Hunting in Southern Africa is often described as a once in a lifetime opportunity and often Hunters specifically return to hunt in South Africa due to our diverse animals and landscapes. But what happens after you have shot your animal? Below is a short description into what happens behind the scenes.
So, you have harvested your antelope or big game animal and taken the photos for all your friends to see, now what happens to your Trophy? Firstly it is loaded and taken back to the skinning shed where your Skinner or PH (Professional Hunter) will skin the animal. You will have to decide then if you want a full mount, shoulder mount or European mount as this affects how the Skinner/ PH skins your trophy.
Full or Shoulder mount- your Trophy has to be caped, this is removing the skin from the head, ears and lips. With a full mount, all feet must be skinned to the very last extreme part of the sole or hoof, with all bones removed.
European mount- this process involves the animal been caped and only the skull of the animal is cleaned of any meat or skin, bleached and put onto a shield of your choice.
Flat skin and back skins- depending on your trophy and your style that you would like, the head may be kept on, this looks especially nice for Zebra, Giraffe and Cats.
Once you have chosen what you would like to do with your trophy, Umdende Hunting Safaris will immediately prepare your Trophies in salt according to the manner in which you wish to have your trophies mounted. This process takes 2-3 weeks. Thereafter Umdende Hunting Safaris will ensure that your trophies are delivered, free of charge, to Umdende’s accredited Taxidermy Agents Universal Trophy Services and Highveld Taxidermy – We highly recommend their services. Should you have your own Taxidermist we will gladly assist in arranging collection by your Taxidermist.
Should you require your trophies to be mounted by your own taxidermist in your country, by South African law, they will first need to be dipped and packed by an accredited agent in South Africa. The dipping, packing and mounting of your trophies is for your own account. Umdende Hunting Safaris will assist in the process of communication between the Hunter and Taxidermist to ensure the smooth arrival of your Trophies back home.
Once your Trophies are delivered to the Taxidermy of your choice the following procedure will happen
HIDES AND SKINS: In follow on to the 14-day salting period, all the hides are soaked in a Formic acid solution for a minimum of 72 hours at a pH of 2,5 – 2,8. Thereafter soaked in a Chrome and Lutan F tanning agent solution for 120 hours, upon which they are tanned when required
SKULLS, HORNS AND TUSKS: The Skulls, Horns and Tusks are immersed in a boiling water & Soda Ash solution for a period of 4 hours. After boiling, the skulls are sprayed clean of all meat and immersed in a Hydrogen Peroxide solution – Volume 50%, for a period of around 4 hours. All is then dried out and dusted with an insecticide poison.
The Taxidermist of your choice will contact you directly regarding your trophies. They will confirm how you would like your trophies mounted and send you a quote of the work that needs to be done as well as the estimated shipping costs. Once you have confirmed and your deposit has been paid, they will start work on your trophies, this takes approximately 8 months to a year for full mounts and less for dipping and packing. The Taxidermist will notify you when your trophies are ready to be shipped and final payment is required.
Umdende Hunting Safaris highly recommends the following Taxidermists:
Universal Trophy Services and Highveld Taxidermy for all your taxidermy requirements.