The process of getting your South African hunting trophies home.

We know that your trophies are a product of your hunt that you want to treasure as a representation of your South African hunting safari. You should be aware of the process of what happens to your South African hunting trophies after the hunt.

After you have harvested your trophy our competent skinners and trackers, under the watchful eye of your PH, ensures that the proper field preparation of your trophies is done and that the trophies are skinned, tagged and salted.
At the end of your safari, the trophies are collected by the taxidermist of your choice.
We provide the taxidermist with the necessary copies of the hunting permits and PH register.

We are fortunate to be in very close proximity to a very skillful taxidermist, Bullseye Taxidermy.  Our clients are also able to take a tour of their operations should they wish to see the process for themselves and to meet with the taxidermist to discuss the different options available.

TDK Safaris does not have any financial interest related to the taxidermy or work being done.  We are however responsible for the proper hunting permits and documentation for the exportation of your trophies. It is important to us to make sure that you work with a taxidermist with integrity and great business practice so that your trophies are received as you expect them to and this is why we have chosen Bullseye Taxidermy as our partner.

Once at the taxidermist
When the trophies are collected or delivered to the taxidermist, they are checked according to the PH register and added to the taxidermist register. The trophies (each skull, hide, horn, or bone) are then tagged with a number that is allocated to each client.
All skins are subjected to a salt-action of at least 30 days for them to dry out properly. Then they are treated using approved pesticides, as per South African State Veterinary Services (Department of Agriculture) regulations and requirements.
All skulls, horns, and bones are left for a period of at least a week for a natural sun-drying process. Thereafter they are subjected to a boiling process in a special solution as per State Veterinary Services (Department of Agriculture) regulations.  The skulls and bones are then cleaned of all excess meat and sinews. The skulls, horns, and bones are then placed in a bleaching solution of Hydrogen Peroxide, as per State Veterinary Services (Department of Agriculture) regulations, to ensure that the skulls are bacteria-free and that any excess oils in the bones are removed. Once this is done the skulls and bones are placed in the sun to dry before being placed in the skull room for safe storage.

After the regulatory 90 day quarantine period, as stipulated by State Veterinary Services (Department of Agriculture), dip & Pack trophies are crated. Each hide is individually wrapped in clear plastic and the skulls in bubble wrap where-after it is clearly marked, as per State Veterinary Services (Department Agriculture) regulations.

If you decide to have your mounts done by the African taxidermist, you can expect to wait approximately 9 months to a year for your trophies to arrive in a well-constructed crate, (horns detached for ease of shipping where necessary) which gets delivered to your front door. Many hunters choose this option despite the extra freight bill, the saving amounts to up to 40%  by having the trophies done by an African taxidermist. Before you decide on this option always check their work out personally.

It is important that you familiarize your self with the proses of getting your South African hunting trophies home.

The responsibilities if each link in this chain.

Responsibilities of the Taxidermist
Treatment according to Gov. prescribed formulas

  1. Skins: Salting, treat with anti-bacterial, Pickle with Formic Acid.
  2. Sculls and Horns: Cleaned and bleached with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Inspection by State Veterinarian.
  4. Invoice Client – Payment received.
  5. Pack and Crate for Shipment.

Responsibilities of the Shipping Company
The shipping company collects the trophies from the taxidermy. They are then responsible for the following:

  1. Arrange all paperwork and inspections by government officials at the shipping venue.
  2. Clear trophies for export.
  3. Arrange freight and logistics.

The U.S.A. Clearing Agent:

  1. Receives and clears Trophies at the port of entry into the U.S.A
  2. Invoice Client.
  3. Clear trophies through US customs, USDA and US Fish & Wildlife Services. Keep in mind that the crate and trophies can be opened and inspected by said departments.
  4. Arrange delivery of a shipment for a client in partnership with the shipping company.

First-time hunters must take note of the following.

The following are costs that you can expect relating to your safari:

  1. Airfare to and from South Africa
  2. Hunting Package fees
  3. Taxidermy fees ( Dip and Pack or Mounting fees)
  4. Shipping fees to get your trophies from South Africa to the closest port in your home country.
  5. Clearing fees on the receiving side. A broker will collect your trophies from the airlines and clear it through US customs, USDA and US Fish & Wildlife Services. When deciding on a broker, make sure to get a broker that can clear your consignment as close as possible to your home or taxidermist. If not, you might end up paying some serious cartage costs for the delivery of your consignment to the respective address. Check with your taxidermist back home who he/she prefers to use as they might have a standing relationship that has been proved to work.
  6. By US Law shipping crates can’t be shared by hunting buddies to save cost.
  7. Insure your trophies especially if they are high-value trophies. Insurance is usually 1% of the value of the trophies.
Kevin Brits

Kevin Brits

Born and raised in South Africa, I have had the opportunity and privilege to hunt and guide all over Southern Africa.

This image shows a proud bow hunter and his trophy Blesbok that he harvested. when he bow hunted South Africa.
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