No matter where you hunt, taxidermy will cost as much as the hunt in many cases. That's why I do a lot of it myself. If you take game in Africa you have two taxidermy options. #1 - ship the hides and horns home and have your local taxidermist do the work or #2 - have the taxidermy done in Africa and have the trophy mounts shipped home. There is really no cheap way to get out of it other than take a LOT of excellent photos and hang the best of them instead of taxidermy mounts!
I have been considering the African hunt myself and while I know I can save up for the cost of the hunt and all that goes with it it's this part that I have not been able to get a sure answer. I guess it would vary a lot but I wanted a pretty close figure. If it costs as much as the hunt just to get them home then a lot more saving needs to be planned. I had a friend get back recently but have not yet had the chance to talk to him and find out what he will be paying as I know his trophies are not here yet.
It is still the dream of a lifetime I just want to have my numbers close.
With the number of potential heads comming home with you, I can't help but think that many if not most would end up as european type skull mounts. That's ok by me as I like the way they look anyway.
I've seen some taxidermy work done in the country hunted in & alot of it was embarassingly bad. Most of the people I've talked to who have been to Africa (some multiple times) consistently have their mounts done state side by someone they have personally picked. That's not to say that there are no good taxidermists over there but finding one requires time & research; time & energy I'd rather spend on other aspects of the adventure.
The main problem with having the taxidermy work done over seas or anywhere that shipping is involved is the cost of shipping to get it home. Take a look at the size of a shoulder mount as compared to say a tanned hide and horns. It will be 2 to 3 times as large. Watching the show Mounted in Alaska they take in a lot of animals from Africa but it is only the hide and horns. Even a taxidermist that I use in Arizona recommends that I don't pick up the mount until I return the next year just to save me some money.
i recently got one of those gravy, work-until you retire kind of jobs, and now that my wife an i are just becoming financially stable, i'm wondering when we'll get the chance to go to africa. i'm thinking in the next 5 years i'd like to. i've been succesfully training and selling roping and cutting horses, so in 5 years time, i think it would be pheasable if i put all my horse earnings into a travel acount for the trip. but what i'm coming up with for travel, hunting and taxidermy is going to run me as much as $15,000 for a plains game hunt. i've heard of places with "problem" elephant tags where you hunt on standby, meaning they call you to hunt whenever they get a government issue tag. and these run $15k... so i though about trying to save near the $25,000 mark and try to get an elephant instead of plains game. i think an elephant would be the crowning achievment of my life.
but then, i'm faced with the same old problems, is the outfitter legal, respectable, and honest?
I've spent countless hours either on my hands and knees or bent over, messing up my back, looking for blood. One such instance I remember most was a hog hunt a few years ago in Mississippi. I had never shot a hog so when I poked a hole in this guy; I was determined to find him. Wearing snake leggings, I crawled on my hands and knees through the briars and the brambles and bushes where a rabbit wouldn't go. I found a spot of blood here and there but never the pig. And lucky for me, I didn't find...