Not happy with my trophies

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Norwegianwoods, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    24
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    I just got the crate with my trophies today and opened it with great expectations.
    I got really disappointed when I wrapped out the European mounts and skins.

    I really hope this not how taxidermy work is usually done in SA.
    I had one Kudu skin, one Oryx skin and one Black Wildebeest tail.
    The skins and tail were really dirty. I am not sure what it is, but most of it might be dried blood, but I am not sure.
    I also thought the tail would be rather soft when finished, but it is rather stiff. Maybe that is how it should be, I don't know.
    How they look now, it is nothing to hang on the wall or put on the floor as they look totally crap. Specially the tail and the Oryx skin.
    I need to find some way to clean them.

    When it comes to the European mounts, is the Black Wildebeest the only one I am really happy with. The Oryx is ok.
    The Impala was lose from the plate and it was far from attached properly and most of the bone possible to use to attach the skull to the plate is now broken off. They have also glued the nasal bones to the skull with something whiter than the bones making it look like it has been painted a bit with white paint.
    The Kudu has not properly glued nasal bones and I need to fix that(just a small issue). The worst is that it looks like they have not boiled out all the fat and it is now coming out rather large fat spots several places on the skull.

    One thing with all of them is that they have drilled holes in the tip of all the horns and then filled them with something that has a color close to the horn color.
    Why do they do that?
    No matter the reason for why this has been done, the repair job on most of them is not good. The Black Wildebeest is done well and the Springbok is totally crap.
    It looks like it has been done in a hurry and not been checked to see the result when the job has been done.
    In general looks the taxidermy work to have been done by some total amateurs in my opinion.
    I could have done the European mount on most of the animals better or much better myself.

    I am going to send an email to the taxidermist about it all and see what they say.
    Right now I feel like I have wasted some thousands of dollars on something I will not feel good about putting on my wall.
    I will see how I feel and how it looks like when I have tried to repair/fix the mounts myself.
  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    2,325
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Photos:
    67
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    Canada (AB, SK, NWT, BC) USA (NM, TX) South Africa (Limpopo, KZN, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northen Cape), Kyrgyzstan
    Sorry to hear you are not happy. Please post some pics before fixing anything.
  3. buffybr

    buffybr AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    6
    My Photos:
    103
    Member of:
    SCI, RMEF, Life member NRA and Manhatten (Montana) Wildlife Association
    Hunted:
    USA(CO,MT,WY,AK,TX), Canada(NWT), Zim(Matetsi), RSA(Limpopo,KZN,Free State,Eastern Cape), New Zealand
    Norge, Sorry to hear about your taxidermy.

    Your experience is the reason that I have all my work done here at home. I'm picky about my taxidermy, and although my taxidermist isn't the fastest, I'm happy with his work. Yesterday I picked up my Cape Eland from him, the 48th animal that he has done for me.

    As to the small hole in the tip of the horns, I've seen that on quite a few horns coming back from Africa. It's for a small wire that holds a tag that identifies the horns as belonging to you. A good Taxidermist will fill the holes with epoxy (?) and you'll never know they were there.
  4. teenhunter

    teenhunter AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    4
    Member of:
    diana
    Hunted:
    namibia,southafrica,zimbabwe,sweden,france,mauritus,switzerland
    im sorry for you:(:mad: could we have some photos?
  5. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2,454
    Likes Received:
    15
    My Photos:
    59
    Member of:
    NRA, ATA, PITA, NAHC, NAFC, DU, TU, DSC, SCI, RMEF
    Hunted:
    USA - Canada -Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Africa
    WOW -

    That is bad news for sure...

    I have found that it is better to have a trusted person do the work than go to a cheaper place for the work.

    The adage that you get what you pay for rings true...
  6. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    15
    Hunted:
    USA , Canada, Botswana
    That's to bad Norwegianwoods. That is disappointing. I feel for you.
    I think I would consult a taxidermist at home to see if there is a way to repair your trophies.
  7. Packsy

    Packsy AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    3
    Hunted:
    USA
    Wow, that is terrible. I would be so disappointed. Because I have just started hunting and my ram being my first mount, I was very nervous just leaving it with the taxidermist. Then when we went to pick it up, I was couldn't help but think about what it is going to look like. It turned out awesome!!!
    I hope you are able to repair your mounts.
  8. Baydog

    Baydog AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    120
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    Member SCI, QDMA
    Really sorry to hear that and now I'm nervous. My stuff was being shipped from RSA today. What taxidermist did you use??
  9. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Messages:
    866
    Likes Received:
    2
    My Photos:
    11
    Member of:
    NRA lifetime, SCI Member, Longhunters LLC
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Germany, USA (OH, NY, VA, PA)
    +1
    my stuff should be shipping in about 2 weeks. I would like to see some pics as well when you have a sec.
  10. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Russellville
    My Photos:
    27
    Member of:
    NAHC Life Member, NRA Life Member,SCI, Buckmasters
    Hunted:
    USA(from Coast to Coast and Alaska), Germany, South Africa, Canada
    I'm really sorry to hear the bad news hope you can make them look fairly good, take my word for it not all taxidermist is Africa are sorry I had mine done there and couldn't be happier, good luck with your mounts hope it all turns out well.
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,356
    Likes Received:
    13
    My Photos:
    68
    Member of:
    NRA, NA Hunt Club
    Hunted:
    Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia, South Africa (2)
    I too have seen the holes in the horns, left unplugged. I was told it was something to do with bugs, not hang tags. They can put a tag anywhere. The work from SA can be spotty. My stuff came thru Field and Stream and it was a mixed bag of quality. My bushbuck came out very nice, my Nyala just so so. They didnt paint over where they had my name and state inside the ears!! Next week my two skulls (clean and bleach only) and one flatskin gnu rug from last summers Zim debacle will arrive, work done in Zim.
  12. desertloper

    desertloper AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    38
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA
    Hunted:
    RSA
    Please update with pics and taxidermist
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,936
    Likes Received:
    75
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    OUCH!
  14. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,614
    Likes Received:
    2
    My Photos:
    41
    Member of:
    SCI,DSC, QDMA, QU
    Hunted:
    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    I really hate to hear this.
  15. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    4
    Member of:
    KZN Hunting & Conservation, CHASA, NRA
    Hunted:
    USA,Zim,RSA,Russia,Moz
    A couple of comments. If the skins and tail are dirty and stiff they were not tanned. I don't know what you asked for but this is export ship, formic acid tumble and salt. You can get them tanned and they will be fine.

    The holes in the horns are from bugs prior to getting to the taxidermist, this is the fault of the PH or outfitter. We have to insecticide treat during the time we hold the trophies. They are a pisser to fix and make look good. Often wax fill and then shoe polish over the top.

    After that only can guess. If the wildebeest is good then there will be a suspicion that the prep prior to the taxidermist was bad on the others, still doesn't explain the noses unless the skinner screwed them up. Your comments on the impala also sound like skinner. Easy to blame him but you do wonder why the shop would not have notified and organized repairs or capes.

    As with the others, sorry to hear of this. I have in excess of 50 critters done from SA and never had a problem with the taxidermist. Nyala are hard for hair slip but that is always from handling before it gets to the shop.

  16. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    8
    My Photos:
    100
    Member of:
    BASA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Sweden
    Photos please, then the holes in the top of the horns was for tags I hate it when they do it.
    When it comes to taxidermy in South Africa you should go the same route as with an outfitter look them up and check for references. Do not feel forced to use the outfitters preffered taxidermist unless you have had a look at their stuff and are happy.

    I have picked up a alarming thing with some taxidermist over the last couple of years a lot of them are not registered to do dip and pack in other words sending out raw products. Be wary of that most of the big famous taxidermists are expensive but they got there for a reason.
  17. Martin

    Martin AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    33
    Member of:
    SCI, DJV, VDP, NTA
    Hunted:
    Namibia, RSA, Zimbabwe, USA (WY, TX), Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Latvia, Scotland, UK, Estonia, Germany
    Sorry, but a good taxidermist will NOT drill holes in horns to add a tag! I saw it a few times, canï½´t believe how they go with clients trophies... a shame!

    Look at other RSA-taxidermist, there are some who do their homework very well, so no need for the others do like this.

    I would never let anything mount there.
  18. andriesdeklerk

    andriesdeklerk AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2010
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    171
    Hunted:
    Nam, Zim, Mos, Oz and RSA
    The truth is that in the last 10 or odd years taxidermy shops jumped up like mushrooms. With all honesty most of them are total rubbish. As mentioned the good ones are expensive and waiting list are long. But why in god's name take short cuts and safe a buck or two on something you will be admiring on your wall for a very long time. Now for a few dollars/rands saved you have something you hate and often reminded by fellow hunters of the sub standard work done. First tip. Have your work done by a taxidermy that is very familiar with the specie. References or even better yet go to his shop. If at all possible which is hard these days, go through the production area. Check out housekeeping and the work in progress. Best work is always on display and may fool you. Lastly it is also your responsibility to be aware of how your animal gets from photo to taxidermist. Why not the PH or outfitter? Nobody looks better after your things then yourself. Remind the people not to drag your trophy, don't cut the skin, ensure every little inch of the skin gets salt, and clearly mark the skins. I also like to mark my skins with plastic tickets with the mounting instruction already included. Everybody involved in this chain have some responsibility. It is sometimes so easy to blame the taxidermist. It is all about quality control and it starts with you the hunter.
  19. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,109
    Likes Received:
    24
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    If I had chosen to get any of them shoulder mounted, then I would be much more careful about where I had the job done. And I am very happy that I didn't choose to get anything shoulder mounted.
    But first of all is this place supposed to be good and secondly I didn't think someone would be so careless and doing jobs like that when it is as easy as European mounts and flat skins. It is clear that some people don't have pride in their work. I didn't think about saving money when I chose that place.

    I am happy with the Black Wildebeest mount, the Gemsbok is fine(as soon as I have cleaned away the rust) and the Springbok mount is fine too as soon as the crap job of repairing the drilled holes in the horns is fixed.
    All but the Black Wildebeest need fixing with the repairs of the drilled holes.
    I think the Impala will be fine too if I manage to repair it so I can attach it to the plate and fix the repair job of the holes better.
    The Kudu skull looks totally shit with all the fat spots.
    What also annoys me is the rust spots on some of the skulls from the rusting steal thread that has been used to attach tags to the skulls.
    I have not tried to clean it off and I hope it will be easy, but I don't understand why they don't use plastic bands to attach the tags.

    The skins look crap, but hopefully they will be nice if I can get them cleaned. The Black Wildebeest tail is just crap and I doubt it is worth trying to fix it.

    I tried to take photos of the skins, but it doesn't show well at all how they look like. I am posting a photo of how dirty the tail is, and the skins are similar. Specially the Gemsbok skin.
    Not good photos of the repair job of the drilled holes, but I post one blurred that at least show it a bit.

    View attachment 10409 View attachment 10410 View attachment 10411 View attachment 10412 View attachment 10413 View attachment 10414 View attachment 10415 View attachment 10416 View attachment 10417

    Maybe I am difficult and demand to much.
    We will see how I feel when/if I get all the mounts and the 2 skins fixed:)
  20. Martin

    Martin AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    33
    Member of:
    SCI, DJV, VDP, NTA
    Hunted:
    Namibia, RSA, Zimbabwe, USA (WY, TX), Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Latvia, Scotland, UK, Estonia, Germany
    Cannot see any pics.. try again.

Share This Page