Taxidermy recommendations for South Africa

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Keith sheppard, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Keith sheppard

    Keith sheppard New Member

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    hello all, I am new to the sight and to hunting in South Africa. A friend and myself will be hunting with numzaan safaris at the beginning of April of this year and was wondering if any good taxidermy work nearby. I know their web sight list life form taxidermy as their suggested taxidermy work but was curious if anyone had any pointers for a newbie. Thanks
     
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  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Capricorn Taxidermy In Polokwane RSA
     

  3. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Bullseye in Limpopo
     
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  4. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    My first question is where are you located at, country wise?

    While there are some very fine taxidermist in South Africa you will find a lot that leave quite a bit to be desired. If you look through threads on the forum here you will find quite a few post about problems that hunters have had with taxidermist that are in a different country than where they are from. It is quite difficult to get something fixed for free when you are 8,000 miles from the taxidermist.

    Plus you need to figure in shipping of a completed mount or mounts to get them home.

    I would also ask the outfitter who he would recommend both for a mount of your trophies and one for a dip and pack service to ship them to your local taxidermist. I would also check around with taxidermist in your area and see if they do African mounts and their prices. That along with if they are certified to receive shipments of certain animals if you live here in the US. Some hides even after a dip and pack require the receiver to have a USDA certificate to have them shipped to him.
     

  5. 40inarow

    40inarow New Member

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    I used Lifeform Taxidermy in South Africa for 9 animals and am well pleased. Lifeform was recommended by the outfitter. Their communication and organization is excellent as well as the quality of the work.
     
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  6. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Make sure you understand the TOTAL cost of taxidermy to your door, shipping included.

    As a broad general statement SA taxidermy is average at best, with the average in the States being well above (IMO) the average for SA. You'll "save" money on the mounts themselves but then likely eat the savings up with the shipping.

    I've done SA taxidermy before and won't do it again. I got the average taxidermy I expected. No issue there. My expectations were met. But, I could have gotten world class here for a few hundred dollars less after the shipping difference was added in... Oops....

    Another thing to remember about SA is it is often more of an assembly line type of process (which can happen here too). Look closely, at ear placement, eye placement, and even eye color (I've seen wrong colored eyes on animals by a taxidermist mentioned in this thread). Are they right?

    Lastly, remember that SA works on a kick back system. "Recommended" often means "they pay me the most for your business." It's up to you to make sure a taxidermist is the best choice for you. Don't assume an outfitter has your best interest at heart. They often don't .


    Lots of great threads here to look over on this subject!
     
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  7. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    Another thing that hasn't been mentioned yet and I have no idea of you have looked into it but it it the importation of your mounts or dip and pack trophies back here into the US, if that is where you are from.

    It takes a bit of paperwork to get everything done and if you know what you are doing you can do it yourself, but even seasoned hunters on the forum here say that a importer is well worth the money that they cost.

    Two good ones are Safari Specialty Importers, and Coppersmith. Safari Specialty Importers cost a little but more but I personally believe that they do more for you that any of the others. They take care of your trophies once they hit the skinning shed until they are at your taxidermist shop or your home.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2019
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  8. Ryan van der Westhuizen `

    Ryan van der Westhuizen ` New Member

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  9. rpgoldsby

    rpgoldsby AH Senior Member

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    Another vote for Capricorn Taxidermy. Mike Smith is awesome. Always gives fast responses on emails and does great work.
     

  10. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    I had my taxidermy done in SA by Highveld Taxidermy, and they did a piss poor job to put it mildly. If I was going to do it again, I will have my trophies dip & pack and shipped to the US to be done here by either Gizmo (Top of Texas Taxidermy) or Eric (The Artistry of Wildlife). I will never have another trophy mount done in Africa, period. If there is something wrong, you do not have the resources to fight them from here, vs. someone in the states doing your work.

    Look at this picture and you be the judge if this is quality taxidermy or a piss poor job??? Look at the stitching, and around the horn base, oh and the ear. Not to mention all my other trophies. These are the memories you are going to look every day.

    IMPALA.jpg
     
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  11. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    In RSA has great taxidermist and not so great taxidermist, just like here in the USA. The difference is, with done the USA, even you have it done in another state than your own, you can still drive there and get it made right. It's not cheap to ship back to RSA a completed trophy. Find a Ship and Dip service and get the work done in your home country.
     
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  12. WAB

    WAB AH Fanatic

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    I have used and recommend Nico van Royen in Limpopo and Collett’s in Pretoria. The first of our safaris this year is with Numzaan. We will be using Collett’s.
     

  13. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I’ve done it a few times.... even with “high end” by SA Standards.... not pleased. My last Safari is heading home to @gizmo. Way more controls & superior craftsmanship.
     
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  14. TROPHY SHIPPERS

    TROPHY SHIPPERS SPONSOR Since 2018 AH Veteran

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    "Welcome to AH Keith!
    If we can be of any assistance with US Customs or shipping, please call, email, or send me a message!
     
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  15. Ghost and the Darkness

    Ghost and the Darkness New Member

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    Howdy! Glad to have found this site as it would have saved me lots of trouble in the past. I am glad that I can contribute with my first post on AH.

    I had my taxidermy done stateside, but the big issue I had was getting it here. The broker I used did not have a USDA approved warehouse, thus my trophies got stuck at the airport waiting on clearance. Several hundred dollars of storage charges are a steep lesson, but I have learned it now. Make sure that you have covered your bases on how to get things home before worrying about taxidermy
     
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  16. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Well two newbies on the same post! Welcome Keith and Ghost and the Darkness to AH!
     
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  17. JimP

    JimP AH Elite

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    Before I went on my safari to South Africa I went into my taxidermist shop to talk to him about it. Also about doing it over there vs back home. He took me into a back room where he had a small African antelope that he said that the owner wanted him to fix. The mount has a very strange look to it, he had a smile on his face that was totally unnatural. He told me to look it over a little and when I saw the stitching all I could do was laugh. I think that my 5 year old niece could of done a better job. Then there was the hair loss. And while there isn't a taxidermist out there that will grantee that there won't be hair loss this one was starting to look like Yul Brenner. To give credit to the SA taxidermist he was in the process of shipping a replacement cape for it.

    But in the long run that mount was going to end up costing double by the time that it was repaired with a cape that really wasn't his.
     
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  18. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    JimP. Did you see the mount of my Impala? I feel the same about a 5 year doing the stitching. I learned my lesson, and I hope to help others not have to deal with what I did.
     
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  19. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Fanatic

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    Send it back to US and find a good taxidermist. Then you have recourse if things are not right.
    Don't be fooled by, It's cheaper in Africa. Figure in the crate size, weight, shipping cost and you probably break even.
    You get what you pay for.
     
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  20. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Shipping finished taxidermy from Africa is done by volumetric weight. This means that on average you will pay the same, and likely more, for work due to this. Additionally, it will be sub par at best if done there and you will have just paid the same or probably more for it depending upon the animals.
    Also they are thousands of miles away and once they have their $$$ they don’t care.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would love the opportunity to do the work for you but..... if you live in the states any competent taxidermist here will give you work that will be far superior to anything RSA has to offer. I made the mistake of having an animal mounted in RSA before I became a full time taxidermist and I regret the hell out of it. To add insult to injury it was my bucket list Cape buffalo. I get pissed every time I look at it and will likely remount it myself one of these days when I get time.
    If you’d like I’d be glad to shoot a quote to you on your work, if not no worries just do yourself a favor and do not have a South African Taxidermist do your work unless you have absolutely no other choice.
     
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