NAA members advise caution, thorough research when it comes to auctioning taxidermies

Taxidermy game mounts are most valuable to those who actually took down the animal, but a handful of Auctioneers have found that there is a viable secondary market for the showpieces.

Pacific Auction Cos., Longmont, Colo., auctions everything from classic cars to juke boxes, but once a year, owner O.J. Pratt, CAI, conducts a field-and-stream auction during which he sells things like fly rods, firearms and game mounts.

He’s sold thousands of moose, lions, tigers, rhinoceroses and even a full-body yak mount for prices ranging from $400 to $800 for an elk head to $3,200 for a full-curl rocky mountain stone sheep.

A key to successfully auctioning game mounts is knowing what you can’t sell, he says.

“You absolutely cannot sell bald eagle mounts no matter when they were taken,” he says.

Some exotic mounts can be sold but not transported across state lines.

Contact your state wildlife department before conducting these auctions, he advises.

When you conduct the auction, you’ll need wall space to display the mounts as they were meant to be shown — not sitting on a floor, he says.

And consult an expert to help you with the description of the animal.

“If you’re calling it a white tail deer and it’s a mule deer, you’ll look foolish, and the buyer is going to be unhappy,” Pratt says.

Charles Brobst, CAI, CES, of North Pacific Auctioneers Ltd., may be in a unique situation.

He’s in Anchorage, Alaska, where animals abound, but many of them are endangered or indigenous, meaning the sale of taxidermy mounts or trophies can be subject to even stricter laws than usual.

Creating a game mount doesn’t come cheap.

Prices at one taxidermy service range from $770 to mount a life-size fox to $8,400 for a buffalo. A brown bear is listed at $5,400.

Selling price depends on the subject matter and how well it’s mounted.

Brobst got a bid of $10,000 for a full hind-leg mount bear.

Check out Auctioneer magazine to read the complete story and a legal column from Kurt Bachman on various types of legislation that protect wildlife

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Filed under Auction Industry, Auction marketing, Auctioneer magazine, NAA Members, Technology

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