My Blue Wildebeest

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Desingillam, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    Well folks the last of my African trophies have arrived. This was a different experience since my 2012 hunting trip with my son. After Cecil the lion met his final demise, the world took a more conservative approach to shipping hunting trophies back to North America or around the world. Hence we couldn’t do things quite the same as we did back in 2014.

    Regardless of that, they are here now hanging in my living-room - which my wife so graciously allowed me to call my trophy room. Truth be told, she stopped me from festooning the whole house with my trophies. I believe her exact words were, “I don’t want to see your dead animals throughout the whole house – keep them in the living room”. My response was quick and humble, “thank you homey for the magnificent trophy room”. I’ll post pictures at the end of this article.

    I am so please with the mounting that Trophaendienste Taxidermists from Namibia did on my Blue Wildebeest. They have been my go-to company for taxidermy from the beginning and will continue be as I go forward. This was for me; the most challenging species to hunt of all the animals I brought home. I dedicated a day and half in 2012 with no success and a full day in 2016 until this awesome beast was on the ground – right around sunset. In both my hunting experiences; these animals were crazy nervous and on the run all the time.

    One other item I’d like to share that I was very pleased with, was the crating/packaging job that Trophaendienste Taxidermists did. Everything well wrapped, and load secured in the crates. I’ll show a couple of pictures of that. On the first shipment back in 2013 we had a couple of small concerns regarding packaging. Fast forward to 2018 and things are amazing. Materials, assembly and blocking have greatly improved, super good job to all involved.

    One thing I’d like to complain about is - inspection agent laziness. If you took out fifty screws out of the lid on the shipping crate to do your job, then put fifty screws back in when you’re done inspecting. You have no idea what the transport conditions are after you have completed your inspection. All of the crates were missing sixty to seventy percent of their original lid assembly screws because some inspection agent was too lazy to complete the task properly for which they were being paid to do. I and possibly many other customers are at the end of 300 kilometers or more of dirt and gravel roads. The road to my home, was place over swamp and muskeg in northern Manitoba and gets as little maintenance as the local government has to perform. It is not very friendly to shipping packages as they get tossed and hammered around in the back of the transport trucks. All screws need to put back in place to ensure the original structural integrity of the crate. If the language of that last statement is too complicated for you, consider this – if you took them out put them back!

    There you have it my friends, my Beefs and Bouquets regarding my latest shipment of African Trophies. It is my hope to return in 2020 or 2021 and I have Cape Buffalo and Elephant in my plans. That last statement always gives me the best dreams to sleep by…

    Till then, may your adventures be exciting and your hunting experiences keep you humble. Remember, many, many people - often dream and talk about doing this, but so few follow their dreams. In my humble opinion, we are a very privileged group to have experienced and shared this with others…

    Des

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  2. Forrest

    Forrest AH Member

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    Good looking trophy room
     

  3. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    Thanks Forrest

    There isn't a day that goes by, be it the beginning or end when - where I sit in the big chair beside the Zebra and admire my room. I told my wife yesterday afternoon while admiring my wildebeest that each specimen hanging on the wall has its own little story.

    I was fortunate to have my wife with me on the last wildebeest hunt, so she knows the story of how hard that hunt was and what we went through to bring it to the ground. My baboon the best and longest shot of my first trip, the Oryx, the shot I still regret to this day. I was winded from running up the hill, the PH was excited wanted me to take the shot, my heart was pumping hard and I thought I could ride the rhythm of my beating heart and place an ethical shot. Not so much, the bullet hit the jaw bone; a chunk of bone hit the jugular and it took us five to ten minutes to find it and put it down. That shot has haunted me since then, I am never rushed anymore.

    Man, I never tire of looking at them though…
     

  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Glad you got all your trophies up where you like them.
    Congratulations.
     
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  5. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on getting them home, nice looking trophy room!
     

  6. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Very nice, congrats !
     

  7. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Nice critters, looks good.
     

  8. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    A great trophy room. Congrats.
     

  9. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    Nice trophy room! Could you pleast take a further away picture of the giraffe so I can see how you had it done? If its not to much trouble that is.
     

  10. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    I wish I could take better picture of the Giraffe for you all to see, but I can’t.

    We rent a corporate employee house in Gillam Manitoba; I work for a provincially owned hydro electric company. When I decided to hunt in Africa for the first and only tine back 2012, (was I ever wrong on that statement) I placed the giraffe on my list. I knew what type of mount I wanted and I also knew there was only one place it could be stored until I retired. It would only fit in the front landing or front foyer of our rented house. This is the space where when you enter the front of the house, you’d take you boots and coat off and place them in the closet to your right.

    The floor measures roughly 60” X 72”, with a 35” space to the left of the door when you enter. But, most important of all, is the ceiling height. You enter the house at ground level from outside and this is the only place with a ceiling height of twelve feet. The giraffe is just shy of eleven feet tall.

    We call him Bob by the way, and here’s the reason is this. When explaining some of the processes of hunting in Africa and what happens to the meat - to folks back home we described the giraffe scenario. This animal was field dressed and the meat was sold to make biltong. Throughout the skinning and processing in the field, a couple of smaller giraffes would sneak a little closer to observe the goings on. While describing this to people along the way and back home, I did my best “Goofy” impersonation and coined the young giraffe phrase – “Hey watcha doing with Bob done there”? So now he’s affectingly known as Bob the Giraffe.

    So, when passing on the details to the taxidermist regarding Bob’s specifications - lots was under consideration. The base could not exceed widths and length as to allow for the swinging open of the front door and what was left for floor between front door and stairs going up into the home. The last and most important, it could not be taller than twelve feet. So, that’s the reason I can’t take a better picture of Bob where he currently resides. Above the door and ceiling height there is a three foot high by five foot wide window. I put Bob’s base on casters and once or twice a year roll him in front of the window, just to mess with the local kids – they thinks it’s funny.

    But wait, I’m not done with the Bob saga just yet! Remember, I’m retiring in four and half years from now. Here’s where Bob created another problem. Our retirement home does not have any ceiling height to accommodate him. We knew this in advance and we were always prepared to pull the roof off one section of the home and replace it with a vaulted ceiling. I also need to add a double car garage for my cabinet making shop, always in the plan…

    Well, one and a half years ago, didn’t I find in the same town a house for sale that already had two vaulted sections for Bob and a two and a half car garage with ten foot ceilings two boot, oh yea - I had to have this one. So, we ended up purchasing the second house with plans to sell the first house – only that didn’t work out so well. The market went flat, we’re now floating two mortgages and just last month rented out the first house for a year or so to see what happens to the market next. The reason this is of importance to the whole Bob saga is this. While we are floating these two mortgages. It is impeding my return trip to hunt Cape buffalo and Elephant. So, there you have it, why I can’t take a better photo of Bob – but also a life lesson. Be careful what you put on your list, it may end up being the biggest pain in your ass for the rest of your life.

    All kidding aside, people love coming by to visit Bob. They truly get an appreciation of just how big and tall these animals are. We have had so many of the vertical selfies with visitor’s hugging Bob we could never imagine not accommodating him.

    Thanks everyone for your compliments

    Des
    Right after I posted this I remembered the unpacking picture

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  11. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you for the story and picture. I am getting my giraffe done similar to yours but with a twisted neck and less height on the front shoulder. So here is my problem. I need to keep it under 8 ft. do you think this is possible? I have a place in my house now where 8 ft wouldnt be a problem, however I move for work alot and never know were I might end up.
     

  12. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    Hi Huntinlabs

    I think it is quite possible and I’ve attached a photo of a Giraffe mount I found after mine was delivered. As I have since learned the older of some species of Giraffe can become quite dark in coloring, I always thought if I ever decide to add one more Giraffe that would be the reason and this would be the mount style I’d choose. I’ll also attach another one I thought was kind of unique. There is no doubt in my mind the Giraffe on the angular wood pedestal would solve your issue.

    In my opinion, one thing you have to watch fro in Giraffe mounts when height is a consideration is lopping off too much at the bottom. This animal has one hell of a long neck and the last thing you want to see is a long skinny neck pole with a head stuck on the top. That being said I think the wood base allows enough proportion in the bottom to give balance to be what will eventually be a rather short neck to meet you 96” requirement

    In the picture with the wood base I’ve calipered the wall to be around ten feet tall. You can see what you’d have to remove from the bottom of that Giraffe. Which will mean you’ll be at the skinnier side of the neck? I’d lower the height if the angular section of the base to get it as close to floor level as possible. I’d stain it a darker color to maybe match the spots of the Giraffe and wala! An excellent Giraffe mount customized to suit your height concerns a with a large enough bottom end to not look disproportional.

    Just my thoughts bud, perhaps others have some worthwhile thought on you dilemma

    Sample 1.jpg Sample 2.jpg
     
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  13. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    This was what I had in mind for mine. However I was thinking of cutting the bottom off near the cross looking patch and adding a little more to the back in Hope's of counter balancing the nothing but neck scenario you described.
    Screenshot_20180123-212742.png
     

  14. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    Now I gotcha.. I have added that to my file of trophy mounts. That would be an excellent mount, hope it all works out for you.
    Des...
     

  15. huntinlabs

    huntinlabs AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you. I like the way it looks. Do you think it would be possible to get my height requirement? I have never seen a giraffe mount so I am not sure lol
     

  16. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    I think anything is possible, look what they managed to do - to make the Wildebeest mount on the shield for me. When I look at the picture you posted the Giraffe neck looks short to me. I thinks as long as you have open dialogue with the taxidermist and ask them if the mount is going to look right, then go with that. Just be sure to find a taxidermist that know something od the shape and size of the animal. This is an area where you don't want to cut corners. It will cost you good money to get it done, make sure you've got a reputable taxidermist.

    Des...
     

  17. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Wildebeest looks good on the Damaske. I ve seen zebra but never a wildebeest . Good looking room all around. My wife wont let me put them in the living room...So I took the whole upstairs apartments instead! LOL
     

  18. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    Thanks Johnny

    I took a look at some of your trophies, some very nice stuff. I have a question regarding the trophies in what looks to be the back of a truck. They appear to be attached to the walls and floor etc... What's going on in the two photos? Is this how they were shipped to you, is this your own private sea-can type container?

    Des...
     

  19. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    Congrats sir, your trophies look amazing! BTW, those African mask look awesome too. If you don't mind me asking, where did you get them??

    BTW, I showed my wife the baboon, and she gave that look "not in my life time" type of look. I can't complaint, 6 of my 7 African trophies are in the living room of the house.
     

  20. Desingillam

    Desingillam AH Member

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    Thanks Para

    For the record, of all my trophies - the baboon is the one my wife really doesn’t have much use for. For me this is one of my favorites, it was the best shot for me – the longest and the most relaxed shot of the whole trip. Even though my wife is not fan of the baboon, she shows off my trophies just as much as I do, she loves peoples reaction to a full sized baboon on the Bombay Chest.

    As for the masks, I got them from all over and some from Canada, watching sites like EBay and Kijiji.

    Every now and then I’ll pop onto one of these sites and search “African Carvings” and you’ll be surprised what you can find. We bring a few things back, but the cost of shipping is always a killer. So, if I can find something that someone brought from Africa and paid the shipping and the price is right, I’ll buy. I have found often, these are pieces children inherited from the parents and they just want to get rid of it.

    Des...
     
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