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?
The cost of deer mounting is influenced by some factors such as the geographical location, the taxidermist, any inclusions, the type of mount you choose, and the deer’s size.
Be prepared to spend anywhere between $400 and $650 for a standard shoulder deer mount, depending on the size of the deer, the taxidermist you hire, and the place where you are living. Moreover, based on the estimates presented below, these costs can be much higher.
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 the members of the Field and Stream forum, the cost of a mount with the hide and antlers on is anywhere between $220 and $470.
In case you were not able to hunt a deer 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.
Depending on the size, 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.
In the table below you will find the average costs for deer mounting in different locations across the United States.
|Head mount on an engraved plate with the date in Georgia||$450|
|Shoulder mount in Alabama||$350 to $450|
|Head mount in Minnesota||$500|
|Head mount in Maine||$450|
|Head mount in Pennsylvania||$475|
|In New Jersey||
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?
In 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.
There are taxidermists that can give the illusion of 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.
Important things to consider
Pay attention to the cheap services offered by some taxidermists. When looking for a taxidermist you better take into consideration their work history and not what they are charging. Look after online reviews, get in touch with previous customers and ask for samples. When analyzing these samples, look carefully if the eyelids, the nostril details, and the alignment of the hair look natural.
If you still have not decided what to do with your deer head, there are many online mount ideas.
How can I save money?
Take into consideration mounting the deer antlers yourself as there are many kits you can find online at prices of $20 to $40. Plus, they come with instructions that are easy to follow.
If you are thinking about buying a deer mount hunted by somebody else, take into consideration searching on websites like Craigslist or eBay.