Watch Out Fellas!!! John Hildago of Golden State Taxidermy.

CATManReid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
616
Reaction score
8
Here's the deal. Shot a bobcat last year. Bossman wanted it so I happily gave it to him. I took it to a taxidermist that the boss found and dropped off the cat. Boss put $300 down for the work after I dropped off the cat and has yet to reach or hear from the guy...I dropped the cat off in December. :smiley_doh:

I'm not sure exactly what's going on since I'm 500 miles away, but I did meet the taxi and he seemed like a decent fellow...but apparently you can't judge a book by it's cover.

The "gentlemans" name is John Hidalgo, or so the business card says, and the company is Golden State Taxidermy. Buyer beware!

The bossman's got DFG involved so it has the potential to get ugly for this dude, but just wanted to give everyone a heads up. And if anyone has any pertinent info, feel free to send me a message. Thanks.

Reid
 

spectr17

Administrator
Admin
Joined
Mar 11, 2001
Messages
69,719
Reaction score
552
Catman, I edited your post, we just need the facts here.

If anyone knows John or how to contact him please let him know he's welcome to answer this post.

6 months is a bit short for a time frame for some taxis to get work done. On the other hand not answering attempts to contact them is not acceptable.
 

Atwater

Purt near but not plumb
Joined
Aug 11, 2004
Messages
3,269
Reaction score
30
Catman, in what town is this business located? I've found 4 different listings for Golden State Taxidermy, all in different towns.
 

D3Lifer

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
1,880
Reaction score
28
Only six months? I should go string up my guy then. All kidding aside, Jesse is correct. The time frame is not the problem, his failure to communicate is. Good luck.
 

fossilman

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
3,488
Reaction score
15
Takes a good year here,good luck and hope its all well...............
 

Mel Carter

Well-known member
Joined
May 10, 2001
Messages
3,422
Reaction score
24
I have met him before and have heard some stories from others about him. Another taxidermist had a lot of bad things to say about him, but who knows, maybe he was trying to spread rumors himself.


Here's a review I found off the internet. Jesse, if this isn't appropriate to post this review please delete. I falls in with what others have told me as well.
VERY POOR SERVICE

by huntsall

December 12, 2007

I am a Life member of the Calif. Deer Assoc. and purchased an Elk hunt and a Deer hunt at our yearly fund raising dinner 12 years ago. With those hunts where certificates for 1/2 off from Golden State Taxidermy for mounting of the animals. The Elk hunt was a fund raising tag from the Calif. Fish and Game Dept. which cost me in excess of $8000.00. Golden State Taxidermy has had both the Elk and Deer racks and capes for 12 years now. When I call them, I leave a message requesting they get back to me so I can arrange to pick them up and have them mounted by someone else if they are not going to do the work. They NEVER return my calls. They where paid $300,00 in advance for these two mounts. Obviously, I would not recommend this company to anyone.
 
Last edited:

CATManReid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
616
Reaction score
8
Edit away Chief, no big deal.

It's definitely not the time frame that is the issue, it's the failure to make contact.

The card I got from the guy had one number for Lockeford and another for the bay area. No email, no address, just phone numbers.

I suggested a different taxi to the bossman but he went this route so he's only got himself to blame!:lol bashing sign:
 

dkhuntr25

Banned
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
609
Reaction score
4
just threaten him that ur gonna take him to court sometimes that changes peoples moods about things! i would definitely do something about that after paying all that money i would want what is mine!!!! kick some ass!!!!
 

boarhunter67

Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
522
Reaction score
7
Are you saying you dropped off the cat in December of 2008 or 2007? I run around a 6 month turn-around, but I know a lot of other taxidermists and they usually run 1-2 years before you get your mount back. What does John say when you call him. I know him and he doesn't do email or anything like that, but he's usually easy to get a hold of. If it's been less than a year, be patient; if it's been over a year, ask for a completion date. If you aren't happy with the date or if he can't give you one, ask to pick it up. If it's already tanned pay the $125 or so that he charges to tan it and take it somewhere else. If it's still frozen, get your whole deposit back and take it somewhere else. Again, that's only if you aren't satisfied with the date he gives you. If he can't produce the cat, then it's small claims time. If the cat is lost, many taxidermists keep a spare cat around. I just sent my extra off to a hat maker I know because I figured it was so late after the season I wouldn't need it, but I usually keep an extra around for repairs and what not. Let me know if you can't contact John and I will try the number I have.
 

CATManReid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
616
Reaction score
8
Boarhunter, I'm just playing the messenger in this situation. I dropped the cat off 7 months ago. I know how the taxidermy game works, so that's not the issue. The bossman was trying to reach John to discuss form used, rock base, habitat, etc, and has been unable to reach him...since JANUARY.

Seems a bit ridiculous to me. The $300 deposit was cashed and then the guy falls off the face of the earth. Bossman tried to reach him since the cat was dropped off by me to no avail. Boss has gotten DFG invovled and apparently, there's been other complaints about similar situations with Bobcats. Who knows.

Anyways, if you can reach him boarhunter, let me know. I know someone VERY anxious to talk to him...
 

boarhunter67

Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
522
Reaction score
7
I'll see if the number I have is any good when I get caught up. Last time I talked to him he wanted to know when I got some bison capes in to sell him and now I do so I'll make time probably next week.
 

CATManReid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
616
Reaction score
8
Hey guys. DFG finally straightened everything out. Buddy called and said they went in and confiscated several animals, including the bosses kitty. Didn't get the money back but at least got the cat. So now he's taxi searching again. Anyways, thanks for the support.
 

boarhunter67

Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
522
Reaction score
7
I just got off the phone with him and he said he told you it would be 4+ months to get the two cats back from the tannery; he said you constantly call and he called you back the first time or two, but that you called every week or two. He didn't have time to call you back and so you left a nasty note saying you were turning him into DFG. He said he finally gave up and mailed the hidesto you. The deposit was less than he would have charged to cover the tanning since he had to have them retanned as dry-tan instead of wet-tan. So you should have received the cats by now or will soon. All this was just his side of the story. It sounds like he was very reasonable and worked it out with you. If you still want the cats done, feel free to come by my shop and see my work. I won't discuss charges or anything because I'm not a sponsor and don't want to get in trouble. There are a lot of good taxidermist around. Ask for references or pictures. Good luck.
 

Glass eye

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2006
Messages
2,200
Reaction score
36
boarhunter67
Are you crazy ?
If everything you just said is true, why would you want this guy for a customer ?
Calls every 2 weeks. "Is it done yet, is it done yet." and then calls F&G to "sort things out"
:lol bashing sign:
On the other hand, the taxidermist shouldn't ignore phone calls, no matter how annoying the customer is.
I don't know what the truth is. I do know that there are some dishonest taxidermist just as there is in any business. And I know that there are unreasonable and annoying customers also.
I had to deal with a customer that brought me a dove to mount and then 2 weeks later he returned to see if it was done. I explained to him that it would be several months, close to a year before it would be his turn. He came by around the first of every month and angrily did the "is it done yet" routine. I guess he figured that if he was annoying enough that I'd jump ahead and do his just to get him off my back.
 
Last edited:

boarhunter67

Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
522
Reaction score
7
This is just what John told me. He also said he required signature on the two bobcat and they were already delivered. I don't mind someone calling occasionally since I have a pretty quick turn-around, one of the advantages of tanning myself instead of sending it out. Anyway, I'm not bashing either party. It obviously was just a breakdown in communication. Just because there are always two sides to every story doesn't mean one person is a villain and the other a martyr.
 

CATManReid

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
616
Reaction score
8
I'm going to tug back on your reins here a bit boarhunter. Here's why.

1) I WAS NOT the customer. I was simply the guy who shot the cat, gave it to my boss, and delivered it.

2) I WAS NOT part of any negotiations WHATSOEVER on price, completion date, form to be used, work to be done, etc.

3) I clearly informed my boss that these things take time. It's not my fault neither he nor the taxi in question clarified a completion date. I've had things mounted, I know it's a lengthy process.

4) And as for the boss getting DFG involved, I came into that knowledge weeks after it had already happened. It wasn't any advice of mine, at all.

Plain and simple, for both victims in this scenario, communication is key. I deal with annoying, ridiculous people on a daily basis. But they are still people. And even then I have to deal with them. Just my two cents. No harm, no foul.

Hopefully this will make future transactions for both John and my boss flow a little smoother.
 

boarhunter67

Banned
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Messages
522
Reaction score
7
Thanks Catman. That pretty much goes with what John told me, "that it was a friend of yours, not you." It sounds like everything has been worked out and your boss has his cats back.
 

Gaddy

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2010
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
This guy is really starting to piss me off! I too have been had by this guy!! So dfg is the way to go?
 

Kentuck

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 19, 2001
Messages
3,639
Reaction score
30
I would never reccomend this guy to anyone. I chose him to mount a hog I killed in 2005. The boar had 3 1/2 inch teeth so I decided to have it mounted. I chose John mainly because he was the closest to me and seemed like a nice guy. THREE years later I got my hog back. This was only after numerous phone calls, letters and offers to just take the hog back in whatever condition it was in and have someone else finish it. During that three years he moved to Lockeford. Most of the time his phone message machine was full. He would tell me he had been in Hawaii on vacation and doing mounts for a friend there, etc., etc, etc. I have had other mounts done and I knew it would probably be close to a year but three? Give me a break. I would never use him again.

I've got a friend that has an elk hide with him from long before I ever dealt with him. I think my friend just wrote that hide off.

The hog mount is decent. The only thing is the teeth were mounted short. They measured 3 1/2 inches gum line to end of tooth, and the mount has them at 2 1/2 inches. Looks big, but I know what it should be.

Here's a pic of the mount......
 

Attachments

Top Bottom