Advise needed for first trophies

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by ActionBob, May 13, 2014.

  1. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    We need to decide how to mount our trophies from our first African hunt.

    My wife really wanted a Zebra rug so that is what we are doing with it. Problem is she wants it on the wall so it will take a lot my space! But maybe we can get it into one of "her" rooms to save space on the "yet to be built" Trophy room. We really have no walls taller than 8' at this time but plan to remodel or build a retirement home and include a taller room as a trophy room sometime in the next year or two. Of course it will probably end up too small.... I am confident we can at least find storage space "if" we get mounts back before we are ready.

    So my big question is on the Eland and Kudu. In Africa, it seemed like every Kudu mount had an Eland opposite it, or vice versa. So I was thinking of doing wall pedistals of both, one turneed right and the other left.... But I want to go back for a Southern Greater Kudu so maybe a regular shoulder mount on this one (it is an East Cape Kudu) and save the spot opposite the Eland for that? Again, we have no space for anything this big, but hope to build it (the true cost of a Safari just keeps adding up!) As for the Eland, I really want to show the depth and thickness of the body, that dewlap and big hump on the shoulder and so if I just do a shoulder mount, I doubt that will come through... On the other hand, not sure how big a mount we want to deal with??? Need serious advice on these two!

    Then there is my wife's Black Wildebeest, we cut it for a wall pedistal and kept the backskin and she wants to display that tail. Not sure if a standard shoulder mount is best or if someone has other advice?

    Thinking regular shoulder mounts for the Blesbuck (wife's first large game animal), Impalla, Fallow Deer, Red Hartebeest, and Gemsbuck... The Gemsbuck's horns are not all that great and I'm sure we can do better, but they have such impresive faces that all our freinds and relatives ask about it so not sure that a skull mount is the answer.... Almost wish I had it skinned for a rug but it is cut, did save the back skin.... It was a memorable hunt and one of my best shots under a lot of pressure and out of breath, so that might make it worth mounting properly. Need advice on this one.

    My Duiker will be a full mount lying down and I plan to have a glass case built into a bar or coffee table, open to other ideas.

    I hope to get a "Springbuck slam" and mount them all on a tree branch on a floor pedistal or something like that. And the one Common I have has a somewhat unique stripe down his nose so probably end up with 5 total rather than the ussual 4. I have a very good black and a so so regular common that was skinned for a flat skin and skull mount, but he is nothing special and with plans for more, maybe I will even skip the skull mount or do a simple one myself? Anyway, I have general plans for the Springbucks.

    Mountain Reedbuck, same type thing. Go back and get a Common and maybe some other critters that fit and make a combined mount of all of them.

    For the Bushbuck, even though he is not real big, he is a special trophy to me because of the hunt and he is an old ram with pretty markings on his rear. So I want something a little special and one taxidermist suggested a floor or table pedistal and then I thought I could hang the backskin on the wall behind it. Wish I had the front legs to use like the Nyala in another recent post, but I think we can bring out most of his markings this way and do something reasonably priced yet a better display than a simple shoulder mount. Thoughts?

    Photos are in my hunting report. Maybe someone could put a link over here, I'm not sure how.

    Please lay it on my folks and thanks in advance!

    Bob
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Bob, First, congrats on getting so many darned good trophies.

    I realize this is your first set of trophies. Nothing beats it.

    Honestly, Take some time and think it through.

    Measure your space out. Plan it and it will look good.
    In that new "trophy house" you are building make sure there is one small bedroom attached.

    Look at every form you can imagine from every source


    I see Peter Flacks entire collection (museum) and salivate every time. I wish I had the space and funding.

    You can always put mounts on top of that darned wall rug. :)


    If you are going back, save the money on mounts you are likely to better. It's hard, but smarter.

    Euro Mounts are a great option.
  3. hunting4sanity

    hunting4sanity AH Senior Member

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    http://www.africahunting.com/threads/south-africa-crusader-safaris-early-april-hunt.15771/
    Bob's hunt report and photos.

    Those are some great looking trophies you and your wife got. As far as taxidermy advice goes, I have many of the same questions - but few answers for you. I'm trying to decide how to incorporate a black wildebeest tail or back skin into a shoulder mount as well. That gemsbok looks good to me, I'd do a shoulder mount to show off that cool face they have. Congratulations on a great safari!
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  4. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    I had the wildebeest tails, black and blue made into fly swatters, they look fine.

    006_zps95725bd0.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2014
  5. bwanadefender

    bwanadefender New Member

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    Low ceilings are a problem for me too, so I opted for pedestal mounts. All of the pedestals are 30 inches tall and I converted shoulder mounts to pedestal mounts when I moved to the new (old) house. I placed the larger trophies on the one side of the room and placed shoulder mounts on the other walls. IMG_1626.JPG IMG_1625.JPG
    enysse likes this.
  6. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Veteran

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    Those pedestal mounts look great!
  7. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    I've seen springbok mounted in this configuration.
    image.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2014
  8. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the input guys!

    I do plan some groups such as Springbok and Reedbucks... Thinking of mounting them to a nice piece of driftwood or something. Of course the big upside is I'll have to go back to get the rest of what I need to complete those sets!

    I'm also really warming up to those pedestal mounts. Can someone tell me if they need to be mounted on the pedestal at the taxidermist or can we get them set up correctly and then have pedestals made at home and fasten the taxidermy to the pedestals ourselves? Same question for the small animal groups... Can we mount them to our own driftwood?

    We have been out looking at as many african mounts as we can find (Cabella's, etc.). It is shocking (and a bit worrisome) when you start looking close to see just how bad some are.... But of course there are some really great ones as well.

    Please keep the ideas and examples coming!

    Bob
  9. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    If you are handy with building stuff, I'm sure a good taxidermist will get the heads ready for you. You can also take the wood to the taxidermist and explain what it is you would like to have done.
  10. Kapraun Wildlife Studios

    Kapraun Wildlife Studios AH Member

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    ActionBob,

    Yes you can have the taxidermist make the pedestal mounts these would be attached to a temporary base then you can attach them to the base that you want to put them on. If you have the base already it wouldn't be a bad idea to take that to the taxidermist so that he can put that on for you if need be.

    Same goes for small to large animals life size mounts, they can stay on the temporary wood frame then you can attach them to your own base. Now if you have the base for it before hand that can help especially if its driftwood so that the animals feet and legs can be altered to fit the driftwood properly and there are no treaded rods exposed between the feet and base.
  11. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Pedestal mounts are nice, and I did the same with the first group of larger animals (Kudu, Buffalo, Nyala). I too have relatively low ceilings with only the entrance way being open for 2 stories (and its packed now). Pedestal mounts take up a bit of space, though.

    Lately I've been going with wall pedestal mounts, which I feel look better, and doing either sneak or semi-sneak mounts to reduce the height required. The latest Kudu looks great in the family room on the wall, and I just got finished hanging my son's eland. The "semi-sneak" pose seems to work well.

    My youngest son took a bushbuck on his first safari and, like you mention, it was a very special memory. I had a pedestal mount on a trim base done that now sits on the center of dining room table.

    As was suggested, don't burn money on trophies you'll likely better (unless the memory is the real trophy).

    Just when you thought you knew how much the safari costs ....
  12. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You indicate that you will be going back again (y)

    This is what i would suggest. If you plan to hunt some of the same animal in the future, i would suggest that you look at doing European skull mounts on the animals you know you will have a chance to obtain a better one's.

    Your Zebra rug will have rings on the back to place it in various angles on the wall and you should be able to put mounts and skull mounts around it. Or if you have your stud work located prior to it's placement you could put skull or mount on it. I have done this with other hides on the wall. Great back ground.

    Remember a average water buck will be about 51 inches from bottom of the mount to the top of the horns. Cape buffalo you are looking at 40 inches.
    Kudu for a 50 inch one you are looking at 60 inches. Be creative and put a smaller skull or mount above a larger one.

    I have found if you tell your taxidermist the size of the spot you want to put it they will have to work at the pose to make it fit. it is doable.
  13. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    Yea Shakey, I was thinking of posting total cost on that thread about safari costs but not sure I want to scare too many people off! The mounts are nothing compared to the first bids we got on the trophy room... well, um, they had a new house attached to that room also! Rethinking a couple remodel thoughts. Wondering how much we really want to spend on something to live in vs. spending it on living... We started out over 30 years ago with very little and worked very hard and took a lot of risks to get to where we are... And we have realized that sometimes just because you can, does not always mean you should spend money on things.

    James,
    I pretty much feel like I "must" go back! Trouble is the wife insists we go on an archeological trip she has on her bucket list before we go back to Africa. And I only get a couple weeks vacation per year.... It is a bugger working for such a hard ass slave driver..... We are self employed;)

    Seriously, I really think we were about a week or two early for many species' rut. So I hope to go back in about a year and a week or two from our first trip.

    Thanks everyone for all the help! I am piecing it all together and making use of everyones ideas! We are going to have the Taxidermy done in RSA but plan to go inspect it before it ships. We still have some time for final decisions.
  14. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Good morning Action Bob, :barefoot: :) :coffee:

    :cautious: Good luck with your African taxidermy.

    There have been: very good (y) good :D fair :) and unacceptable :( (n) :cry: results from forum members on taxidermy work from Africa.

    I am not sure where you live in the USA and if ocean container shipping is an option for you, plus trucking. I would suggest that you look at shipping options and costs.

    Wishing you success with your future Safari planning. If any of AH members can be of assistance, please ask.
  15. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Senior Member

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    Congratulations on your fine trophies.

    I recently received my trophies from SA, and the shipping has turned into something that I was not ready or expecting. My once in a life time trip turned into the worst nightmare of my life and it was all due to the negligence of the shipper Oxi, who is part of Highveld Taxidermist. My trophies were damaged in transit; my kudu has a busted nose and the stiches came off the mouth, my impala has a broken ear and a broken neck, my Zulu shield has a bunch of scrapes & dents on the woods. When I went to the shipper to file a claim, I was informed that my insurance coverage was only to the first warehouse in the US, and not the final destination. This information was never clear to me, and the shipper never gave me the option to upgrade or change my insurance coverage. I've repeatedly tried to get a copy of the insurance certificate, and asked why I was never given the options for the insurance, and Oxi has failed to answer or provided what I requested. I hope you are not using them.

    I'm not trying to scare you in any way, but I want to make you aware of what I'm going through. I'm sure there are a lot of reputable taxidermist & shippers in Africa, but not so much with Oxi. Please make sure you ask all the questions you have, and have the taxidermist & shipper give you the answers in writing. If you are in doubt, ask, and ask again. Do not trust your trophies to them and think that you are dealing with honest people, as I did and look where I'm now.

    BTW, I hunted with Cruiser Safaris and they are a top notch outfitter, they have outstanding trophies, and their PHs are top notch! I can’t say enough about Cruiser and their staff. We had a wonderful time with them, too bad my trip had to end this way.
  16. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    Para,
    So sorry to hear about your very bad expieriance but I'm very grateful for the heads up, as I'm sure others on this board are.

    I will definately not be using them. I have allready been quoted insurance but I will ask more questions regarding the depth of the coverage.

    Did your trophies get shipped by air or ocean freight?

    Bob
  17. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Senior Member

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    Hey Bob,

    My trophies were shipped by air, and once in the US they were shipped by truck. Another option you might want to consider is to maybe have your trophies cleaned & dipped there and have them finished here in the state. Just a thought.

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