Hair slippage or normal characteristic?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Gater, Aug 13, 2019 at 2:43 PM.

  1. Gater

    Gater New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I received my 1st African mounts on Friday from a trip I took with my Dad last year. I was really disappointed to find large bald spots on my waterbuck and one area of my kudu. The zebra has several spots around the ears too.

    I've notified the PH and taxidermist (who is affiliated with the PH) and here's the verbatim response copied from the email response I received addressing my concerns (minus any identifying information):
    ---------
    Waterbuck:
    All Waterbuck have the bare marks under their chest, this is not hairslip. I can send you examples if you request it.
    The photo as sent by you is taken from the bottom and over exaggerates the bare spots. Once you have put the mounts up on the wall it should look good as per photo sent and approved by you...
    Short and the long: this is not hairslip.
    Zebra:
    This is also very common. Zebra bight each other a lot. The ears get the biggest damage and even if not visible just after the hunt... it shows once tanned. Fortunately for you it is behind the ear. And does not show clearly when looking at your Zebra. I personally think your mount looks stunning!
    Kudu:
    With Kudu we very seldom, but yet some times get a little slip on the chest in hot season. You just never know... the recovery and trophy prep was done as fast and properly as possible. You can be glad this skin didn’t need to go thru the Dip and Ship process...it would have been a total loss. The temperatures when hunted and or conditions of the animal is not controlled by us. But we can do our best to give you the best product possible.
    ------------
    To be clear, we hunted the 1st week of September, so not exactly the hot season. However, it was unseasonably warm and we saw temps into the 90's. The animals were recovered quickly and skinned out in what I believe to be a timely manner, so I don't think they were "mistreated" during the recovery/skinning process.

    So, please give me your opinion on whether this is an acceptable condition for the mounts.

    Thanks!
    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg
     

  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    That is BS. Your trophies have classic slippage that is no doubt a combination of lousy prep (skinning and salting), questionable tanning, and a taxidermist and PH who are unwilling to own up to the problems. Many zebra are indeed nicked up, but they look like what they were before and after tanning - scars - not slipped hair on improperly skinned and salted ears.

    A Waterbuck has a thinner, shorter coat below that thick neck - but I have never seen one living or dead that looked like that.

    He is sort of accepting responsibility for the kudu - it also is clearly slippage - and again due to lousy care of the cape. The comment on dip and pack is a pure red herring. Many of us have our work done by professionals here in the States, and took those animals in some cases a lot closer to the equator.

    Some slipping can occur. I have a kudu with a bit and my leopard has a small spot on top of the skull. Both were hidden by the taxidermist.

    Hopefully one of our resident pro's will chime in.
     

  3. Gater

    Gater New Member

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    I appreciate your response. When I responded to the PH, I asked for him to send the examples he spoke of and that I’ve looked through dozens and dozens of pictures of both live and mounted Waterbuck and have yet to come across any images which even remotely resemble what my mount looks like.
     

  4. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Some animals are more prone to hair slip than others - leopard and cheetah for example. Even the best care might not be able to prevent it (although every animal should always have the best care). Having said that, I agree with Red Leg that the waterbuck (I have two mounted, and have seem plenty in the wild, both common and defassa) and the zebra don't look like normal natural hair loss to me.

    As for the kudu, old kudu will often have lost a great deal of hair, but that will be like old men getting progressively balder. It will not look like someone who is undergoing chemotherapy - patchy loss of hair in clumps. This looks like hair slip, but it looks like the PH is acknowledging it in this case, although he then goes on to say that they took the best care possible. I don't think that's possible given this picture.

    I have to add that I found his email to you more than a bit off-putting. Certainly defensive, but more than that. Camera angle? Seriously? And as for the comments that you approved the mounts? A good taxidermist should have told you what he found and asked whether you wanted to go ahead with the mounting. Often they can offer you another cape, or you can decide to do a skull mount and wait for another trip for a shoulder mount. If the skin was a dip away from being useless, you should have been told that. You can't make good decisions without good information, and it seems you didn't get that here.
     
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  5. Gater

    Gater New Member

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    Thanks Hank - I agree 100% with your comments. An excerpt from my response:

    "The waterbuck, however, I am definitely disappointed in. I agree their hair is coarse and thin, but the spots on the front of it's shoulders shouldn't be completely bald in an 8" diameter area. I've looked through dozens of pictures of live animals and mounts and I've yet to see an example matching what my mount looks like. If you could send me the examples you speak of, that would be great.

    Also, you mentioned my approval of the mounts, but I'm not sure it's fair to equate approval of an image of a mount as being full approval of every aspect of quality - especially when the images are only 26KB."


    Trying to relinquish yourself from questionable quality with "you approved it" is something that doesn't sit terribly easy with me.
     

  6. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Sorry this happened to you.

    If something happens to one animal, perhaps. Their quality is lacking if it happened to all three from the same hunt.
     
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  7. Gater

    Gater New Member

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    I agree, but likely having 3 of 4 with slippage (Impala looks great!) will give cause for him to further claim environmental causes, which of course “they can’t be held responsible for”.

    My dad hasn’t had a chance to uncrate his animals yet. I’m curious to see if his Kudu has the same issue. He also shot an impala, blue wildebeest, blesbuck and warthog, so we’ll see how they turned out.
     

  8. slam8031

    slam8031 AH Enthusiast

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    Sorry for your troubles. After two trips to Africa with average taxidermy I chose to send mine home to be done in the states. Dennis has my full confidence at artistry of wildlife to not send me anything but his best.
     
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  9. MarkB

    MarkB AH Senior Member

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    I would like the name of the taxidermist. I will not use them. I had an eland that had some bad slippage, not sure why but looks "painted" as yours do. I assume work was done in Africa, did they not have access to extra skin? The responses to your questions are or could be real but there are things they can do to make appearance better. They could have spent the time and shingled in hair. Again a name if we can as a "I don't want to use example".

    MB
     

  10. Gater

    Gater New Member

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    I completely understand wanting to know who it was. As I am still in talks with them on a solution, I’m going to wait to identify them until after I’ve reached a resolution.
     

  11. MarkB

    MarkB AH Senior Member

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    Understood. Will be interesting to see what they will/can do on the other side of pond.

    MB
     

  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    My favourite response ...... :A Me You:
     
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  13. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Typical Garbage work. Everyone is a taxidermist these days.
    IF its slippage around the eyes and nose and lips, its going to be the PH's fault. I DONT SEE ANY , the KUDU face and hairs around the lips and nose and eyes , is well held, Good salting and fleshing.
    If its slippage on the shoulders or neck its the tannery's fault or taxidermist that is doing his own tanning or suing bad tan, high ph levels and not thinning hides for pickle to penetrate.
    If its BUGS and I see a lot of bug damage, The Taxidermist in Africa has a major issue in his studio he doesn't care to TAKE CARE OF. Bug eat skins and in patches just like this ....Lots of ing damage on zebra ears , it COULD be bad prep of the ears and leaving to much meat on base of ear cartalige even after salting,,,BUG MAGNET...while it sat in a dry pile of salted dried skins somewhere before tanning

    Your KUDU , Look like a BREEDING rub BUT..... YES male kudu jumps on back of female he holds her with front legs. Thus rub spot. But real crappy repair REAL CRAPPY. I wouldn't give a client , no way, with that we airbrush IN HAIR. I post a lot of KUDU mounts they have have them, some, But so well repaired and airbrushed you guys don't see it !!! After looking at your CLOSE up of that spot on kudu, Notice it has SPOTTY long hair in the rub. NOPE its not a rub from breeding, if it were the hairs would be broken and short and various lengths.

    Another thing that happens , Not enough salt on shoulders, IE waterbuck and KUDU they have thick skin and if they are not salted every day with new salt for three days they don't SET THE HAIR and it falls out as the hair folical rotted and released the hair shaft during tanning because salt could not penetrate to hold each hair IN the dermis.

    Could be bad salt...on any of these, Bugs is MY BEST GUESS.
    But the nice hair on face of kudu tells me maybe not.
    A piece goes bad once and a while sheet happens but a whole safari. NAH
    Bad things happened here and I'll place a bet in vegas if your Impala is fine, look at the marking on the face REAL CLOSE is it really yours or a replacement cape ?

    If your zebra has just the base of the ear issue, Its big eaten, To mush meat left on cartilage of the ear. The ate the meat then the hair roots for the proteins still in the hide when salted. Salting does not remove these proteins until tanning and bugs LOVE that protein that in in the hair root of EVERY HAIR

    About your taxidermist responses. Man that is a lot of BS to cover his A. You should have been sent pictures of the bad skin as soon as tanning was done and you would see all this and decide then, I do this with my clients ASK THEM HERE. I send pics of tanned skins and the condition and tell them what I CAN DO. How good to bad it will be, Most of the time very good, and they tell me how to proceed, repairs beyond their expectations, because I know my abilities or new capes of which I have 12 - 23 cubic foot freezers full of african capes CHEAP.


    He states the waterbuck isn't hair slip. WOW Waterbuck at the hairiest beast in Africa. Even the arm pits where yours in bald are always hairy.....I have never seen any waterbuck like that an have mounted Hundreds of them.
    Sorry for your headache and loss of the excitement of your safari. BAD TAXIDERMY will ruin a good memory instantly when the crate is opened like this, I never see a good outcome from this kinda stuff from a taxidermist in SA. Some may admit fault but he hasn't and don't think he will. HIS FAULT for sure was not contacting you before mounting bad skin, To me in my opinion is was get them mounted and get the money...
    I post pics so close that you don't have to guess at the quality ...I put it in your face close up with no fancy photography just a 12 year old Nikon 8mp camera and Walmart work light and a 60 watt bulb on black felt....I hate seeing this, I try to get your guys to come to my studio, I try.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 11:09 PM
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  14. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    It's stories like this one that reaffirms my commitment to never ever have my taxidermy done somewhere that I have very little recourse if things go bad. Just having the dip and ship done is enough for me
     
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  15. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Dennis is 100% spot on.
    Unfortunately they are giving you the runaround to justify crappy work.
     

  16. Gater

    Gater New Member

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    Well, my Dad was able to unpack his mounts and 4 of the 5 looked pretty good. The one that didn't was his kudu and the hair on it looks terrible!

    Any additional thoughts?
    IMG_0161.jpg IMG_0162.jpg IMG_0163.jpg
     

  17. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Holly smokes thats horrible. That is absolutely slippage and bug damage.
    I hate that this happened to you and it is appalling that a company would turn out work like that. Unfortunately it seems to be the norm for many African taxidermy companies.
    I believe much of this could have been avoided by proper cape prep and tanning.
     
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  18. MarkB

    MarkB AH Senior Member

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    That looks real bad and not helped by the grey painted "wash". Its the same as many Cabelas and Bass Pro displayed animals.

    MB
     

  19. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    What a shame. That kudu looks like it has been hanging in a bar for twenty years (or as @MarkB suggests - Cabelas). I know some folks have had good luck, but I never have anything done in Africa.
     

  20. Gater

    Gater New Member

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    Just remembered I had a pic of the area they stored their sculls and hides. It's a bad angle into the light, but you can see the salted hides stacked up on the shelves in the back ground. How does this compare to what you guys have seen for storage?

    IMG_6618.jpg
     

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