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  • #16
    Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post

    Nope, nothing has changed over the years of my working days in the business. We were both talking the same thing, but I was confusing your steps, my fault. I was talking prior to tanning, you were talking the tanning itself, shipping a hide still wet from the tanner, versus shipping the hide dry from the tanner. Please excuse my slow old brain !
    They call it "wet tanned" but that's not quite accurate. "Wetter" might be a better explanation but even that can be misleading. The "dip & ship" hides are not tanned at all. Just chemically dipped to keep the raw hide from rotting so it can be shipped to a fur dressing outfit or to taxidermist who does his own tanning. It's supposed to work ... but we're hearing some horror stories. Amflyer's stuff was apparently tanned and mounted over there with the finished product shipped to him. That would seem to be the sure fire method ... but sounds like it didn't work out well for him. As you know, a lot of things can go wrong between killing a trophy in the field and hanging it on the wall. And sometimes things go wrong and it's nobody's fault. Shooting an elk or moose in the early season (September) one always runs the risk of hair slipping because the animal may still be shedding into winter coat. Both my gemsbuck and wildebeest were excellent trophies with fine horns but turned out their faces were beat up. Not much a taxidermist can do about that because there's so little hair there and it's very short. Perhaps someday my daughter may want to do something special with the gemsbuck. We could then buy a cape ... although that's definitely a crap shoot. Until then I have the euro skull on the wall which looks nice enough and takes up a helluva lot less space!. Having said all that, if Amflyer's kudu cape was bad (for whatever reason) the taxidermist should not have mounted it anyway. He should have called the client and let him know there was a problem. Two years ago we had a moose cape go bad with hair slipping from the nose. Not sure if it was my daughter's fault (I was in Montana when it came in) or the outfitter. But we ultimately accepted the blame and offered to replace the cape (actually found a much nicer coloured one at a tannery in Edmonton). Turns out it worked out better for the clients if they just went with a cap mount as they really didn't have room for a moose shoulder mount in their dining room (yep, that's where they wanted to put it!). We felt bad about losing the client's once in a lifetime cape but he was very happy with the end result. His wife was absolutely tickled pink! I think they would have been a lot less happy if my daughter had slapped together a very expensive shoulder mount that looked like crap and wouldn't fit in their house. Then she'd have a pissed off customer, a bad reputation (courtesy of internet), and a whole lot of time and money wasted on something that would wind up in the dump.
    Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 02-16-2020, 05:46 PM.

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    • #17
      Good taxidermist can do creative things. A few decades ago I killed a Marco Polo ram in Tajikistan, even though heavily broomed on both sides he still measured over 61 inches with massive bases. I brought the horns home with me checked baggage as they would have been stolen in those days if shipped the usual way. The cape was shipped separately via normal trophy manner. What arrived was the cape from a smaller animal. The taxidermist used a caribou cape, do not recall the subspecies, and somehow with the combination came up with a good final mount. It was on exhibit at a game show next to other Marco Polo mounts and looked just as good as they did. Proudly, it was much larger. It was pedestal mounted so could be scrutinized closely.
      Last edited by Happy Myles; 02-16-2020, 06:00 PM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
        Good taxidermist can do creative things. A few decades ago I killed a Marco Polo ram in Tajikistan, even though heavily broomed on both sides he still measured over 61 inches with massive bases. I brought the horns home with me checked baggage as they would have been stolen in those days if shipped the usual way. The cape was shipped separately via normal trophy manner. What arrived was the cape from a smaller animal. The taxidermist used a caribou cape, do not recall the subspecies, and somehow with the combination came up with a good final mount. It was on exhibit at a game show next to other Marco Polo mounts and looked just as good as they did. Proudly, it was much larger. It was pedestal mounted so could be scrutinized closely.
        The gunsmith co-worker who helped my dad build my rifle in the hydro dam machine shop back in 1962 killed a grizzly at his cabin near the Canadian border that same fall. Several years later I saw the rug. A beautiful silvertip ... but not such a pretty rug. The bear had rubbed most of the hair from his belly and Earl shot him through the nose with .375 (bullet lodged in the bear's hip ... he still had to track it a hundred yards). Nothing the taxidermist could do about the belly except cut it out. He managed to remake the nose though and did a pretty good job except for the tip. The few remaining patches of nostril cap that weren't blown away were glued back on amid a sea of black epoxy. Taxidermist borrowed furred skin over nose bridge from some critter and carefully hid the splice in a snarl wrinkle. Jonas Brothers did the work. I'm sure you have heard of them, Happy. Probably did a couple of your mounts. Earl was buck naked except for his boots when he shot the bear in the moonlight. Me being a too young "greenhorn" I had to ask why he shot it in the nude. Earl just smiled ... and Thelma blushed.

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        • #19
          Honk, your story about Earl being nude except having his boots on, reminds me of a movie with Paul Newman in bed with a gal, nude except for his boots, and she asked him why. He stated “they give me better traction” ! Must be Earl had seen the same movie !
          Last edited by bowhunter75richard; 02-17-2020, 06:51 AM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
            Good taxidermist can do creative things. A few decades ago I killed a Marco Polo ram in Tajikistan, even though heavily broomed on both sides he still measured over 61 inches with massive bases. I brought the horns home with me checked baggage as they would have been stolen in those days if shipped the usual way. The cape was shipped separately via normal trophy manner. What arrived was the cape from a smaller animal. The taxidermist used a caribou cape, do not recall the subspecies, and somehow with the combination came up with a good final mount. It was on exhibit at a game show next to other Marco Polo mounts and looked just as good as they did. Proudly, it was much larger. It was pedestal mounted so could be scrutinized closely.
            ......”A good taxidermist can do creative things......” !

            That is true Happy, but he/she is still at the mercy of what transpired (the handling of a possible mount) prior to it being in his/her hands ! Probably less than 10% of people realize the importance of hide and cape care and how fragile they are to spoilage and that being main cause of hair slippage, and that being particularly associated with bears ! A large part of taxidermy starts in the field, with proper care !
            Last edited by bowhunter75richard; 02-17-2020, 07:42 AM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post
              Honk, your story about Earl being nude except having his boots on, reminds me of a movie with Paul Newman in bed with a gal, nude except for his boots, and she asked him why. He stated “they give me better traction” ! Must be Earl had seen the same movie !
              There was snow on the ground. Bear saw his reflection in their moonlit cabin window and took a poke at it. The noise woke Earl (but maybe he wasn't asleep?). He went for his gun and didn't take time to put on anything but his boots. His .375 H&H was loaded and ready because Earl had been expecting the marauder to show up.

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              • #22
                I see an email just now came in (6:00 a.m.) indicating my stuff is packed and ready to leave Africa. The shipping quote is attached. Let's see what the damage is ... ouch ... eight hundred bucks. Hmmm. Crate is 20"x45"x42" and weighs ...... 227 lbs! How in the world did they get seven other skulls and two hides packed with a cape buffalo euro in a box that size? I wonder if there is even any room for bubble wrap!

                Amflyer, I take it you are more pleased with the zebra pedestal? Did they send you the rest of the hide not used for pedestal base? Might be enough left to make a pistol bag. Or a case for binocs would be cool.

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                • #23
                  Good point Bowhunter. Taxidermists get blamed for many hunter, outfitter, and shipping agent mistakes. Over the decades for me most mischief has occurred somewhere between the outfitter/ concessionaire and shipping agent before reaching a taxidermist. I have had three world class special animals stolen and lessor quality capes and skulls substituted in what was made to appear as a mix up.. special animals are worth a lot of money especially attractive to criminals in third world countries.
                  Last edited by Happy Myles; 02-17-2020, 01:43 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
                    Good point Bowhunter. Taxidermists get blamed for many hunter, outfitter, and shipping ing agent mistakes. Over the decades for me most mischief has occurred somewhere between the outfitter/ concessionaire and shipping agent before reaching a taxidermist. I have had three world class special animals stolen and lessor quality capes and skulls substituted in was was made to appear as a mix up.. special animals are worth a lot of money especially attractive to criminals in third world countries.
                    With all the ‘hands’ that must be involved in the handling of animal goods between acquiring, processing, shipping etc, etc., I am surprised anything comes off in a square deal. It appears to be a real crap shoot ! I will never have to worry about it, but I certainly respect you guys for putting up with the entire issue !

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