1st class Dip/Pack/Tanning from Universal Trophy Services.

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Diamondhitch, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Review of:
    Universal Trophy Services (Rupert Dedekind)
    Pretoria
    South Africa

    Highly recommended for Dip/Pack and Tanning comparable to high quality North America standards.

    Well I finally made it home to see my Crate. Having it sitting at home for over a month before being able to come see it was brutal! Christine had the crate pulled open and rummaged through everything before I got home so no pics of the packing but she said everything was neatly and securely placed in the properly sized crate.

    My safari arrived at Universal Trophy Services on a Friday evening after hours with a quickly caped Springbok with the head still in it due to last minute shooting and dashing for the airport. Rupert made sure to have staff on hand to receive my bag and cape the Springbok.

    The skulls/horns were boiled only so much as necessary to remove meat, natural skull texture remained on all skulls. No meat was present, even in stubborn/difficult areas where I have seen small scraps in the past with other Dip/Ship companies. The skulls were also bleached white and ready for the wall. Detached horns were packed separate from the skulls and horns that do not detach were filled at the base with a skull colored epoxy and look great. Each skull was bubble wrapped and stored carefully in the crate, none were damaged. If I were to criticize anything it would be that the tape left on the horns left a bit of goo that needed to be cleaned off, very minor.

    My rating of the skull preparation and handling 10/10.

    The capes were all tanned. Due to the high rate of poor quality tanning coming out of Africa I did plenty of research before leaving my hides in Ruperts capable hands, 2 champion US taxidermists specialising in African trophies gave him 2 thumbs up and that was enough for me. The quality of the tanning and fleshing/thinning was comparable to the very best that I have worked with here in Canada with the exception of the detail areas around the eyes and lips which were done to a much higher standard than I am used to (although I have heard that some shops in the US complete their capes to this standard as well). The hides are pure white all the way through (an indication of thorough tannin penetration) lightly oiled to a semi soft state and bagged separately from each other. The only hide that was not completely white (on the outside) was the Mountain Reedbuck but only because some of the tumbling media was still stuck to the cape (something very common on domestically tanned capes as well). Anyones taxidermist should be thrilled to receive hides of this quality.

    Back skins and flat skins are tanned shaved and oiled to a beautifully soft high quality finish. The Zebra face has been flattened and invisibly stitched to a perfectly symmetrical and flat surface. Bullet holes have been repaired and are invisible to all but the closest scrutiny.

    My rating on the tanning 10/10 but only because I cant rate it higher!

    Communication was good but I would have preferred to be kept in the loop a bit better when the lot was received. My emails were returned in a timely manner and all questions answered without issue.

    Timeline was quite acceptable, a bit slower than some but tanning adds a bit of time to the process but I would rather wait a bit longer for a clearly superior product. I was quite happy with the 6 month turnaround + 3 weeks from the time I was notified of completion and made my final payment until the shipment landed in Edmonton.

    Price was ever so slightly higher than previous dip/ship but only slightly. About the same amount as taking my wife out for a fancy dinner, in the grand scheme of things money well spent!!!

    All of my personal tags were still attached to each trophy with the exception of the flat skins that had been neatly trimmed up ready for the trophy room. All skins returned were 100% mine!!! LOL

    My rating for communication/timeline/Price 9.5/10

    Overall you cannot go wrong with Universal Trophy Services.

    Here are some pics:

    Black Horns.jpg
    Blesbuck.jpg
     
  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    A couple more pics

    Eland.jpg
    Wrap.jpg
    Under.jpg
    Inside.jpg
    Kudu.jpg
     
  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    And some more

    Stein.jpg
    Little.jpg
    Zebra Face.jpg
    Kudu inside.jpg
     
  4. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I cant seen to find the pics I took while I was home but when I do I will post pics of the tanned hides as well.
     
  5. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Very good looking work.
    I wish the skulls, horns and skins I got back in my crate from another "taxidermist" last year had been anything similar to this.
    Looking forward to see the pics of the hides.
     
  6. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Ya, I was certainly impressed. After reading yet another hard luck story I figured I better post even though I didn't have my good pics that I took while I was back home. Once I get them I will post some good macros and such showing just how truly good those skulls look and the hides as well.

    Hopefully this will help prevent someone from gut wrenching crappy dip/pack issues. After 2 years my boss has still not received his trophies and the dip/pack outfit has ceased all communication. I just hate hearing stories like that.
     
  7. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I would rather prefer never to have gotten half of my trophies than to have paid for the shipping and the taxes for them.
    They will never end up on my wall anyway....
     
  8. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    nice report great trophies , nice fat horns on that blesbuck !!!
     
  9. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The thing to remember that their are many hunters that travel each year and receive there trophy's with out any issues.

    While we have witnessed some less than good results we have some exceptional results from members also.

    What some have indicated is that you need to do your research and planning of the recovery of your trophy just like you have done with your outfitter or PH review.

    There are many ways to do this, however i started with finding a taxidermist that i believed above average to use, then found my importer and who they used for shipping and dip and pack. Working the process will always help reduce the issues one will have.
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Great to hear that your stuff came back in great condition.

    The fact those small thin bones are still intact shows they were not over boiled.


    Your bosses nightmare still haunts me.
     
  11. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    The work looks outstanding!
     
  12. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Thanks Guys.

    I would be careful with my words, remember the Chinese curse: May you get what you wish for!!!
     
  13. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Me too, hence my vigilance. It is even worse since it doesn't sound like he will be able to make it back for a very long time (his wife has instructed him that he is to build her a new house even though it dips wayyy into their retirement savings, so much for retirement).
     
  14. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I wish for winning big in the Lotto every week, so it doesn't look like the curse works very much :)

    But seriously, the Kudu, Black Wildebeest tail and my flat skins were so bad that no taxidermist here in Norway want to try to fix them.
    I am going to give them away if someone wants them or I will toss the tail, skins and the Kudu skull in the garbage and just keep the Kudu horns.

    All the other European mounts except the Black Wildebeest are getting worked on to look decent enough to put on the wall.
    The Black Wildebeest looks good.

    Looking forward to see pics of your skins :)
     
  15. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I agree with you Norwegianwoods, you got screwed. The quality was so bad....I would have rather had the money too!
     

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