll have a lifetime trophy to admire and remember the adventure.

God Bless Brother,

Mark.

P.S. Maybe you could hang that rug in the kennel to scare off the cougars?
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#12 TerryfromAR

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 11:49 PM

Bruce if it's not rude to ask what is the average price of having a rug made? We have a black bear season in the northern part of AR and I might make a trip up that way to try for one a little later in the season this year and I was wondering what kind of price tag I was looking at for the taxidermy.
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#13 Hungry Horse

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 11:58 PM

Bubba: Beautiful bear rug mount Congratulations ! You and Rowdy make some great suggestions on researching & choosing your outfitter and keeping your paperwork correspondence in order for future problems. Glad you are finally getting your trophy home ! Good luck bowhunting elk and deer in Colo this fall. What is this about cougars in the kennels ? HH in PaPosted Image

#14 McBruce

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 07:26 PM

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I got home at 2 am last night. The rug is now officially home and mine through and through.
I ended up driving to Moose Jaw Sask Canada to claim him. 18 hours each way, luckly I have friends who i was able to stay with up there for a day and break up the driving :)

Terry, you need to contact local taxidermist and see what they charge. Prices range from 100 - 300 a ft ( 5 ft bear would run you anywhere from 500 - 1500 ) so its hard to guess at them I almost had him done full body mount because of his small size and his color. Had i brought him home with me and had Paul do it, I'd have a life size mount ( and still prob spent less money then I did for this guy )

Rug prices vary depending what you have done, this one has double felt to set off the hide when it is hung up on the wall. ( we have wood walls in our house) thus the dark trim to stand out against the wood and the light trim to stand out the bear. some guys go single color felt. some simply have them tanned ( that is about 150 bucks ) open mouth/ closed mouth makes a difference in price as well. IF they quote you a cost per ft. make sure that is FINISHED foot. when a hide is fresh tanned and hasn't dried yet...you can stretch them out and honestly pull an extra foot on the bear....you get billed for 6 ft and you rug is 5 ft. ( their reply is , oh that is shrinkage due to the tanning and drying process )

I skin mine and leave the skull and paws in tact. cut the spine at the base of the neck and the wrists and have the taxidermist to that cutting. cut it one way for a rug another way for a full body mount. basic skinning is the same, cut a cross in the chest and run down the inside of the legs and center of the belly. easier to skin out a bear then a deer :)

the challenge mark. you know part of the story....but yea it has been a challenge. The part I liked was the taxidermist wouldn't come out and meet me when I showed up...had one of the girls in the office deal with me. Durring one phone call she informed me they would have everything done fully and properly and that I could stop contacting the CO office or the federal cities office, as well as US Game and Fish.

I guess when you blow smoke up enough peoples skirts and get away with it you just assume you can keep doing it. Till someone comes along who out of principle will go for what is right rather then simply pay you. ( that would be me :) )

Edited by McBruce, 19 September 2009 - 07:51 PM.

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#15 TerryfromAR

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 08:57 PM

Bruce thanks for the info.... hmmmm I dabbled in a little taxidermy a while back, if I luck our and get a deer this year I might re-try my hand at it.... (start back out small with a few deer feet ya know) and see if I still have the touch.... Glad your trophy finally made it home Posted Image
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