How to Bring Your Trophy Home
Once your Argentinian hunt by South American Adventure Safaris has come to an end, one of the final things to consider is the taxidermy of your trophy and how you are going to ship it home. There are several steps involved in these processes, making it potentially pricey and time consuming. It could take up to a year to get your skillfully preserved trophy home. With a little patience, your trophy will arrive at your home safe and sound as a token of the unforgettable time you had hunting in South America.
The Taxidermy Process
The taxidermy process begins with selecting a trusted taxidermist. Taxidermy is an art that takes skill and time to master. After a destination hunt, there is the option to pick a taxidermist in the country of your hunt, or one near your home. Either way, a hunter should choose a taxidermist who is experienced and confident and has examples of their previous work to show. Once your trophy is delivered to the taxidermist, all of its components will be immediately tagged to ensure it gets back to its rightful owner.
Trophies can consist of…
- the skull
- or a combination of these things in the form of a mount.
For skulls, horns, or bones, they are left out for at least a week to naturally sun dry. They are then boiled in a solution approved by the Department of Agriculture, cleaned to remove any meat, bleached in hydrogen peroxide to remove bacteria and oils, then once again placed in the sun before storage. Skins, on the other hand, are dried out by salt for a minimum of 30 days, then treated with pesticides. When these processes are complete, the taxidermist can finally begin the assembly of a mount, which can entail many steps such as wiring, mounting, sewing, finishing, and grooming.
The Shipping Process
The Department of Agriculture typically requires a 90 day quarantine period before the trophies are approved to ship. After that, the dip and pack trophies get crated. United States shipping laws prevent multiple hunters from sharing a crate. The skulls, horns, or bones are wrapped in bubble wrap while the hides are each wrapped in plastic wrap. For easier shipping, the horns are usually detached and packaged separately. Once the paperwork and inspections have been completed by government officials at the shipping location, the trophy will be cleared for export. When the trophy arrives in The United States, for example, they will get cleared and the client will get notified. US customs, USDA, and US Fish and Wildlife Services all reserve the right to open the package and perform inspections.
Other countries will have a very similar process. With the go ahead from these departments, shipping will be arranged to transport the trophy right to your front door.
Costs Associated with Getting Your Trophy Home
These trophies can get quite valuable, in both a sentimental way and a monetary way. Many hunters choose to ensure their trophy in preparation for it to travel long distances by mail. Insurance tends to be around 1% of the trophy's value. Values will greatly vary depending on the size of your trophy, materials used, overall quality, and the taxidermist's skill level. For example, skull antler mounts will cost significantly less than shoulder mounts, which will cost significantly less than full body mounts. Different species have different prices based on complexity and size. You also must consider the price of permits. Some hunters opt to get the taxidermy done in South America, as it can cost less than it would in the U.S.A. The savings by getting it done in South American vs. the U.S. can be up to about 40%. However, this really just depends on the rates of your taxidermist of choice. As far as the shipment costs, you should prepare for both shipping and clearing fees.
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How SAAS Can Assist You
South American Adventure Safaris is committed to seamlessly guiding our clients every step of the way through their trip with everything from picking you up at the airport to shipping your trophy home. SAAS has a broker agent that will make shipment arrangements. All we need from you is a few forms filled out. If desired, South American Adventure Safaris will refer you to a well renowned Argentinian taxidermist, or you can select one you trust in your home country. Most clients choose to have the taxidermy done more local to their own residence. When it comes to shipping, we make it simple. We will connect you with the exporting company and they will send you an information request along with their fees and conditions, and a quote for their exporting job. If you choose to accept, the trophy will be taken to the exporter warehouse located in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires. At this point, the export warehouse works with the broker to carry out the job. SAAS always follows through to make sure your trophy was delivered on time and as expected.