Question for those who’ve hunted AfricaContributors to this thread:
Lost Man 21-Apr-19
Plum lake 21-Apr-19
Lost Man 22-Apr-19
Chief 419 22-Apr-19
Highway Star 22-Apr-19
Lost Man 22-Apr-19
I see the occasional deal for African hunts pop up now and again and it’s gotten me more interested for maybe a trip in a couple years, but what do you do with all the game you take? Even a hunt of 4 or 5 animals makes me think I have no real use for all those mounts, do you just leave them?
I don't some do. For me the only animal I shot twice was a zebra and cape kudu long stories
From: Plum lake
Went on my first African Safari last July. I had everything shipped back even the back hides. Just wanted all the memories with me at home. Next trip may be more euro's. I did shoot two warthogs. One is a euro and the other will be a shoulder mount.
With shipping and taxidermy cost, i would jump on a deal have a blast take tons of pics do some euros, i love all my mounts but i could go back 5 times for the money i have on my walls
I would go back, but not double up on animals. There’s too much over there and I’d do euros before I’d leave them. It annoyed me that I had to leave the meat, no way I’d leave the trophy.
I do Euros and skins. Less space required and less cost.
Went three times and I brought all mine back and have shoulder mounts and a zebra rug. If I were to do it over, I might just shoulder mount the kudu, gemsbuck, sable and impala. I like those the best and euro the rest including buffalo and rug the zebra.
I left mine over there. You could view it the same as hunting whitetails. Are you going to mount every whitetail you shoot? Probably not. Just mount what are truly "trophy" animals. The definition of a trophy is obviously very dependent upon the individual. However, if you are a records book kind of guy, and only mount P&Y whitetails, then maybe only mount R&W class trophies that you take.
Plus if you hit Craigslist regularly there is african mounts for cheap get a kudu mount for $300 bucks do a deatacleable horn things or just call it a day....close enough...lots ot those things are very close in standard size I never got my Buff Skull or Cape back 10 years long gone I picked up a Buff Mount that was really close to my Buff for $300 cleaned it up and good to go..
Thanks guys - I wasn’t sure of the expectation there. I wouldn’t mind a certain skin or two or a European mount but definitely wouldn’t want all of it.
Take the skins too much you can do with them.
I had euros and skins done of the impala and wildebeest but never got them back. Outfitter sent them to taxi that went bankrupt and I even paid $500.00 down but never got anything. Still trying. Really want my impala skull and wildebeest skin. Be careful who you go with. Find reputable outfit and ask for references. Do NOT wire anyone money.
From: Chief 419
Do Euros or leave your horns there. Depending on how many animals you shoot, shoulder mounts could end up costing as much as another trip over there. It seems every taxidermist jacks the price up when mounting African game. I think the cost of the forms is higher than than a whitetail or similar animal.
If you are wanting to go to Africa, but not wanting to bring home any of the animals, then talk to them about doing a cull hunt. On the cull hunts, you do not get to bring home any of your animals, but and you can kill a lot of animals for a very low price. Then you still get to experience Africa at a low price and don't have the cost of having your animals sent home.
From: Highway Star
Leave them there unless you have a lot of room at home and can afford it. The money you save will pay for 1/2 of the next trip. The trophys are not worth anything to any one else.
Technically, the safari company can (and legally I believe should) charge you a VAT tax of 14% on trophy animals that you choose not to export, although I don't believe I have ever been charged that when I've left trophies. There is no tax on animals exported.
Obviously, it all comes down to personal choices and one’s financial means. Some highly treasure their trophies others could care less. On my hunts VAT taxes in RSA were 14% and were applied to professional services like fees for hunting days, a trip to Kruger plus any “finished” products. This would include finished taxidermy. If you opt to have a skin tanned, head mounted or complete euro mount done there you will pay a VAT on the “finished” product. Regarding what most hunters do with Taxidermists there is Dip & Pack. Skins/capes that are Dip & Packed are re-salted ,dried & folded. D&P’ed skulls/horns Are cleaned, but not considered finished, thus no tax. That’s how a majority of trophies are shipped back to the US; to be tanned and finished over here. These items are easily crated and air freighted vs careful crating and oceanic shipping of finished mounts. Also, we were not charged a VAT on any trophy fees paid for each animal shot. When you pay a fee for an animal, you are actually only buying it’s trophy parts and not the meat which the safari operator/rancher still owns. The meat is usually sold to local meat markets and used to feed you, the staff and their families if living onsite. For me going to Africa was always a dream since childhood and I first went in 1974. Hunting Africa was even a bigger dream and in my case I treasured the trophies too much to just leave them. Knowing the high cost of Taxidermy (which I was always interested in) would be a great barrier, I ended up learning and practicing the art to the point now that I am doing all of my own work as a licensed Taxidermist running my own business in my retirement....(it pays for my bad habit of needing to return for more hunts). Most of my clients want quality work on their African trophies and that’s what I specialize in. Many wonder why Taxidermists here generally charge more for African mounts than typical NA game. After doing both and gaining more knowledge it boils down to several factors that make African stuff more difficult to do. Most annoying is the quality of the cape leather you have after tanning. Many times the chemicals used for dip and pack other processing includes using formaldehyde which strongly cross-links collagen fibers prior to any tanning, you end up with capes having poor stretch properties. Capes tanned in Africa can also be lesser quality so one never knows what you will be faced with. Many taxidermists economically tan their own capes for NA game in-house but most African skins need to be sent to professional, commercial tanneries which adds cost. Add to this the sometimes uncontrollable conditions of the hunt where skins are not removed and salted promptly in warm weather causing hair and epidermal slippage. Poor skinning jobs multiple holes and rips are the norm. Most African game has fine/sparse hair vs NA so everything, including sewing seams will show and each issue needs all kinds of doctoring to correctly mask. Many need to be carefully painted to do this. The available forms are also a big factor. Usually there are only one or a few for a species vs hundreds for deer. In addition it is more the rule that with African forms you’ll need to make significant alterations to the form in order for it to fit correctly. They do not make African forms in many sizes, so that can be very time consuming for Taxidermists. Restoring the natural look of over boiled/DP’d horns is one more added factor. Many just don’t bother with that extra time consuming detail, so you end up with with unnaturally black, dried, out and fissured horns. Plus there are legal issues to contend with like special USDA and USFWS authorizations to receive certain species and paperwork. All these factors add up to a more complicated and many times frustrating process, so rightly they charge accordingly which drives the price up.
I know I went on and on here but it helps if you know the details sometimes.
Why travel all the way to Africa and kill animals if you don't have any interest in bringing them home?
AZ-Rich, excellent info thanks for that. Ollie I didn’t say that I have no interest in bringing anything home I just don’t know that I need 5 African sized game animals shoulder mounted and on my walls or worse yet in the basement. To be honest I’m not a huge fan of taxidermy and rarely get anything mounted anymore, the cost and product doesn’t add to the experience for me. I would certainly be interested in euros and hides however and that seems like a viable option. I’d go to hunt one or 2 animals like a zebra and impala but most places seem to be the plains game package.
Very good explanation of the in's and outs of African Taxi work by Az-Rich. With all those considerations in mind it is not hard to understand the higher fees for quality work on African game animals. Another factor in the cost is the long turn around time for completion of African animals, which makes the price easier to absorb in your budget when the fees are spread out over such a long period of time. Beyond the cost for me the waiting is the hardest part.
I bought a pricey point and shoot camera and called it good, left everything there. Like you I have no need nor real estate for such displays, all I wanted was the experience... and that it was. I don't need dusty mounts on my wall to remember the hunt when pictures tell so much more.
Lost man, don’t feel bad if you don’t want to mount everything or anything. That is between you and the animal. That might take away from why you want to hunt in the first place. I mount some of my stuff. I seldom get asked by clients to get their trophies measured because they feel it take away from why they hunt. There is nothing wrong with that. I’ve had many guys say “we don’t measure/compare our wives and we don’t measure/compare our trophies”. My opinion is there is no cheaper place to kill a lot of animals than Africa (been there done that), but the adventure of hunting Alaska is the tops (can’t get enough). I’ll go back to Africa...when I can no longer physically handle Alaska. Until then I’m addicted to the challenges, romance and adventure AK provides. Good luck wherever you go.
My wife and I are heading over in May for our first safari. We don't have much on the radar for animals but I want yet to get her first animal under her. She picked a kudu which was what I really wanted but said I could shoot a sable instead. So that's the plan besides a few other smaller antelope and some wing shooting. We will bring everything back, but only the kudu and sable will be mounted. The rest will be euros. We are quickly running out of room even with a new basement finished. It's all in what you want. I don't know if I personally would want to go and shoot some nice trophy animals and not bring them home at least as a euro mount but that's just me. Like others said if you want the experience and not sure about bringing the animals home maybe a cull hunt would suit you best.
Euros are not too expensive to bring back and most African taxidermists will do a good job. I hunted Namibia last summer and had Euro mounts done there for 1 kudu, 1 gemsbok, and 1 wart hog. In addition I had a second kudu cape and horns prepared for mounting in the USA. Cost for the Euro's on wood plaques was about $150-175 USD each. Shipping and paying a custom's broker in the USA to pick up your trophies is pretty expensive. I paid about $850. Could have saved a few hundred by shipping the trophies by boat rather than airplane cargo.