Can you save having taxidermy work done in South Africa

huntermn15

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Can't wait to see them Bill. Congratulations on getting everything home safe and for a price you're happy with.
Mike
 

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Look forward to seeing them! That's pretty exciting, getting a crate just days before you embark on filling up a new crate in Africa
 

Ryan

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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.

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.
 

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Ryan it is all in personal taste. The guy I use here in the states does better work overall but I feel I got good work at a fair price in SA. I will not tell anyone it is the best I ever saw as that would be a lie. I am just telling guys how I saved and got great work from what you normally see come out of SA. I can look at all my mounts and feel good about making the choices I did.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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
 

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And that makes the world go around. Those who can afford the best always get the best. I would without hesitation book hunts in places like Tanzania or Mozambique if I could afford them. To your point tedthorn my taxidermy for my 6 Namibia trophies exceeded 10k, could I easily afford that ? ....NO. But it was my first safari and I wanted in my eyes to have it done by who I consider to be one of the best. Going forward to God willing next year where the plan is to hunt buffalo and plains game I'll get quotes from my guy and Dennis as well as Relive taxidermy and see just how much it will cost. Then I'll make a decision.
 

billc

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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


And for my money I got the quality I wanted and at the price I liked. I don't like to be rude but trust me I can afford dennis prices if I wanted to. I pick what I liked to match my taste. Some may think it is less quality but to me I got more then I paid for and I am very happy. I am glad your happy with what dennis does for you to.
 

tedthorn

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I understand completely

By doing mine in the USA I was afforded the option of dragging out the mounts.

Dennis will be doing 10 shoulder mounts for me but spread out over the next 4 years

This option holds a value all in itself

I don't see your point as being rude at all

Trust me....I browse other sites that are more than rude
 

billc

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very true and it is what I did with relive in Africa split it up. I could have even waited longer to do them all but work was good this year so did them sooner then planned.

I am glad you were able to work it all that you could get them all mounted. Pictures are nice but you seem to be like me and enjoy a mount more. Looking forward to seeing more of your stuff as it is done.
 

Bhfs300

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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.
 

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That works.
 

Ryan

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Thank you @johnnyblues and @BillC. I looked and talked around Anchorage along with Namibia before my first trip. While very good, my usual shop in Anchorage took a year back when I first started using him and when my neighbor had a bear done it was up to almost two. The big place in town, which last I knew of was the only one in AK to be USDA authorized to accept and process dip and pack when it arrives and does a fair amount of African stuff was all about doing my stuff for a steeper price per animal than my usual place, never mind initial processing. Their studio examples were perfect, but my neighbors Dall sheep was nothing out of the ordinary. So I also talked to Hunters Pride and tried with Retoma in Namibia. Hunters Pride was open and up front. Retoma, no help and I have since seen their work, avoid them. I had my work done by Hunters Pride and I am satisfied still, two years after they arrived. Karoo sounds on the level of Hunters Pride and I'm very content with that so I'll keep them in mind. For skull mounts I prefer the African and European way of doing them, taking off the teeth so the nasal cavity is flush with the plaque. Every US place I've mentioned doing that has looked at me like I was nuts. Nakara in Namibia did great work with my flat skins, sealing up bullet and broadhead holes and trimming the edges evenly. More than US tanneries have done for me but a lot cheaper.
Thanks again Gents.
 

billc

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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 am working none stop on some jobs I have going that must be done before I leave on my trip this tues . I am also building on to my house to make room to display them all.. I will build the house around the trophies. LOL odd way to do it but it is how it worked out for me.

Plus my camera broke and I am waiting for my friend to drop his off to take pics. I am old school I still have a old style flip phone that takes bad pics but I will post some when I get back from my trip.
 

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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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There are three taxidermy shops locally and two of us cut the skulls the other doesn't, he says it's just extra work that nobody really cares about. I show customers both and ask them which they would like.
 

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