Can't wait to see them Bill. Congratulations on getting everything home safe and for a price you're happy with.
I've got nine trophies to bring home to Anchorage from South Africa and Zambia in one form or another, and I'm thinking of using Karoo Taxidermy in Graaff-Renet. They're billing themselves as one of the largest taxidermists in the world, so it's likely an assembly-line operation. Seems likely to save on shipping costs though.
We Alaskans get gouged on shipping costs to some port city in the Lower 48 and then gouged again for shipment to Alaska. That's assuming there's no additional shipping costs to and from the taxidermist. These intermediate shipping costs make it hard for Lower 48 businesses to compete on cost for those of us who live here.
The no-recourse argument for me applies no matter where I have the work done, if it's not in Alaska. Going to Chicago or California to appear in court against a local is not my idea of adequate recourse. So I consider that a wash. The local taxidermists are expensive and have limited experience on African animals. (I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them for Alaska game, however.)
I don't feel I have enough expertise to judge taxidermy work. I can tell crappy work, I think, but not the difference between good and excellent. Although I don't usually like to settle for less than the best quality, what's the point if you can't see the difference?
It seems to me that the formula for comparing costs of having the work done here or in Africa should look something like cost of taxidermy work (including any "documentation" or other fees), plus total shipping costs including every leg of the journey, plus admission broker fees; compared to dip & pack, total shipping costs of unfinished trophies to US taxidermist, plus total shipping costs from the taxidermist to my home, plus admission broker fees.
I haven't got quotes from all those I've requested them from, but I have the feeling that it will be hard for US taxidermists to compete on cost.
You'll be happy Ryan, they are doing my Nyala and lechwe from my mini safari back in May. I've visited their studio there work looked very nice.I would like to see a review on them either here or in a PM. I'm up in Alaska too and thinking of hunting RSA next time in a couple/few years. If there work is decent I have no qualms using a taxidermy there. It is supporting local jobs there which proves hunting helps their economy (the flip side of that dead horse), and my preferred Alaskan taxidermist flat out admitted he's up to his eyeballs in work so it was no skin off his nose if I used someone there. Heck, my javelina from him is now on 17 months.
As the title of this thread states
"Can you save having taxidermy work done in South Africa"
Yes you can.....but at a cost that is not measured monetarily
If you are OK with that then by all means use the services over there
But for my money....I want quality over quantity
Billc I see an empty crate and it has been a couple days when are going to see some pictures of these trophies? I had mine up in a couple hours after I got them since I had a lot of time to plan where they were going to go. I even did the lighting so it would be ready when I got them.
I agree,and it's nice to hear. I call it a skull mount since most of the world does it that way, but it probsbly did start in Europe, so.. . But this is what all the Alaskan ones I've talked to do and what I see around the net and such with other American game. I ended up doing my own fallow deer to get it done. Here's my 'European mount' caribou done by a shop here in Anchorage.Ryan, at my shop we cut the euro skulls like you mentioned and so do a lot of other places, that's a true european mount. The other is just a cleaned skull.