Trophy / Taxidermy question

Guy M

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I've yet to hunt Africa, just North America.

As I consider a hunt, I find myself thinking that I'll just take a lot of photos, quality photos, when I can, and perhaps only actually have one or two bleached skulls and maybe a "flat" tanned hide shipped. Rather than having all sorts of animals mounted for display.

Three reasons for that thinking:

1. Am not a wealthy man, can afford the hunt, but not a lot of taxidermy & shipping. My friends who have had numerous trophies mounted & shipped back to the USA told me that it was a substantial expense.

2. Honestly, after a lifetime of hunting here in the USA, the walls & bookshelves in the house are about full of bear skins, bleached skulls and antlers. That's all I ever have done with my trophies anyway, just skulls, and sometimes skins. takes up a lot less space than full mounts.

3. It's easy to share the photos with family and friends.

So - is it considered bad form to NOT want to take home the trophies? I'm after the experience of the hunt, not a lot of wall decorations.

That said, bleached white kudu & gemsbok skulls on either side of the fireplace would look good...

Thanks, Guy
 

JimP

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You have to do what you have to do. There is nothing wrong with euro mounts of the skulls and horns and if that is what you can afford then go for it. In my case for what I had shipped home it would of cost just about the same no matter what I would of done. The crate was a little bigger than 3 foot square x 10 inches tall and it contained all of my skulls, horns, and prepped capes. A crate just containing skulls, horns and a couple back skins may be about the same size and weight which is what the shippers base their cost on.

My taxidermist here in the states did comment on how much the dip and pack company in South Africa was able to get into such a small crate.

I would perhaps save some money on the just in case you get a exceptional trophy where you might want to do a shoulder mount.
 

jacques smith

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Guy
Your opinion should be the only one that counts. I have many times done skull mounts with a simple hanger. No plaque. I’ve also done flat skins and they fit my personal style. I’ve also surprised myself on a few memorable hunts by doing full shoulder on a couple. Something may just demand it and keep in mind full payment and shipping are future expenses. It’s your hunt and your call forget form and enjoy
 

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There is no requirement to take trophies home. No sane person will say there is. Congrats for thinking it through ahead of time
Enjoy yourself.
 

IdaRam

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My opinion, nothing wrong with that at all. It is your hunt. Go enjoy the experience, that is the real trophy. You could have some or all of the hunt filmed too. Just another “trophy” option.
 

fourfive8

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No worries- you ARE thinking straight! If I had to do it all over again I would not have the shoulder mounts and rugs I have-- big mule deer bucks, Alaska brown bear, black bear, mountain lion, gemsbok, Dall's sheep, pronghorn antelope, etc. I would maybe have a shoulder or pedestal mount of the one truly outstanding trophy I have (a 63" plus kudu), maybe a tanned skin or two and a few skull mounts... the rest would be left for whoever wanted them or never bothered with to begin with. Quality photos, written diaries and short stories would account for all the rest. But like all remembrances... purely subjective.
 

Nyati

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All my trophies are skulls, some on the walls, some in my bookcases I just don´t have the space for anything else.

Also, euro mounts are much cheaper than taxidermy, and need no maintenance.
 

Whiskey1

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Flat skins are really inexpensive and nice to have thrown over the back of a couch or easy chair. I love the skulls that we had done and the zebra is my favorite. However, good photography adds as much or more to the trophy room than the actual animal parts. Be sure to get pics with no people in them. My most cherished ones have the animal, my rifle, and great background scenery. The way you choose to capture the memories of your adventures and honor the animals that give you their lives is entirely up to you.
 

Bwana Bob

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I've yet to hunt Africa, just North America.

As I consider a hunt, I find myself thinking that I'll just take a lot of photos, quality photos, when I can, and perhaps only actually have one or two bleached skulls and maybe a "flat" tanned hide shipped. Rather than having all sorts of animals mounted for display.

Three reasons for that thinking:

1. Am not a wealthy man, can afford the hunt, but not a lot of taxidermy & shipping. My friends who have had numerous trophies mounted & shipped back to the USA told me that it was a substantial expense.

2. Honestly, after a lifetime of hunting here in the USA, the walls & bookshelves in the house are about full of bear skins, bleached skulls and antlers. That's all I ever have done with my trophies anyway, just skulls, and sometimes skins. takes up a lot less space than full mounts.

3. It's easy to share the photos with family and friends.

So - is it considered bad form to NOT want to take home the trophies? I'm after the experience of the hunt, not a lot of wall decorations.

That said, bleached white kudu & gemsbok skulls on either side of the fireplace would look good...

Thanks, Guy
Hi Guy, I agree with thinking you should do what you want to do. I have been fortunate to hunt Namibia three times and plan on heading back again in 2021. For what it's worth, I have euro mounts and flat skins done as it is a lot cheaper than doing shoulder mounts. I also rationalize that the money I save can be used for my next safari. I'm guessing like most of us on this site, after your first trip to Africa you will be figuring out on the flight home how to get back again. Good luck
 

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I like your ideas Guy! I’m planning a lion hunt. My man cave is very small and a lion needs a full mount, so I will only be bringing back photos. I decided on a non-exportable hunt which will even save me more money.

It is your “hunt” and not your “trophies” that makes for a grand experience! Trophies are no different than photos and memories.
JMO and subject to change without notice if a 60” kudu shows up
:D:LOL::ROFLMAO:!
 

charleslabounty

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Well I have been fortunate enough to make two plains games hunts in S. Africa.
Three shoulder mounts and one pedestal mount in the living room. Two rugs on the floor, (zebra, wildebeest). Four euro mounts in the garage.
Luv them all.
Wife will not allow the the euro mounts in the house- says they look like “death” - - go figure. So I guess I wish I had done a couple more shoulder mounts. All taxidermy done in S. Africa. I was reasonably satisfied with the quality. But this my only taxidermy costs and experience ever. And I had pretty solid estimates before going.

You might consider a plan using your local taxidermist and spread the work out over two to three years. Then just the dip & pack and shipping costs in the first year.
And photos are great. Wife had some blown up and are on the wall too.
Your money, your call. And you have your experiences from your previous hunts to help make your decisions.
 

Hutch01

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My opinion may be different. The African species are so unique they deserve to be at least shoulder mounted. In addition, most taxidermist will take possession of your crate and produce on 1-2 mounts per year if you choose. I think most could afford this approach...
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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I just finished my first safari. 7 animals taken. I am having skulls, capes and backskins dip and pack. I will have 5 of them euro mounted And 2 shoulders. Taxidermist is going to work with me and do shoulders as I can pay for them over a period of time. If you talk to them ahead of time i have found they will work with you and spread it out over time.
But. If you cant afford to send them back. Still go and take plenty of pictures. The experience is well worth it.
 

JimP

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On thing on shoulder mounts is that there are a lot of us out there that have no place for a shoulder mount.

I am lucky in that I am single and live alone. I have a room that has a 7' ceiling and in that room I have most of my mounts. I have a kudu and gemsbok almost on the floor with my springbuck black wildebeest, and impala above them. I also have a 6x6 bull elk shoulder mount along with a 5x6 elk euro. Not to mention a shoulder mount of a mule deer. If there were kids wandering around they would be eye level with most of them.

Needless to say this room is full on the one wall that I can hang everything, one other wall is also taken up with some horns and other things. Now if I would of done euros on most of these animals it wouldn't look quite as full but then where is the fun in doing that. My lady friend calls this room the dead head room.
 

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CAustin

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Enjoy your hunt and do what you feel good about!
 

cagkt3

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Like everyone else said, do whatever is going to make you happy. There was a couple animals I thought I would just euro to save money, that I'm going to mount.
 

Savage Hunter

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if you shoot a zebra, just get it flat-tanned (not a rug).
Then find a chair to buy at a flea market and have someone recover it with your zebra hide.
I did it and it's our favorite African taxidermy piece.
 

ShortMag

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It's good to have a plan but be prepared to be somewhat flexible.

I had a plan too for my first safari recently and that plan had severely unraveled by the end of the first morning and was completely blown up by the end of the second morning. I had originally planned to have Dennis mount my kudu, black wildebeest, and red hartebeest when they get here because few others can make the red hartebeest and black wildebeest look as good as they should and kudu deserve the best IMO. The springbok and impala capes would be tanned for later mounting by either Dennis or my regular taxidermist. The first morning I killed a very nice springbok that absolutely needed to be moved into the mounted by Dennis sooner rather than later category. No problem thought I, I will just do a euro of the impala instead of a mount and still be mostly on track. That backup plan lasted until my wife saw the photos of the impala I took on day two and demanded a shoulder mount of it as well. So now I'm getting all 5 of my trophy animals mounted along with euros for the 2 culls but the wife is happy.
 

Charles de Ribeau

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I've hunted in a lot of places and taken some awesome and some mediocre animals. I've had the better ones mounted. I've had some of the lesser ones done as European style mounts or just antlers on a plaque. They are all in one room and I've run out of space. I have some that don't fit comfortably. I also would like to display the books I've written (they are another kind of trophy) but I have yet to figure out where I could tastefully put them.

All of that is to say that there is nothing wrong with only displaying photos. That was my plan when I went on my first safari. However, by the end of that trip, the plan went out the window; everything got shipped home and most became shoulder mounts. I don't regret having them mounted, but every shoulder mount takes a lot of space than a photo or a European mount. The same space could accommodate well over a hundred photos.

Long response, but just be sure that you get lots of pictures taken to increase the odds of having at least one really good one for each animal. Another suggestion - if you do go the photo route, consider blowing them up, possibly even poster size. It is much more dramatic.
 
 

 

 

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