Directions for skinners/skin preparation

VertigoBE

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Hi all,
in a couple of weeks I should be going on my first African safari for 20 days. A dream since I was 12 years old. I will be hunting impala, blesbuck, warthog, black wildebeest and if Diana is with us, greater Kudu and white blesbuck and black springbuck.

Some of these I will would like in a shoulder mount, (black springbuck, white blesbuck, kudu, impala) but the warthog, common blesbuck and black wildebeest will likely be an European skullmount of some sorts.

For the skins coming from the skullmounts, what would you advise I tell to the skinners, or how should they prepare the skins if my intention is to have a leatherworker produce some rugs/bags/various out of them?

Thanks a lot for your input!
 

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They will typically skin them for a "flat skin". That is, a rug.
That skinning method will provide you with the largest area of useful skin/leather.
Now, whether the species you are thinking of using are worthy of the effort to make leather from I do not know.
 

curtism1234

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Imo tell the PH what you want. It's his job to make sure the skinners understand what you want. If you talk to the workers, they are just going to smile & nod and have no clue what you just said - even if they speak decent English
 

VertigoBE

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They will typically skin them for a "flat skin". That is, a rug.
That skinning method will provide you with the largest area of useful skin/leather.
Now, whether the species you are thinking of using are worthy of the effort to make leather from I do not know.
So when they prefer the skins as a rug, this is hair and all, but not tanned leather yet? There are no special considerations to tell them to observe, for future leather projects?

thanks!
 

Tgood1

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Yes it will be skinned, fleshed and salted with the hair on. If the tanning work is finished in africa I have no experience what your options will be. If u choose for the tanning to be done in the USA then it will be "pack and dip" in africa and shipped to the US. Just a note the warthog will have go to a USDA approved facility and some do not offer tanning resulting in a hairless leather.
 

VertigoBE

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Yes it will be skinned, fleshed and salted with the hair on. If the tanning work is finished in africa I have no experience what your options will be. If u choose for the tanning to be done in the USA then it will be "pack and dip" in africa and shipped to the US. Just a note the warthog will have go to a USDA approved facility and some do not offer tanning resulting in a hairless leather.
Hello Tgood1,

thanks for the tips and info. I live in Europe, so maybe slightly different rules apply. I'll make sure to ask the PH. For the Warthog, is this good leather for objects like bags/pouches if it is hairless? Or do you know whether certain species have leather that is not worth it to create something with?

And a second question, a skin that is 'dipped and packed' with the hair on, then transported back home, can a leatherworker still remove the hair or is it best done immediately?

Thanks!
 

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I had a eland and cape buffalo hide turned into leather. The skinners will do it as a flat skin, then you will have to tell the taxidermist that you want leather rather than a flat skin with hair. The taxidermist will typically give you a choice of colors you can have the skin died to when tanned. My eland skin is very supple (like deer or elk skin) and the buffalo is much thicker and stiffer.
 

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Hello Tgood1,

thanks for the tips and info. I live in Europe, so maybe slightly different rules apply. I'll make sure to ask the PH. For the Warthog, is this good leather for objects like bags/pouches if it is hairless? Or do you know whether certain species have leather that is not worth it to create something with?

And a second question, a skin that is 'dipped and packed' with the hair on, then transported back home, can a leatherworker still remove the hair or is it best done immediately?

Thanks!
My only experience with this is with deer and they removed the hair during the tanning process

Your PH is a good resource but for specific reccomendations on trophy preparation done in a specific manner your best resource may by the taxidermist you plan to use and then pass that info along to the PH
 

Tgood1

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Hello Tgood1,

thanks for the tips and info. I live in Europe, so maybe slightly different rules apply. I'll make sure to ask the PH. For the Warthog, is this good leather for objects like bags/pouches if it is hairless? Or do you know whether certain species have leather that is not worth it to create something with?

And a second question, a skin that is 'dipped and packed' with the hair on, then transported back home, can a leatherworker still remove the hair or is it best done immediately?

Thanks!
I am clueless of European practices and legalities but i'm positive some members of this site can answer about that issue. Here in the US (and im only assuming in Europe) various tanneries can tan the skins to a hairless leather and some can also dye leather as well. I utilized my first kudu split (the back half of the skin that does not get mounted) with my first wildebeest to have a purse made for my wife. I used a hairless warthog skin to have 2 soft pistol cases made. all look great. Now that i am technologically capable of doing so, P.M. me and ill get some pics and/or assist as able.
 

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My only experience with this is with deer and they removed the hair during the tanning process

Your PH is a good resource but for specific reccomendations on trophy preparation done in a specific manner your best resource may by the taxidermist you plan to use and then pass that info along to the PH
Thanks Mikecatt13,

good point, I'll check with my taxidermist in Belgium if he has any suggestions or recommendations.
 

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At my last African hunt the outfitter was using a new taxidermist who came out and demonstrated to the skinners how he wanted anything for a shoulder mount caped off.

It was an interesting technique he used for small horned PG (Duiker to Blesbok) which basically (forgive the lack of technical knowledge) required taking the mount off as a tube and then working it over the horns making the smallest incision necessary to clear them. That meant there was no stitching needed in the mane. Quite how this lot gets reassembled was a mystery but the finished work looked great.

As others have mentioned, let your PH know what you want and let him have the conversation. The term ‘lost in translation’ has never been more widely applicable than in Africa.

FN
 
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Hi all,
in a couple of weeks I should be going on my first African safari for 20 days. A dream since I was 12 years old. I will be hunting impala, blesbuck, warthog, black wildebeest and if Diana is with us, greater Kudu and white blesbuck and black springbuck.

Some of these I will would like in a shoulder mount, (black springbuck, white blesbuck, kudu, impala) but the warthog, common blesbuck and black wildebeest will likely be an European skullmount of some sorts.

For the skins coming from the skullmounts, what would you advise I tell to the skinners, or how should they prepare the skins if my intention is to have a leatherworker produce some rugs/bags/various out of them?

Thanks a lot for your input!
@VertigoBE
Skins that weren't to be used for mounts were all flat skins. Flat skins have the head skun as well
Bob
 
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Hello Tgood1,

thanks for the tips and info. I live in Europe, so maybe slightly different rules apply. I'll make sure to ask the PH. For the Warthog, is this good leather for objects like bags/pouches if it is hairless? Or do you know whether certain species have leather that is not worth it to create something with?

And a second question, a skin that is 'dipped and packed' with the hair on, then transported back home, can a leatherworker still remove the hair or is it best done immediately?

Thanks!
@VertigoBE
When I was in Namibia I saw a lot of products made from kudu leather but to me that is a waste of a beautiful skin but to each their own.
Bob
 

Bhfs300

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I would suggest that you don’t bring the warthog skin back. I brought mine for a shoulder mount since my ph said it should be mounted. I had it bronzed instead but I think I had to pay an additional $150 just to get the hide into the states.
Maybe someone here can explain that.
 

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I would suggest that you don’t bring the warthog skin back. I brought mine for a shoulder mount since my ph said it should be mounted. I had it bronzed instead but I think I had to pay an additional $150 just to get the hide into the states.
Maybe someone here can explain that.
Right off the top of my head I would say dip and pack fees along with shipping cost. Unless you paid that $150 on top of the rest.
 

Bhfs300

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Right off the top of my head I would say dip and pack fees along with shipping cost. Unless you paid that $150 on top of the rest.

No it was some kind of charge for bringing the cape into the US. It was to the tannery that received my dip and ship and I didn’t even use it.
 

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Hi all,
in a couple of weeks I should be going on my first African safari for 20 days. A dream since I was 12 years old. I will be hunting impala, blesbuck, warthog, black wildebeest and if Diana is with us, greater Kudu and white blesbuck and black springbuck.

Some of these I will would like in a shoulder mount, (black springbuck, white blesbuck, kudu, impala) but the warthog, common blesbuck and black wildebeest will likely be an European skullmount of some sorts.

For the skins coming from the skullmounts, what would you advise I tell to the skinners, or how should they prepare the skins if my intention is to have a leatherworker produce some rugs/bags/various out of them?

Thanks a lot for your input!
Don’t bring back the back skins or full skins unless you have a specific place for them. The first safari makes us all want to bring it ALL back and then we regret it. It is not “once in a lifetime hunt” as we all thought. You can do a package hunt for $3995 These days so in no way is it once in a lifetime.
Just mount what is important to you and keep a skin or two and forget the rest. You’ll be better off IMO.
Philip
 

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I had an unfortunate experience with my croc hide, skinners sliced it down the middle of belly vs keeping belky skin as one large piece of premium hide. So i suggest you be very specific with PH. I now have most skins made into rifle cases vs flat skins. Yes everyone gets the bug on their 1st trip and wants to have all their trophies shipped home, but after several trp house does not have room for more stuff.
 

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Don’t bring back the back skins or full skins unless you have a specific place for them. The first safari makes us all want to bring it ALL back and then we regret it. It is not “once in a lifetime hunt” as we all thought. You can do a package hunt for $3995 These days so in no way is it once in a lifetime.
Just mount what is important to you and keep a skin or two and forget the rest. You’ll be better off IMO.
Philip

Hi Philip,

I understand the point of being overly enthusiastic on a first safari, but I cannot help myself... I’m normally more a meat hunter. I do not care that much about trophies. But in Africa i will not be able to bring home any meat, so I want to desperately bring home more than just photos and memories. Trophies, but also the skins to be made into useful or decorative objects for around the home. Rifle and pistol cases, purse for the wife, belts, travel watch case, etc.

I think I would do the animal a disservice by just taking a picture and a memory with me.

V
 

VertigoBE

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I had an unfortunate experience with my croc hide, skinners sliced it down the middle of belly vs keeping belky skin as one large piece of premium hide. So i suggest you be very specific with PH. I now have most skins made into rifle cases vs flat skins. Yes everyone gets the bug on their 1st trip and wants to have all their trophies shipped home, but after several trp house does not have room for more stuff.

Hi Autofire,

Do I understand correctly that I would need to communicate on beforehand to the PH/skinners what my purpose is with the skins? And that a flat skin cannot be made into a usable object any more?
 

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