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Old 06-09-2011, 02:13 PM
Mr. 16 gauge Mr. 16 gauge is offline
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Taxidermy fees?

Anybody out there give me some ideas as to (roughly) how much it will cost to get heads mounted? I'd like to get everything I take mounted, but I'm starting to think that impractical. Wanted to get some idea of the costs, but none of the African taxidermy websites will post prices! Kinda hard to plan when you don't know.
Trying to plan this in advance as much as possible, with as little surprise as possible.
Also, I'm thinking it might be cheaper to have the work done in Africa and shipped over to the States, rather than have the specimens dipped, salted, and shipped here to be done.....any thoughts?

Just for the sake of argument, lets say two large heads (such as a gemsbok & Kudu) and 2 average heads (such as Impala, Wildebeast, hartebeest, or Blesbok)
Thanks in advance.................
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:24 PM
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grayghost grayghost is offline
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Your PH should be able to answer all of your questions. If not, then consider dealing with a professional. Taxidermy for the most part in Africa is sub-quality, and you'll pay dearly for transportation costs. In the end you'll have bad looking mounts and will have saved no money. I do this for a living so I know what I'm talking about, not speculation or hearsay.
gg
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:41 PM
madmurph madmurph is offline
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I have to agree with Grayghost. I was initially considering having my trophies completed in South Africa as well. After seeing some of the work in person, I was less than impressed with the overall quality of the mounts. I would strongly suggest having the hides and horns shipped here for completion.

I opted to have my work completed here in the States by a taxidermist who is experienced with and specializes in African mounts. By the time you pay shipping for a crate large enough for finished mounts you will be better off having the work completed here in the States.

Although it was two years ago and prices will have changed, I paid the taxidermist in South Africa approximately $1000 to dip and pack kudu, blesbok, impala, wildebeest, and bushbuck for shoulder mounts, zebra for shoulder mount as well as backskin, and warthog, springbok and duiker for full life size mounts. Shipping was $1300 from South Africa to the broker in Chicago.

If cost is an issue, the few taxidermists that I talked to here said that they were willing to complete a couple mounts at a time if tanning costs were paid up front. Your thoughts as a former taxidermist Grayghost?
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:03 AM
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grayghost grayghost is offline
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I agree madmurph. I've had most of my mounts done here in the States. The ones I had done in Africa....well, let's just say "Never again." After 2 of my clients/hunting partners decided to go with this South African company, I didn't want to be shipping my 22 trophies alone, so I took a long look at their color catalog. It appeared to have quality mounts, not outstanding but well within reason, and the cost was less than top professionals charge here. Well, I knew better, and by the time we were on the plane heading home, I began to have a sinking feeling. Over the next year, the owner never once replied to any emails...because he was never there. He and his brother were busy doing other things while their hired hands did the work. 14 months later they arrived. It was pitiful! The shipping cost was over $5,200 but now I had to look at this crap. Never be fooled by brochures or what hangs in a showroom. Obviously, these guys may have done their own trophies and put them in their catalog, but amateurs did our work. Nothing was airbrushed. The eyes, ears, noses and lips were done with a small paint brush. My Kudu looks like a jack rabbit; my Oribi has slip spots that weren't patched; my Genets look like....I have no idea. All the bases on each life size animal was crappy. I could go on and on but bring your skins/skulls home. You may change your mind several times before you commit to a certain pose. Stay away from amateur taxidermy and go with a pro. I know many here in the US that do museum quality work and mine has won world competition, National and State titles. madmurph is correct; many will work with you and do a few mounts at a time. Two of my clients just brought back 21 trophies and sent them to Dennis Harris (The Artistry of Wildlife in MI). He's going to do them a few at a time for one client. The other wants his all at once. The dip/pack/crating/permits, etc., is going to cost you...no way around that. You can avoid dip/pack if you leave your mounts there, but sit down when you get the freight bill. Never let someone tell you "here's what it will cost you." I have it down with dip & pack, but air and ocean freight is dependent on what your doing with your trophies, but it will cost a lot if you ship mounts home, not to mention the cost of insurance. Hunting is expensive unfortunately, but you get what you pay for. There are ways to save money if you take the right steps.
gg
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