Not keeping trophies on first plains game hunt?

Houlainol

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I am taking my first trip to Africa in April '18. I have chosen an outfitter.

This is the bag included with my hunt:
Kudu
Blesbok
Springbok
Impala
duiker
warthog

I am planning out all the finances and I got a quote for a shoulder mount on the Kudu and euro mounts on everything else. I will do without at the price I was quoted. The skull mounts averaged about $300 each (minus the warthog) and the kudu shoulder mount was $1600 and I got a shipping estimate of $1000 give or take.

I simply can not afford to spend that amount on taxidermy.

The level of experience on africahunting is mind blowing. I would like to know some thoughts on forgoing the taxidermy altogether. My house is too small for a Trophy room and my man cave is my new pick up so I don't really have the room for them either but I must say a $2500 or so tab for 4/5 skull mounts shipped is my first reason for asking this question AND that is skipping the shoulder mount on the kudu.

Any tips on memorable pictures in lieu of mounts? Can I ship the horns only? Trophies are way down my list of "wants" for this hunt if that matters.

It really seems there is a "new" added cost around every corner hunting in Africa and these costs are in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Gun permits, flights, secondary flights, taxidermy, shipping, weight restrictions, baggage fees, tipping, insurance, layovers etc etc. The hunt is the cheapest part of the trip it seems.
 

Mark Urbanczyk

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Where in Africa are you hunting? I just completed my first safari in SA and have quotes for 2 shoulder mounts, some European mounts in shields and some tanned hides for around the price you were quoted for your skulls.
 

Royal27

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All depends on you.

You'll find guys here that wouldn't shoot an animal they couldn't bring home and mount, and others that don't do taxidermy at all. Most of us are somewhere in the middle...

Do some more searching and get some more quotes. Also, remember that any taxidermy can be somewhat of a deferred cost as you'll pay for it later than the actual safari. You can also just have the Cape tanned and do taxidermy even later. There are lots of options.

Pictures are certainly an option and on many of the animal's you could just do the horns, but I doubt you'd save as much on the shipping that way as you might think.

This area deserves as much research as the hunt. Prices and quality vary wildly, and any savings in having the work done in Africa is often eaten up with extra shipping, for generally inferior work.
 
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Mark Urbanczyk

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Check out Highveld Taxidermy or Universal, both quoted me prices under $300 per skull. I'm having a Blesbuck shoulder mounted for $598 and a Gemsbuck for about $200 more!
 

Pheroze

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I had no intention to do anything but Euro mounts because of cost...until standing over my Kudu it dawned on me just how incredible these animals are. Photos may be perfect for you. But, don't make up your mind until you have to. $1600 amortized over a lifetime is negligible.
 

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Buy a nice dslr that can do pictures and video. Learn to use it well. Make a cool mini video of the hunt. Forget about taxidermy. Thats my .02. That being said, i do have a room full of taxidermy and looking at mounts takes me back....but it is expensive and now id much rather hunt more and not do any taxidermy.
 

Mark Urbanczyk

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Buy a nice dslr that can do pictures and video. Learn to use it well. Make a cool mini video of the hunt. Forget about taxidermy. Thats my .02. That being said, i do have a room full of taxidermy and looking at mounts takes me back....but it is expensive and now id much rather hunt more and not do any taxidermy.

My next trip to Africa I will probably do less as well, but for a first trip I felt the need to export some stuff!
 

sierraone

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I am leaving in 6 weeks and will only do photos at this time. My intentions are that any animal I take, I will have 5-10 photos made with 1--different poses and 2-different people, tracker, PH, outfitter, or anyone else that is on the hunt. After I return home, I will decide which ones to make into 8x11 hard copies or possibly larger. They will have their own section on my photo walls, next to kids, grand-kids and archaeology. I, like the OP don't have room for wall mounts, and much prefer to use that taxidermy, shipping money and import broker fees for another hunt, whether it be Africa, Canada or the U.S. Just my opinion.
Would like to add that with the exception of posting on the AH forum with a hunt report, these pics will only be sent to close hunting friends and family.
 

lwaters

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I do enjoy my shoulder mounts but I wonder what my heirs will think of them.
 

Hutch01

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Remember this...After you have completed your hunt, it will take another couple months to receive your trophies stateside and another 6-12 months for taxidermy. I hate to see someone complete a plains game hunt which is the best value in the hunting world and not have some taxidermy done. Most taxidermy studios will work with you and complete the trophies on a 'as you can afford basis'. You could stretch it over couple years.
 

sierraone

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I do enjoy my shoulder mounts but I wonder what my heirs will think of them.
Let me tell you what may happen to them. All is dependent upon your family at the time of your death. I have a friend that has been doing just this for many years. When the original owner has passed on, if the family has no interest in your mounts and your fine guns also, if you are a man of means, my friend is called and he will travel anywhere in the U. S. to inspect the mounts and the firearms. After doing so he makes a money offer to family members or head of the estate depending on the situation. If they accept, writes them a check for all of the property. He will already have a buyer normally for the mounts. For firearms, he may either put them in his shop, or in the case of high end guns such as Purdeys, Westleys or Rigbys and such, they go to either Westley Richards U.S. or to Gordy and Sons in Houston. There are always exceptions to the rule. But in general he has a buyer before he ever makes an offer.
 
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Mekaniks

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Negotiate with your taxidermist. Trade the capes for euro skulls and you pay only for shipping.
 

Mark Urbanczyk

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Correct me if I'm wrong but do you not get charged the 14% VAT in South Africa for any trophies that are left behind?
 

akeate

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What about having things made of the horns and cape? Somewhat cheaper. Horns carved, pillow of capes, etc. When you go back, and you will go back, swing by the taxidermist and pick up the stuff. Tuck it in your bag and bring it home. No shipping. And it all has pretty low value to bring it in the country. A pen from kudu horn is one of my favorite. 100 bucks and I carried it back home.
 

ack

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I am taking my first trip to Africa in April '18. I have chosen an outfitter.

This is the bag included with my hunt:
Kudu
Blesbok
Springbok
Impala
duiker
warthog

I am planning out all the finances and I got a quote for a shoulder mount on the Kudu and euro mounts on everything else. I will do without at the price I was quoted. The skull mounts averaged about $300 each (minus the warthog) and the kudu shoulder mount was $1600 and I got a shipping estimate of $1000 give or take.

I simply can not afford to spend that amount on taxidermy.

The level of experience on africahunting is mind blowing. I would like to know some thoughts on forgoing the taxidermy altogether. My house is too small for a Trophy room and my man cave is my new pick up so I don't really have the room for them either but I must say a $2500 or so tab for 4/5 skull mounts shipped is my first reason for asking this question AND that is skipping the shoulder mount on the kudu.

Any tips on memorable pictures in lieu of mounts? Can I ship the horns only? Trophies are way down my list of "wants" for this hunt if that matters.

It really seems there is a "new" added cost around every corner hunting in Africa and these costs are in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Gun permits, flights, secondary flights, taxidermy, shipping, weight restrictions, baggage fees, tipping, insurance, layovers etc etc. The hunt is the cheapest part of the trip it seems.
****** Do a cull hunt ,cheap...Also all European as they have to be cleaned and dipped before shipping here so they are pretty much done 'cept for a back board...You do have to have a reciever here and Feds charge to inspect as box is opened,not too bad..Take good photos and frame with skull mounts..We brough trophies 1st trip but now shoot culls and snap a photo...The xperience is everything ..Cull prices are dirt cheap comparitive.
 

ActionBob

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Agree with several suggestions above. On two of my hunts, the PH's were pretty much professional photographers. The first having a rag and water to wash every trace of blood off. On that hunt, posing for pictures was far and away the most dangerous part of the whole trip. Got picked and poked by several varieties of flora;)

As for skull mounts, it is expensive to get Euro mounts. Alternatively simply have skulls cleaned and bleached. Half or less the cost. Mount them yourself or simply by the Skullhooker hooks.

Be aware of the VAT, clarify with your outfitter and inquire about the PH's photography skills and patience. Have curios made is a great suggestion also. Especially with non cities animals.
 

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