My Zambian Buffalo Mount (am I being too picky)

cls

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It's has been more than 3 years since I shot my Cape Buffalo in Zambia, 1 year to ship and 2 years at the taxidermist. I have been requesting pictures during the process but other than one when the horns were mounted to the form I hadn't received any until they e-mailed me to say the mount was ready to ship and that is when I came a little unglued about what they had done. The face is fine it is what they have done to the horns, He has more or less told me he has mounted 30+ buffalo and I am the first to complain and he knows what he is doing. All I want is something that resembles what I shot. I was about ready to tell him to cram the whole issue up his ass. You guys be the judge, am I being too picky?

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This was the first try,
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Second try after I tried to explain to him what the horns should have looked like. He has all my field pictures.
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Last try this morning, other than adding color with an airbrush don't see much of a change.
20201109_141503 (3).jpg


So am I being too picky.
Thanks
 

WAB

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No you are not. That is really too bad. Unfortunately your buff’s boss wasn’t fully hard so some buildup had to be done. However the end result doesn’t look anything like what you shot. If you will be hunting buff again I would pedestal mount the horns and use. Different taxidermist on the next one.
 

375Fox

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No you’re not being too picky, it’s your buffalo. But I don’t think the issue is with the horns it is how they are painted. You could take it to a local taxidermy to try and do some touch ups to get what you want to represent it accurately the way you got it. I was unhappy with my buffalo mount when I first saw it, it was too pretty. I had them highlight all the scars and grey up the face. They were much happier with final result too once they saw difference. Only difference between these photos is paint. It’s this reason I like using a local taxidermy, you can inspect your work before you pick it up. Hopefully these photos are good enough to show the difference.
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buck wild

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Could you be more SPECIFIC about what you do not like? The added horn instead of the smoother skin leading up to the bosses? The color? That will help with determining a strategy to fix your issue.
 
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sestoppelman

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The first try, not too good. He tried to build up the bosses which were not tight on that bull and just made it look like a hat.
When he quit trying to make it look like the bosses were joined, I think the 3rd look is actually pretty good considering what you started with. To me it looks pretty close to your bull on the ground, I would be content with that were it mine, its a big improvement over the first try.
Its a battle scarred old greybeard.
 

Mort Hill

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Friend, I don’t think you are being too picky at all. When I look at the field picture, and then the mount, and back and forth a dozen times, I see two different buffalo. IMHO he missed the whole point that the bosses never met. It seems he has not achieved the goal of the buff’s brow melding back into the area between the bosses, but has intentionally or unintentionally built up that area to appear as boss.

I have an old warrior buff who’s bosses did not meet(no two are alike, but just for comparison). As you can see in the pic, there is a definite “gap” between the boss. I guess it is just skin with paint, or filler and a little hair up the back, but this old guy is worn smooth. His teeth were virtually nubs. Again, you are the paying client. It’s been three years, so I would wait until I got what I wanted.

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IMG_2157.JPG
 

cls

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Could you be more SPECIFIC about what you do not like? The added horn instead of the smoother skin leading up to the bosses? The color? That will help with determining a strategy to fix your issue.
Thanks, you called it, has built up a boss that was never there and never would be. There is a ridge around the boss then down to the skin across his forehead that ridge is still there on the raw horns. He's trying to add something that was never there. It's like trying to add brow tines to a mulie that never had them.
 

Randy F

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It’s your dime and your bull, you’re supposed to be picky. And I don’t think you’re being overly picky. The last pic is definitely an improvement but I agree with @Mort Hill that he didn’t quite get the separation right or the brow meld. I also agree with @375Fox that a little paint will go along way.
My 2 cents
 

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I think another thing to consider is a lot of taxidermists want to make things look nice. I had to really stress to mine that I wanted it to look as ugly and rough as day I shot it.
 

CBH Australia

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Exactly
I think another thing to consider is a lot of taxidermists want to make things look nice. I had to really stress to mine that I wanted it to look as ugly and rough as day I shot it.
Exactly, my thoughts were it looked to be smiling in the first try. I’ve seen Buffalo in Africa. They do not smile.
If I paid to shoot one I want it to look mean and nasty and I would want it to look just like the one I shot.
 

johnnyblues

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You have every right to be disappointed in my opinion. Firstly I would NEVER EVER wait that long for a mount to be returned. For me one year is too long but that’s another subject. I completely agree it certainly does not look like you field photos. I personally would not accept delivery on it. Wishing you good luck in resolving this .
 

cls

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Thanks all, wasn't getting anywhere with the taxidermist seems he knows more than me on what it should look like. Decided to just have it shipped to me, will deal with it when it gets here next couple weeks.
 

PeteG

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It's has been more than 3 years since I shot my Cape Buffalo in Zambia, 1 year to ship and 2 years at the taxidermist. I have been requesting pictures during the process but other than one when the horns were mounted to the form I hadn't received any until they e-mailed me to say the mount was ready to ship and that is when I came a little unglued about what they had done. The face is fine it is what they have done to the horns, He has more or less told me he has mounted 30+ buffalo and I am the first to complain and he knows what he is doing. All I want is something that resembles what I shot. I was about ready to tell him to cram the whole issue up his ass. You guys be the judge, am I being too picky?

View attachment 375165View attachment 375166View attachment 375167

This was the first try,
View attachment 375170

Second try after I tried to explain to him what the horns should have looked like. He has all my field pictures.
View attachment 375171

Last try this morning, other than adding color with an airbrush don't see much of a change.
View attachment 375172

So am I being too picky.
Thanks
Unfortunately that result is quite disappointing.
final version is much better than the first and would be ok, if you hadn’t shown the pics of the buff on the ground.
hope you end up happy
 

buck wild

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A bastard file will go a long way in making this right, with a little filler, dirt and glue I think it could come close to original.
 

PARA45

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I'll have to say that this taxidermist sucks at taking pictures, let alone working on buffalo. The first picture looks like the buffalo has a helmet on, the last picture looks much better than the other ones but the angle doesn't help. I feel your pain, and I've been in your shoes. Hopefully you can resolve this issue. Oh, and never take a another trophy to this taxidermist.
 

spoonieduck

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It's has been more than 3 years since I shot my Cape Buffalo in Zambia, 1 year to ship and 2 years at the taxidermist. I have been requesting pictures during the process but other than one when the horns were mounted to the form I hadn't received any until they e-mailed me to say the mount was ready to ship and that is when I came a little unglued about what they had done. The face is fine it is what they have done to the horns, He has more or less told me he has mounted 30+ buffalo and I am the first to complain and he knows what he is doing. All I want is something that resembles what I shot. I was about ready to tell him to cram the whole issue up his ass. You guys be the judge, am I being too picky?

View attachment 375165View attachment 375166View attachment 375167

This was the first try,
View attachment 375170

Second try after I tried to explain to him what the horns should have looked like. He has all my field pictures.
View attachment 375171

Last try this morning, other than adding color with an airbrush don't see much of a change.
View attachment 375172

So am I being too picky.
Thanks
Hopefully, you have multiple measurements on the just-killed bull. It's difficult to tell from photos but I'm suspicious that the horn configuration has changed. Yes, there will be shrinkage from the usual drying, but this looks more than this. Compare the maximum width on your mounted bull now with the maximum width on your just-killed bull. If it is more than an inch or two less, the skull may have been split and repositioned.

I have a problem like this is a British Columbian moose that was 55 inches maximum width when killed. The mount is now 48 inches and the antlers have 'leaned' inward. This means that almost all the 'shrinkage' was in the skull plate which seems unlikely in an intact skull. My guess is that the skull plate was split to aid in transport. It was likely repositioned correctly but, with time, has shrunk in a way to cause the antlers to lean in.
 

Randy F

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@cls
Just curious if you received your mount and, if so, what your verdict was on seeing it in person.
?
 

Kevin Peacocke

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In my opinion it has a funny shaped head, too wide in the forehead part, makes it look like a sharper nose. It is so sad to be disappointed in a trophy, but if indeed it isn't correct when you see it, bear in mind that all the taxidermist uses are your horns and cape, the head former is a glass casting. So actually not impossible to peel off the cape and re-do the lot. Starting with a bad mount, your taxidermist will be in a strong position to get it right. Very nice buff in the real though, well done.
 

cls

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@cls
Just curious if you received your mount and, if so, what your verdict was on seeing it in person.
?
The mount did arrive last month but is still crated in the garage. I want to hang it before I make any conclusions. Will post pictures once I get it on the wall. Thanks.
 

cls

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Well after 3 1/12 years of waiting and suffering through covid for 3 weeks before Christmas I finally had my son in law come by and help me hang my buffalo and Chobe bushbuck. Still not overly happy with the buffalo mount but I can live with it once I do some touchup with the airbrush. The bushbuck looks very good except for the fact that it is facing the opposite direction to the one requested. I even sent pictures of my Limpopo bushbuck to show the proper orientation. When I questioned them prior to shipping they told me it was due to the angle the picture was taken. I asked for more pictures and the only response that I received was it was ready to ship.. I would never use these guys again. Hands down I would have my animals done in Africa after the problems I had with these guys. All the complaints I have seen regarding African taxidermists apply to these guys. Long deliveries, poor or no response to e-mails or phone calls, progress pictures that were requested of the mounts non-existent until threats made then only one picture sent of each mount. Arguing over how the animal should be presented etc, etc. I finally got tired of arguing and just had them shipped.
Here's a couple pictures of the finished buff. Will take picture of the bushbuck tonight and post later.
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IMG_20210117_113140.jpg
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IMG_20210117_113602 (1).jpg
 

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