Shipping Trophies has Gotten Outlandish

Leaving trophies in South Africa or Namibia will mean paying a 15% VAT on trophy fee. If it’s paying to leave them there or paying to bring them home, I’ll be bringing them home.
Really ? I brought a few trophies home once. Learnt my lesson. I’ve never been charged a 15% vat fee on anything since.
 
I only do Euro-mounts, save money and space on my walls for more trophies :giggle:
 
Really ? I brought a few trophies home once. Learnt my lesson. I’ve never been charged a 15% vat fee on anything since.
You can decide for yourself. I’ll assume outfitter is doing some creative paperwork or it was already included in your quote. Most outfitters I see state VAT will be charged on wounded and lost or non-exported animals. I haven’t reached the point yet where I’ve seriously considered leaving trophies at the time. 5 years later there have been more than a few I wish I would have saved some money.
 
I’ve got stuff from 2 trips last year coming this way. The Zim shipment cleared last week. You can’t leave exportable ivory and two top 10 animals…that’s just wrong. However I have 2 trips this year and will probably not bring anything back. I will probably take only photos until I get that leopard someday.
 
Question - doesn’t FedEx service South Africa? Seems that a global shipping company may be more price competitive than some of the other options.
 
Question - doesn’t FedEx service South Africa? Seems that a global shipping company may be more price competitive than some of the other options.
It’s really not the shipping that is that expensive. It’s the overall process. You can get multiple quotes from different shippers. The real unknown is clearing once it arrives at a port of entry in US. It needs US fish wildlife and USDA clearances on their timeline. It’s not a simple as sending a package from point A to point B with FedEx.
 
One important consideration is that if you do not bring back skins/heads it really could change the way you hunt. Sure you can still chase the biggest heads but it makes the non-trophy hunts more appealing. For example, the big ivory is amazing but the experience is the REAL trophy. I've taken my 50# ivory so future ele hunts will be for more tuskless or non-exportable ele at much lower rates.

Consider more non-trophy hunts at lower rates and if you do less shipping/taxidermy you can return more often. I'm definitely going to do more with the photo journal book idea.
 
I’m in exactly the same boat. Any trophies I bring home at this point must be exceptional and are almost exclusively European mounts. My wife is an excellent photographer and accompanies me on all my trips. I like photos on canvas. Here are a couple on my office wall.

View attachment 608049
I am the same with a few exceptions…otherwise I built a hut album of pictures using a good camera. For example, shortly I will have both my Rhino and elephant wall pictures done in oil like my lion back. I do have three exceptions; my elephant tusks on pedestals , A full body mount of my leopard if I get him in 25 and a new Blue Wildebeest rug to replace my worn out office zebra rug
 
Shutterfly They have a custom option to build your own which is what I use. There are lots of layout options.


Photo Journals
I use them as well. Easy and inexpensive
 
This doesn't help with shipping but it does save a step and money. If your taxidermist will go for this, and I hope most would because most don't do the tanning anyway.
If you have back skins take those to your taxidermist and ask what he thinks of the quality, and if he can mount if you have them tanned in Africa. Cuts out the dip part of dip and ship and your importing finished product.
Now you have to hope everything form that taxidermist is same quality as what you showed your taxidermist and it should work.
This is how I'm going to do it next trip.
 
Glad I wasn't the only one with this problem.

My son and I did a hunt in Namibia last Septermber.

8 animals total (2 springbok (skull mount), 2 gemsbok (skull mount), 1 blue wildebeest (skull mount), 1 kudu (hide and horns for USA taxidermy) and 2 zebra (tanned skins).

Total to ship (NOT including tanning)?

$4500

I could have bought the crate a business class seat to NYC (where I'm picking it up)!

Next time, we'll just take photos and leave everything with the outfitter.
 
Botswana ele taxidermist fees for handling, dip/pack, vet certificates, South Africa in-transit permit, SA handling fees, shipping to SA and shipping from SA to Chicago for two crates was $4177 for 151 pounds of tusks plus crate and skin panels and two rear feet plus crate. For two heavy crates, I didn’t think it was too bad.
 
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Glad I wasn't the only one with this problem.

My son and I did a hunt in Namibia last Septermber.

8 animals total (2 springbok (skull mount), 2 gemsbok (skull mount), 1 blue wildebeest (skull mount), 1 kudu (hide and horns for USA taxidermy) and 2 zebra (tanned skins).

Total to ship (NOT including tanning)?

$4500

I could have bought the crate a business class seat to NYC (where I'm picking it up)!

Next time, we'll just take photos and leave everything with the outfitter.
Most US taxidermist want nothing to do with African tanning processes
 
This doesn't help with shipping but it does save a step and money. If your taxidermist will go for this, and I hope most would because most don't do the tanning anyway.
If you have back skins take those to your taxidermist and ask what he thinks of the quality, and if he can mount if you have them tanned in Africa. Cuts out the dip part of dip and ship and your importing finished product.
Now you have to hope everything form that taxidermist is same quality as what you showed your taxidermist and it should work.
This is how I'm going to do it next trip.
Will your taxidermist do this for you? Several I’ve spoke to have strongly suggested against it. I’ve got a friend that owns a big studio on the other side of the country that does a lot of African work and he explained the tanning process and materials used in Africa are very different than here in the states. For the most part it’s a significantly lesser quality and he hates trying to do this so someone can save a couple bucks on something they’ve ultimately invested a couple thousand into. He equates it to buying the cheapest ammo possible for your bucket list hunt.

I know of multiple taxidermists who won’t work on stuff done like this or will charge an extra fee because it requires extra work on their part. Rehydrating capes/skins, re-tanning at times, lips and ears not turned or split correctly. The exceptions I’ve found/been told about are rugs and/or leather goods (elephant, hippo, etc). Your taxidermist is attaching their name and reputation to your memories and want full control of it. They don’t want to have one hand tied behind their back in doing so when you’ll blame them if you don’t like the work which they were likely restricted to based on the tanning work done.

@gizmo anything to add?
 
Will your taxidermist do this for you? Several I’ve spoke to have strongly suggested against it. I’ve got a friend that owns a big studio on the other side of the country that does a lot of African work and he explained the tanning process and materials used in Africa are very different than here in the states. For the most part it’s a significantly lesser quality and he hates trying to do this so someone can save a couple bucks on something they’ve ultimately invested a couple thousand into. He equates it to buying the cheapest ammo possible for your bucket list hunt.

I know of multiple taxidermists who won’t work on stuff done like this or will charge an extra fee because it requires extra work on their part. Rehydrating capes/skins, re-tanning at times, lips and ears not turned or split correctly. The exceptions I’ve found/been told about are rugs and/or leather goods (elephant, hippo, etc). Your taxidermist is attaching their name and reputation to your memories and want full control of it. They don’t want to have one hand tied behind their back in doing so when you’ll blame them if you don’t like the work which they were likely restricted to based on the tanning work done.

@gizmo anything to add?
Yes, i will find out how it goes after my 2025, trip. i get it has its risks, the way the taxidermist skins and takes care of the face during tanning and shipping might screw the idea up, but I'm going to try it for my 2025 trip. I also get where one might not want to do this with a 65+ kudu but your impala, blesbok or your second of something be ok. if your local taxidermist has seen and touched tanned hides from your Africa taxidermist and thinks he can do it, try it, I guess. never know tell you try.
 
Yes, i will find out how it goes after my 2025, trip. i get it has its risks, the way the taxidermist skins and takes care of the face during tanning and shipping might screw the idea up, but I'm going to try it for my 2025 trip. I also get where one might not want to do this with a 65+ kudu but your impala, blesbok or your second of something be ok. if your local taxidermist has seen and touched tanned hides from your Africa taxidermist and thinks he can do it, try it, I guess. never know tell you try.
I've only ever used the same taxidermist in Africa once across my multiple safaris which is somewhat due to hunting several different countries. When I hunt Zimbabwe again, I'll use Colletts once again but I guess having samples of those tanned backskins will be the issue since I'm not normally asking for backskins.
 
I am the same with a few exceptions…otherwise I built a hut album of pictures using a good camera. For example, shortly I will have both my Rhino and elephant wall pictures done in oil like my lion back. I do have three exceptions; my elephant tusks on pedestals , A full body mount of my leopard if I get him in 25 and a new Blue Wildebeest rug to replace my worn out office zebra rug
Could you post photos here of your paintings? Who does the work and is it similar cost as taxidermy?
 
Really ? I brought a few trophies home once. Learnt my lesson. I’ve never been charged a 15% vat fee on anything since.
Unfortunately any animal shot that is not exported will incur VAT tax in Namibia and I believe RSA.. That includes a wounded animal (just to add insult to injury).. Don't ask how I know that :-(
 
my shipment just arrive here last week from the East Cape. used Lauriston Taxidermists (never again) bad communication and lack of it, my Sable looks horrible, looks like they glued the hide in place all along the neck by the mane and not sewn looks like he is scar burned. they never even told me the crate size or weight so I could get some estimates just got an email from Badger Cargo that they had it and wanted 3200.00 to sent it to Chicago on Turkish Airlines because of the Euro Buffalo and charged me 86 pounds more weight than the Airline said it weighed. the price for storage was to be 348.00 per day at Turkish waiting for agriculture to clear but only was charged 397.00 for 4 days got lucky, then over to Coppersmiths for another 3 weeks to clear Fish and Wildlife and Customs. then have it delivered to my house in So Dakota. total cost including storage, clearing and Coppersmiths fees and truck company was 1900.00 I guess that was not to bad. but never Lauriston Taxidermy ever again, just pictures unless it is a huge trophy and then only Euro mount or pictures next year. sorry for being so long
 
Wow...sorry to hear it and on a sable of all things. Sad.
 

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