Just returned from my first African trip

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Inrutt, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Inrutt

    Inrutt New Member

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    I am new to this forum and I have been reading other posts for the past year or so. As so many other young hunters I always dreamed of taking a trip to Africa. Two years ago I made it happen and booked a hunt from a reputable outfitter in South Africa. I booked to hunt plains game and I was so excited about the trip. The trip happened last June. I wont name the outfitter in this thread. I was able to harvest 11 animals, three more than I expected to harvest and all was well. The facilities were great and, although I didn't have anything to compare it to, the hunting was great. However when I was leaving on the last day of trip I was approached by the owner of the operation and pulled aside from the rest of my group. Somewhat embarrassed I accompanied him outside and was asked if the hunt was what I expected. I told him I was very satisfied with my African hunting experience. He then began questioning me on my "gratuities" that I gave the staff. Some may think this story is leading to me saying I didn't tip the staff, its not. I have worked for 13 years as a guide in Wyoming and I understand the importance of providing a suitable tip at the end of the hunt. I tipped my PH what was approximately 30% of my entire hunt. A very, very, good tip. But he had earned it and I enjoyed spending 10 days with him. He did an excellent job and I did not mind tipping him accordingly. I also tipped the cook for the hunt, which happened to be my PH's wife. I tipped her very well as well. The skinners and trackers I tipped also according to what I've read on this forum. To be approached by him was total disrespect to me, I felt. He had no idea what or how much I had tipped and suggested at the beginning of the hunt that I give him the tips and he would give them to the staff. Which I did for the skinners and trackers but I felt it was more personal to tip the cook and wait staff and my PH myself.
    Now to the moral of this thread. Last week I obtained my trophies. I took them to my local taxidermist and learned that several of my trophies were skinned improperly and ruined. The ears of several of the animals were so damaged that they cant be used and I will need to obtain another cape in order to mount my trophies. The taxidermist warned me before I ever left for SA and he told me to make sure my capes were taken care of prior to leaving the country. I went to the skinning shed everyday and watched the skinners and was told repeatedly that they knew what they were doing and that they, the skinners, didn't speak English. To say that I was a bit disappointed in my hunt is an understatement.
    I was curious for some feedback and was wandering if anyone else has had an experience like this. As I said the hunting was great and well worth the cost, however the "after the hunt" was seriously lacking in customer service.
     
  2. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    First I want to know, where the skins tanned in Africa then sent to you? If not, they are just salt dried and how can the taxidermist tell the condition, bad ears and skinned improperly? Everything is dried hard and folded up. Or, have they been tanned by your taxidermist tannery and then you found out about the condition? Maybe the ears got damaged by the tannery?

    Second, explain the skinned improperly? What's wrong? Are you experienced in the prepping of the capes to know or watch if things are done right?

    Third, If you watched them and things looked right, are these capes your received, YOUR'S.

    Need more explanation.

    "A Dream can be relived, again and again in Africa."


    Roger's Taxidermy Studio
    Aberdeen, SD
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Sad story to hear. I feel for you.

    Sounds like you were happy as hell with the hunt, or you are insane giving 30% tips for a shitty hunt?!
    So, poor hunt is not the issue.

    I have seen the blame game played (pass the buck) by the various players in the process.
    As Roger asks; Where did the damage happen? In the field, in the salt shed, at the D&P, at the taxidermist, at the tannery.
    There unfortunately are a whole host of points for error.

    I have yet to run into poor trophy preparation from any outfitter. (Knock on wood)

    I provide tips directly to the people who deserve them. Unless there is a safety issue.

    Tips were provided for service rendered at the time. Not for future performance.
    Perhaps we should all hold the tips until our trophies arrive safely?
     
  4. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    Ok, what a bummer to have a great hunt busted like that.

    On the other hand, welcome to Africa! Now you have a chance to come back again!
     
  5. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    That was wrong from him to question what or who you tipped.It is such a shame people act like that and can ruin something like a trip over a few dollars.Dont give up on another trip though as africa is just so much fun and the next trip could even be better.Good luck with getting your mounts done hope that works out for you in the end
     
  6. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Congrats for a good hunt, and sorry for the "after-hunt".

    We need some pics ;) !!!!
     
  7. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Sorry to hear about your trophies Inrutt. Did you contact the hunting outfitter and taxidermist/dip & pack company in South Africa to make them aware the situation? What did they say?
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Sorry to hear about your skins, this isn't the first time we have heard something like this on AH. I'm not sure where to trouble shoot the problem. If they were skinned and salted correctly.....then I would look towards who prepared the trophies for shipment back to the USA.
     
  9. Don K

    Don K AH Member

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    Good to hear your hunt was good! As for the bad luck on the capes, that sucks.... That'd be a real let down if it happened to me.
    We leave in 37 days for our first of many (hopefully lol!!) safaris. One of the guys that I'm bringing used to guide and outfit, as well as work in a taxidermy studio on his 'slow' days. Pretty sure he will say something if anything looks awry for us.
     
  10. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    Sorry to hear about your trophies.
     
  11. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    I am so sorry to hear about your incident with the owner, what a bummer. Needless to say, he probably lost you as a client and others you might have referred to him. Very foolish on his part.
     
  12. archer36

    archer36 AH Member

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    You should name the Safari operator so others can be aware.
     
  13. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I am glad you had a great hunt.

    I am not a big fan of outfitters/ph's approaching clients about tips. Having said this it has happened to me twice. It is a sign of disrespect imho.

    Sorry about your capes. As Roger and Brickburn have said more information from you is needed to be able to help.

    I don't know where you are located but Lollibros in Macon Missouri has taxidermy sales 3-4 times per year. The trophies usually sell pretty cheap. If you buy something your taxidermist should be able to soak the top, remove the scull cap and replace it with yours. This may be easier and certainly cheaper than trying to get capes and then having the entire taxidermy done.

    http://www.lollibros.com/MiscAuctionsItems/GiftShop/tabid/90/Default.aspx

    All the best.
     

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