Trying to price a Cape Buffalo Headmount job!

Submitted by Bruce Rittel on 6/9/99. ( )

A good friend of mine - who doesn't have access to the Forum asked me to ask what is a fair price for a Cape Buffalo headmount? He is thinking in terms of $800-900 - but is this realistic for New England? He'd really appreciate some help.

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This response submitted by deer woman on 6/9/99. ( )

I personally have never done a cape buff, but i have heard they are quite hard to do. Theres the problem with the "lost boss" on the horns, which needs to be rebuilt, the seam in the back needs to be patched and covered and made to blend in with the surrounding skin, plus they are big big animals ( not to mention some of the meaness it had in life might still be lingering about!) Tanning on one of these if sent out is pretty high, the mannikins are expensive, if you choose to tan it yourself, good luck. I believe such an animal is a big project, bigger than a moose or a bison. African skins always have problems beyond what the average North American ( or properly prepped skin!!!) skins have. I have 1100.00 on my list for a cape buff. Also considering what it costs to get one in Africa, I'd say the customer should be well able to afford 1100.00 to have it mounted properly.

" the area "

This response submitted by Brad on 6/9/99. ( )

Makes sence to me that a Cape Buffalo should cost 800-900 in New England. With the high cost of living in that area, real estate taxes, vehicle insurance , water , elec+ gas , plus state taxes. There are big instutions there , Harvard, MIT, Brown,turning out high income people, they can afford that kind of money . I hear there are patrolman (police ) in those big cities back east making 90 to over 100,000.00 per year with details and overtime. If there making that kind of money what are the big instution graduates making . When we
think about those backwood places like Denver, Reno,Texas, i'm sure
taxidermy shops in those areas are probably only getting 400.00 to 500.00 for cape buffalo. The tanneries are probably tanning them cheeper for those areas, you know us backwood folk stick together, while sticking to those city folk .

bad news for you

This response submitted by Bob @Jonas on 6/9/99. ( )

Bad news for you, I know a lot of joking goes on in the forums, but heres one for you. We charge $1195 for a cape buff, and they are worth every penny if done right. Strange enough some people skwak about it, some say gee, is that all?
Pretty weird stuff, all kidding aside, out here in the denver I'm sure I pay just as much for tanning as they do back east.
As for the mounting of a buff. Replace the missing boss first with mache, or fiberglss, and texture, then do the mount like any other, with one exception. Wrinkles are your friend, use them to your advantage. put them where they go and all the skin will fall into place.
you may need to put a wire into the ears to hold them up while they dry. but take your time. it will happen.
good luck.

Cape Buffs Are Pricey Items!

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 6/9/99. ( )

Hey, Bruce,

Cape Buffalo -- Mbogo in Swahili -- can be very expensive for the client, and VERY time consuming for the taxidermist! I have a listed price of $1500.00 for a shoulder wall mount, and $2500.00 for a full shoulder pedestal.
Yeah, I know it's a bit high, but what the hell?

The advice Bob gave on wrinkles and the boss are great. There was also an article done by Ron Schafer in Breakthrough not too long ago, that dealt with finishing Cape Buffalo. It would be to your friends advantage to check into that.

Hope this helps... John B.

Lucky me...

This response submitted by Mick on 6/9/99. ( )

At having the good fortune to do two of these brutes over the past several years. Anyone faced with the task would be well advised to heed Bob's excellent advice, and learn how to deal with all that "extra" hide. Aligning hair patterns as a guide is not generally an option with these brutes, very sparse hair indeed. Oh, and you can throw away the makita and 3" drywall screws, we're talking lag bolts to hold these puppies to the form. I charged $975 for the last one, though the price will be higher on the next, and this is upstate NY, far from the glamour and high incomes of the big city. ALSO BE FOREWARNED THAT MUCH OF THE PROJECT IS A "TWO MAN" JOB. Least you be on par with Paul Bunyan, balancing the hornset with one hand, while racheting in 6" lag screws with the other, is not an easy task.


This response submitted by Bill on 6/9/99. ( )

Never priced one according to what the guys near me make for a living...I agree with those who have the good sense to start at 1100 or refuse the work and do three deer heads in the same amount of time...

1,100-- 1,400

This response submitted by Jeff T. Becker on 6/9/99. ( )

On the last 8 ''capes'' we've done' we give this price range before even getting the skins back from the dressers; then if one of the buffs have alot more damage than another, they got the higher price.Sometimes giving price ranges on ''african'' stuff can really save your butt! I've yet to have a client be bothered by this way of pricing! Have a great day!

What a great place this is........

This response submitted by Bruce Rittel on 6/10/99. ( )

Thanks everyone! I truly appreciate all the feedback. And my friend also thanks all of you. He was impressed with the response and amazed at the help you all offered.

Cape Buf $$$

This response submitted by Sharkcity on 6/27/99. ( )

The 15 day permit, with no guaranteed kill, to shoot one of these beast is $15,800. Mounting and shipping from South Africa will run another 5000. So we're talking $$$ The market for these mounts isn't great in the US. I've spoken with a couple of taxidermist out of Pretoria and Johannasburg and they put values in the 2800 range for Cape Buffalo shoulder mounts. They are incredible. I'd buy at 1100 in a heartbeat if it was in good condition...SC

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