Really enjoyed your report Bivy. Congrats on a great hunt, great trip, and here's to your continued happiness with your fiancee! Thanks for the fantastic pics. Ain't Namibia a great place?
Sounds like you got a heck of a deal on the shipping and customs. I got a quote for five shoulder mounts from namibia to Denver, and the shipping and import fees came to around $3000. My taxidermy fees will be close to this, also.UPDATE: My crate has landed in the U.S.
It arrived ~10 days ago and import was handled by the Chicago office of Coppersmith with Mike Lewis being the representative.
Total cost billed from Coppersmith = $788.67
This breaks down to $544.67 (Import/Clearing Charges) and $244.00 (Shipping to tannery C.O. Artistry of Wildlife)
I found this to be reasonable; particularly after hearing some of the exorbitant rates charged recently for customs clearing. Additionally, Mike was great to work with and was quick to respond to questions and concerns from an 'import rookie.'
The crate cleared US Customs in 2-3 days, was shipped Wednesday from Chicago, and arrived Friday at Dennis' tannery of choice.
Dennis has been great to deal with. I'm extremely impressed that someone so absorbed by the art of taxidermy is so prompt at answering my emails.
My finished skins and skulls could be heading to Montana as early as late this week, and Dennis will retain the kudu (wall pedestal) and hartebeest (shoulder mount). Can't wait to see the finished product.
SIDE NOTE: I'm going back...
Slightly sooner than anticipated, but I purchased an auction hunt offered by Cabassa Safaris at the local SCI banquet. I will be returning as a 'Safari Sophomore' and bringing a buddy on his first African experience sometime during May 2017. This hunt will take place in the Free State of South Africa and be conducted on the Sandveld Nature Reserve. We will bird hunt for a few days followed by 5-6 days chasing plainsgame. I am especially looking forward to hunting one of the massive eland bulls the reserve is known for.
I have been in communication with Hardus multiple times over the years, and as a result I lack the apprehension I would in purchasing an auction hunt with an unknown company. I look forward to visiting the continent again and reporting back with photos and a detailed hunt report about a new part of the world and a new company.