Where, oh where, should I have my taxidermy done?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Mr. 16 gauge, Jun 3, 2015.

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Where do you prefer to have your trophies/taxidermy done?

  1. 1. In the country of origin, where it was taken

    5 vote(s)
    8.3%
  2. 2. In the United States (or your home country, if not from the U.S.)

    44 vote(s)
    73.3%
  3. 3. Both

    11 vote(s)
    18.3%
  1. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I would put Wildlife Studios in Pennsylvania up with the best of them. Their work is outstanding. Anyone interested should just take a look at the website.
     

  2. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    While I am limited in experience to only one African hunt so far, I chose to have my trophies mounted here in Canada for several reasons.
    1). The expense of getting all the mounts done at once in Africa and then the volumetric cost of having the finished mounts shipped to Saskatchewan. It's a little much in one lump for me.
    2). My taxidermist also organized the hunt for seven of us, looked after all the paperwork and also runs the trophy import side of it all.
    3). Having the skins and horns sent here, I can get them done at a pace that I can afford, plus pick and choose which one to do next, whether it takes me a year or 5 years.
    4). His business is in the same town that I live in, so I can pretty much pop in to chat about things whenever I want.
    5). He has become a friend and he is who I would rather have earn my money.
    6). Most importantly, I would go out on a limb to say that he would be in the top 5 taxidermists in Canada. Whoever says North American taxidermists don't know the anatomy of African game is wrong. His work is as good as you can find in my opinion.
    7). Although the African taxidermy that I've seen is limited, what I have seen is average at best. Some of what I have seen would have ruined the hunt for me!

    So far the only trophy that I've gotten mounted is the warthog and I couldn't be happier with it. My taxidermist put the real tusks in the mount and made replicas of them to put back in the skull, so I get two trophies out of one critter! Next I have to choose out of my hartebeest, gemsbok, impala or steenbok...but it'll take a while yet!

    By the way, is business is called Orion Taxidermy:
    www.orion-taxidermy.com
     

  3. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Interesting point. What say you guy's here in the states as far as sending completed trophies home/volumetric cost's? Does it work out cheaper to do it here?
     

  4. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I am going to do a break down so everyone can see what my order cost me in SA by relive and what it would have cost here in the states done by who many would say are two of the best shops in the united states.There prices are with in 50 dollars on each animal or the same.
    These are prices I was quoted back in 2014 and paid relive. Other prices are off the price sheets of 2014 for the shops here in the states.I had alot of custom poses done so prices could have been even more here in the states. I am not saying you will get those prices from either place this is what I paid and the deal I work out for the size of my order.

    I feel the work is as good as I would have got done here in the states. That is looking at it with MY EYES so some may not agree but the little difference that some may find is not worth the extra cost to me.
    relive state side shops
    Lioness -35oo 6000
    4 springbuck wall peds-1840 2500
    2 implala- 920 1450
    2 bushbucks -870 1450
    1 eland peds-1025 2100
    1 black wildebeest-750 995
    1 orbi-475 525
    crating- 600 300
    shipping-2300 to jfk 600
    dip/pack none 1400
    total $12,280.00 $17,329.00

    So I save $4940.00 on this part of my order.I will be picking up my stuff at jfk so I will have gas and one day off work. I would of had to still pick up skins and horns or paid to ship to studio here in the states and then had to pay to ship back to me so cost would have been more again to do here.
     

  5. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Bill's analysis is comparable to what I came up with.

    Paul & crew and Relive are also doing all my stuff. Hope to post some pics early next year when I expect the goodies will arrive.

    I did like the idea of supporting a local business/workers. I know a lot a guys feel the money should stay at home...but heck, I flew halfway around the world to hunt these animals. It did not seem unreasonable to have them mounted there as well.
     
    billc likes this.

  6. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Nice comparison Bill. I just wish they did better habitat work over there. As you know Wes can put together habitat with the best of them...But is it worth the extra $$.. Not sure....Guess it depends on just how much stuff you shot..
     

  7. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    I agree that I could save money by having them mounted in Africa, but doing it here, I can spread the cost out over years if I need to. Paying for all the mounts at once would put me in the poor house! Lol.
     

  8. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Your a better man than me, I can't wait that long! I actually pay my guy for expedited service!...lol
     
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  9. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Johnny neither of those prices i used to compare would be with bases or habitat work. I do agree they need to work on that part but I also have no doubt if I ask paul and showed him what I want he could get it done.

    I wanted to show you can get good work done over there and even after all the talk of shipping finished mounts being more that is not always the case. Guys forget about the dip/pack cost or even that you have shipping on just a crate of skins and horns. Must mounts you dont even need habitat work for the mount. The only one I need habitat work for is the lioness and I sure could get alot for the 5000.00 I saved.

    I want to show the truth for everyone to see and then they can decide what is best for them.
     

  10. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I hear ya billy...I respect your opinion. I m just a guy that likes nice habitat with his mounts . For me that makes the trophy even more appealing.
     
    billc likes this.

  11. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Plus we do both know wes does some of the best habitat work there is. I just have limits on my budget and when done with everything I will have saved over 10,000.00 on the work paul did for me. That will be going towards my next trip in 2016 and that equals a bunch of animals to be hunted
     

  12. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Ah....budget limits...Sucks don't it? But your right 10k is a lot of money. I guess on a big order it pays..
     

  13. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Can't compete with those prices for the quality we need to put out and the expenses all US businesses have.
    I spent some time with Rudi , Taxidermist friend of mine on the east cape.

    Has 5 guys working for him, His labor costs for his 5 guys for a month is equal to my 2 guy make in 2 1/2 days.
    I asked my guys won't work for $200 a month. His 10,000 sq ft building 600 a month on a lease for 20 years.
    Electric 1/4 of mine. No gas or heat needed. Guess I'm jealous..... At lower prices his profit margin is twice as high as mine.

    If I could get my labor cost to that much I'd be able to do that safari for less than Bill paid.
    I worked my price on Bills Mounts minus the AH Discount and Delivery to his door, With Bases, the Dip pack and Shipping from Africa of the Dip Pack thru Rudi at around that 16,200.00.
     
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  14. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I hear you dennis with the cost factors. I have the same think in my line of work. Guys using illegals here in the states paying them peanuts for the work they do. It tough to compete sometimes and I have just realized I will just never get all the work I bid on.

    I just feel pauls work is to good for what he charges to pass on having it done there. It comes down to I dont care how he gets me that price just care that his work is good and the price is right for me.
     

  15. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Dennis since I broke mine down how about doing the same per mount and the extra costs. Will give guys a better idea on what you charge. I would like to know myself for the future in case I do ever bring stuff back to mount.
     

  16. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I think this would be a good idea.

    I bet there are a few of us that fear maybe we can't afford Dennis...but he might be able to prove us wrong.

    No question about the quality of his artwork.
     

  17. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Guys , got a price list on the site, and when big safari's come in LIKE any business I make deals for large safari's
    Rudi in the east cape does my dip pack cheaper than anyone in the east cape and gets them out in 90 days.
    I get three ship quotes and shop best price air to Chicago and deal with my own broker that is very affordable.
    I make offers thru my banner ad on AH and even offer right now a free mount of one of your planes game on over 7 pieces.
    I do higher quality work than ,well lets name em' Animal Artistry, Wildlife Gallery etc.
    I drive your trophies to your home myself or Jamie does, no crate fees or crazy freight bills
    I drive multi shipments on once, you don't pay from Michigan , you pay from point b to c or c to d only a $1 a mile all in the same local. west, northwest, southwest, east coast, southeast, midwest routes.
    I'm more expensive than Africa yep.
    I'm red white and blue, spend my money to support other hunters and the industry in the US all I can.
    I go to me mechanic became he hunts, my lawyer because he hunts. My doctor because he hunts, my roofer , even my trash guy. My builder because he hunts, me lumber because he hunts. my bump and pint guy because he hunts.
    Pay my guys a fare wage so they can hunt. and on....
    Guys that work for me like to hunt, so they get paid enough to do it
    African workers, nope they don't or spend anything in the industry to support hunting retail or conservation wise buying licenses or paying hunting fees that support conservation.
    I mount every trophy with my support staff, of form builders and finishers, 2 guys.
    Try me you'll pay a little more yes. But you saw your trophy for mere seconds before you shot it. your going to look at your mouth for the rest of your life. You spend thousands for your hunt, you got pictures and memories. I give you the adrenaline back , I give you something tangible you can touch, feel, and experience the rest of your life.
     
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  18. Wildside Outdoors

    Wildside Outdoors AH Veteran

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    I'm a little curious if that 2300 on shipping of finished trophies is anywhere close to actual? That seems extremely cheap for volumetric weight containers of the size you will need for a lion/giraffe etc. (Which I didn't see the giraffe listed) Just curious. I can't argue the pricing of mounts and what you save otherwise. Dip and Pack is just absolutely outrageous, but they have you by the balls once you shoot something you want to bring back home. I would be looking closer to 4 grand easily for your shipment of all. (And I work in Global Logistics). Please keep me informed of final prices!
     

  19. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Get ahold of my on your next african trip, country and area and I'll be glad to get you all some help on Dip pack and fees
     
    Wildside Outdoors likes this.

  20. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Jason that is only for the animals listed and i will be over 4 grand with the other crate. But the fact is even with over 4 grand in shipping I will be saving over 10,000.00 by comparing the prices on guys website or catalog or quotes for work done here in the states. Just what I will be saving on my giraffe mount and tanning of backskin is over 4000.00 in saving compared to what guys charge here. Glad to say the mount from what I can tell and what other have said who saw it in person I got way more then what I paid for.
    The crate has the lioness and 11 plains game animal in it.My friends crates are shipping the same time so we did get a break on shipping to. Again what i am paying may not be what others will. I just know the work being done is top notch in my eyes and at a very fair price.
     

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