Best Taxidermist in South Africa RSA?

johnnyblues

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A bunch of us here on AH have used Paul at Relive and I don't know that there has been a single instance of dissatisfaction.

I had 8 shoulder/pedestal/half-body mounts done and they all turned out very well.

If I was going back to RSA I would definitely use Relive again.


Tim
Now you know of two members dissatisfied with Paul's work. Now he offered to pay for it but that's not the point. It's inexcusable when you have foreign clients work being done. The inconvenience alone is not worth it. Not to mention deflating the excitement of waiting to see your trophies. I seriously doubt your favorite taxidermist here would have you pick up a trophy with that kind of poor quality. If they do it's time to find someone new.
 

billc

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I had the same experience with Relive Taxidermy. Paul is a very nice guy BUT who he employs are not artists by any means. PERIOD. I was recommended to him by a fellow AH member who without question receives a discount on his work with the referrals he sends. I would NEVER let any taxidermy studio is Africa mount anything. I speak as someone who has over 50 mounts in my house. BRING IT BACK! Pay the extra. You have to live with it for the rest of your life.


I was the one who gave the referral and you should know what your talking about before telling people what I get or not. A few people guess I get something but the truth is just like I said on one of post about cost break down is I got 5% off my total. Each member in my group also got the same 5% I did. I guess maybe giving someone 15 plus mounts of my own plus another 10 from group may get anyone 5% though.


Sa taxidermy is not for everyone and you may get a piece that is not perfect. When my trophy's are hanging up they look great to me but not of the same quality of the shop I use back here in the states. I knew that going in and was fine with that.

Did I save money yes I did and happy with the work I got. Others have been disappointed and that I am sorry for and not happy there work was not perfect.

One guy was offered to have the touch up work redone here in the states at the taxidermist cost. The other if he asked it would be also covered. Yes not perfect and the work should have been done right the first time but he tried to make it right and that is way more then most would offer to do. Shame is you don't hear anyone bring that part up though.

I guess the best advice I can give you is don't try and save a dollar if you want perfect. Some picture of work from SA hanging in my house. Lioness, eland, giraffe all done as custom poses to what I picked also.
20161224_142324.jpg
Giraffe2.jpg
Blue Wildebeest.jpg
Springbuck Kalahari.jpg
Eland 1.jpg
Zebra.jpg
 
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jeff

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Standard commercial work here in the states is not perfect, but the work that Aaron got was so far below what would be average work here !
 

Ridgewalker

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All this makes me lean more and more toward just skins and skulls, which I actually like! I’ll see how my last trip mounts come in.
 

wesheltonj

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Dip and ship it back to the States. How many trips are you going to take to Africa? One maybe 2 or 3. It’s not like a White-tail, where if their is a screw up go cam go out and just shoot another one for the cape.
 

johnnyblues

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I was the one who gave the referral and you should know what your talking about before telling people what I get or not. A few people guess I get something but the truth is just like I said on one of post about cost break down is I got 5% off my total. Each member in my group also got the same 5% I did. I guess maybe giving someone 15 plus mounts of my own plus another 10 from group may get anyone 5% though.


Sa taxidermy is not for everyone and you may get a piece that is not perfect. When my trophy's are hanging up they look great to me but not of the same quality of the shop I use back here in the states. I knew that going in and was fine with that.

Did I save money yes I did and happy with the work I got. Others have been disappointed and that I am sorry for and not happy there work was not perfect.

One guy was offered to have the touch up work redone here in the states at the taxidermist cost. The other if he asked it would be also covered. Yes not perfect and the work should have been done right the first time but he tried to make it right and that is way more then most would offer to do. Shame is you don't hear anyone bring that part up though.

I guess the best advice I can give you is don't try and save a dollar if you want perfect. Some picture of work from SA hanging in my house. Lioness, eland, giraffe all done as custom poses to what I picked also.View attachment 213101 View attachment 213100 View attachment 213099 View attachment 213098 View attachment 213097 View attachment 213102
First of all who mentioned your name? You just decided it was you I was speaking about. You think your the only member that has used them and refers them? I find it interesting though you defend them pretty strongly for someone with no vested interest. My work sucked period. Other members are dissatisfied but that’s how it goes in any industry. Your entitled to your opinion just like the rest of us. If you read my post it clearly said he offered to pay to have it repaired, not good enough in my opinion. Paul clearly has no one watching the store while he’s out hunting and guiding. Thankfully this site can bring the truth out when it needs to be brought out on any subject. Your happy with Relive that’s great. I’m sure you will continue to use them to save a few dollars and accept that kind of quality. I’m not. So I will happily pay more to have it done right. We both use the same taxidermist in your home state. And his work is excellent. He may not get every piece from me but when he does I have nothing to worry about. Taxidermy work in Africa IMO is a crap shoot. I’m not a gambler.
 

BWH

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My experience.... SA best = USA Average. I used high end outfit.... it’s Ok. When you figure in all cost.... crating, etc. you could have US premier for about same. Whatever works for you.
 

Royal27

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All this makes me lean more and more toward just skins and skulls, which I actually like! I’ll see how my last trip mounts come in.

I like a mix. I have skins, skulls, and mounts. They all have a place and a purpose for me personally.

My experience.... SA best = USA Average. I used high end outfit.... it’s Ok. When you figure in all cost.... crating, etc. you could have US premier for about same. Whatever works for you.

Totally agree. I've done the math, unfortunately after the fact, which was no one's fault but my own. That's why I've got animals at @The Artistry of Wildlife now. Same price or less and far superior work.
 

Ryanlo

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Thanks everyone for posting. Looks like I will just bring the capes back and mount less animals and do euros with the rest. Don’t want to look up at memories from a hunt and see how bad the work is.

Thanks for everyone’s input. It truly is nice to have this forum to ask questions on and get a well rounded answer to help in making a decision.
 

johnnyblues

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Thanks everyone for posting. Looks like I will just bring the capes back and mount less animals and do euros with the rest. Don’t want to look up at memories from a hunt and see how bad the work is.

Thanks for everyone’s input. It truly is nice to have this forum to ask questions on and get a well rounded answer to help in making a decision.
I know you made the right choice. No go enjoy your safari and show us lots of pictures.
 

Uintaelkhunter

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My two cents would be don’t try to cut cost. I know everyone has a budget with all things considered shipping will be more on completed mounts vs dip and pack. So the savings is not as much as it may seam. Also things to think about if you have it dip and pack back to your local taxidermist it will likely take a minimum of 6 months to get anywhere then the added time your taxidermist takes so it gives you more time to save for it also you can work a deal if your taxidermist is close to do a few at a time to spread the cost out. I have had mounts done both in Africa and back in the states. Here is the problem I see and have had just as in optics you don’t know how mediocre your mounts are until you get someone really good and place them side by side.

I would also add the tanning and fleshing is a big part I believe so make sure your taxidermist does it in house or works very closely with whoever does it because if it is done wrong it will be a big challenge for him to fix.
 

PARA45

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Listen to what other are saying here, and save your $$$ and do your mounts in the states. If something goes wrong, you at least have resources to fight back if needed. In SA, once you pay, you are on your own. The great memories I have of my first SA safari are tarnished by the sh*tty work done by Highveld Taxidermist, which I now have to look at. BTW, they will show their show room, and their work done by the more experience workers, but you do not know the experience lever of the individual who is going to work on your piece. The stitching on the back of my impala is like a 5 year old kid did it. Piss poor quality if you asked me for the amount of money spent.

You be the judge, and tell me if this is quality taxidermist. This is my experience, and because of this event, I will never have another mount done outside the US.

Good luck to you on whichever you decide.

photo 1-1.jpg
 

Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS

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as a "local"I use New Creation Taxidermy, situated between OR Tambo & Pretoria.
Normally only do skin tanning & bleaching of sculls for me with no complaints thus far & their prices were excellent in comparison.
I have seen some of their shoulder mounts done for clients that looked quite decent especially a really well done buff ready for collection.
Our house is a traditional stone built farm house, so the skins do well as rugs & shoulder mounts always looks akward against the walls while the floor space doesn't do pedestal mounts justice either.
I'll probably invest more into mounts when the blonde's dream house is complete & I can have a man cave corner somewhere.

Though I have to say, felines, primates & predators in general is a very difficult task to mount with the correct "expression"
I've only seen but a handful of pieces that I could say looked realistic to resemble the animal well. And that was from Nico van Rooyen's Taxidermy, but from a good few years back. I haven't seen their recent work .
The other Taxidermy that had good examples were just north of Pretoria, its a pity, but the person IC was an outstanding candidate to chase away prospective clients with his obnoxious attitude. I would not recommend them out of principal.

I think I should make it my NY resolution to visit some more local taxidermy spots!

But good luck with your search!

Hi all
Just my few cents worth
I used new creation taxidermy before
Was fine for local SA clients but was shockingly bad on export trophies
Try universal trophy services
Good all round quality!!
 

Abeln

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Listen to what other are saying here, and save your $$$ and do your mounts in the states. If something goes wrong, you at least have resources to fight back if needed. In SA, once you pay, you are on your own. The great memories I have of my first SA safari are tarnished by the sh*tty work done by Highveld Taxidermist, which I now have to look at. BTW, they will show their show room, and their work done by the more experience workers, but you do not know the experience lever of the individual who is going to work on your piece. The stitching on the back of my impala is like a 5 year old kid did it. Piss poor quality if you asked me for the amount of money spent.

You be the judge, and tell me if this is quality taxidermist. This is my experience, and because of this event, I will never have another mount done outside the US.

Good luck to you on whichever you decide.

View attachment 213317
Holy chit! I had to blow up that photo to make sure that wasn't a bead of caulk holding the ear on!
 

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