Pennsylvania Hunters... I need some advise, please

JKS

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Hello one and all. I am requesting help from fellow Pennsylvania hunters who have hunted Africa and had the mounts done here. I admit that I am by no means an expert hunter. I wouldn't even consider myself a novice. However, I booked a first-timer's hunt in South Africa. Being a "beginner" and wanting to check off a bucket list item, I am merely going for three animals: an impala, a blesbok and a wildebeest. Now the predicament... I am absolutely stuck with the taxidermy planning phase. I am located in Somerset County, PA (roughly a 90 minute drive east of Pittsburgh and roughly three hours drive west of Harrisburg. Can anyone recommend taxidermists around here that specialize in African game, or at least have the ability and knowledge to not ruin anything. All this of course assumes I do the dip and ship option... I am still debating that. Anyhow, I do greatly appreciate any advice that you folks may have. Thank you!
 

375Fox

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Kanati Taxidermy does really excellent work and is 3.5 hours from you, but is a bit pricey. I can recommend my taxidermist closer to Erie as well also 3.5 hours. However, what I would suggest to you is visit your local taxidermists with 1.5 hours and ask what work they have done and to see photos. Shoulder mounts on those 3 animals are not difficult mounts, I wouldn’t be concerned about a taxidermist that specializes in African game. You will be surprised how much African taxidermy has passed through many local taxidermists over years.
 

LivingTheDream

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Aaron at Artistic Visions Wildlife or Eric at Smith's Taxidermy both do a lot of African mounts.
 

Doug P

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If you are not in a big hurry to get them back you may also check about having the work done in Africa. Ask your PH if they recommend anybody and do your research on it.I have seen a lot of work that has been done there and it was very good and it is on par with the prices here. Just a suggestion but never hurts to look into it.
 

jduckhunter

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Jerry's Taxidermy in Abbottstown, PA. He has been to Africa several times and has done and is doing a bunch of African animals.
 

ArmyAV8tor

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JKS...I am in Blair County. PM me and we can talk.
 

enysse

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Kanati Taxidermy does excellent work!
 

meigsbucks

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A guy that worked for me out of Pittsburgh uses a guy in Poland, OH: Ron Blinsky.
 

BTB Joe

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I think Zimmerman Wildlife in Martinsburg does African mounts. I haven’t used them but know a lot of folks who have done North American game and like their work. They’re not far from you to check out.
I’ve had work done in Namibia and South Africa. Some were better than others... none I’d call outstanding. A guy in Butler did good work for me but he retired. I’ll be checking Zimmerman Wildlife for myself next time. Good luck!
 

C.W. Richter

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Greetings: (NEPA here but my son attends UPITT)...your trophies will undoubtedly fly into JFK/NYC and will clear customs via Flora & Fauna. You can have a taxidermist in the tri-state (PA/NY/NJ) area pick them up for you and perform the work OR it has to get shipped to your selected taxidermist. When I have huge loads of raw trophies, they get shipped directly to a tannery and then the taxidermist. Everyone ships UPS or Fedex today using heavy cardboard boxes in lieu of the old wooden crates (sparing expense.) You can have any reputable taxidermist perform the work and it'll be delivered to your door. PM me and I assure you i'll recommend the best/cheapest course of action. Good luck!
 

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Have you considered possibly just having your capes wet tanned and frozen then spreading the taxidermy out over a couple years? You could hang skulls on wall as a euro mount in the mean time. You could add another animal or two to your hunt. You have a lot of fixed costs to get there and get your animals home already such as flying, clearing your trophies to the USA, shipping somewhat because same box could likely accommodate more animals. Just seems like a very long ways to go for only 3 animals and what will probably only be 2 days hunting.
 

JKS

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I know it's not a ton of animals. And yes, it is a quick four day hunt, so i can't imagine shooting more animals would even be very likely. Unfortunately, I'm extremely limited by vacation time. I get a whopping 7 vacation days per calendar year. I'm going over our 4th of July holiday in order to minimize the damage, so to speak. As far as foreseeable costs, I currently have enough cash saved up for the hunting package cost, assuming I shoot the three quoted animals and my airfare has been paid for. I've never considered the tanning and freezing method as I am incredibly new to all of this. That's why I'm here seeking advice. I also know little to nothing regarding the importation and customs procedures for taxidermy or skulls and capes. To handle that I will probably enlist the services of Trophy Shippers or a similar company. That is still being considered.
 

375Fox

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I know it's not a ton of animals. And yes, it is a quick four day hunt, so i can't imagine shooting more animals would even be very likely. Unfortunately, I'm extremely limited by vacation time. I get a whopping 7 vacation days per calendar year. I'm going over our 4th of July holiday in order to minimize the damage, so to speak. As far as foreseeable costs, I currently have enough cash saved up for the hunting package cost, assuming I shoot the three quoted animals and my airfare has been paid for. I've never considered the tanning and freezing method as I am incredibly new to all of this. That's why I'm here seeking advice. I also know little to nothing regarding the importation and customs procedures for taxidermy or skulls and capes. To handle that I will probably enlist the services of Trophy Shippers or a similar company. That is still being considered.
Your outfitter will deliver your animals to a taxidermy for dip and pack or taxidermy, your choice. Probably $150 per animal for dip and pack, ask for a price list. The taxidermy will deliver your trophies to a shipping agent, they may or may not give you options. It will probably be around $400-500 for a small crate. Trophy shippers will take care of clearing your trophies another $500 and then final shipping to your taxidermy probably another $300 for a small crate. Yes, you can talk to a taxidermist, but wet tanning and freezing your capes can last many years until you’re actually ready to pay for taxidermy.
 

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Don't do them in Africa. Check on here the horror stories about taxidermy gone bad! I was a victim of that scam, and got screwed royally. Not saying all African taxidermy is bad, but be careful, you are just a number and they are more concerned on quantity vs. quality. With your taxidermy done in African, you are done once you pay them. Here in the US, you have a fighting chance. Just my 2 cents.
 

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While it isn't part of the taxidermy if you haven't looked at a importer start checking them out now.

While you can do it yourself the importer will do away with the headaches of dealing with the shipping and clearing customs here in the US and in the end your crates will be delivered to your taxidermist of choice.

They are well worth the money that they charge. I used one that is no longer a sponsor here, they are Safari Specialty Importers, you also have Trophy Shippers who are a sponsor here on the forum..
 

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