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The Importance of getting a broker.

With the Safari season really ramping up and the major time for first time Safari goers nearing (June-August) I want to emphasize on the importance of having a broker.

What I mean by a broker is having someone here in the US that knows the ins and outs of the trophy shipping logistics for permits, ports of entry and so on.  This is their full time Job on importing to the US and going through customs and boarder control they will know all the fine details and rules that for many of us would take so much more out of our busy lives to handle and could result in many unneeded storage fees and even loss of your trophies. 

 Going with a good broker will ensure that all your trophies are cleared once they enter the United States by having all the proper paperwork in hand from all necessary US government agencies. They will have a working partnership with the Outfitter, the dip and pack, the shipping company, and your chosen taxidermist for a seamless process making sure that your shipments flow through the process in an efficient manner.


awaiting dip and pack
Animals awaiting taxidermy pick up for dip andpackand or finshed taxidermy work.

They pay attention to the details of the paperwork prior to your animals being shipped because if something is incorrect in the process the US fish and wildlife will confiscate it and good luck getting it back. In all my international hunts I have only ever had one animal get taken from a crate and that was a hippo because there was a mix up with the paperwork. But remember with issues like this it can cause delay in getting your other animals in that crate to your taxidermist, so skins are at an even bigger risk of slipping and storage fee’s add up very quick so you want the paper work dialed in.


african trophy shipment
Crate getting packed to go to my taxidermsit of choice

For animals that fall under CITES a good broker service can apply for these permits for you for a small fee that way they have the original permit in hand when they are clearing your trophies for you such as Elephant, Leopard, and Lion from Africa and the Argali species from Asia. If you get the permit yourself you will have to send them the original for this process so it’s much easier to have a one stop shop to get all this logistical nightmare taken care of remember this is there full time job they let very little fall through the cracks as you and me have our own jobs and many other things going through our heads on a daily basis.

I have had a few dear friends go on Safaris that I set them up on but, trying to cut some corners and save an extra penny they skipped my advice for getting in contact with a broker. Doing it themselves and running into major issues primarily on the back end of extremely high storage fee’s that they acquired here at the port of entry they tried to  have the animals shipped through resulting in them being delayed months, costing them hours on the phone and sending frustrated emails with the storage fee’s racking up to exceed the money the broker would have cost. One of them in the end called my preferred broker and within a week had his issues sorted and his animals at his front door.


safari shipping crate
Crate just arrived back from Zambia, lid was already cracked so easiest way in was to rip it off.

So my advice is if you have a Safari this year and don’t have a broker get on it and find one, there are several good ones across the united states  many outfitters and taxidermist work with one or two on a regular basis, I have used a handful of them but have stuck with one the past ten to twelve years and that is D&L custom house brokers they have imported a wide verity of animals for me, my dad and my friends ranging from Tur that I flew home with  where they met me at the airport and walked me through the clearing process  to  Argali’s, Elephant and Leopard plus many other non cites animals.

Trust me getting a broker is money well spent by saving you so much hassle and frustration that can come with it after just having a safari of a lifetime you don’t want to sour the experience at this stage, let a good broker help you and keep the Safari experience an enjoyable one in your mind.

preparing to ship trophies
End of safari shipping prep. Placing my custom shipping tags on each of the animals, skulls,and skins.




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