The issue is this: should you have your taxidermy done in Africa or back home? I know that this thread could be in the "After the Hunt" category, since it deals with what happens after you've finshed hunting. Equally, it could be in the "Before the Hunt" category, since you likely should make the decision in advance of the hunt. But it's important enough that I think it should be here, with all of the general hunting discussions. And one thing is certain - if you're in a hunting camp with others, ask the question around the campfire and you'll probably get a range of different views, all strongly held. Some people have told me the decision is easy, a conclusion which in my experience is usually based on factor 1, below. For many of us though, it's not so easy. In making the decision, I'd suggest people should consider the followinig factors: 1. Cost. I suggest there's no argument on this one. Taxidermy, like most things (except maybe ammo) is cheaper in Africa than in North America. You will save money by having the work done there. And if that was all there was to it, there'd be no discussion, and I wouldn't be writing this note. But like most things in life, it's not so simple. In considering cost, you should be aware that mounted trophies (almost) always take up more room and certainly weigh more than unmounted ones. That means you will pay more for shipping. And in these days of airlines trying to make as much as they can from just about every avenue available, the cost difference may be substantial. This of course depends in part on what you're having mounted. 2. Skill. Some would say that African taxidermists are better at mounting African trophies because they see more of them, both alive and in their shops. Others would argue that North American taxidermists do better work overall, for a variety of reasons. This is where the arguments get interesting. Let me be clear about one thing. I have no doubt that there are great taxidermists in both Africa and North America. That's not the point. The issue is whether the work done by African taxidermists is better overall than that done by North American taxidermists, overall. And here, I'd say in my experience, the answer is no. I suggest if you look at the work in an average African taxidermist's, and compare it to the work found in an average North American taxidermist's, you'd find that those in the North American shop are "better', overall. I expect this difference has something to do with the availability of materials and tools, and may even extend to training. Whatever the reason, it's been my experience that my North American mounted trophies look better than my African mounted trophies. But I have only my (limited) experience to go on here. 3. Hands. This relates to the number of hands through which your trophies will pass, depending on the decision you make. If you decide to have the work done in Africa, the trophies will generally go from the skinning shed to the taxidermists, likely passing through a storeroom owned by the outfitter in Africa. They may then spend a year or more until they are finished and sent to the shipper. This step is eliminated if you have the trophies sent to North America directly. Here the trophies will go from the hunting camp to the dip and pack company, and then to the shipper. In my experience, the longer that the trophies are away from you, the more there is that can go wrong. 4. Proximity. Recognize as well that if the taxidermy is done in Africa, it may be two years from the time of your hunt until the trophies show up. If there's a problem with what you receive, it's likely there's not much you can do about it so long after the fact. If the trophies are sent to North America for the work, it may be 4-6 months before you see the bits and pieces, and if something doesn't match or isn't yours, it's much easier to address it sooner rather than later. Equally, if you don't like something, or there's a problem, it's easier to fix it if the person who did the original work is in the same time zone. Based on posts to this site, it seems that more than a few people bring trophies mounted outside of North America to a local taxidermist for help. Problems don't arise that often - most outfitters and taxidermist do good work and recognize that they will be judged on after hunt trophy care as much as during the hunt, but problems do arise - you just have to read the posts on this site. I've only experienced one problem - I got a baboon skull where the upper and lower jaw didn't match. Not a big deal, since the baboon wasn't the highlght of the hunt, but likely the result of some sloppiness at the taxidermists. However, I shot a record book sable recently, and there were others who were looking enviously at the trophy. I figured best to have him home sooner rather than later. It may sound like I'm pitching in favor of North American taxidermists. I'm not in that business myself, and I have no interest in anyone who is. I'm just someone who has hunted Africa a few times and had his taxidermy done in both places. I know many African taxidermists are doing great work in circumstances that are often very difficult. Maybe my perspective would be different if I'd experienced a different taxidermist in North America or in Africa. But all I have to go on is my experince, and I'm trying to address an issue that I hadn't really thought through before my first African hunt. Views?