Bug infested shipment

sonnyn913

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I will not name them unless they do not make right. They are bringing me back over to re-shoot the entire safari. After I am taken care of I will only name them if they want to be named. I dont mind standing up for them. I dont want to trash anyone. I feel this outfitter and taxidermist are doing whats right. I am going back in August. I know mistakes happen. I will keep you posted. Sonny
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I will not name them unless they do not make right. They are bringing me back over to re-shoot the entire safari. After I am taken care of I will only name them if they want to be named. I dont mind standing up for them. I dont want to trash anyone. I feel this outfitter and taxidermist are doing whats right. I am going back in August. I know mistakes happen. I will keep you posted. Sonny

That seems perfectly reasonable to me. Hope it all goes well and works out better the second time.
 

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I just received my taxidermy shipment from my last safari. I opened the crate and my worst nightmare was realized. I found beetles in my shipment and my skins are destroyed. My skulls have been over-bleached to the point where my giraffe skull just crumbles. My tanned hides have big and multiple spots where the fur is missing and the hide is bleach white in the areas. As I unroll the hides I find multiple beetles and larva casings in each and every one. The taxidermist took the liberty to cut off the front of the warthog snout on 3 of the skulls because I guess he deemd them too small to do the regular european mount. 1 warthog skull was left in-tact. The giraffe leg bones were still oily to the touch and were not dried properly. My zebra skin must have hung on a metal rack fur-side down because it and couple of my other hides have rust stains on the fur all the way across them. What would you do if you received a box from your outfitter/taxidermist like this? I will send pics when I can get them on my computer, I am just too frustrated right now. Sonny

@sonnyn913 I'm really sorry to read your post. The good news is that a true artist can repair a lot of horrible damage. Artistry of Wildlife would be a great option to see if he can repair/conceal/airbrush the damage away if you're intending to do mounts. If they are just rugs...unfortunately your options are significantly less.
 

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That seems a better than average response to a bad situation. I also applaud your discretionary policy towards those involved. Happy hunting!!
 

sonnyn913

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Sounds fair to me. If you can't make it, I volunteer to be a sub. :p:D

I am sure there would be more than a few of those willing to go. LOL I would also like to add that as a few of you know, I went on 2 Safaris last year with 2 different outfitters. Dont assume anything.
 

sonnyn913

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@sonnyn913 I'm really sorry to read your post. The good news is that a true artist can repair a lot of horrible damage. Artistry of Wildlife would be a great option to see if he can repair/conceal/airbrush the damage away if you're intending to do mounts. If they are just rugs...unfortunately your options are significantly less.

Unfortunately they were all ruined. Not just hides, horns, hoofs....... Besides, I still havent been able to kill all of the bugs (worms, beetles, bugs) yet. There seems to be 3 species in the box. I have them in a boat storage unit and just bombed for the third time. I will know in the morning when I go to the lake house to check it out. No taxidermist wants that any where near their business.
 

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My understanding is that dermestid beetles can't withstand freezing temps. For those that know more about this, can you freeze the skulls and horns for a short period of time without doing any damage? Maybe doing something like a week in a chest freezer or just long enough to get a good deep freeze that the beetles can't survive? I suspect freezing hides would be problematic depending on if they are tanned or not and working with a hide would need to be handled differently. I would love to hear what people with knowledge of this have to say and if this would be a viable option for something like this.
 

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Having used dermestid beetles to clean skulls, the best method is to soak them in alcohol. As Dennis mentioned, the origin of the bugs was probably in the horn bases. Not sure of the best way to kill them in skins. As the op mentioned, he thought skins were ruined...
 

sonnyn913

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After going back to the storage unit today after a heavy bombing, there are still live worms and beetles on the skins eating the hair off the hide. There were not many beetles, but lots of worms that looked like smaller brown maggots The skulls have been way over boiled, the horns were oiled for preservation. Now dust will stick to them and be impossible to clean. I dont have a deep freeze now that the kids have moved out. I am sure no one wants to volunteer their freezer. Besides, with 18 animals, skulls, horns, capes, backskins, flat skins, there is alot there. I dont even want to move it or spread any of them. I have them crated back up now and am waiting for the info to send it back. I would rather burn it.
 

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First off a lot of crates are not opened by USFW or USDA just to many of them, I've opened some up that turned into what looked like a fish fly invasion in Michigan in June...Swarmed...
Yours should have because of the cites lechwe. BUT you didn't have any RAW skins so concern was limited....
Johnny blues you stay you never heard of it I've opened a thousand crates this happens all the time , all the time. I get bugs in many many crates 10-20 % 0f them but usually RAW skins are less susesptable to bug damage as they are to low PH heavily salted and dusted with BIG KILLER " Seven" . If they get in eat to usually die' eating it.
10%-20% of all skins from Africa will HAVE BIG ISSUES , We just don't tel you about it and repair and move on.
If we can repair airbrush and get the skin together WE JUST DO IT. Why get you all upset, If its not mountable , in my shop 1% on average, 1 out of 100 skins or capes , except genets and small cats BUGS love them best.... we replace it if we have a stock one that was given to us by a client not mounting the trophy and keep on hand just for this kinda crap.

Tanned capes from AFRICA ARE big no-no.... Pieces of flesh although tanned and grease unless it's degreased PROPERLY still remain on the skin around the eyes and nose and ears and the PH is higher. This and improper tanning and leaving the protein capsule at the end of each hair follicle on badly tanned skins done with third world tanning chemicals IS A BANQUET for BUGS. They eat the microscope protein sack and cut the hair follicle at the skin line and move to the next one....
This lets you all know tanning is no guarantee of no bug problems , even after mounting, Dermacid beetles are everywhere in nature and if you have a dog cat to carry one in or open any windows and a torn screen in your home at any time they CAN get in and eat your mounts and skins. After TANNING and MOUNTING.

Feel bad for you and I wonder if you were talked into getting them tanned their to save freight and dip pack costs?

TANNING IN AFRICA in my opinion is inferior to what is done in the states. The Chemicals are of less quality and production of these IS vital to finished quality. Some can argue but I've been in this business full time as my only living for over 39 years and 10 years before that I did it part time and was in high school.

MY OPINON, and it's MY OPINION... NEVER DEAL with a taxidermy company in africa for DIP PACK IF you can ! USE A DIP PACK ONOY COMPANY, there is no conflict of interest......
Those dip pack skins are not being mounted by them so in my opinion they don't care as much
There used to a BIG DIP PACK Company in Africa that ONLY did Dip pack, now he's into taxidermy and guess what
In the last year now 50% of his stuff comes on with bugs and or Bug Damage. NEVER did in the 15 years I had dealt with him.

If you had Insurance you have a chance at something if its covered.
Replacement hides, from anyone of Africa is a far stretch. SO many fees to pay to government for trophy fee and documentation export fees and then you have an Issue with a cites, Your Lechwe if cites was only importable with that permit, You would have to get another to import another lechwe IF it is cites.

Don't take them to a taxidermist yet
, your crate is a business KILLER for them, Keep it away. Don't infest their studio...Get 6 to 9 bug bombs Immediatly from hardwde store ORANGE one set them off in the crate seal it up and let them smoke it out. Now you juts killed the adults in a few days guess what the larvea hatch you have to do it again before they breed. The will be inside the horns and MOST LIKELY is where they CAME FROM, still have boiled meat an tissue in them. You got more problems not, you have to BOIL them all and them get some 2 part epoxy of 2 part foam into the horns that don't come off because f=of the curve in them.

Wonderful life being a taxidermist. I do this all time and that is why I RECOMMEND certain companied and NOT others. I get tired of saving someone stuff that I had no part of screwing up and do it without question and or comment to my clients except for " its got bug issues, I got this covered " and then save their stuff....

YOUR BEST COURSE of action get PH and Dip packer / taxidermist to buy new tanned capes here in the US, may cost them a few thousand but cheaper than them trying to re tan and get ones here from there. I don't see it happen much at all. I have lots of capes, A LOT of them.
Dennis I said this is not the first time I heard of this.
 

rookhawk

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Unfortunately they were all ruined. Not just hides, horns, hoofs....... Besides, I still havent been able to kill all of the bugs (worms, beetles, bugs) yet. There seems to be 3 species in the box. I have them in a boat storage unit and just bombed for the third time. I will know in the morning when I go to the lake house to check it out. No taxidermist wants that any where near their business.

The horns may still be good, and skins aren't that hard to find. I would wager good money that Dennis Harris,
Artistry of Wildlife could take a picture of your animals and their horns, locate skins, and make you taxidermy that is world class out of this total disaster.
 

sonnyn913

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The horns are no good. I do not want someone elses trophies in my house. The skulls are ruined for European mounts. Boiled to chalk. Too much damage to be fixed. Dennis is not a magician, he is an artist. I do plan on using Dennis once the new ones come back.
 

rookhawk

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@sonnyn913 All we can collectively say is "we are so sorry for your misfortune". It really is unfortunate. The miraculous, near unfathomable outcome in this scenario, is a good one. I wager <10% of outfitters would have the financial and logistical capacity to stand behind their hunt, salt, and dip/pack to the degree these fine people did on your safari. Letting you come back for a second safari is an amazing offer. I hope it all works out for you this time and that you have a terrific hunt.
 

sonnyn913

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@sonnyn913 All we can collectively say is "we are so sorry for your misfortune". It really is unfortunate. The miraculous, near unfathomable outcome in this scenario, is a good one. I wager <10% of outfitters would have the financial and logistical capacity to stand behind their hunt, salt, and dip/pack to the degree these fine people did on your safari. Letting you come back for a second safari is an amazing offer. I hope it all works out for you this time and that you have a terrific hunt.

Thanks Roadhawk, It helps to hunt with reputable people.
 

rookhawk

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Thanks Roadhawk, It helps to hunt with reputable people.

Reputable doesn't even scratch the surface of what these folks truly are. Typical businesses work on an 8%-15% margin. The hunting was already done, they paid wages, they hosted you, they guided, their resources were harvested, expenses were paid, they made a modest profit. (guess: sold you a $10,000 hunt, net profit of $1200)

They are letting you come back to have an entirely new experience for free, an expense that will likely take them a dozen clients profit margin to offset, all in the name of customer satisfaction on botched trophy shipments and hides being damaged.

I know lots of very honorable people but very few that could afford to take a hit of this nature. It's not unlike a booking agent making $500 on a $50,000 hunt, then personally giving you back the $50,000. (as opposed to the $500)

In short, your PH has done you an incredible service and I look forward to a great hunt report and then a mention of who this outfit actually is. They deserve amazingly positive PR after this all comes together.
 

geoff rath

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I will not name them unless they do not make right. They are bringing me back over to re-shoot the entire safari. After I am taken care of I will only name them if they want to be named. I dont mind standing up for them. I dont want to trash anyone. I feel this outfitter and taxidermist are doing whats right. I am going back in August. I know mistakes happen. I will keep you posted. Sonny
THAT'S the best possible outcome anyone could dream about. I truly hope all works out for the best. Good Hunting!
 

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