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Black horns on mounted trophies... Is this a normal?

This is a discussion on Black horns on mounted trophies... Is this a normal? within the Before & After the Hunt forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; I had my 10 species of game mounted in South Africa. When they arrived back here in Canada, I was ...

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    BCHunter is offline New Member
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    Default Black horns on mounted trophies... Is this a normal?

    I had my 10 species of game mounted in South Africa. When they arrived back here in Canada, I was surprised that all the horns had turned completely BLACK.
    Is this a normal thing to happen? Or is the taxidermist at fault?
    I realize that it is too late to do anything about it now, but am going to Zambia this year and would like to avoud this happening again.
    Would like the horns to stay their natural colour.

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    BC

    Welcome to AH

    sometimes it just pays to bring your animals back to the states to have the correct color.

    depending on what is done to the skulls, like boiling in water over on open fire pit. Usually a 5 or 55 gallon barrel cut in half and your horns extend out the side and some times get kind of burnt. if your horns did extended outside At that time they are heat burnt and soot black, and they would need to be cleaned.

    I walked back to the skinning shed to see the operation at the different camps i have been to and they are all different. different countries different process from what i seen.
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    Welcome to AH BCHunter! I've had my Trophies mounted in South Africa twice by the same Taxidermist the first time I let him know that I wanted the horns to look natural so all he did is clean them the second time I forgot to tell him and he painted them black still don't look bad but I would have perfered they be natural. The same thing happened to my Bison I had mounted in Colorado when I got it back the taxidermist had painted it flat black it didn't look natural or good so I took some sandpaper and removed the paint, looks much better. Maybe some of the taxidermist we have on here could give you some ideas to safely remove the paint without hurting the horns bison have ruff horns anyways so the sandpaper made them look good. Be sure to tell your taxidermist that you want them left natural. Bob
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    Hi there,

    Sorry to hear about your trophies. Over at our taxidermist the hunter gets asked if they want to keep it natural or painted. Unfortunately it seems to me that only recently most hunters take painted ones and due to this many taxidermist don't always ask the clients anymore which they prefer and just by "default" paint them black and ship them off, which in my view is wrong and doesn't look as good.

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    I also think its a matter of conservation, since it looks like they use some sort of insect repellent. My eland was also treated that way, but they used something to sand down the ridges so it looks natural. It may also help the horns from getting to dry and crack up. Give it some time and it will look more natural.
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    Quote Originally Posted by owenowen View Post
    Hi there,

    Sorry to hear about your trophies. Over at our taxidermist the hunter gets asked if they want to keep it natural or painted. Unfortunately it seems to me that only recently most hunters take painted ones and due to this many taxidermist don't always ask the clients anymore which they prefer and just by "default" paint them black and ship them off, which in my view is wrong and doesn't look as good.
    I could not agree more with you!

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    May not be too late.

    Way better to have treated horns that get past the CFIA and to your house than costing you to get them fumigated, etc. to get rid of the bugs or refused entry.

    I thought that all my horns were "painted".
    In fact it was an oily insecticide. The horns looked black.
    I washed them off with soapy HOT water and they all look quite natural now.

    Usual precautions.
    (Rubber gloves, mask, outside, plastic scrub brush)
    (Thanks to Diamondhitch for the education)

    With your next sets of trophies make sure the person who packs the shipment puts in a ton of moth balls.
    It does not do much for the bugs but it wards off CFIA!
    If it stinks like moth balls they will not likely dig to far.
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    The horns for all my mounts (impala shoulder and euro, euro blue wildebeest, euro kudu) came back black and cracked as well. I figured it was normal but I really wasn't super thrilled. I ended up polishing my kudu horns because I really wanted that granite-like figure and polish.



    Now I realize a lot of people would prefer to keep the horns natural, but if I'm lucky I've got plenty of time to get a second kudu and keep it natural. If I get any shoulder mounts next time, I will request a 'natural' look especially for the Nyala. The euros I'd say make 'em black so they'll at least match the others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNHall View Post
    The horns for all my mounts (impala shoulder and euro, euro blue wildebeest, euro kudu) came back black and cracked as well. I figured it was normal but I really wasn't super thrilled. I ended up polishing my kudu horns because I really wanted that granite-like figure and polish.



    Now I realize a lot of people would prefer to keep the horns natural, but if I'm lucky I've got plenty of time to get a second kudu and keep it natural. If I get any shoulder mounts next time, I will request a 'natural' look especially for the Nyala. The euros I'd say make 'em black so they'll at least match the others.
    The polished look doesn't look bad and depending on the Decor of your home it could fit in quite nicely. and as for the Nyala that was the one animal that he did not paint he didn't want to take away from the ivory tips.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNHall View Post
    The horns for all my mounts (impala shoulder and euro, euro blue wildebeest, euro kudu) came back black and cracked as well. I figured it was normal but I really wasn't super thrilled. I ended up polishing my kudu horns because I really wanted that granite-like figure and polish.



    Now I realize a lot of people would prefer to keep the horns natural, but if I'm lucky I've got plenty of time to get a second kudu and keep it natural. If I get any shoulder mounts next time, I will request a 'natural' look especially for the Nyala. The euros I'd say make 'em black so they'll at least match the others.
    Interesting post, I have never seen them polished like that.

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    I'm glad to have seen this thread becuase I too wondered why many mounts I've seen had black horns. I wasn't sure if it was the norm to paint the horns. With my trophies currently in process I'll make sure to tell my taxidermist to leave them natural. I really don't like the black. Why would it even be done in the first place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1ObsessedHunter View Post
    I'm glad to have seen this thread becuase I too wondered why many mounts I've seen had black horns. I wasn't sure if it was the norm to paint the horns. With my trophies currently in process I'll make sure to tell my taxidermist to leave them natural. I really don't like the black. Why would it even be done in the first place?
    To cover up terrible taxidermy work, my honest opinion. People get super sloppy boiling skulls and the horns get wrecked.
    I have done my own European mounts and have never had to color the horns or worry about a cracked skull.

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