Taxidermist profile: DonClaire Taxidermy

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Company Name: DonClaire Taxidermy
Contact: Owner, Linus van Heerden
Physical Address: Kareeboomlaan, 8752, Orania, Northern Cape, South Africa
Tel Office/Mobile: +27 82 796 350 225
Contact Email: donclaire@talkomsa.net

Tell us a little about your operation, how it started & why you got into the industry.

I grew up on a farm and hunting has always been a part of my life, I realized that unlike my brothers the skinning of the animals was never an issue for me, I enjoyed it. And I have an artistic side. One day while I was in Standard 9, a friend brought his steenbuck mount to the hostel, and that day I knew that I needed to try doing this.

After school I started working at a taxidermy without income, just for the opportunity to learn the trade. In 2005 I started working at DonClaire Taxidermy. Later on I received shares in the business. When the owner, Dennis Pickard passed away in 2014, I took over the business.

How many years have you been in the business?

I’ve been in the industry for 16 years.

What are your favorite mounts & why?

I would say spiral horns, pigs, buffalo, any carnivore is definitely on top of my list but is difficult to choose. Each animal is unique in its own way, and presents a different challenge. I like a challenge and it is always nice to receive something you haven’t done before and to do all the necessary study of the species to create a truly life like mount.

What are your specialty areas that you have in the business? 

We are unique because we are a relatively small business that believes in giving personal attention to each individual trophy – unlike some of the bigger taxidermies where it is more of a production line.

We do everything ourselves; we do the tanning, sculpting and mounting. We constantly improve on our forms to suit each individual piece making each trophy truly unique.

For me it is not just work it is my passion to create new and better trophies.

Current processes offered
Pick up & collect trophies:
Yes
Maximum distance offered to collect trophies: Currently we do a trip from Orania through to Kwazulu Natal, Newcastle to drop off and collect trophies. We are always open to do collection in other areas if demand is enough.
Own tanning facilities: Yes
Do you buy in forms or sculpt your own or both: Mostly I sculpt my own but from time to time I will buy.

Delivery time (approximate)
Dip and Pack through to full mounts:
9 Months

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