Planning my first safari for next year. I have found a ton of good resources to help me with cost estimates but am having trouble with the taxidermy side of things.
Anyone have a resource or can give me ballpark figures?
Considering I bag all my trophies I will be looking for:
Kudu and Gemsbok Shoulder mounts.
Any idea on price for mounts plus shipping back to States would be helpful.
Welcome to AH husb0023!
Can you tell us what African country you will be hunting so that the information provided for the taxidermy / shipping is relevant to that country... :question:
PLEASE VISIT TRANS AFRICAN TAXIDERMIST WEBSITE TO VIEW MOUNTS ON DISPLAY AND THEN IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE THERE E-MAIL ME and I will send you a price list.
My Georgia taxidermist would charge:
Zebra rug $250 (this is what he charges for a bear hide, might be a slight difference but i doubt it)
Shipping is a whole different matter better facter in $1000 - 1500. Of course my estimate is based on 5 animals.
Thanks for the responses.
I am planning on hunting Namibia, not quite sure exactly where yet.
Just so you know this is probably the first of about 100 questions I will be asking on here. :p
Husb0023, I can't answer any of your questions as I am in the same boat as you are. I am going to hunt in Namibia in 2010! I can tell you that no question will be left unattended here, everyone is so helpful and some even entertaining. I can assure you that no question is too dumb either, not that you will be asking dumb questions but I sure have and they have been answered anyway...:D If you haven't decided where to go yet you should check out Jerome's outfit, that's where I'll be hunting. I really did a lot of research and his outfit was heads above the rest when all was said and done.. check out the website africanhuntingsafaris.com, tons of impressive pictures.
Check prices but also check the work and then call them and find out if they know anything. Most hunters will know within a minute of talking with someone if its true or lie. Some are good and some are not and some do not have a clue..... Have fun .
husb0023, You will find on my website information and cost estimates pertaining to taxidermy, dip & pack and shipping charges, click here to get to that page. Should you want more detailed information, or an approximate quote for any of these services specific to the trophies that you are planning on taking, please feel free to email or PM me and I will be happy to provide you with the contact information of the taxidermist and shipping agent in Namibia that we work with. Feel free to contact me.
budgeting and options
Pre;First Safaris is an exciting yet potentially overwhelming time since most folks are on the brink of "living their dream" and certainly don't want it to turn up short or get the proverbial "wake up call" along the way or in the end!
Regarding Taxidermy and trophy handling costs you are certainly wise to research and budget in advance. Especially if your finished trophies are a significant part of your Safari Goal.
You have several options to consider first. Where you live vs where you hunt. Namibia hunt- home in US (I'm guessing)
A short answer; is that much of the time your throphy costs on a typical plains game safari can reach the same general ball park as your trophy fees. (But this is a very general ball park)
Long answer is;
Every service provider should happily provide price estimates but there will still be some unknowns until you've taken the game and chosen the types of mounts.
Taxidermy is sometimes cheaper in some foreign countries, because labor is cheaper. Material may be more or equal and quality of both material and labor are factors at every location. Shipping mounted trophies requires significantly larger crates and shipping costs. Finished items should be insured at higher rates. (See below re; shipping and insurance.)
Dip and pack is generally straight forward. Price per piece/specimen
Crating and paperwork is quotable.
Delivery to Air freight needs to be quoted
Shipping is based upon a combination of size and weight. With horns and skins, size is usually the deciding factor so if you have one set of large horns a few extra won't raise the freight bill significantly.
Insurance is something to consider and watch closely. Many times horns and hides are insured for extremely high replacement values and costs are based upon a percentage of value. So $50,000 insurance can add several thousand $ to your freight costs. The question you need to ask is if your trophy is damaged or lost will any replacement suffice? If not and you can successfully complete negotiate the claim and redo your hunt the insurance might be worthwhile. If not and you end up with a replacement anyway then why not insure for actual US FMV. (example kudu horns and cape insured at $8000 vs $800-$1200)
Import fees; US Customs, USDA, etc are fixed. But planning ahead and finding a broker or determining if you will clear the items yourself should not be overlooked.
Shipping from US port of entry to your taxidermist, your home or to a tannery is typically a separate cost.
No matter whom you chose you would be wise to see first hand the quality and check multiple references. The more homework you do in well in advance the less likely you are to be disappointed.
The other thing is accountability. If the outfitter only uses one specific preperator/ dip and pack will he intervene on your behalf if the completion time, price, or quality misses the mark.
Presuming that having high quality trophies that you can look at fondly for many years and relive the hunt is your goal. Think of this as pre-season scouting! Make sure everyone you are dealing with is fully aware that the "hunt" is only one part of the picture and that your total level of satisfaction is dependant on what ends up on your wall.
Well said Madabula, safaris are too expensive not to do the homework and what you say about insurance is hugely important. In all my 40 years of export I have never had a consignment completely trashed or lost or destroyed. On occasion we have had damage which can be repaired by a local taxidermist and on occassion we will do our own repairs when we visit SCI. We actually visit the client and repair the trophy. However, insurance costs are high and replacement of certain trophies is high eg. Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Sable etc. So, if you wanted to reduce costs significantly this is where you could reduce them, bearing in mind you are taking a gamble.
Originally Posted by husb0023
Zebra rug $1200.00
I have a full price list on my site African price list
While doing your research and comparisons on taxidermist ( U.S. vs African) make sure you get all the totals.
If you use a U.S. taxidermist
Dip & pack
shipping to USDA shop or USDA tanner
If shipped to the shop, is the USDA fee included in the mount price?
If shipped to a tanner what is the USDA fee?
If you use a African taxidermist
paper work fees
shipping fees to Port of Entry
clearing fees ( Customs & USF&W ) or Broker fees if you don't live in the Port of Entry city.
shipping to your house
You are doing the right thing in getting your head around the shipping, import/export/ taxidermy issue as early as possible. Your PH will expect you to tell him what and where with regard to shipment. He will already have an in country shipping broker.
Taxidermy, in my experience, is one of those things where one gets what one pays for. It also true that some studios are better at some animals and styles of display than others. Cats are notoriously hard to do, and the number of taxidermists who can achieve actual realism with them is, in my experience, very limited. The shoulder mounts you are considering will, fortunately, be much more straight forward.
Should your trophy list expand once you are there, you may wish to consider more than one taxidermist; you will probably realize a net speed up in delivery. A quality shoulder mount for a Kudu will run from a low end of 1200 to about 1800; an Oryx from around a grand to 1200 or so. Zebra rugs (with backing, etc) are fairly expensive, and I would budget another $1000 or so.
Finally, your taxidermist will likely provide you with quality tags for your PH to use in tagging your trophies. If he doesn't, then have some made up.
Finally, be prepared to be patient. For instance, I left Namibia last year at the end of August and my trophies left in March of this year. My taxidermist took delivery in May and I do not expect to see a truck pull up until late fall. And namibia is fairly efficient compared to some other destinations.
If you go to my web site you will find my current African Price list. I have been a taxidermist for 15 + years and do it full time. I have been to Africa over a dozen times and go every year so I know the animals very well.
I also have a US Federal Import Lic so I can also do all the clearing. I also have shipping agents in Africa that can handle everything from Africa to my studio.
Look forward to hearing from you
Otjiwarongo Taxidermy is situated in Namibia in Africa near the town of Otjiwarongo 3 hours drive from the Capital of Windhoek.
Pls. find underneath two references for the Taxidermy. If you do mail them just pls. mention that it is for a reference for the Taxidermy.
You can contact the following people for references:-
firstname.lastname@example.org John Warren
email@example.com David Brown
With regards to shipping your trophies back to the states we recommend sea freight as it is much cheaper but you can go via Airfreight also. We are not able to give you a quote as quotes are based on the volumetric weight of your trophies once they are packed.
The company that we use for Shipping is IFN in Windhoek but you are of course welcome to use a company of your choice.
Your contact person at IFN would be Peter firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pls. use the following link to read the instructions with regards to shipping trophies.
IFN - Trophy Information
Of course you are more then welcome to visit us before your hunt and have a look in our Showroom and factory.
You can contact me should you need any more information or if you would like our portfolio and price list mailed to you.
Otjiwarongo Taxidermy - Namibia
Prices & Info
If you go to my web page, I have the prices and any other info you might need before your hunt. I have been in the business for over 40 years.
What I would suggest that you go to all these sites and compare rates but also the work an the get a hold of the taxidermist and request references and the after you have picked one out they will supply you with all the broker papers,tips,tags,etc....just like I do for all of my clients...Have a great time.....:)
And I would strongly recommend you check for taxidermists in the US that do a lot of African game and assess their mounts. You need to compare taxidermy quotes in Africa with the quotes for the same services in the US and factor in the shipping costs for mounted trophies vs. shipping the dried hides, skulls and horns.........and the documentation and brokerage fees, etc. Only then can you have a realistic comparison.
Not to muddy the waters more.....
One consideration you might have is that if you have your skins/horns shipped to your home country;you can have mounts done as you can afford.
Done overseas means having a big bill due at one time,I often have things mounted as funds are availible.
You could have all your skins tanned,then mounted as you chose,I store mine at my taxidermist,he charges nothing for this service.
I have seen some real poor taxidermy done on both sides of the pond.Great work only requires some research and to see some and understand what to look for,the cost is the same.
The biggest lament for most top taxidermists is clients don't know poor quality and accept it based on convenience rather than skill.There will always be bargain shoppers and hacks to fill that segement of the business;easy to avoid them.
At the same time,don't buy into the argument that you have to see the animals daily to mount them.The taxidermy reference material is availible to all.
Originally Posted by Dinsdale
i have been in contact with a fellow hunter from canada that had his taxidermy done in r.s.a. although the cost of taxi work was cheaper in africa the shipping costs were astronomical. he payed 4000 dollars. you can p.m. me and i can put you in touch with this person.