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South African Taxidermists

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Kim Owens, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Kim Owens

    Kim Owens Are we there yet?

    We have a customer who has recently returned from South Africa and is 'considering' letting someone over there do his work because they are 'less expensive' than we are. I told him my main concern was getting his trophies back in good shape and mounts he would be proud of for years to come. Though we would like to do the safari for him, we are not willing to compromise our prices. With that being said, I told him I would throw the names of the companies that had been recommended by his PH out to our fellow taxidermists for any knowledge of them of their work and ethics. The names are Highveld Taxidermy and Transafrican Taxidermy. I really want first hand knowledge and honest responses. If they do good work I don't mind his leaving them over there even though I have told him it is against my better judgement. Thanks!
  2. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    WOW, Highvelt they do good stuff and not cheap, maybe 100 to 200 less than US taxidermist for kudu and cape buff.
    They are within 100 to 400 on a lifesize mounts on most game..

    And then add 2K to 5K for shipping if he has a lot

    had one client paying 4-5k for a lifesize giraffe from Zim to Wash shipping only

    When it comes down to it, your client will loose when the shipping bill comes in

    I've seen Transafrica stuff, it's good, I'm not really impressed, I've seen better and done better, but it the cream of the crop in Africa.

    I have to believe Transafrica is par or above Highvelts pricing
    It's on their website , at least Highvelts is....

  3. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    I can't speak to the prices. I did some "touch up" work for a client a couple years ago that was damaged because of poor Highvelt crating. At best, I thought that the work was very sloppy on the things that weren't damaged and when the client added in the shipping.........it more than doubled the cost of his "inexpensive" mounts. Adding insult to injury.....he paid dearly for the repair work I did. Actually, he liked what I did for him and had me refurbish his entire collection. He's going again this summer and the trophies are coming home to be mounted this time.
  4. The bird guys

    The bird guys Member

    jeez... what happened to being made in the USA anymore???? keeping the money in our economy? f'ing ridiculous, but thats what alot of guys do when they travel to africa ...have it done there because of convience and price. I'd rather see the work stay in the states even if it was with a hack.
  5. Field and Stream. He is going to pay outrageous shipping on the crates of mounted animals. Somewhere around $1400.00 per crate not include what get charged here and storage if needed there.

    Have afriend though he was saving money on a leopard and the munt was a POS and aloong with that ruined on the tarmack,
  6. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    They are spending who knows how much on this safari and they are worried about saving a few bucks on taxidermy? That would be like spending $300,000 on a Rolls Royce but worrying about saving two bucks on getting the oil changed at a fast lube joint over going to the dealer. To each their own...
  7. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Trans Africa taxidermy Leopard


    Phil Soucy Leopard


    Some guy in Texas Leopard

  8. jasonb

    jasonb I think I'll keep her

    Nuff said.
  9. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Trans Africa Buffalo


    Some guy in Texas Buffalo

  10. artwildcreate

    artwildcreate Don't look at me.....

    Some guy in Texas huh? Just one of the best taxidermists around!
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Don't know about Highvelds mounts but prepare to grab your ankles for the dipping and packing. And they really put the pressure on people to leave their mounts there to be mounted! Which is fair enough.... I guess!

    But with that said I will never understand leaving mounts where you will have no recourse if there is a problem just to "maybe" save a few hundred bucks. Far better to keep it close to home where you can physically harm some one if they &*(^ up your mounts ;)
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Kim it won't matter. Tell him to ask his PH. I'm tired of trying to educate dumbasses. One offices my better customers tried that game on me. Like you I refused to budge. He used Transafrica. When they finally came in he asked me to come over. The mess I saw was worse than shown here. He had 8 animals and the waterbuck was the only one that looked OK. He took a huge impala that was put on a smaller form and stuffed so it looked like cellulite. His buff looked like that "cow" Jerry showed. The job he'd bragged was going to save him $800 ended up costing him $3500 more after shipping and brokerage. His wife kept telling him he should've let me do them. (I try to stay out if domestic squabbles.) He did go back and brought another buff home. Michael P. Helped me mount that one.

    As for Highveld, I KNOW they swapped hides on me once. I got a 3 legged Steenbok for life-size and a kudu with a bazooka shot in the neck that the hunter had pictures of a good high shoulder shot.
  13. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    I have a new client that has decided not to leave his trophies over there anymore, and it just so happens his 6 friends aren't either!(LOL) All and all, I should have around 75 pieces coming next summer. If so, it's going to be a VERY busy season with everything else. Jerry, that buff is one of the best! Love it!!!
  14. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Kim, Don't budge on your prices!!! I've had clients leave their trophies over there thinking that they would save a buck only to get burned after the shipping and crating was added... While the taxidermy shops that you mentioned do above par work 'for over there' they pale in comparison to the work that is in the States. Seems everything looks 'hard' that is mounted in Africa. ALSO, I would advise my client to 'shop around' for the best prices for the dip and pack. It seems that the African guys are pouring it on our clients once they discover that they aren't doing the taxidermy. I have dealt with Field and Stream on the dip and pack and they do a good job and their prices are 'reasonable'. STAY AWAY FROM SAFARI TAXIDERMY!!!! These people have really put the screws to a couple of my clients over the last couple of months. A good tip for your clients is to talk to the PH before the safari and find out who he is working with on the dip and pack. If you aren't satisfied with the prices tell him that he needs to find another taxidermist that is more to your liking.... ALSO, you can put out for bid the shipping. I have saved ALOT of money for my clients by researching the shipping company and there are several to choose from.... All you have to do is tell the taxidermist who you want to do the shipping and that company will come and pick up the prepared trophies and get them to the States.....
  15. smittysinc

    smittysinc New Member

    KIM THEY ARE NOT A LOYAL CUSTOMER!Let them figure it out and Let them leave their crap in Africa.Its kind of funny if we were to ship mounts to AFRICA the amount of TAX that the African Goverment puts on us here in the US is higher than hell !!!,but if Africa wants to ship there products to us here in the US it isnt crap or even comparable.I have had clients from Africa that we do work for.I wonder how did the African taxidermist get there hands on our US patent COMMERCIAL GRADE molds? I have seen some great pieces come out of Africa.Its pretty tough to compete with 250.00 kudu shoulder mounts and 700.00 full body Lion mounts!!!! The cost of forms here in the US is more than the whole dam mount completed from AFRICA Please entertain me on which REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION pushed this bill to allow this???Keep voting for those greedy NON AMERICAN NAZI REPUBLICANS!!!
  16. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Smitty, did you just wake up one morning a dipwad or were you born that way?
  17. smittysinc

    smittysinc New Member

    Good Morning George,No I am just waiting for my check from MITTY the MORMON.My vote is still for sale! By the way Happy 4th!!
  18. *

    * Liberalism IS A MENTAL ILLNESS !

    Here's a post I got into with some hunters.
    I know that the African taxi's are going to have a bad taste for me after this one....

    Hundreds of Millions of dollars of taxidermy is left in Africa, U S money lost to our industry and country, lost jobs, etc......
    and as someone put here and I in my post the illegal form production on Africa.

    You have to remember hunters think different that taxidermists.
    Lowballers have always screwed the guy trying to make a decent living.
    If I could pay my help $10 or $20 a day, the supply companies the same and UPS paid their drivers $3.00 an hour then I could be competitively priced

  19. otjandauenam

    otjandauenam New Member

    What do you guys think of Namibian Taxidermist? Do they also fail to produce "decent" mounts.
  20. smittysinc

    smittysinc New Member

    We have quit taking mounts and tanned hides for work and rework jobs due to the high level of arsenic and banned chemicals in mounts completed from AFRICAN TAXIDERMIST!The ARSENIC and other Banned chemical levels in the mounts and tans coming in from AFRICA are TERRIBLE!Numerous Taxidermist and Hunters have gotten ill in displaying and working with African Tans and completed mounts.MAYO CLINIC is in my back yard!Who in the hell would want ARSENIC dusting off in your house or shop!!My health is more important than making money on African Taxidermy!!!!!!!!!!!