About TROPHEX TAXIDERMY

Trophy hunting is an outstanding wildlife conservation tool as trophy hunting makes our wildlife species valuable. Species get looked after when they are valuable. As the old saying goes, "when it pays, it stays." We believe putting the finest taxidermy work out into the world will inspire our future hunters to continue with trophy hunting and ensure trophy hunting remains the number one conservation tool. 

Our Process

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Experience

Suppose you ask for one reason why someone should choose Trophex Taxidermy. I would, without thinking, say “experience.”

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Quality 

We’ve studied African taxidermy to make our work look as realistic as possible but, more importantly, we also make sure that our mounts are solid and reliable.

Involvement

We want to include you in the mounting process of your trophies so that we can mount each trophy precisely the way you want it to be and prevent disappointment

Transparency

We believe in being open, transparent, and honest, even in the most difficult of times. Every problem has a solution, but a problem solved in the dark is just another problem.

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OUR STORY

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Hi! My name is Bertus Steenkamp, and I am the proud managing member and founder of Trophex Taxidermy. Just as every hunter's trophy has a story, our taxidermy also has a story, and this is our story.

Trophex Taxidermy was started from scratch when my father and I experienced the frustrations of exporting raw hunted trophies, also known as "dip and pack." 

Red tape, quality, lack of communication, and short timeframe were some of the problems we experienced, but not the only ones. It was, however, clear that the taxidermy sector in South Africa provided a vast opportunity.

  

I was 24 years old, and with a bit of help from my father, we started a "dip and pack" business, with me owning a third of the business and my father two-thirds. Pressured by the Department of Agriculture for a company name, we named the business after our family farm, Doornlaagte, and in 2004, "Doornlaagte Dip and Ship" was born.

Our facility was an old storeroom on the farm where my grandfather used to fix tractors and all kinds of machinery. The floors were covered with black engine oil, and no matter how hard we tried, we could not get rid of it. So the solution was to keep all the skins and skulls on tabletops or plastic covers on the floor. If one of the skulls just touched the floor, it would have a black engine oil stain. 

We also didn't have an office, so the documentation, emails, and permit application were done after hours at home.

Even with all these challenges, we exported over 1 000 trophies within two years. Moreover, as we received more work, we improved our facilities and employed more workers.

I bought my father's two-thirds of Doornlaagte Dip and Ship from him with a father-and-son deal. In 2007, I was the sole owner of Doornlaagte Dip and Ship, and I needed to rent the storerooms from my father.

All our international clients struggled to pronounce "Doornlaagte," so I changed the name to "Trophex," which is short for "Trophy Exports." I also registered the business as closed cooperation.

   

In the same year, I started to do taxidermy work on the side, mounting trophies for friends and family. Next, we began mounting for domestic clients, and word of mouth took its course, leading Trophex into fully functional taxidermy.

Every trophy hunted had a story, and most of these stories are shared with me or anyone at Trophex. Some stories are funny and exciting, some intense and some sad. But I noticed that every trophy has a story to tell and knew that it was our responsibility to create memorability or a connection or proof, which led to our slogan, "Trophies with stories."

 

Before we knew it, we were mounting and exporting hunting trophies for clients all over the globe, and the word spread. But, unfortunately, I think it all might have happened too fast because we started to run into all kinds of problems. Problems the whole Trophex Taxidermy team nor I would stand for. We did not want to fall back into a taxidermy business with the same issues that led us to start our taxidermy in 2004.

Luckily these problems led to us searching for solutions, and to our amazement, we found that our answers to these problems place us in front of our competition. The more problems we ran into and solved, the better advantage we had. 

We studied our African animals and got the animals to look as natural as possible because this is part of our products' quality. Also meaningful is the way the trophies get put together – not only do our mounts look natural, but they are also solid and reliable. 

Simple things mattered, such as the back of a shoulder mount; we don't just leave the back uncleaned, nor do we paint it, nor do we only cover it with felt. Instead, we work the skin around the back, fix and trim it down neatly, then cover the back with felt, and then, because felt attracts dust and dirt like a magnet, we cover the felt with clear plastic vinyl. The hunter can remove the vinyl just before hanging their precious trophy on the wall with a clean felt backing that no one but the hunter, who is our valued customer, will probably see.

Another problem was that hunters would get their first look at the trophy the day they received it, and sometimes they were not happy. However, the frustration is that the problem was 99% of the time just a simple adjustment during the mounting process. We also learned that our clients are not involved in the process and would like to get notifications and make adjustments – maybe not everyone, but most. 

So ...

We changed our system so that every time a manager does a quality check, the system automatically sends an email with three photos of the trophy to the hunter, asking whether they are satisfied with the trophy's progress and if we need to change anything. This service is unique at Trophex.

The better we got, the more we grew, until Trophex Taxidermy grew to be so big that we needed to move into town. So in 2016, Trophex Taxidermy moved to Lephalale in Limpopo, the heart of South Africa's prime hunting area.

 

Over the years, our taxidermy has learned from mistakes and failures. Yes, we still make mistakes and, yes, we still improve every day, but our years of experience and thousands of clients all over the globe are proof that we know what we are doing and we are the company that is always and will always be doing it better.

I am proud of my team, and I don't know how I could have done it without them. We've created Trophex Taxidermy into what it is today, and that is just great!

Tell us about your next hunt, and we will give you an estimate for the taxidermy work.