I read with interest the letter put out by Schwarz, which I am NOT altogether in agreement with. We heard the same from them last year and took the time to write to them. They have never replied to us or contacted us or any of the taxidermists in South Africa to discuss these problems. We find this puzzling. I wish to echo the sentiments of Taxidermy Enterprises. From a purely business point of view, it would be suicide to knowingly destroy a client's trophies just to keep the business. We are all working on extended delivery dates, which indicates we all have sufficient work to keep us in business from one season to the next. However, what Schwarz is saying is not totally untrue, and that is that there has been a problem with the salt in Southern Africa for a while now, and we are experiencing the same problems with stiff, rubbery skins. We however have been able to overcome this problem. The answer lies in the treatment of the skin during tanning and the subsequent treatment of the skin after tanning. We have also informed the Professional Hunters Association of this problem, and in fact they held a workshop on this at the PHASA Convention this past November. I have attached a copy of our paper on field treatment.
TransAfrican Taxidermists NEVER soaks the skins in a solution when the skins are to be sent to another taxidermist. Most of our clients' trophies are sent to us in a dry-salted state. All we do is keep our stores fumigated with naphthalene (moth balls), and all the cleaning, boiling and soaking is done on the skulls and horns only. This however will change in the future, as our country requires us to bring down the PH of these skins to 2.5 to ensure that we do not export any disease to the country of destination.
We are currently ONE year delivery, and all our skins are in excellent condition, indicating that you can store trophies for a long period........(continued)