Tiring of dip pack?

Ryan

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I guess Namibia does it remarkably different than RSA, or just more careful. On the place I was at in Namibia they macerated the skull at the farm first to clean it of all the flesh. Basically they placed it in a tub of water and let bacterial action strip the meat off. The horns were then taken off and then they used high percentage hydrogen peroxide to bleach the skull. This was before they sent it to dip&pack or the taxidermy of my choice. They salted the hides there too so really if I wanted it all shipped nothing further needed to be done since the skulls were clean of all flesh, etc.and hides were 'Hard-Dried or Flint-Dried' according to the USDA requirements at that point (Table 3-10-4 in the USDA Animal Products Manual available online). I talked the taxidermies there and if the farm hadn't done that they had tanks to do the same, then hydrogen peroxide and finally degrease with a detergent of some kind for skulls being mounted. Because of it's oxixizing action I have heard of hydrogen peroxide drying out horns and skulls if not used properly and I could see horns getting damaged if left soaking too long in the water and then dried too fast and/or in the sun. I will have to do some more chatting in RSA for my next trip.
 

tap

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@Philip Glass im glad i got you fired up. inwas just going through all my trophies remembering when. i had to ignore all the missing skull pieces and chuncks falling out of skulls and such. 100% of my SA trophies are permanently screwed up. im glad there have been a few names thrown out here. im going to start promoting and bashing these dip pack guys. i tuly believe they ARE the worst part of a safari and like insaid before. No one knows until its much too late.
 

jeff

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I just received our trophies from Swift Dip and the horns were in very good condition, except for one skull which was broken, not a problem on that one as it's a shoulder mount. Some shrinking is is normal just in drying, and it depends on the age of the animal and density of the horn material.
 

Philip Glass

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I thought all D & P companies boiled skulls... I wasn't aware that some facilitates used vats of acid?? I have never heard of this and didn't know it was an option.. Boiling should be a 2-part process if done right, with 2 adequate drying times accounted for in the process. The only acid that I am aware of is a solution of formic acid and sodium carbonate used to treat only the skins. Then after the 28 days of salt drying, they are treated with an insecticide before packing.



PG, I am definitely no expert, but I'm not certain that the D & P process is supposed to be done that fast? It was my understanding that boiling skulls, dipping skins, drying and retreating was a multi-step process to get the best results? The skins are to soak in the formic acid solution for 3 days before salting and drying for 28 days.... Maybe s this BS?? I don't know... Just what I was told when I inquired.

In any event, I guess that I have been lucky and fortunate with my D & P experiences. I had no idea so many folks had issues with their services. I have used Trophy Pro SA in the Limpopo on my last 4 safaris and always received excellent results. I don't go by my opinion, this is what my taxidermist has mentioned to me upon receiving the trophies. The entire process took on average 3-4 months door to door. The 3-4 months is actually better for me so I have time to save up some more money after shooting too many animals on safari. ;)
I am no expert either but for sure we all get told loads of BS from the guys in africa. As long as the skulls are boiled and skins are salted and dried that is pretty much it. It certainly was in my case. The only issue that they were concerned about was that thick Eland skin drying in time. You see Namibia shuts down for the whole month of December hence the reason I demanded they at least try to get mine done and shipped before then.
Regards
Philip
 

Brett Becker

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I am no expert either but for sure we all get told loads of BS from the guys in africa. As long as the skulls are boiled and skins are salted and dried that is pretty much it. It certainly was in my case. The only issue that they were concerned about was that thick Eland skin drying in time. You see Namibia shuts down for the whole month of December hence the reason I demanded they at least try to get mine done and shipped before then.
Regards
Philip
 

IvW

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is there one single company in south africa that actually does dip pack on a 58" kudu that results in you getting back a 58" kudu instead of a 55" kudu with horns that havent been completely destroyed.

Only way that is possible is if your tape measure starts on 2 inches or they are not the same horns. No taxidermy process can make kudu horns shrink 3 inches in a couple months.
I however agree that in many cases not enough attention is given to field preparation of clients trophies.

TMS is right, too many PH's and Outfitters just leave the whole lot to the taxidermist or dip and pack place. This causes problems when the sculls need to be cleaned after too long drying out or just being salted and the flesh not removed properly before being sent from place of hunt to taxidermist or D&P.

It is a simple task, to do proper field preparation of trophies but sadly is neglected by many. I have seen this more often with bigger companies who have multiple clients hunting in camp at the same time and they simple do not do it or just don't care. Smaller outfits seem to take more care and spend more time on doing this properly as well as Zim, Nam, Moz.

Having worked as a Freelance PH for a very long time, that was part of my job, to check on the activities of skinners in the skinning shed as well as proper preparation of the trophies my clients hunted. Cleaning of sculls and proper boiling is done(a simple task if performed correctly). The proper tagging of the trophies is also done and checked. I like to put the skins in a brine solution as soon as they are done after that they get a drip dry and then into the salt. After that when put out to dry they always go skin down and not hair down on the drying rack. When folding they always go hair inside. I always measure the horns and record the information in a taxidermy register.(left horn length, right horn length, left base, right base and tip to tip). In the same register I record all instructions on what the client wants to have done for each. D&P only, left facing shoulder mount, wall pedestal etc. At the end of the Safari my tracker/skinner will unpack my clients trophies we will then inspect them together and ensure all is recorded and tagged correctly and all instructions are recorded as needed. This is a 4 copy document, I keep one, one goes to the outfitter, one to the taxidermist and one together with the PH register to National Parks.

Incorrect handling and field preparation by PH, Skinner or outfitter of clients trophies can cause damage to them that no D&P or taxidermist can really fix or sort out. Hair slip on spiral horned antelope(especially Eland) and also in particular Klipspringer come to mind.

The trophies the client eventually receives is the memento's of his hunt, something when he looks at it in his trophy room will bring back fond memories of the hunt and not of what a crappy job somebody did in preparing them, something he is also paying a lot of money for and they require the utmost attention.

PH stands for Professional Hunter, the first part of this name does not always hold true for all activities on the hunt and unfortunately, not enough attention to detail is given to this and results in what you guy's are mentioning here.
 
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JGRaider

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You have to really desire to hunt Africa nowadays, IMO, to do so. Organized ripoffs like dip/pack/ship is one of the most apparent.
 

Albert GRANT

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If you want to hunt Africa just do it! All you have to do is simplify things and you can avoid any pitfalls like this. Be willing to go for the experience and forgo the "trophy" part of it altogether. Problem solved
 

tap

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@IvW you get it. some people want that memory on their wall and all "i" think about at times is how horrible of a job dip pack did.

@Albert GRANT theres not many like you. most of us like to decorate the places around us with the fondest memories of our lives. for me it keep me living in the moment.

dip pack just doesnt get this and they have ruined so many dreams. its hard to have respect for such careless people
 

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