Doing my pre-planning for 2020....Taxidermist opinions?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Daveboone, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Don't tell me. Your problems were with Delta Cargo. Atlanta F&W is usually pretty good.
     

  2. ufg8r93

    ufg8r93 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    F&W was terrific. Delta Cargo not bad. ATL CBP was a nightmare.
     

  3. Daveboone

    Daveboone New Member

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    I actually sent emails to a full ten of the references, and across the board everyone was very pleased...including one fellow who has a very fine taxidermy shop in PA. Several folks shared photos, of which the work looked as good as any I have seen posted on this site. Nice to know, but still looking...in particular at the stated gentlemans business, which is within driving distance of me for a visit.
     
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  4. Daveboone

    Daveboone New Member

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    Thanks to all for all the great input! A lot of good coming out of it.
     

  5. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I used them on my 2nd trip..... paid basically premium pricing + shipping + crating.... so didn’t really save any money. The craftsmanship was par/average at absolute best. I’ll stick the stateside ops where more controls are in place.
     

  6. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    Dont let your taxidermy be done in Africa. Pay for the dip pack and ship. then use Dennis Harris he is "the man" for african critters. He has done a ton of work for me all top shelf. As he said he aint fast and he aint cheap BUT he will deliver what you pay for. I shot a nyala and a white spring buck in the head with 300wm and he fixed so well you would never know. he posted pics on this site. Amazing skills.
     

  7. buddy48

    buddy48 AH Senior Member

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    Driving distance to your Taxidermist, if they have quality work, is something I would recommend. I’ll most likely never use someone that is more than 4-6 hours away from me again. I’d never consider using anyone in South Africa. You are almost powerless if things don’t go well if you use someone over in Africa.
     

  8. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I shot a dozen white breasted crows a couple trips back. I wanted one mounted on the wing for the wall. My PH/outfitter supplied one to the taxidermist with a damaged wing so I got one standing on a faux piece of wood, free of charge. Next trip, I had a few mounts and he asked me if I still wanted one on the wing. I said yes and the next crate had one, again no charge.
    Now I'm not saying every taxidermist in Africa is going to do the right thing but neither are they not as good as in the U.S.

    From this chair, I've seen not so lifelike taxidermy from the best shops and vice versa. You bet your money and you take your chances, be it here or in Africa. Dip and pack is another crap shoot. Read some of the threads on this site about damaged skins, hair falling out, bugs, etc.
     
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  9. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    Get your trophies done here in the US. If something is not right, you'll have a fighting chance here, vs. dealing with someone thousands of miles away. I had a terrible experience with Highveld Taxidermy, the work on my animals was pathetic, and like if a 10 year old did them. The solution given to me by the owner, was for me to ship the damaged items (on my dime), so they could fix it, and then I had to pay for them to be shipped back to the US. They wouldn't even offered a discount for their sh*tty work. I'll post pictures when I get home so you can see what I'm talking about.

    p.s. I'm not saying that all taxidermist in Africa are bad. I'm giving you my experience with Highveld Taxidermy, and why I believe it is better to have your trophies done here in the state.
     
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  10. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    IMPALA.jpg
    You tell me if this is a professional job, and would you have paid $650 for this work?
     

  11. Bhfs300

    Bhfs300 AH Fanatic

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    Hi Buddy
    This is just for fun.
    I have so much confidence in Dennis of Artistry of Wildlife that I live 45 minutes north of Denver and Dennis has done my trophy from my last two trips. The first one he did I flew from Denver to Detroit rented a car drove up to see his new shop.
    CFFCD4D5-8CDD-4CB9-8C06-726E1407CE30.jpeg
    He did my Nyala. In this photo it isn’t done.
    1DECB692-5C0B-41FB-A935-38CE7AB21C07.jpeg
    Here is one of Dennis’s photos when it was done.
    The next trip wasn’t to SA. But NZ was real good to me and I came home with this trophy and Dennis did it also.
    0E85A67F-8011-4C6B-AF65-9FEDE4B8F6F5.jpeg
    If you have confidence in a person I think you can be more than 650 miles from him,
    Tom
     
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  12. Gemsbok Gangsta

    Gemsbok Gangsta AH Enthusiast

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    Hunters and Collectors for Dip and Pack. Kevin and his team are great to work with. BRING IT HOME!!!! They are in PE.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019

  13. Gemsbok Gangsta

    Gemsbok Gangsta AH Enthusiast

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    Quick note: A friend hunted Limpopo in 2016 and had his work done there. When the crate was opened not a single mount was done to the specifications discussed. Turned wrong,neck mounts etc. I saw the disappointment first hand and I can tell you the Finished Taxidermy IS the culmination of all the planning,saving,and picking whom you decide is the best outfitter for you to hunt with. DO NOT SCRIMP!!!!!
    I look at my mounts everyday from 2 trips and the memories are priceless.

    Gangsta
     
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  14. buddy48

    buddy48 AH Senior Member

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    Tom, Dennis did my Taxidermy as well. And like you said, he did a hell of a job. I did have a few problems but he made it right. He is a busy man for sure and the quality was worth the wait. The communication on the other hand needs improvement, but if I had to sacrifice anything communication is a better sacrifice than quality. From the time he had my hides to the time they showed up at my door, which was this afternoon, was right at 22 months. But, in that time frame he did have some personal health challenges and no one can hold that against anyone. We all have challenges in life to overcome. I was patient through the whole process and was understanding of the setbacks etc. Dennis appreciated the patience and made right as a result of that patience. He is right at 900 miles from me but I would have loved to been able to ride up and check on the process or visit his shop, I enjoy doing those things. But, 900 miles was a bit far for a trip like that. If I didn’t have confidence in him I wouldn’t have sent him my first safari. I am well aware that quality is worth it in Taxidermy.

    The first guided hunting trip I went out west on was to Montana. When my cousin and I returned, he let a friend mount his whitetail and I took my deer to a local taxidermist that had proven himself over many years by winning awards etc. My mount cost me more than my cousins did, but man the difference in the mounts was night and day. Mine was soooo much better than his. In my taxidermists shop he had a sign that read “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” The difference in my deer and my cousins was exactly what that sign was getting at. That was the first animal I ever had mounted and I knew from then on out that I would pay for quality Taxidermy. And I have ever since!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019

  15. Bhfs300

    Bhfs300 AH Fanatic

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    Sounds like we both had some great Trophies done by Artistry of Wildlife.
    Tom
     
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