Wrong Animal!! Now what?

mstewart44

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I went on safari in 2008 and had my animals taken to a taxidermist in South Africa. Earlier in the year, I asked the taxidermist via e-mail if they had an official SCI scorer to measure my animals as most of my trophies would make the SCI record book. They confirmed they had an official scorer and would get back to me with a score record.

A few months later, I got a worksheet that listed the animals and their score. I eagerly compared this to the field scores my PH had taken before the animals hit the salt. All of the rough scores were within 1/2" of the "official score" done by the taxidermist...... EXCEPT ONE!!! I shot two Kudu during my safari and the smaller one we measured in the field at 54" and 53" right and left. The taxidermist measured the Kudu at 49" and 49 1/2" right and left. The other kudu that field scored approximately 56" was within 1/2" of this msmt by the taxidermist.

I can only conclude one of two things happened: 1) the outfitter got my tag switched with someone else's kudu before they delivered it to the taxidermist, or 2) the taxidermist made the mix up.

In either case, even with "drying" of the horns, as is required here in the US with our deer, there is no way the horns on my kudu lost 4" during this process.

So.......... what do I do now? Can I refuse the animal? How do I proceed?:confused:
 

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mstewart44, Sorry to hear about this mix up with one of your Kudu trophy.

Is it possible that your hunting outfitter did not take proper measurement of the smaller Kudu in the first place?

Indeed this problem may have occurred with the hunting outfitter when the trophies were tagged or later on at the taxidermist... Have you notified the both of them of this issue? What are they saying?

I would imagine that your hunting outfitter is fully involved and in contact with the taxidermist to help you resolve this matter even if he believes that this issue emanates from the taxidermist. The hunting outfitter might not be responsible for what might have had happen here however I strongly believe that he should be there for you to try to get this matter resolved.

By the way, I would recommend that any correspondences that you may have with either one of them, taxidermist or outfitter, that you always send them to the both of them as to keep them informed on this matter.

If your trophies have already been shipped and are on their way, I would not refuse delivery of that particular animal, anyway they should be coming to you as a whole in one container.

If your trophies are still with the taxidermist, I would ask him to take and email you several pictures of the smaller Kudu from different angles to compare them with your personal trophy pictures... If you can see any sort of discrepancy, I would email them the pictures to make your case. Feel free to post those pictures here as well if you want our input.

If your trophies have not yet been shipped, I would, if possible, delay their shipment a bit in order to try to get this straighten out. Keep us posted.
 

mstewart44

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I have sent an e-mail and sufficient documentation to make my case. I have requested pictures of the animal in question from the taxidermist. However, the taxidermist is closed until mid January!! WTF?? Guess this could explain the delay in getting my trophies back!
 

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... the taxidermist is closed until mid January!! WTF?? ...

That's funny! Unlike Americans the rest of the world really knows how to take a vacation... They count in months not weeks!

All of the Southern part of Africa pretty much shuts down for most of December and part of January as it is the summer holidays, kids are out of school and then there is Christmas and New Year so just about everyone takes vacations for at least a month. Lots of companies close down entirely, including your taxidermist...

The best advice that I can give you is to stay on top on things and be persistent. Make sure to contact them again as soon as they return from the holidays. If they get the idea that you are very serious they will pay more attention to your problem.

Mix ups like this do happen and often go undetected by the hunters who experience them...
 

mstewart44

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They have indicated they would have my order completed in March. Considering the fact that I will likely make my next safari in April 2010, I will likely go by there to check the status of my order before I pay the balance. Rest assured, I will be checking on that kudu if we do not get this all straightened out before I get there.
 

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Don't feel too bad. I have a friend who had this happen with a BONGO. He has one mounted that is much smaller than the one in his photos. He explained that when it came home from the taxidermist, it was the wrong animal and nobody knew anything about how it got switched or was of any help. He had a great solution --- He went on another bongo hunt and ended up killing an even bigger bull than his first one. However, it would totally blow to have a mixup, kudu or bongo.
 

Safari Chick

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Do you notice how neither of the guys on the receiving end of the bigger Kudu and Bongo trophies aren't saying anything and are not complaining about the mix up! I wonder if they noticed that their trophies are significantly larger than before? What would you guys do if the tables were turned?
 

Calhoun

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...Safari Chick that is a great question! I myself would be making a phone call to the taxidermist as after showing pictures of my trophies I would have a tough time claiming that was mine! Would it do me any good? Probably not for the sake of getting mine back , but some one else would probably be happy to get their trophy back. I just hope the rightful owner would get credit for all the extra air miles!!
 

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I think this is more common than we are led to believe. After my first safari i was so excited to get my mounts back and check them out. What i found was heartbreaking. My full body baboon (paid for mount in full) never made it into the crate, nor did my zebra skin. The warthogs do not look like any of my pictures (smaller) and the impala's are a neck mount. Thank god the kudu and wildebeest turned out ok.

It's tough doing business from thousands of miles away. For my next trip i used a much better outfit and taxidermist.
 

TOM

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Just to make sure things are clear here, my last hunt with Spiral Horn Safaris was great and trophy prep was top notch. They even skinned my animals with a surgical razor blade. Taxidermy was great as well.

The problems arose with the previous outfit and taxidermy i used. Got burned all the way around. That's for another time.
 

enysse

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Just to make sure things are clear here, my last hunt with Spiral Horn Safaris was great and trophy prep was top notch. They even skinned my animals with a surgical razor blade. Taxidermy was great as well.

The problems arose with the previous outfit and taxidermy i used. Got burned all the way around. That's for another time.

I've got time...I'd love to hear the story...even if it's not funny...that's the only way you learn...is by trial and error.

P.S. = For how much taxidermy costs, there should be close to zero problems...it's anything but cheap.
 

mstewart44

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Since starting this particular thread I have e-mailed the taxidermist with photos of the animal. I have asked for photos of the skull for comparrison and have also asked the outfitter to help review their photos. However, they are closed for a couple more weeks due to some African holiday - maybe like our spring break here in the USA?? Anyway, I will let you all know what comes out of this soon.
 

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Uh maybe Christmas?
 

mstewart44

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If you have read this thread thru you would have seen that on 12/11 I posted they will be out of the office until mid January!! Either that's a long Christmas break or there is indeed some other reason they are closed for a solid MONTH. I checked my notes and they are closed until 1/11/10. Since our winter (USA) is their summer (RSA), maybe they all take vacation??
 

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... All of the Southern part of Africa pretty much shuts down for most of December and part of January as it is the summer holidays, kids are out of school and then there is Christmas and New Year so just about everyone takes vacations for at least a month. Lots of companies close down entirely, including your taxidermist...

Here we go!
 

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