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Advice on a spoiled cape
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A couple of years ago I did a Musk Ox Hunt in Greenland. The guides worked with 2 taxidermist in Germany and Austria since there are no Taxidermist in Greenland. The guides salted and froze all hides for the season and shipped them to the taxidermist of choice which as I recalled was the German company. After jumping through all the international nonsense I received my hide, cape and horns about 2.5 years after. The shipment was in a plastic sealed bag inside of a wooden crate with no indications of moisture. I brought the cape and horns to a well know and experienced Taxidermist who has mounted various animal including a full mount Brown Bear for me, his work is excellent. I get a call from my taxidermist who advised me after soaking the cape preparing to mount there was a considerable amount of hair slippage on the face in the area of the eyes mouth and ears making it unsuitable for mounting. He stated whoever tanned the hide did not properly flesh the cape in those areas resulting in the slippage. I talked with the guide who stated they would salt the hide and freeze, when I talked to the German taxidermist upon receipt and he indicated all was good. I notified him of the ruined cape and he writes a one liner stating the hides left in perfect shape.
Anyone have any advice, excluding the hunt I have about 2400 in cost associated with the skins.

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Posts: 2146 | Location: Monee, Ill. USA | Registered: 11 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Taxidermy is a wonderful industry that gets to blame clients, guides and a whole host of other folks for anything that went wrong with the trophy. Honestly though, they are usually right. The taxidermist is the last person to see an animal, and often has zero input on what kind of care (if any ) was used in caring for the animal.

Here are my personal taxidermy stories (some would call them horror stories, but they are more of a dissapointment).

In 2001, killed a decent, but not huge aoudad ram. I drop the ram off frozen on Sunday night on my way home at his house (shot him on Saturday, and I put the cape and skull in a deep freeze until Sunday when I dropped him off). Monday I drop by the shop to discuss the plan, and was told he had already caped him and had him in the freezer and cut the skull. So now I am forced to buy taxidermy when I wasn't actually sure if I wanted taxidermy or just a shoulder mount. Then the taxidermist went out of business and I am out $1200 and the taxidermy.

In 2005, I went to Namibia and killed 24 animals. 14 were skinned for shoulder mounts and 10 were skull mounts only. Paid a Taxidermist in Windhoek to prepare the skulls and do vet suff and ship them to me after they were tanned, paid a tannery in Windhoek to do it, and then I paid a German booking agent (because I lived in Spain) 4000 Euros to ship them to Spain. They never came.

In 2007, I dropped off three of Dad's 1970 and 1980's antelope measuring 91-93 B&C off to be mounted using new capes, and all the poses were wrong. $1500 later, they are still wrong but they look good.

I like skulls a lot, skulls do not leave you wishing you wouldn't have spent so much on taxidermy.

So many things go into giving you a quality product that I think the odds are really against you.

The taxidermist are right to be blame a thousand other factors, as they are generally true.
Posts: 7289 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: 10 October 2012Reply With Quote
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Eeker Eeker Eeker
Posts: 16232 | Registered: 04 April 2005Reply With Quote
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My brother is a taxidermist so I get to see a lot of what he has to deal with first hand. It is amazing how horrible the average hunter is at skinning. Most animals come in missing the brisket and armpit area, but they saved the top of the back all the way to the tail and say "I saved you plenty of cape". They often come in after sitting out in a garage or truck bed for 5 days and already starting to rot. I once saw a guy bring in an elk that had sat outside in Wyoming for over a month and was essentially freeze dried. He said "It should be good, it was cold all month". A lifesize bighorn skin and several deer came in from Mexico and they had never even been salted, just laid out to air dry.

raamw, I guess if you trust he is a good taxidermist I would trust him and just cut my losses and get a plaque done with the skull.
Posts: 74 | Registered: 17 August 2013Reply With Quote
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It's funny because it is all true!
Posts: 7289 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: 10 October 2012Reply With Quote
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