Christmas in October - Trophies are at the airport

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by BRICKBURN, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Sorry to hear, this should just not be happening! Keep us posted and I hope that you get your trophy.
     
  2. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Man that sucks! Hopefully Mr Kraft has your trophy and you can switch! Beyond that......I just don't know! Good luck in getting your trophy back.
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I decided that since this was not my Gemsbok and it was only on loan that I would not permanently attach the horns to the skull.

    So, I just used closed cell foam bumpers and carved them down to fit around the base inside the horn.
    Just enough pressure to keep it in place for a while.


    The skull plate, after pondering the issue for a while must be from a female with small bases and these horns are larger bases with enough extra room inside to play a game of baseball.
    So maybe we even have three Gemsbok in play here.

    Here is the picture of Mr. Krafts Gemsbok in storage on my wall. Horns in place.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Well I for one am certainly not finding this at all funny! I sure hope they can sort things out.

    Hopefully they are the correct horns for Mr Krafts gemsbok at least. There should be significant play inside the sheaths since there would have been a layer of skin and tissue between the sheath and core so it may in fact be his mount and horns.

    This is certainly one of those nighmares that we all read about and dread. My dip/pack asked for pictures and measurements awhile back of my bushbuck because he had mounted one and the horns did not fit back on the cores. Mine are tagged with my personal tags through a hole drilled in the back ridge of the horn so I am really hoping mine are not part of that mess. My trophies are at the shippers right now so I will soon find out I guess. I wonder how common this really is?
     
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Diamond, I have taken Big Horns and Pronghorn Antelope and recognize the amount of play on them when the underlying skin sheath inside the horn is removed. They still fit with a little play.

    I was not thinking as I tried to attach these horns. I had just assumed they were the correct horns. How could they not be?
    After you do some thinking and comparing.

    Well, if Mr. Kraft got his horns and my bases my guess is he took a grinder to the bases and could fit those thin horns on. Who knows if he found his fortune cookie.

    My Eland horns and skull fit like a glove, just like I would expect and they are my horns, as are the Warthog tusks.

    The horns I am in possession of have nothing to do with this skull bases.
    If you place them on the bases they fall completely cock eyed. Not a little.
    There is better then a inch of play inside, as a guess I have not measured it.

    I hope your tags worked for you and you do not get to share in any part of this type of entertainment.

    I hope this is not common at all for everyones sake.
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Got an almost immediate, over night, reply from the PH.
    He is going in on Monday to the taxidermist to address the problem.
    Never had this happen before.

    He suggested I really have a hard look at all the trophies and make sure they are mine.
    He also asked for pictures of the mount to do some comparing.

    I guess they do not all look alike on closer inspection. Just like Zebra. Damn, I am still thinking like a North American hunter. Another lesson learned.

    You compare the facial markings of the mount and the "field" picture.
    One of these things is not like the other. Never thought Sesame Street would come in so handy!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What I can see.
    White mouth line is not the same.
    The rear white patch is much wider on mine.
    The rear black patch is much shorter.
    The front white dagger is pointy on mine.


    On to comparing the horns, if I can.
     

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  7. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Man I hope this gets worked out for you. I'm dreading every moment until I pick up mine sometime next week at LAX.

    In comparing those gemsbok, I also noticed the black dagger that is in the middle and goes up to the right eye of the animal is quite different. The lower picture shows the dagger as being wider, almost as wide as the eye. Whereas on the top pic it is noticeably narrower than the eye. Comparing those daggers as they extend above the eye, it's also different.
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Glad someone else sees it too.

    I just took a bunch of digital pictures of the Eland horns and the Warthog tusks and compared them to the field pictures. Thankfully I took tons in very large files.

    I am satisfied they (Eland and Warthog) are my trophies now.
    The measurements also seem to fit the field information.

    Nothing like a Horror story before Halloween to keep everyone up at nights.
    Here's hoping Freddy does not visit your shipment Phil.
     
  9. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Yep definitely not your cape. You are right about the play in the horns on the core, they should have plenty of room but nowhere near what you are describing. I hope your PH is very persuasive. The taxi should be eating some shipping costs too I would imagine. I hope it all works out for you.

    BTW have you received all of your trophies yet? I thought you had alot more coming than that.
     
  10. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Those are two different animals in those pics. Hopefully your PH and the taxidermist can figure out the problem. Makes me nervous about my trophies. I am sure 99 percent of the time everything works out fine. Good luck and hopefully you get your gemsbuck back.
     
  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    There are a lot more coming. :)

    This set are my trophies from Namibia.

    There will be two more chances for everything to go right.
    One more set from Free State and One more set from Natal.
    I hope with quite different results.

    The two taxidermists in SA are both TASA and PHASA members.
    Both with excellent references that I have checked out myself.
     
  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Just goes to show how much you have to trust people to do their job right.

    The PH/Outfitter I trust implicitly.
    He has always been responsive and is now on the job.
    I'll let you know how persuasive he is.

    Hmmm... Negligence lawsuit:
    $3500 Airfare
    $4000 Day fees
    $1200 Trophy fee
    $800.00 - $1200 Taxidermy - Afraid I would not trust him again.
    $900-$1200 Shipping the new trophy.

    They may just want to keep better track of peoples trophies in the future.
     
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The Update, as promised for Monday.
    PH was true to his word.

    Taxidermist's email:

    "Sorry for the late reply on your mail, I was in Windhoek from Friday and just got back today. My sincere apology for the mistake that was made on your trophies. ................
    First let me explain what happened. ................
    About the Oryx, there was a mistake made when we packed the trophies and we have send you another clients Oryx mount.
    The horns that you received, is the ones from your Oryx, Me and PH have looked at the photos and the measurements, and saw that the horns you received is the right ones. I also check in my store room and got your mount with the other clients horns.

    I will make arrangements for your mount to be send to you and If you will be so kind to send the other mount back to me. I am busy with my shipping agent to arrange for both the Oryx's transport. I will let you know about all the arrangements. Again I apologize for this inconvenience."



    I will not be holding my breath.

    I'll let you know the result....
     
  14. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    The horns you got where 3 inches shorter than what you measured wernt they? And there is no way I would send the mount you have back to them before I got my mount.
     
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Rick, thanks for the note.
    I am going to make sure that I get the right horns / trophy etc.

    Hard to compare the horns to the field pictures because they put some kind of oil on the horns to protect them and make them look darker.

    I will measure them precisely and compare them with the PH's hunting register (my copy) and see what we get.
    I now wish I had taken my tape and done my own work with the tape.
    (I didn't take it for other reasons, not to look like a complete inch chaser)

    Anyone have any experience with horn shrinkage on their Gemsbok/Oryx?
    Percentage, inches, etc.
    Let me know. I need to learn some more about this and it will also benefit everyone else in the future.
     
  16. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I feel for your problem. You have quite the dilemma on your hands. I bet there are a lot of people looking for money out of thin air to pay for the shipping, crating and transportation to fix this one.

    The decision for me to go to Africa and just take pictures is becoming simple and easier by the minute. Taxidermy, shipping, paperwork, insurance and transportation costs add up big time!

    It gets to a point Brickburn that the whole experience ruins the hunt. And it's easier to go over at another time and shoot a different animal.
     
  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Nothing is going to ruin my hunt E.
    I have that video I took, pictures and memories until I get dementia.

    This headache certainly puts a damper on the trophy extraction side.
    Like I said before, I never liked european mounts before, but after this set is home it will have to be a world record for me to bother again.
    I sure will be taking pictures on every trip and hunting with the "big white gun".

    They can hold there hands out all they want it will not matter as I am not parting with any more money, I did my part and more.
    It is their reputation that will be damaged, not mine.
     
  18. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Well I for one would be sure to send the mount back collect the day AFTER my mount arrived! I sure cant see the horns shrinking anywhere near 3" in length although I have seen some major shrinkage on antelope horns that were boiled too long. The horns shrunk in circumference less than length, I have seen photos (on outfitters websites no less) of horns that have been boiled until a significant portion (several inches) of the horns were completely boiled away. This kind of damage is possible.

    This photo is from a respected outfitters website. Note the gap from the top of the eye orbit to the base of the horn. This gap should be less than 1/2", most of these Bushbuck show some amount of damage most likely due to over boiling, some are eroded shamefully, any erosion is avoidable and should be considered unacceptable. I certainly would be devastated to receive some of the ones in the middle.

    [​IMG]

    The solution is prevention by simmering (not boiling) the heads as soon as possible after thay are taken. The more they are allowed to dry and the more heat used to clean them the more chance and more extensive the damage is likely to be.

    Brickburn as you said the horns may be oiled by the dip pack or taxi (although I would hope not) but all horns prepared this way will absorb oils released from flesh and fat while being boiled causing them to darken. A good taxi will employ one of several techniques to restore them to their original color (or as close as possible). This is part of the additional cost of having African heads mounted. Horns may be simmered in water with dish soap to remove the oils, wire brushed or wire wheeled following the grain of the horn, stained with water colors, oil paints or airbrushed or most likely a combination of a few of these techniques.
     

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  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Thanks Diamond.
    Collect is the only way anything is leaving my house that is for sure.

    Those Bushbuck horns look like a few were made into soup to feed the worker. Whoa!

    There is some kind of "oil" that has hardened on the horns.
    I can tell because they smell of it and there were flattened drops of it where it had hardened on the bottom side while drying.
    I'll wash some of it off as you suggest, later.

    I'll remeasure everything and most importantly see if they fit "my" horn bases when they arrive.
    They apparently are the proper horns. There is an invoice number scratched into the back and it matches.
    Maybe they were left in the soup too long or something.

    I can always get myself some fiberglas and make the proper bases and length. (I'll never enter it in a book anyway)
    It was always my dream to be a taxidermist, right! :)
     
  20. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    My advice is put them on as is and pretend you never measured them. That way you will have a good looking mount and only you will know what happened. Building bases out of fiberglass will inevitably end up looking terrible (unless you happen to be a sculptor). Antler and horn repair like that is an art performed with the proper fillers and press molds of the horn base texture finished with subtle washes of thinned paint, steel wooling, different color washes and sealed with anti-reflective matt sealant. Best to just mount what you have which may just be all there ever was anyway!
     

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