Mathews Inc.
South Africa Trophy Care Logistics??
International
Contributors to this thread:
hunt forever 20-Jun-21
Dale06 20-Jun-21
jerrynocam 20-Jun-21
StickFlicker 20-Jun-21
bowonly 20-Jun-21
Jasper 20-Jun-21
Tilzbow 20-Jun-21
Tilzbow 20-Jun-21
hunt forever 20-Jun-21
hunt forever 20-Jun-21
Tilzbow 20-Jun-21
Tilzbow 20-Jun-21
BIGHORN 20-Jun-21
hunt forever 20-Jun-21
Firehuntfish 22-Jun-21
Chief 419 22-Jun-21
wildwilderness 22-Jun-21
Firehuntfish 22-Jun-21
Firehuntfish 22-Jun-21
hunt forever 22-Jun-21
hunt forever 22-Jun-21
hunt forever 22-Jun-21
Ken Moody Safaris 22-Jun-21
BIGHORN 22-Jun-21
hunt forever 23-Jun-21
hunt forever 23-Jun-21
Ken Moody Safaris 23-Jun-21
hunt forever 23-Jun-21
Firehuntfish 23-Jun-21
StickFlicker 23-Jun-21
hunt forever 23-Jun-21
hunt forever 23-Jun-21
StickFlicker 24-Jun-21
Firehuntfish 25-Jun-21
StickFlicker 27-Jun-21
Ken Moody Safaris 27-Jun-21
StickFlicker 28-Jun-21
hunt forever 30-Jun-21
hunt forever 05-Jul-21
Firehuntfish 05-Jul-21
StickFlicker 05-Jul-21
Zebrakiller 06-Jul-21
hunt forever 07-Jul-21
Firehuntfish 08-Jul-21
hunt forever 08-Jul-21
Firehuntfish 10-Jul-21
Highlife 10-Jul-21
hunt forever 11-Jul-21
Firehuntfish 11-Jul-21
hunt forever 11-Jul-21
From: hunt forever
20-Jun-21
A friend and me are heading to South Africa very Soon!! I was hoping to get some last minute help with getting our trophies home. We are still deciding on weither to chose a taxidermist in SA or bring them home. We'll likely only do one shoulder mount each and the rest in Euro and rugs. We each have 6 animals on our list.

1. Did you dip and ship the trophies home? If, so who did you use?

2. Did use a taxidermist in SA? If, so who? Would you recommend them?

3. Who did you use for shipping the trophies home?

4. Did you use a importer to help get the trophies into the US? If, so who?

5. Can we ship both our trophies in the same container if sent to the same address?

6. Did you have the trophies sent directly to your home or did you have to pick them up at a port or airport?

Thanks for the advice and help!!

From: Dale06
20-Jun-21
I’ve been there three times but it’s been a few years. Suggest you ask your outfitter in Africa for some advice. I had mine dipped and packed in Africa. Then shipped to Chicago. There is a service that will receive them for you at the USA arrival airport and get them through customs and then ship them to a tannery or your taxidermist. I had them mounted here in the USA. That service is available in some other major airports. That service is called Coppersmith Global Logistics. There probably are others that do this, but coppersmith was flawless on all three of my shipments. I don’t remember the costs of any of these, but it’s been seven years since I was on safari and I’m sure things have changed some. Have fun.

From: jerrynocam
20-Jun-21
I’ve been twice and use a taxidermist over the first time. I would not recommend doing that. I got terrible work and with him in SA I really had no recourse. The second time I use a guy here in the states that handled everything for me and it worked out great. He also used Coppersmith.

From: StickFlicker
20-Jun-21
As Jerry said, if you use them to do your taxidermy, and you're not happy when you get it back, what are you going to do about it? Also, if you use your local taxidermist, you can mount them one at a time over whatever period of time you can afford, instead of all at one time (if that's a factor for you). Certain animals will complicate your shipments, as swine and primates have to be packed separately and go through different inspections. As I recall, only certain taxidermists in the U.S. are licensed to receive African shipments (but again, it may just be dependent on which animals you are shipping back if that comes into play). My recollection is that the taxidermist had to have the facilities for burning the shipping containers after they were unpacked.

As far as which dip and pack company to use, your safari company probably has a local favorite they would recommend. I usually research a couple of them in advance. Some are priced with a cost for the head/horns and a separate price for the cape (and or back skin or flat skin). Some just have one larger fee no matter how many pieces of the animal you're bringing home. So, if you're mostly only bringing skulls, one that has a separate cost per piece would be better for you. For example, on the two companies I'm looking at right now, an Impala would cost $100 at one place no matter how many pieces you brought back (2018 price sheet), and the other shows $72 for a skull, $66 for a cape and $22 for a back skin (2021 price sheet). So, if you were bringing home just a skull/horns, $72 would be better than $100, and the $100 is probably higher now since that was a three-year-old price list.

From: bowonly
20-Jun-21
My experience with taxidermists has varied, but they ALL seem to take longer than they estimate. Maybe it's something they teach in taxidermy school. In three trips to Africa, having tried both ways, I found the quality was better in the US and it seemed much easier for the RSA guys to string you along!

From: Jasper
20-Jun-21
Coppersmith yes. SA taxidermist NO. Most likely the capes will have small holes or issues. The quality of caping and trophy care over there is lacking

From: Tilzbow
20-Jun-21
If you choose to have the taxidermy and tanning done in the US, you’ll be using a dip and ship service in Africa. They’ll handle all the logistics for you. Find out from your outfitter if they use Swift Dip for this service. If so you’ll have some cool engraved Euro options through Swift Dip. The owner, Antonio, can hook you up if his guy is still doing these.

From: Tilzbow
20-Jun-21

Tilzbow's embedded Photo
Tilzbow's embedded Photo

From: hunt forever
20-Jun-21
I'm looking into Swift Dip and Trophy Pro for thr dipping and packing. I'm more curious about the shipper/exporter. My understanding is that price can very alot.

Also, really curious if we ship both our trophies in the same container if sent to the same address?

From: hunt forever
20-Jun-21
I live the engravings on the warthog skull!!! What did that cost if you don't mind me asking.

From: Tilzbow
20-Jun-21
The shipping and exporting on all three of my trips was really a non-event and required zero pre-planning on my part. My first trip I tried to pre-arrange everything, the last two I didn’t give anything other than getting myself there and back much thought.

From: Tilzbow
20-Jun-21

Tilzbow's embedded Photo
Tilzbow's embedded Photo
A cull Impala

From: BIGHORN
20-Jun-21
Dip and pack is done in Africa. I flew mine back to the states for the tanning but the place in TX that I used is now out of business. Have your taxidermist get the tanner that he uses to issue tags that will have to be on each animal. Take those tags with you on your hunt. One each for the skin and one each for the horns. This will be my third trip to Africa. I have 5 more animals on my list to add to the 12 African mounts in my game room. One will be a Leopard and another will be a Sable. There are about 25 total in there now and my wife asked me where I will put the additional mounts. Have to do some rearranging for sure. Good luck and good hunting!

From: hunt forever
20-Jun-21
I'm probably going to use a different taxidermist out of Texas. I probably won't have enough time to get tags to me.

Why do you bring your own tags? Do they not use tags to mark each hunters animals?

From: Firehuntfish
22-Jun-21
@hunt forever,

Trophy prep, care, and shipping of trophies are the most overlooked aspects of planning an African safari. Most of the unpleasant experiences you hear about come at this phase because most hunters take the process for granted.. You are wise to ask questions and do some research.... I have used Trophy Pro SA on my last 4 safaris. They do excellent work at very reasonable prices. They also offer a wide variety of tanning, rugging, and custom leather goods that you can have made from your back skins. I recommend emailing Johan LeRoux, the managing partner, and ask for their price list, and a good faith estimate based on your trophy wish list... Johan will be happy to answer any questions you have regarding the entire process...

Taxidermists and Dip & Pack facilities in Africa usually all have a few different logistics companies that they work with for shipping. Keep in mind that the total shipping cost is based on volumetric weight of the packed crate(s) which can only be determined just prior to shipping. A reputable dip & pack company will use the best quote available at the time. A reputable company will also work with you on shopping around for the best rates, as well as offering you the option of shipping via air or sea freight which is cheaper, albeit longer option to get your trophies to the nearest US port of entry to you that will accept imported trophy parts. A reputable company will also accommodate your option it use a shipper of your own choosing as long as that company is willing to pick up your trophy crate(s) from their facility.

Combining trophies from different hunters who do not reside at the same address listed on your passport is tricky.... Some outfitters and dip & pack companies will do this for you, but it is technically illegal to do so. This is something a suggest you talk about with your outfitter and Dip & Pack company before the hunt so you are on the same page in this regard. Any issues with questionable paperwork can result in your import process being delayed or even denied... Bringing your own trophy tags is likely unnecessary. I am not aware of any reputable outfitters or dip & packers that do not have a system in place for accurately tagging and identifying your trophy animals. Again, if you have concerns, bring this up with your outfitter and dip & packer before your hunt. Good luck! Have a great trip!

From: Chief 419
22-Jun-21
Keep in mind that if you want to bring back any primates or warthogs that those animals will need to be shipped in a separate crate from the rest of your trophies. Swine and primates also have to be re-dipped by a licensed taxidermist in the US before your shipment can be released to your custody.

Coppersmith is a popular customs broker but you'll pay a premium using their services. There are much cheaper options out there for customs brokers.

22-Jun-21
Had anyone just had euro mounts and hides tanned then freight back? Is that similar in cost to dip/pack only?

From: Firehuntfish
22-Jun-21
To add to @Chief 419's comment,

Swine and primates are are required to be packed in a separate crate from the rest of the plainsgame species. HOWEVER, it is perfectly within the regulations to pack that smaller crate containing swine and primate parts inside the larger shipping crate containing the rest of your trophy shipment. I have consulted the USFWS and Customs for compliance prior to shipment, and have done this with no issues on every trophy shipment I have ever imported from Africa... Some dip & pack companies are not aware of this, while others are and will still gladly bill you for the cost of shipping 2 crates. You will need to request this of your dip & pack company to be done early in the process before well before crating.

The re-inspection part for swine and primates upon arrival in the USA is correct. You will need the services of a taxidermist or broker who holds a veterinary certificate pertaining to taxidermy to pick up these pieces on your behalf. Many shipping brokers on this side have that certification or can acquire it for you. As mentioned, brokers can be pricey, but an experienced one is worth their weight in gold to avoid any issues with the import process.

From: Firehuntfish
22-Jun-21
@wildwilderness,

"Had anyone just had euro mounts and hides tanned then freight back? Is that similar in cost to dip/pack only?"

If you plan on having all of your back skins tanned, and skulls mounted as Euros, there is no need for dip & pack. As long as everything contained in your shipment has been tanned or mounted, your trophy parts can be shipped as finished taxidermy. Shipping and crating costs will be similar because they are based on volumetric weight, and an untanned dip & packed cape or skull is basically the same weight as a finished one. If you have any of the backskins rugged, or plaques added to the Euro mounts, the weigh of the crate will obviously be a bit more. Regardless, you would still save on the cost of dip & packing each piece.

Although I do not recommend having your full mounts done in Africa for the reasons already stated, having your tanning and Euros done in Africa is most often always a better overall value that having it done here in the States. If you do your research and find a reputable company, many do very high quality work with Euros, back skins, and leather at really good prices. Trusting them with the process of creating Euro mounts and tanning backskins is a much different thing than having them do full taxidermy.

From: hunt forever
22-Jun-21
Firehuntfish,

Funny that you mentioned Trophy Pro SA because I just spoke with them by email. They do offer good prices. I would like to see some of the other items mentioned. I guess I woukd have to swung by their place. I didn't see much on their website.

From: hunt forever
22-Jun-21
Chief419, I got a quote from Copper and they charge $700 plus shipping.

Who have you used before?

Also, I heard if you were only shipping the warthog skull and not the hide you didn't have to go through US Fish and wildlife. Is that not the ca

From: hunt forever
22-Jun-21
The biggest item I would like to tackle is the exporter in Africa. It seems this area has the largest price difference. It seems like a lot for them to pickup a crate and then take it to the airport for shipment for $100]. Maybe, I'm missing something. Lol

22-Jun-21
Contact Richard Lendrum at AHG Trophy Shipping and ask for a door to door quote via sea freight.

From: BIGHORN
22-Jun-21
Hunt forever, The reason why I bring my own tags is that it has the name, address and contact information where my skins, horns and whatever will be shipped to in the state and, once it got to the tanner it has the name and address and contact info. of my taxidermist. Once I harvest my trophies the tag goes on them and it stays on until it is delivered to me. It's a plastic card which can't be destroyed or modified. Also, I ask the people at the place I am hunting for the name of the Dip and Pack place, their email address and the person who will be responsible for my items. Then, I contact them to make sure the email address works and I tell them to contact me when the crate is ready to go to the shipper. Again, I want their email address and the contact there to make sure that when I wire the funds to them that they actually get it. These people have told me that it's great to work with someone that follows every move of their trophies. Had a guy that told me that he hadn't received anything. I told him what to do and he found out that it was being held because they didn't know where to ship it and hadn't received the payment. Lot's of nightmares out there but not for me.

From: hunt forever
23-Jun-21
Awesome info !!

From: hunt forever
23-Jun-21
I bought a package hunt 2 years ago and one of the animals is a Golden wildebeest. It's not my favorite animal, lol. I believe they allow you to swap animals out but I was told to ask the owner when I get into camp. I've been working on figuring out the going rate for a Golden Wildebeest. Does anyone know what a fair price would be? And how I should approach the owner?

23-Jun-21
Ask him beforehand. Once you’re here your options are limited.

From: hunt forever
23-Jun-21
Whats one of the hardest plains game animals to get with a bow in Africa?

From: Firehuntfish
23-Jun-21
@hunt forever, If the warthog skull is not a finished Euro mount and only a boiled skull that has been dip & packed, it still needs to go through the re-inspection process...

The cost of the logistics company on the Africa side is for the service of delivering your crate from the Dip & Pack facility to the airport/seaport then to the final destination of the US port of entry you designate... Once in the USA, you would need to arrange to clear your own trophies or hire a broker to clear the trophies on your behalf unless you use the services of one of these all-inclusive door-to-door companies.

I second Ken's recommendation to contact AHG Shipping. Richard Lendrum is one of the owners and he is also the owner of the Afton Safari Lodge and the African Hunting Gazette magazine.. He is a straight shooter, and I have heard good things about their trophy shipping services. You may also want to contact Tom Kelley with Trophy Shippers. They also offer a 1-stop door-to-door option.

And to answer your last question, the hardest plainsgame animal to hunt with a bow is usually the one you want the most....

From: StickFlicker
23-Jun-21
Zebra is commonly mentioned as one of the most difficult animals to take with a bow, and I would agree. They are a very high-strung animal and are extremely wary when coming into water.

From: hunt forever
23-Jun-21
We are thinking of having all the animals skulls and hides tanned in africa then sent back to the US. At that point we will do 2 or 3 peditale mounts of the best trophies. Any body have thoughts on that?

From: hunt forever
23-Jun-21
Couple other questions? I found a few shops that sell finished hides. Can we bring back finished/ tanned hides in our checked luggage?

The same goes for souvenirs and suck.

From: StickFlicker
24-Jun-21
I would be fine with tanning flat skins for rugs in Africa, but I personally wouldn't tan capes that you intend to make into mounts. I think the tanning processes in the U.S. are likely more advanced, and many taxidermists prefer wet tanning to dry tanning, which wouldn't be an option if you had them tanned in Africa.

From: Firehuntfish
25-Jun-21
"We are thinking of having all the animals skulls and hides tanned in africa then sent back to the US. At that point we will do 2 or 3 peditale mounts of the best trophies. Any body have thoughts on that?

Couple other questions? I found a few shops that sell finished hides. Can we bring back finished/ tanned hides in our checked luggage? The same goes for souvenirs and suck."

@hunt forever, The tanning offered in Africa is a display finish tan that you would want for backskins and rugs. The underside of the hide is a dyed suede-like finish. As StickFLicker said, it is not the preferred tan that you would want for a mount. You may want to consult a taxidermist, but I don't think it's the same tanning process they would use on a cape for a mount. If you are intending on using any of the capes for mounts, I recommend that you have them dip & packed and then let your taxidermist do the tanning.

You can bring back tanned capes and backskins from Africa in your luggage provided that it has an RSA veterinary ink stamp on the underside of the hide indicating that it is fully tanned according to the US regulations for importation. Most of the curio shops that sell hides will have this stamp. If it does not, you are rolling the dice on running into a problem with Customs upon your return to the USA. I also recommend having the sales receipt along with the stamped hide to avoid any issues. Any ivory products and real ostrich eggs are no-no's unfortunately.... If you want to bring any of those home, have your dip & pack company add it to your crate of trophy parts to avoid any problems... Although I would never encourage anyone to do anything illegal, I have heard of folks who bought an ostrich egg display or warthog bottle opener at the airport for example, and wrapped it up and hid it in a clothing pocket in their checked luggage. Just be prepared to lose it if US Customs finds it and know what it is... When it comes to Customs, it's really hit and miss depending on the airport and the individual that day... Biltong will also get confiscated if found.

From: StickFlicker
27-Jun-21
I tried to go to the AHG website link on their Facebook page, and it installed a link that keeps trying to get me to install a virus... It took an hour to find a way to stop it. I also tried emailing them at the email address they list on FB, but that was returned as undeliverable. I think I'll look elsewhere.

27-Jun-21
I have informed AHG of your issue.

From: StickFlicker
28-Jun-21
Thanks Ken, I just didn't want anyone else to have the issues. I'll try reaching out to him again in a week or two.

From: hunt forever
30-Jun-21
Thanks for all the help everyone

From: hunt forever
05-Jul-21
What exactly is the VAT tax and when is it added?

From: Firehuntfish
05-Jul-21
"What exactly is the VAT tax and when is it added?"

A Value Added Tax is a flat 15% tax collected in RSA on most all goods and services just like a State sales tax. As a non-African visitor, you are entitled to receive a refund, or at least a partial refund on any VAT paid for goods and services you incurred while visiting South Africa. Depending on how much you spend while in South Africa, it could be a substantial amount... Save all of your receipts for any purchases you make and you can make a claim for a refund at any of the VAT offices located in the Jo'burg airport. It usually only takes a few minutes to make a claim for your refund.

From: StickFlicker
05-Jul-21
If you're more specifically asking about how VAT taxes are added to your safari costs, the tax is applied only to the daily rates portion of your hunt costs and not the trophy fees of those animals you take and export back to the U.S. The exception is, as I understand it, that they can also tax any animals you take and do not export back to the U.S. (including wounded and lost animals). Since I believe that you purchased a package or perhaps even bought it at a fundraising auction, those taxes may already be included by the Concession or they may still charge them to you based on the daily rate portion of the package. It varies by operator and you would need to inquire about it so as not to be surprised at the end. I don't believe those VAT taxes are refundable at the airport, but perhaps Firehuntfish could weigh in on that.

Copied this part from a safari company website since I wasn't sure about it: VAT is levied on the dipping and shipping services and/or for the tanning of skins done. Should the trophies be processed in South Africa, VAT is levied on 30% of the taxidermy value, as agreed between the taxidermy industry and the Receiver of Revenue.

From: Zebrakiller
06-Jul-21
Hunt forever when shipping home get quotes from several importers , I have been to Africa 8 times and this last year I took the biggest !%$$%##^*( of my life trusting in a few in Africa it will never happen to me again, of course they blame it all on Covid.

From: hunt forever
07-Jul-21
So, the VAT is added to the dipping and packing? And any tanning done?

I still can't understand why South Africa charges you 15% on lost or wounded animals or animals not taken. That's kicking a man when he is already down. Lol But really it seems unfair law.

From: Firehuntfish
08-Jul-21
"So, the VAT is added to the dipping and packing? And any tanning done? I still can't understand why South Africa charges you 15% on lost or wounded animals or animals not taken. That's kicking a man when he is already down. Lol But really it seems unfair law."

The VAT is added to nearly everything... It's a flat tax. Most outfitters include the VAT taxes into their daily rates and trophy fees. However, it's a good question to ask of the outfitter beforehand.... Less reputable outfitters will quote the cheapest daily rates and trophy fees only to nickel & dime you with unexpected charges, misc. fees, and VATS at the end of your safari. Make sure your hunting agreement states very clearly what is included and not included. The most reputable African outfitters will have no problem giving you an all-inclusive quote clearly stating the inclusions and exclusions of your safari with no hidden fees or unexpected charges at the end.

To file for reimbursement of the VAT at the airport, you must have already taken delivery of the goods, so it would be impossible to claim the VAT added to your trophy parts which will not be delivered for at least 3 months. VATs charged on services such as the dip & pack process are not refundable.

As far as charging for lost or wounded animals, that is pretty standard practice in the industry if you draw blood and the animal is not recovered. Reputable outfitters usually employ excellent trackers and will go to every length possible to find your animal. If the animal dies, they will find it 99% of the time. If not, you will be expected to pay the trophy fee.

From: hunt forever
08-Jul-21
No, our package includes all the VAT. Its a really good deal and no hidden charges.

I don't think I explained that very well!! Lol let me try again. South Africa charges hunters the VAT Tax 15% if you wound, don't kill or don't take your trophies back home. This has nothing to due with the outfitter. Thats my understanding at this point.

From: Firehuntfish
10-Jul-21
"South Africa charges hunters the VAT Tax 15% if you wound, don't kill or don't take your trophies back home. This has nothing to due with the outfitter. Thats my understanding at this point."

I understand the point you are making that it doesn't seem right to charge tax on an animal that you cannot put your hands on or take back home... As I said, most outfitters I am aware of build the VAT tax right into the trophy fee.... In the rare event that you were to wound and lose an animal and are required to pay for it, you certainly have a case to make with the outfitter in questioning the VAT tax charged on an unrecovered animal. The choice to have that conversation is between you and your outfitter... Again, in my experience, these are the types of situational questions that are best asked before the safari and not after the fact so as to avoid any unpleasantries that may spoil what would otherwise be a great hunting experience.

From: Highlife
10-Jul-21
Very well put Daniel

From: hunt forever
11-Jul-21
Fireworks,

You stated "Again, in my experience, these are the types of situational questions that are best asked before the safari and not after the fact"

It hasn't been a problem just a question. I haven't lost or wounded anyting. Just simply said question I had one night while resting. The outfitter has been great so far for the record. Im simply trying to understand everything.

How could someone possibly know every question to ask the booking agent or outfitter?

From: Firehuntfish
11-Jul-21
@Hunt forever, I'm not sure of why you are addressing me as "fireworks"? LMFAO... What's the implication you are making?

In answering your questions, everything I have said has not been meant to address you and your situation directly. And yes, you are correct that it is difficult to cover every aspect of what needs to be asked and researched when planning any outfitted hunt let alone an African safari. If you are taking my comments as some sort of personal admonishment that you should have planned ahead, that is certainly not my intent. There are lots of folks following this thread who may benefit from the questions you are asking so I have tried to elaborate for anyone who may also find this info helpful in planning a future hunt of their own.

I realize you are currently on safari and I am following along on that thread. I am very glad things are going well, and congrats on some great trophies!

From: hunt forever
11-Jul-21
Yeah, that's definitely how it came across but thanks for the clarification. There's definitely alot learn. Theres alot of moving parts compared to other hunts I've been lucky enough to go on.

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