Newbie taxidermy questions...

Heaney

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I've never had any taxidermy work done. My safari trophies were gonna be a first.

Some questions came up in another thread that I thought might better be answered here.

1) How long can capes/skins be kept at the outfitter before they need to be given to the taxidermist for dip and pack? For instance, I was there for two weeks. I'm pretty sure that the animal I shot on day two had not been sent to the local taxidermist by the time I left. I assume they were waiting to send everything at once.
2) If they are salted and in a cooler/freezer, will they be able to wait a couple weeks and still be ok for dip/pack?
3)If they are given to the taxidermist, and they are beyond ruined and beyond help, can I really on the taxidermist to tell me so before he ships everything to my guy here in the states? (I know this probably depends on the individual taxidermist in Africa). I'd hate to pay to have ruined skins/trophies shipped back just to throw them out.
4) If they arrive at dip/pack and they are trashed, would most taxidermists follow my instructions to toss them, or would they insist on shipping them since they took delivery of them?
5) How can I be sure that the skins/trophies I receive are actually mine?

I think that's all I have for now.

Thanks in advance.

Heaney
 
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Wheels

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BRICKBURN

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1) How long can capes/skins be kept at the outfitter before they need to be given to the taxidermist for dip and pack? For instance, I was there for two weeks. I'm pretty sure that the animal I shot on day two had not been sent to the local taxidermist by the time I left. I assume they were waiting to send everything at once.

They will be fine. Skinned properly and quickly, cooled and in the salt.


2) If they are salted and in a cooler/freezer, will they be able to wait a couple weeks and still be ok for dip/pack?

They will be at your outfitter in a salt shed drying, it could take a couple of weeks or more. No issues.


3)If they are given to the taxidermist, and they are beyond ruined and beyond help, can I really on the taxidermist to tell me so before he ships everything to my guy here in the states? (I know this probably depends on the individual taxidermist in Africa). I'd hate to pay to have ruined skins/trophies shipped back just to throw them out.

Obviously ruined. Ask for some pictures. Decide yourself.
Take some yourself before you ever leave for home and compare them to what the taxidermist sends you.


4) If they arrive at dip/pack and they are trashed, would most taxidermists follow my instructions to toss them, or would they insist on shipping them since they took delivery of them?

A taxidermist does not want to produce crap, the stuff would be tossed or replaced.

Dennis will tell you what he would do. Likely he'd get you another cape and mount your trophy with a quality cape.

5) How can I be sure that the skins/trophies I receive are actually mine?

Pictures of any specific markings is one thing.
Some use tags in the hide and skin.

I have marked my horns and trophies, if I really cared.

Otherwise, if you shot an run of the mill Impala, honestly, you would never know.

Anything with identifiable markings, you can tell in a heart beat. Zebra, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, etc.
 

Heaney

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Thanks. I took a picture of the nicer zebra hide. I was told their markings were unique.
 

All-American Taxidermy

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You should be fine. Basically it all starts in the field. Skinning the animals out properly and proper salt drying.

Once the taxidermist has them for dip and pack they will dip the skins in solution and they continue to dry, crated and packaged then Inspected for approval. They are then delivered to the shipping agent.

No one knows what they have till the skins go through the tanning process to be sure. Usually once the skins make it through the rehydration bath and into the pickle they are good to go. As in that stage the tanner will notice any hair loss to slippage and bug damage or grease burned skins on certain animals.

A lot of skins can be fixed from poor skinning, epidermal loss painted back in, etc.

Most issues with skins is poor skinning, improper storage with bugs having easy access to the skins and if its baking in a hot warehouse or in the sun which causes grease burn. Now even here in the U.S. animals like skunk, otter, mink, etc will grease burn as fast as a few weeks I've seen and that's in normal temp dry storage. There has been a thing going where at the dip and pack if a skin is dipped in formaldehyde solution for whatever reason - that ruins it, its still mountable, but not what taxidermists would like to deal with.

The only way to truly tell if they are your animals that you receive back is if they have shipping tags your taxidermist from back home gave you to put on your animals and they are still on there - these would be one of a kind tags with your information, etc. Other than that pictures of the animal when you got them.
 

BRICKBURN

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............... There has been a thing going where at the dip and pack if a skin is dipped in formaldehyde solution for whatever reason - that ruins it, its still mountable, but not what taxidermists would like to deal with.


Lovely, just what RSA is starting to require for importing capes and trophies.
 

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If you need any more info I'll be happy to help BUT BRICKBURN COVERED IT ALL !
The Taxidermist can tell when he dip/packs if the skin is in good condition.
ASK hm to look them over, he can tell if the ears were turned and the lips split proper
Just request that any capes he thinks are not going to tan well, throw them out if you choose
But we repair and can mount just about anything and make a nice piece from it
In 40 years and hundreds of safari's I have started counting unmountable skin for clients that I had to teach and I still have fingers I can count. GOOD taxidermists can save many a memory...Look at some of my past posts on the subject
Get in touch thru a PM or email Heaney of you need any more help, insight or questions !
Dennis
 

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Listen to Dennis Harris he can help you!
 

Heaney

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Thanks, Dennis. If I have any more questions, I will PM or email you.

Matt, the shipping tags were collected by the outfitter, at the end of the hunt, and I never actually saw them put on the animals. Guess that's another lesson learned. Thanks for the info.

Heaney
 

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On my hunt this last May all of my trophies were tagged by the skinners with my name and some other identification information, even though I had given them the laminated tags that were provided by my tannery of choice. They placed the laminated tags onto them when they took them to the dip and pack location.
 

Bhfs300

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When I went to the dip and ship company the last day they said that the laminated ones from the states were great but when they started putting them in the chemical baths etc they would just disintegrate. They used their plastic numbered tagges with your number on them. I was happy with that, the laminated ones were more for in camp and getting them to the dip and ship.
image.jpg
 

enysse

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Every one of my animals is tagged and inspected by me before I leave camp. It's my animal and ultimately it's my goal to bring the right animal home....I have never had a problem. I'm very firm with the outfitter and taxidermist.....that there should be zero mix ups.
 

jeff

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We got the wrong blue wildebeest of my wife's even though it was tagged when the taxidermist got him. After that I'm always nervous since you have really no recourse.
 

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