Deer Mount Cost

How Much Does a Deer Mount Cost?

Last Updated on December 28, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The big fans of mounted deer are hunters. They use the skill of taxidermists to keep the trophies they shoot during hunting games. For many hunters, it is a real excitement to have a mounted trophy. And understandably, given that they spent hours shooting at it. But beyond the hunt, ordinary people are also interested in the craft of taxidermy.

How Much Does a Deer Mount Cost?

A standard shoulder deer mount costs anywhere between $400 and $650, depending on the size of the deer, the taxidermist you hire, and the place where you are living.

Depending on the size of the deer, for a full-body mount, you will have to pay $1,350 to $2,400, while for a half-body mount, you will have to pay anywhere between $670 and $1,200.

Expect to pay anywhere between $270 and $470 just for the head mount, while for an antler you will have to pay $40 to $120.

For instance, at RN Taxidermy from Davison, Michigan, you will pay around $360 for a shoulder mount, almost $780 for a half mount, and around $1,500 for mounting the entire body of the deer.

According to members of the Field and Stream forum, the cost of a deer mount with the hide and antlers on is anywhere between $320 and $570.

A user on the forum mentions charging $825 for a standard shoulder mount of a deer, with all the bells and whistles included.

The Diamond Dust Taxidermy website provides a detailed list of prices for various taxidermy services, including deer mounts. For example, a Whitetail Deer Buck mount is priced at $650, while a Whitetail Deer Doe mount is priced at $600.

The website offers a range of deer taxidermy mounts for sale, with prices varying depending on the size and quality of the mount. For example, a Whitetail Deer Fawn taxidermy mount is priced at $1,495, while a Boone & Crockett 237 5/8″ Whitetail deer taxidermy mount is priced at $3,495.

In case you don’t go deer hunting yourself but still want to buy one that is already mounted, plan on spending anywhere between $370 and $1,200, depending on the deer’s size and type.

You will have to pay $90 to $240 for a deer cape.

Also, depending on the plaque you choose, for a European mount, that involves the cleaning and whitening of the skull, you will have to pay anywhere between $120 and $270.

Here are descriptions of some of the most common types of deer mounts and displays:

  • Shoulder Mount – Deer head, cape, and antlers mounted on panel
  • Antler Mount – Just the antlers with skull cap attached
  • Skull Mount – Cleaned and bleached deer skull
  • Pedestal Mount – Deer head and shoulders on a floor pedestal
  • Life Size Full Body Mount – Entire deer body in a lifelike pose
  • Wall Pedestal – Head and cape protruding from wall plaque

Factors That Influence Deer Taxidermy Costs

Several factors impact the final price, like:

  • Size and structure of antlers
  • Open vs closed mouth detail
  • Amount of meticulous measurements needed
  • Taxidermist skill level and experience
  • Use of quality materials and forms
  • Production time required
  • Geographic location and overhead

Of course, more complex mounts require far more work and materials, driving prices higher.

Deer Mount Price Comparisons

Antler Mount Costs – DIY vs Professional

For just the antlers, expect costs around:

  • DIY: $15 to $30 for materials
  • Professional: $50 to $100

Antler mounts are the simplest and cheapest option since they require little labor compared to full taxidermy. However, the DIY route still demands proper preparation for quality results.

Skull Mount Prices – Real vs Synthetic

For a decorative deer skull:

  • Real skull: $75 to $150 commercially, can be done free at home
  • Synthetic skull: $60 to $125

Real skulls demand time-consuming boiling, cleaning, and degreasing for a great natural white finish. Synthetic skulls offer a faster, cheaper alternative.

Typical Shoulder Mount Prices

The classic shoulder mount pose generally costs:

Professionally done: $400 to $700
DIY taxidermy kit: $75 to $300

A shoulder mount’s price depends heavily on the time required to perfectly position the deer’s features. DIY kits simplify the process but still require talent.

How Much Does a Deer Pedestal Mount Cost?

For a standing floor or wall display, expect to pay:

Floor pedestal: $500 to $1,500 or more with base
Wall pedestal: $450 to $650

These mounts demand heavy, stable bases supporting the deer elements, increasing labor and materials costs.

Full Body Deer Mount Prices

For a complete deer:

Professionally done: $1,500 to $3,000 on average
DIY: Not recommended for amateurs

Full body mounts require expert sewing, shaping, and positioning skills for ultra-realistic displays, making professional preparation a must.

Beware of Deer Taxidermy Scams

Some cut-rate operators offer mounts for implausibly low prices under $300. This often indicates shoddy quality and materials. Spending less than $400 even for a basic shoulder mount is very risky and usually a sign to take your business elsewhere. Don’t let bargains today lead to disappointment when your cherished trophy falls apart down the road.

The Rewards of Investing in Quality Deer Taxidermy

While not inexpensive, a well-crafted deer mount preserves memories for a lifetime and beyond. For many hunters, touching those antlers brings them right back to the moment when the majestic buck stepped into view.

By choosing an experienced taxidermist and budget-friendly options like antler mounts, you can create a lasting tribute without breaking the bank. Your trophy investment will pay dividends in memories for years to come.

In the table below you will find the average costs for deer mounting in different locations across the United States.

State Price
Head mount on an engraved plate with the date in Georgia $450
Deer shoulder mount in Alabama $350 to $450
Head mount in Minnesota $500
Head mount in Pennsylvania $475
Head mount in Maine $450
In New Jersey
  • $2,900 for lifesize
  • $2,000 for 1/2 lifesize;
  • $600 for shoulder

Deer mount details

When going to a taxidermist for a deer mount, this will include the entire cleaning, skinning, and also tanning if you need it done. The taxidermist will mount the deer on the plaque you choose. In most cases, a basic mount will include limited pose options, a few details, and a dry preserved cape, while a high-quality mount includes more poses, more details, and a professionally tanned cape. Some of the most popular poses for whitetail and mule deer are pedestal, full sneak upright, and semi-sneak.

If you choose to mount only the skull or the antlers, you can opt for the following mount materials: mesquite, oak, weathered wood, walnut, cypress, cedar, and camo.

What are the extra costs?

Mule Deer TaxidermyIn case you want to have a deer tanned, which involves the darkening of its skin, then you will have to pay another $110 to $230.

There are many options you can choose from when talking about the mounting of the antlers. For instance, you can choose to have the antlers shaped in form of a light and hang it, and this will cost another $170 to $210 just for the lighting kit.

Expect to pay more for a high-quality plaque that is made of walnut or solid oak, or is customized with a name.

Some taxidermists can give the illusion of a 3D background where the head of the deer is mounted. Depending on the complexity of the design, you will have to pay around $110 or even more for something like this.

For an open-mouth pose, you will have to pay around $120 or even more.

If the deer’s body is affected in any way like having scrapes, bullet wounds, a broken skull or the hair has been worn down, then the taxidermist will fix any of these for an extra fee. Most of them are charging anywhere between $35 and $70 per hour. Though, most of the jobs should cost less than $270.

If one taxidermist offers rush services, then these will be offered for an extra fee.

Tips for Keeping Deer Taxidermy Affordable

To save money on your mount:

  • Request quotes from several local taxidermists before deciding
  • Go with a simple antler or skull mount if budget is a concern
  • Learn DIY techniques and use commercial kits where possible
  • Provide very detailed photos and measurements to reduce labor time
  • Drop off and pick up your deer yourself to avoid transport fees

If you are thinking about buying a deer mount hunted by someone else, take into consideration searching on websites like Craigslist or eBay.

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