The biggest question on everyone’s mind is who is going to do the taxidermy work once the trophies are in the salt and the safari is over. There are many pros and cons as to getting them done in Africa:
- Good quality pieces
When the trophies are in the hands of experts, they will probably look better than what someone on a different continent can make them. This is simply because we do a lot more of the African species, we see them when they come in unskinned from the bush, study them, photograph them in their natural state, take death masks of their faces using plaster and we are able to take actual measurement of them regularly when we are in the bush. Also, should a cape have hairslip, we have a vast selection available to replace it.
- You save a fortune
With the favorable exchange rate, we can and do offer lower prices than what you’d get locally. Think of it this way: you shoot a kudu on your safari and want it shipped to your taxidermist in the states raw so that he can do it. You are going to pay a taxidermist here to dip and pack it, crate it and organise the documentation, which should come to about $300 depending where you go. He then gives it to the freight agent, who will charge you airfare rates to get it across which should come to about $850. Then you’ve got to pay the taxidermist there, probably about $1900 to have him do it, till the animal is finally sitting on your wall. Total bill, about $3000, and it would probably have taken at least 18 months. Get it done here, cost for mounting it, packing it in a box and organising paperwork, and shipped within a year will be a total cost of approximately $2000. It just makes sense.
- Peace of mind
You can enjoy the feeling that your trophies will be collected from your last Safari camp in SA, tagged, stored, and mounted according to your preference by professionals, soon to be exhibited in your trophy room while you relive the memories.
- The workmanship is shoddy
Not always the case! If one took the trouble to have checked out the taxidermist first and seen the work, there shouldn’t have been a problem. As in the States or anywhere else in the world, there are many fly-by-nights and many lacking the artistic ability to perform good workmanship. On visiting the taxidermist, check to see if he is using the correct colour, quality eyes, that his forms are anatomically correct, that the facial expressions portray a kind of “soft look”, and that he is using the highest quality tanning chemicals to preserve the life of the trophy. A crucial thing is to always check the way the finishing touches have been put into the mount, if there was any repair work it should be neatly stitched and covered up so that it isn’t noticeable and there should be white edges on the eyes.
- It takes forever to get them back
Not with Bull’s Eye! The most amount of time one should expect to wait for a consignment of trophies is a year & a half, not including the shipping time. After 2 years, the dry salted skins begin to show signs of aging, they would have been at more risk to insect damage, humidity and bacteria, and would not tan better than if they had been processed sooner. Bull’s Eye has an average turnaround time of nine months
- The freighting charges are higher as they are more bulky
True. You will pay more for the extra volumetric weight than if they were being dipped and packed. But remember, if they are sent dipped and packed to you, the regulations declare they must be flown in by aircraft, which is very costly. When you have them mounted or processed first, the consignment is permitted to travel by sea, which takes a bit longer but works out about half the price of airfreight.
Conclusion: In the hands of capable professionals such as ourselves, getting your prized mounts done with our trained team of experts makes a lot more sense. Hunting is a huge investment, make sure your decision hits the bullseye!!