Just received my December issue and read about the controversy over dipping and salting hides in Africa. I think James Wessels knows what he is talking about. He and his firm have attended to the salting and dipping of animal skins on all of my safaris to Zimbabwe, and neither my USA taxidermist or the tanner he uses, Carolina Fur Dressing Co., have stated any negative reports about the condition of skins processed by him. The only problem I've had with trophy shipments originated by his firm happened in the early 90s where I ended up with someone else's buffalo cape (which could have been a mix-up by the outfitter) and all of the heavy, salted hides were packed on top of a finished briefcase, which collapsed under the weight. Mr. Wessels made good on the damage. Last year, in addition to hide preparation for export, he did finish work on my elephant (this hunt was reported extensively in the June 1999 issue), which was quite good.
There are some really inferior taxidermists in southern Africa, particularly RSA. A friend of mine who, despite my warning, got talked into having finished work done there was extremely disappointed with the trophies he received this year, particularly a blesbuck that will score very high in the record book. It has one "bug-eye" and a misshapen mouth.