Taxidermy cost differences?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Biddleman, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Biddleman

    Biddleman AH Senior Member

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    Before I begin I just want to say that I'm in no way shape or form trying to start anything or claim people are ripping off others. Just looking for enlightenment. But my question is simple. Why does it cost so much more to have your mounts done in the States than in RSA? Obviously in RSA the taxidermists do a high volume but some of the price differences that I've seen I just don't get. For example lets take a baboon mount. I've seen the difference for a shoulder mount around $250-$300, o.k. I can see that, but then if I look at a baboon full body mount I have seen such a difference in cost that I could get almost 3 full body mounts done in RSA to 1 in the States. (over $1500.00) That, I don't get. And it it's the same with other animals, shoulder mounts hundreds of dollars more, and full body mounts thousand(s) more. And that's not even getting into pedestals. Does it cost that much more to get forms in the US? I know staff in Africa aren't paid as well and doing african species in the States is more specialized. Is that what causes the cost difference? Like I said not trying to start a pissing contest, just hoping someone in the business can give me some answers.
     
  2. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

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    If you compare apples with apples it tends to be a little more expensive . The trophies will be your final memory and will sit on your wall for the next 30 years or more ! Maybe labour are higher ? I think we have a few that can answer on this site . Whichever way you go make sure you use an expert ! Both countries have people that do excellent work !
     
  3. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    Baboon Mounts
    Shoulder $695
    Full $2,750

    or a Gemsbok shoulder mount $895

    How about a buffalo pedestal @$2,100

    These come from an outfit in New Braunfels, TX

    Comal Taxidermy (830) 620-1230

    These guys do gret work, are great about running down, locating and following up on shipments

    If you have an interest call and talk to George but not David

    George does beautiful work, all George is going to do is have you on a plane for another hunt before the phone call ends

    really and truly both are great guys You will not be disapointed
     
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    If you have the work done by a talented taxidermist in the USA, there is huge difference in quality and detail. There is a lot of information on AH if you read all the taxidermy posts. Short answer, how the animal is cared for between when it is shot.... to when it ends up on your wall will make a huge difference too. If capes aren't fleshed or salted right, you have problems. I think the tanning process makes a HUGE difference too. Some just do a super job. I think the attention to detail is better with the "artists" in the taxidermy business in the USA. I think there are a lot of corners cut in African taxidermy, but the cost savings...maybe makes up for it....I' don't know. You have to way your options. I think is you are OK with a few things wrong here and there have them done in Africa. But if you want museum pieces have them done in the USA.
     
  5. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    Enysse, you have hit it on the head. If the hide is not taken care of quickly it will make no difference on who does the mount. Some critters seem more prone to hair slip, nyala and kudu. I sent off a zebra hide for one of the members here, with 7 of mine. His was not taken care of well and it looked very poor, a lot of slip. Pesonally I have had great luck with SA taxidermists. I have used a smaller shop recently and the work and price is great. I noticed that Brickburn used him for his last hunt and was happy. The big drawback with the SA taxidermists is the freight guys. They seem to know how to overbill and under perform. The taxidermists would be best suited to control this better.
     
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I could not agree more. Every one gets their fist in for a cut of the action.
     
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Wages over here are astronomically higher than SA. Cost of living is higher. Shop rent/purchase is Astronomically higher. Tanning is much higher. etc, etc. the plane ride back from Africa as finished mounts must be considered as well in the price too though.
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    You make a lot of great points!
     
  9. Biddleman

    Biddleman AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info. That's what I assumed, but we all know how that can turn out.
     
  10. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    I feel this is a tuff one. After looking at my trophies for 2 plus weeks. ( I had my stuff done in SA). I am very pleased with the work. I am no taxi but I feel I got what I paid for. Mounts where split up the back and then stiched back up. I think this is a short cut/ older process. My whitetail I shot 2 years ago was not split. My dads mount from 1989 was split. The same guy did both mounts. Even up close it is hard to see. I feel the cost savings from here to the US is worth it. I saw some mounts from a friend of mine who used same company the last 3 trips. Work looked satisfactory to me so I used them. Just like any service, expensive places here in the US can do bad work. Just as much as cheap guys can do great work. Like E said, the salting at the start untill the taxi gets the hide is soooooo important! This is another reason I went with a SA taxi. Bad things can happen in any part of the total process. I felt having the work done in SA was the best option in ensuring step 1 and 2 went great. The rest of the process has an equal chance of getting messed up. Ok enough rambling for now!!
     
  11. dcavaretta

    dcavaretta AH Senior Member

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    I GUESS THAT JUST ABOUT COVERS IT ALL, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE WE MUST CALL AND DO OUR RESEARCH, WHY DO MOST HUNTERS FAIL WHEN IT COMES TO GOOD TAXIDERMY, PUT AT LEAST 30 MINUTES INTO CALLING AROUND FOR PRICES AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF CURRENT WORK, YOU REALLY DO GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR....AND FOR THAT MATTER WHAT YOU DON'T!
    GOOD TAXIDERMY IS NOT CHEAP! GOOD GUNS ARE NOT CHEAP! AFTER THIRTY YEARS IN THE BUSINESS HUNTERS ARE STILL PLACING QUALITY SECONDARY TO PRICE, AND YES DIFFERENT ECONOMIES PRODUCE DIFFERENT RESULTS, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
    DAVID
     
  12. Hagar

    Hagar AH Senior Member

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    I received my mounts about 4 weeks ago. I had them done by Black Bear in South Africa. I am very pleased with their work and how they took care of them. They were very well crated and supported. Of the 24 shoulder mounts we received. Not one mount was damaged in any way. Not even any rub marks that I have heard happens. I contacted three Taxidermist from the states two that I have used before. When we arrived in Kimberley South Africa our PH suggested we tour the Black Bear facility. Josef gave us a look at every animal on our list. I was impressed with the quality as they did not have the look of an assembly line production. We got estimates of dip and pack then crate and ship and have the work done there then crate and ship. Bottom line the money we saved on taxidermy paid for the shipping and clearing. With some left over. I do think it is important to see the work of the taxidermist you are going to use.
     
  13. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    Biddleman, Here are some facts... I just returned from my safari and had visited some shops in Africa, I was not impressed at their work.
    I started asking some questions and spent some time there, one had 28 employees, his payroll per week was less than mine and I have 2 fulltime and 1 partimer
    They do their own tanning and the chemicals used are banned in the US and their EPA is non existant with regards to disposal of dangerous waste. Labor is a dime a dozen so when they die or get sick from chemicals there are more blacks waiting to work for nothing. I saw hundreds of molds of forms, illegally copied from copyrighted forms sculptors in this country have created to sell thru taxidermy supply companies. The foam that they make their illegal forms from is 1/2 the cost of ours as expandable foam has been regulated by the EPA in strict ways over the last 10 years. Now get into supplies a little deeper, most taxidermists have their supplies delivered by UPS or a trucking company, the wage and benefits of a UPS driver is 25+ times more than an average African Black man driving a truck in Africa.

    Now combine at least 3 businesses and dozens of employees at the taxidermy supply company, the tannery here and the studios here. Spending your money here in the US makes hundreds of jobs down the line. In Africa you paying the Blacks about $!.00 per hour to work on your trophies, this is an average. S A and others will be all over me for this, don't let the cat out of the bag.

    U S taxidermist have families and want to live a good life, not the life of an African Black man. If you have been there you'll understand if you haven't you never will.

    Lastly it QUALITY , I produce quality and that takes time taxidermy is labor intense, extremely time consuming.

    Most people don't know good from bad in taxidermy, it's not a knock it's just fact.
    Some people can afford to drive a KIA and others loaded Silverado's or Land Crusiers.
    It's a choice like everything in life, some want to best others buy the low end and are happy.

    Next time you hear the unemployment rate rises and the GDP gains are at less than 2% and the economy isn't turning around, think about where your money is being USED. In the US? Not in this case, African taxidermy money stays in Africa.
    Think about the people employed by the quote taxidermy industry, suppliers, tanneries,taxidermist etc. They are hunters and sportsmen and outdoor people that enjoy the same things you do.

    I do EVERYTHING I can to buy US and BUY LOCAL ALSO. to keep our money here in the US.
    Safari hunters spent HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars on taxidermy in AFRICA.

    What a great thing it would be if that money stayed in the U S economy.

    Here are some pics of quality work 1st page is bears but then you'll see some africa work also

    http://www.africahunting.com/hunting-pictures-videos/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5379


    or visit my website at

    The Artistry of Wildlife Award Winning Taxidermy Artists
     
  14. dcavaretta

    dcavaretta AH Senior Member

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    SETTLED, WELL DONE.
    DAVID
     
  15. firehuntfish

    firehuntfish AH Veteran

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    Most people don't know good from bad in taxidermy, it's not a knock it's just fact.

    That statement is 100% dead on the money....Taxidermy is art... I can't tell you how many times I have been shown around someones's trophy room thinking to myself that some of these animals look like they belong at Toys-R-Us in the stuffed animal section. You definitely get what you pay for....

    I also encourage hunters to get their taxidermy work done back home here in the US for all of the forementioned reasons...

    "If your taxidermist is on your speed dial, you might be a real hunter....."
     
  16. Hagar

    Hagar AH Senior Member

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    Hello Dennis,
    Your sample of African Taxidermist sounds like one. There are probably many African Taxidermist that do excellent work. A lot of US Taxidermist don't know what an African animal should look like. I have seen Gemsbok with mule deer ears. I don't care what they use in their mounts I don't plan on eating any. It sounds like they use a lot of the same material that we use in the states. The African black man is a person just like you and me. Maybe if more people had there work done in Africa he could get a raise to $2.00 an hour. Then he could afford a bike to ride to work. I am sure most of them have families and would like to live a better quality of life. I don't blame you for sticking up for your profession. But to say if you don't get it done in the States you will have crap because you are not educated enough to know the difference. I have seen your work on your site and on AH and it looks great ! But so does mine. I don't live in a Museum just a modest house with a lot of mounts I love. I would just like to drive a Chevy and go back to Africa as many times as I can before I tip over. There are enough people that can go to Africa every year that can afford a loaded Land Cruiser and pay top dollar for their mounts. I wish I was one of them. No matter how good the Taxidermist is or thinks they are if the Dip and Pack the customer has picked is not done properly you will have problems. I notice your prices our not posted on your web site. Would you please PM me your African shoulder mount and floor Pedestal mount prices. Thanks Hagar
     
  17. Biddleman

    Biddleman AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Dennis.
     
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    No arguement from me Dennis. You make a lot of SOLID points.
     
  19. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Just dont assume that because someone lives there they know how things look. if it were that simple I would move to beverly hills and become a milloinaire or Whistler and become a champion skier, or Hollywood and become a famous actor, life doesnt work that way.

    Thorough study of reference and practice duplicating what you see is what makes that difference, too many assume they know how things look and mount them blind (no reference). I have seen many taxis work from overseas and there is a wide range of quality but the average is poor, alot is atrocious. No matter where you decide to get your animals mounted look thoroughly at their work first. Use the same tool that top notch taxis use to make sure their own work is up to par, reference. Compare mounts to actual live animal photos and you will see just how few really get it right and another portion get it close enough to be considered a good rendition and the flaws of the rest glare out at you and give you a whole new petrspective on what real quality taxidermy really is, then decide what you are willing to live with on your wall for the rest of your life. For some cheap will still rule over quality but that is a personal decision best made with all the facts.
     
  20. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

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    I think you should be careful here ! Do you have proof of all these statements you made ?
     

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