Splitting Image Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by M Whitley, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. M Whitley

    M Whitley New Member

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    My first safari is in July 2019 with Bullet Safaris. I have been interviewing and comparing taxidermist both domestic and in S Africa. I am hunting plains game and will have a combination of shoulder and pedestal mounts. I would also like all back skins tanned for other projects.

    My intention is to get first hand experiences and pictures of work done by Splitting Image in S Africa.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
     

  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    So your first safari is with Nathan Askew of @Bullet Safaris in Tanzania? If so, you're considering to have the hides/skulls leave one African country for another, have the work done in RSA, and then leave again I'm presuming for the USA?

    This seems complicated and more costly than I think it needs to be. Have you spoke to Nathan about this?
     

  3. M Whitley

    M Whitley New Member

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    Phil, I have known Nathan personally most of my life and he is setting up my trip to S Africa. Nathan will not be my PH but the trip is booked with Bullet
     

  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I see, less complicated than what I was thinking. Regarding Spitting Image, can't comment as I know nothing about them.
     

  5. Vanguard2279

    Vanguard2279 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I was very happy with the work done by Splitting Image Taxidermy for my Eastern Cape hunt in April 2017. Beautiful mounts and quality of work. My only issue is that they prefer to use Badger Cargo. Badger can't take a credit card (I hate wire transfers) and were expensive. I asked for and received a quote from Oxi-logistics based on weight and dimensions of my crate and they would have been $600 cheaper.
    You might consider having the work done in the JNB area. Highveld was fantastic to deal with and did great work for me.
     

  6. M Whitley

    M Whitley New Member

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    Thanks for the info Vanguard what was your turn around time with Splitting Image for your April of 2017 work?
     

  7. Hunting Sailor

    Hunting Sailor SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Since you’re planning to use an Eastern Cape Taxidermist, perhaps you can check Taxidermy Africa in Humansdorp about 1 hr drive from Port Elizabeth, but they arrange pickups from all over Southern Africa, at least they used to.
    They’ve done a lot of work for me and I’m very pleased with them. I don’t know about the shipping cost, but that shouldn’t be any difference regardless of where in the Eastern Cape you do the work.

    Regardless of who you choose to use, check the references that they give you as well as the ones they don’t give you.
    Taxidermy work is often an item of dispute and the homework ahead of the hunt may save a lot of head ache after the hunt.

    Good luck and welcome to South Africa.
     

  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You'll pay to treat and then export from TZ and then pay to import into RSA.
    Then pay again to export the finished goods from RSA and then import them into home country.
    Really look into all the costs in your comparison.
    (I've done the multiple import process. PIA)
     

  9. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    He’s not. See his reply to me.
     
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  10. M Whitley

    M Whitley New Member

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    Brickburn: Thanks but the hunt is taking place in SA. I should have clarified better in my original post.
     

  11. Vanguard2279

    Vanguard2279 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    @M Whitley : I guess that part slipped by me as well. I don't know where you are hunting, so Splitting Image may in fact be the most convenient. The raw materials would have arrived at Splitting Image in early May. The mounts were done by mid-February and I had a crate in my drive-way on 03/08/18.
     

  12. M Whitley

    M Whitley New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
     

  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    My reading skills could stand a buff up apparently. :)
     
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  14. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Sorry but I for one can not recommend them. Had my cape buffalo cape get back here in very poor shape. PM me for further detail's if you like on the problem with my other capes. My advise is stay away. Hunters and Collectors from my understanding does a very good job for their clients. That is who my PH recommended but I went with Splitting Image because my importer suggested them. Mistake.
     

  15. steve newcombe [uk]

    steve newcombe [uk] AH Senior Member

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    Do yourself a big big favour and have your trophies mounted back home.
     
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  16. Bullet Safaris

    Bullet Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Enthusiast

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    Hi - all good information here and I wish to add to it.
    Taxidermist and shipping agents and importers (just like PH's) are definitely a personal preference. Provided the bad apples, scams and unfortunate problems are out of the equation it really is a Blonde or Brunette question... Each client should choose their own after their own research is complete.

    Some clients are looking for the best - some are looking for the cheapest - some are looking for the fastest - some are looking for custom work - some could care less and are just looking for the next hunt! My experience is below and is generalized of course.

    RSA: if you hunt in this country you have 2 options. dip and pack of raw trophies to your taxidermist in the USA or the work can be done in RSA.
    20 to 15 to 10 years ago the average hunter would save about 15% at the end of the day (all costs factored in) by mounting your stuff in South Africa...shipping and agents/clearing costs seemed to be cheaper and for sure the cost of the actual taxidermy work done in RSA was definitely cheaper and was the bulk of the savings. there were only a few good taxidermist at that time that could be judged by most to be on the same level as your average American taxidermist. So if you had a good link to the right guy in RSA then you would be time and money ahead by doing your taxidermy there.
    Now fast forward to present day - there are many good taxidermist in RSA. They do great work in general, with modern forms and great materials. They know the animals, they can solve problems and they get it done fast and on your wall fast. Problem is they are all pretty much the same price as American shops now.
    I think you still save a little by doing the work in RSA but not near as much as you used to. The only real advantage now is the time it takes to get your trophy on your wall is about half in most cases. This also means that the bill is on the way fast, some folks may prefer to differ the taxidermy payment a bit?

    TANZANIA: we ship all trophies to the country of our hunters residence. it is a dip and pack process. There is taxidermist in TZ that I am aware of that does overseas work in large volumes.

    MOZ, ZIM: you used to have a couple options here but I have only had good luck with shipping the stuff out of the country to the USA as fast as possible.

    as noted by other conciseness members above we never recommend a re-export situation through multiple African countries.
     

  17. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The guy I'm hunting with and who picked us up in PE happened to stop by Splitting Image to pick up a tarp. So I had the opportunity for a tour. Very nice professional place. Extremely well organized, as good as I've seen on any continent. The pieces I looked at were very nicely done. The bases were of particular good detail. I was told there is also a talented artist on staff to do paintings, etc.

    I have not had any work done there and don't intend to as Paul at Relive Taxidermy has a large amount of my stuff and will also dip and pack stuff for me as well. He treats me very fairly. I stopped by there to check out 6 crates he has ready to ship to me and I did not request any changes. I thought everything looked great.
     

  18. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Bob I Wish you well with Relieve and I hope your satisfied. I did not have a good experience with him nor my dip/pack with Splitting Image. Maybe just my luck...
     

  19. Ridge Top Ranch

    Ridge Top Ranch AH Enthusiast

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    On 2018 trip in S.A. my outfitter pushed Splitting Image. They had some work examples in their lodge. Work was good. I got the feeling their was a financial relationship/commission arrangement. I asked them to do a price comparison with Moredou Taxidermy who they used to recommend and price was literally double for same work. I had used Moredou on last trip and their work was good as well. I went with Moredou. I get the feeling Splitting Image made a big push to offer commissions to outfitters for using them. Nothing wrong with this but why should the hunter pay for it? I will get my animals back to U.S. including shipping, fees, customs and taxidermy for about the same as Splitting Image wanted to charge for taxidermy in Africa.
     
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  20. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

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    Many outfitters or PHs get some sort of kick back for recommending a taxidermy outfit, cash or free mounts for themselves, ect. My experience differs from Nathans, as as a taxidermist I consistently see poorer work in SA than in the US.
     
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