Mathews Inc.
What would you do ???
Contributors to this thread:
tobinsghost 15-Jun-19
Pete In Fairbanks 15-Jun-19
greg simon 15-Jun-19
Franklin 15-Jun-19
AZ~Rich 15-Jun-19
tobinsghost 15-Jun-19
Tdvorak 15-Jun-19
Firehuntfish 15-Jun-19
keepemsharp 15-Jun-19
GhostBird 15-Jun-19
Trial153 15-Jun-19
Heat 15-Jun-19
Ambush 15-Jun-19
Buffalo1 15-Jun-19
GF 19-Jun-19
Glunt@work 19-Jun-19
Tilzbow 19-Jun-19
Dale06 20-Jun-19
AZ~Rich 20-Jun-19
Bou'bound 20-Jun-19
Missouribreaks 20-Jun-19
Duke 20-Jun-19
Trial153 20-Jun-19
Fuzzy 20-Jun-19
Highlife 20-Jun-19
BowJangles 23-Jun-19
ELKMAN 23-Jun-19
Eric Vaillancourt 25-Jun-19
SteveB 25-Jun-19
Heat 28-Jun-19
Hancock West 28-Jun-19
From: tobinsghost
Ok, I have been thinking about my current situation for a few days now because I didn't want to make any emotional decision(s). I got my horns back from Africa and my 58" kudu has turned into a 51" kudu. Several folks have compared the horns and no character marks match up besides the lack in length and curls. I have since found out that the horns were removed from the skulls and wrapped in the camp where I hunted. So, it seems like the camp is to blame for the error. Before I left I took a pic of all my horns and all horns had a tag on them with my name clearly written on it.

What would you do? How should I proceed? Has this ever happened to any of you folks? Would you even mount these horns and place them in your new home where you have been saving a place since you bought it? Let me hear any and all thoughts, thx!

Might be the camp staff. Might be the Dip and Ship expeditor. Definitely worth inquiring, especially if you have photos. Your PH may also have notes/records on trophy size in his government or personal paperwork.

Don't wait............. wade in. Try and have it made right. Or you will always wish you had!


From: greg simon
What Pete said. Somewhere there is a hunter who’s 51” Kudu turned into a 58” Kudu! You can find him but do it ASAP. Contact your booking agent first and go down the list from there.

From: Franklin
Sorry but you are wasting you time....this happens more times than you think and at this point there is no chance of any resolution. You won`t get your horns back.

If you are concerned about the mount your taxidermist could fix it if you really want to. If it`s for measuring not sure what to say.

From: AZ~Rich
That is a shame for sure. 58" is an awesome Kudu trophy for anyone and given there is some shrinkage after the dip and pack processes but certainly not 7 inches! Look for ridge and other characteristics of each horn from your photos that you can point to to confirm your horn set was not sent to you. The PH should want to make it right and get things corrected if possible. I'm guessing that you should have all the names, etc of the other hunters in camp while you were there. Maybe contacting them directly could help locate yours. Someone either intentionally switched them or a mistake was made at rhe Dip/pack taxidermist or in skinning shed. If they were tagged correctly it seems more of an intentional deal. Do the 51" horns fit your skull (horn cores) correctly. If not then someone probably got them mixed up otherwise I would think they would have switched the matching skulls as well. Good luck with this. I feel for you.

From: tobinsghost
Thx guys. I'm not expecting to get my horns back. Is it acceptable to ask for a refund of the Trophy Fee? My first time over there, so this is all new territory for me. Also, the only other hunter in camp is a buddy of mine and he got his horns back here which I opened to see if a switch, joke, had been pulled on me.

From: Tdvorak
It is a crappy deal! I would suggest that you not throw good money after bad. That’s a hard thing to swallow but in the end it is best. I’d take the TIME to look clear back at what you asked and what you were told when you BOOKED the hunt and don’t let it happen again. I always suggest people ask to get a list of ALL of an outfitter’s clients from the previous year and then a whole bunch of people jump on me for such a ridiculous expectation. It’s not ridiculous. But great outfitter’s will provide it and dealing with those outfits will prevent these deals and others like them. A GREAT outfitter would have never let you do business with somebody who would swap out your awesome kudu for an average kudu. Don’t overthink it, you already know the answer about if you are going to get anything for your efforts getting to the bottom of it. Sorry for your problems. Hopefully you will spot trouble when you set up your next big trip and it will be better. Good luck.

From: Firehuntfish
I am sorry to hear about this... I do not recommend that you give up... I would suggest contacting the outfitter and the company that handled your dip & packing as soon as possible to advise them of the situation. The most likely thing to have happened is that another client mistakenly got your horns. It is very possible that they can locate the client who got your horns and arrange to make the switch. I am sure the other client would also want his own horns back as well regardless of the size... Give them the opportunity to try to locate your horns and then see what they are willing to do to make it right.

Unfortunately, mistakes occasionally do happen, but I completely disagree that this is a common occurrence in Africa, and you have no chance of getting your horns back.... Any reputable outfitter would be all over this doing whatever they can to follow up and make it right for their clients. At least let your outfitter and the dip & pack company have the chance, and then see what happens before you assume you assume the worst.

From: keepemsharp
As a fifty year bowhunter that does not give a dam about inches. If you had a good time and killed stuff with a bow why worry about a few inches. Is it going to make your life any different?

From: GhostBird
Fight to get your Kudu... ridiculous. You want your Kudu hanging on the wall... not some lesser representative specimen. Sorry, but maybe it's an unintentional screw up... I certainly hope so. Best of luck.

From: Trial153
My thoughts are disclose all parties involved so some else doesn't get screwed

From: Heat
I would give them a chance to try to make it right. If you don't get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, I would also recommend letting others be warned about the parties involved.

From: Ambush
First off, stay calm and rational. Nobody at your camp has anything to gain by switching your horns ( except another hunter), so it's very likely a mistake. And mistakes can often be fixed. You have pictures and your PH must have measured your horns because you know how long they are. Definitely phone the safari provider and the camp manager. It's their business to keep clients happy and if they are well known and reputable they will do everything they can to make it right for you. Many hunters have had game they wounded and couldn't find, found months later in the bush and the Safari operator has contacted them to see if they want it, some even offering a cape. Pretty easy to say nothing but they didn't.

Give the company a fair chance, then if it seems shady, pull the stops and out them.

From: Buffalo1
I agree with AZ, will the horns fit on the skull bases, that is proof that there is is confusion.

I do not believe in a 7” shrinkage on a kudu.

I would be in contact with the Outfitter. If he has any honesty and integrity about him he will help you locate your horns. If he fails to assist, expose him for what he is.

You killed an absolute giant. I would fight to the end to get my trophy back and home. Best of luck to you.

From: GF
I don’t know Jack about Kudu, but I know what’s The Right Thing and I know this: if it was an honest mistake, you’ll have very little trouble sorting it out, and if it was intentional, you’re probably screwed but good.

Give it a shot.

If it was an honest mistake, nobody wants you to have anyone else’s horns. If you paid a fee based on the length of the horns that were supposed to show up, then the Outfitter owes you a refund. Honest mistake or otherwise, it’s on him and he’s gotta eat it.

If you can’t get anywhere, well, that sucks. About all you can do is be honest about what happens with anyone who asks.

But I’d be real careful about naming any names other than the outfitter. If there were six other guys in that camp, you would be wrongly casting doubt on the characters of 5 of them if you were to post the list, and THAT would be a greater injustice than losing your trophy to any one of them.

Totally unacceptable to sully one man’s reputation without specific cause, let alone several. And even if there was only ONE other guy out there with you that week, you have no basis to assume it was him and not somebody who hunted there before or after.

This is 100% on the outfitter. If he won’t make it as right as can be, then he has chosen to put his own reputation at risk. And that’s as far as it can go.

From: Glunt@work
Be prepared to not see your horns again...but, do everything reasonable to work the problem. It may or may not work out but you will have done what you could and maybe help chink a weak spot in the PH's system so that a future hunter doesn't suffer the same deal. In the end it's a set of horns. The experience is the real trophy. Hunting Africa is only a dream for many bowhunters.

From: Tilzbow
Stone Sheep, 2014, my taxidermist called 3 months later that the tanned, full body cape, had bullet holes in it. He knew I’d killed it with a bow. He called the outfitter and asked. Outfitter had received a similar call but a few days before, only this time broadhead holes vs bullet. Outfitter ship capes to wrong spots.

Make a few calls, might be an easy explanation...

From: Dale06
My friend got one sable horn from the sable he’s arrowed, and one horn that was quite a bit smaller. He found the owner of the smaller horn, but never found his horn. Not sure who paid for it, but he had a second horn made to closely match the one lost. Stuff happens.

From: AZ~Rich
My guess is these events most likely occur at the dip and pack processor/taxidermist (dp) after the PH relinquishes possession. Normally the PH oversees that the skull is tagged with the correct hunter’s ID in skinning shed. The initial dp process involves boiling the skull and horns to remove the horn sheaths from bone cores. Each horn sheath then must be tagged in some way to ID with that skull. On larger horned game many times they drill tiny holes toward the horn tips and wire in a tag. This also assists in them; suspending the skull to minimize boiling horns. Others use tape and permanent markers, etc. especially on small horn pairs like springbok which are often bubble wrapped together and tape/marked. Low paid laborers doing this in a large volume setting are the primary weak link as surely horn sheaths get mixed up from time to time, in spite of safeguard protocols instituted by the dp owners. The PH is not in control of this except for his choice of the dp. They will usually try to correct the situation if they can or obtain replacements but the problem still remains anytime horns sets are removed. I would suggest that you as the hunter request that the PH’s skinners go further and tag each horn in addition to the skull using a small drill and wire. This way the dp guys have a much smaller chance to make any mistakes with ID. These holes are easily repaired at home with two part epoxy sculpt used by taxidermists and colored to match. I would wager many hunting safari operations have fine print clauses removing them from liability for events beyond their control. In Africa at a dp operation there may be hundreds of kudu horns stacked and racked at any given time. A 58” set is nice but not anything folks there would risk their jobs over to steal. In the OP’s case these horn sheaths were removed and tagged in camp not at the dp. So, IMO the PH is responsible for insuring that all trophy items remain tagged correctly and handed off to the appropriate agent (the dp). He needs to check with each hunter that was in camp that shot a kudu. It may go nowhere but you tried. Maybe he will give you another hunt opportunity as reparation if you go back.

From: Bou'bound
At least your memory is not short. In he end it only matters if you hunters for a score vs an adventure. Only you can determine how big a deal this is. To some it would be a non issue to others they will harbor resentment each time they eye the mount.

I wouldn't worry about it, not that important.

From: Duke
It IS important if he paid for the hunt and paid for the trophy to be shipped back! Like Ambush stated above, stay calm and see if you can get to the bottom of it. I'd imagine it was an unintentional mistake that can be corrected if the right person works through it. Good luck.

From: Trial153
The wife of some guy somewhere just told him that it looks bigger in person than the pictures. First time ever.

From: Fuzzy
If I came up seven inches short I'd... oh wait, been there already

From: Highlife
Fuzzy you are truly something else LMAO!!

From: BowJangles
I don't see how folks can say "it doesn't matter" or "who cares about a couple of inches." I'd be super upset about a mix up like this. Sure the experience is awesome but so is what you have to show for it afterwards. I'd be just as upset if my Kudu grew 7". I'd want the animal that I harvested, not someone else's regardless of size.

Ambush nailed it. Stay calm and try to resolve the issue. If things get sideways on you respond in kind.

I surely sympathize with you and hope that your situation is corrected. Best of luck to you sir!

If I ever get back to Africa I will NEVER ship anything home again... I sure hope I make it back some day. Amazing

If you are unable to locate your horns and would like a pair of representative 58” horns, you can likely get them from:

I used to sell a lot of kudu horns and these guys still do. They should be able to get you a matched pair 58” long. It may take a little while.

Good luck.

From: SteveB
I cant imagine guys telling you it's no big deal and to forget it and move on. I would want the exact head that I shot and no one else's! Anything less is simply unthinkable. Geez. I would be prepared to never see them again, but I guarantee you that I would do every single thing in my power to get MINE recovered. If I did not get it resolved, I would get an exact set in the length that I shot. Then I would name the outfitter and the expeditor everywhere that I could. Not to be vindictive, but this is the only way that these things will ever stop....only when it hits them in their wallets. I sincerely feel for you.

From: Heat
Any updates?

From: Hancock West
id be ticked. Agree, expect not to see it again but doing everything you can within reason to find it and quickly before its gets mounted by the other hunter.

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