Taxidermy Costs

The term “taxidermy” comes from the Greek words “taxi” which means arrangement and “dermis”, which means skin. Taxidermy is the craft of processing vertebrates for public presentation – in natural science museums, hunting museums – or private, in the form of hunting trophies.

Taxidermy has existed since ancient times. In prehistory, it was used in the art of hunting to make imitations of animals that were used as baits. In ancient Egypt, the technique was used for funerary purposes. Thus, in the pharaoh’s mortal chamber were placed the creatures that had surrounded him: cats, falcons, dogs, etc.

How Much Does Taxidermy Cost?

Depending on the mounted animal, which part will be used, the professional doing the job, and the presentation mode costs for taxidermy start at $70 and go up to $4,200, or even more. In the tables below you will find the price estimates for different types of mounting for various animals.

Birds

Type of Bird Average Price
Ducks $350 to $600
Chicken $300 to $500
Pheasant $300 to $500
Geese $400 to $650
Turkey Pose $750 to $1,300
Swan $750 to $1,300

Tanning hide costs

Type of Animal Average Price
Beaver $110 to $220
Bear $120 to $340
Bobcat $120 to $230
Bison $25 to $35 per square foot
Coyote $120 to $230
Caribou $15 to $25 per square foot
Elk $13 to $20 per square foot
Deer $110 to $340
Moose $15 to $20 per square foot
Mink $120 to $240
Wolf $5 to $10 per inch
Weasel $120 to $240
Raccoon $120 to $240

Shoulder mount costs

Type of Animal Average Price
Coyote $400 to $650
Wolf $500 to $750
Moose $900 to $1,500 (depending on size)
Javelina $350 to $650 (open mouth costs 20-30% more)
Elk $850 to $1,500 (depending on size)
Deer $450 to $800
Caribou $550 (artificial velvet) to $1,200 (stained rack)
Boar $850 to $1,250
Bison $850 to $1,700
Bear $500 to $850 (open mouth costs 20% more)
Antelope $550 to $850

Lifesize mount costs

Type of Animal Price Average
Black Bear $1,600 to $3,800
Antelope $1,600 to $2,700
Bobcat $750 to $1,100
Boar $1,600 to $3,400
Deer $1,600 to $2,700
Coyote $900 to $1,400
Domestic Dog $850 to $1,700
Domestic Cat $850 to $1,700
Fisher $750 to $1,200
Fawn $800 to $2,200
Goat $1,600 to $2,700
Fox $750 to $1,200
Lion $1,600 to $3,400
Grizzly Bear $3,000 to $6,500
Rabbit $300 to $550
Mink $300 to $550
Sheep $1,600 to $2,850
Raccoon $750 to $1,200
Squirrel $350 to $550
Skunk $750 to $1,200
Wolf $1,400 to $2,800
Weasel $300 to $500

Antler mount costs

Type of Animal Average Price
Bison $300 to $500
Antelope $120 to $240
Elk $200 to $400
Deer $200 to $400
Sheep $220 to $370
Goat $120 to $240

For example, in order to mount a caribou or an elk shoulder, you will spend anywhere between $630 and $1,300, while smaller animals such as deers will set you back $400 to $600 per shoulder. Also, the costs for a boar, bear, or coyote shoulder mount are anywhere between $450 and $730.

Depending on whether it is going to be whole or half, the price for tanned skins from a whitetail deer starts at $70 and goes up to $200.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a fishing license, hunting license, or alligator tags.

Referring to the birds, the cost for mounting a turkey that is in a “fly mode” is around $700, while a tail mount will set you back around $90.

When talking about fish like trout or bass, the majority of the taxidermists are charging per inch. Depending on the type of fish, the prices are anywhere between $15 and $25 per inch.

Expect high costs for life-sized mounts. For instance, for a life-sized fox or raccoon prices are anywhere between $430 and $650, while a squirrel cost starts at $190 and goes up to $340. On the other hand, for larger animals such as black bears or lions mounting starts at $1,200 and goes up to $2,500.

For example, mounting a Kodak or Grizzly would cost anywhere between $3,100 and $5,000.

Important things to consider

To practice taxidermy, a person must be extremely familiar with the anatomy, dissection, sculpture, painting, and processing of furs.

Mounting options

Wall pedestal pose

The wall pedestal pose is a relatively new option and lets the mount create an interesting shadow section. It can be covered in either buckskin or felt, depending on your preference.

Upright

The upright position is the most common and versatile deer stand. The animal’s ears are pointed in an alert direction, and it has its body standing tall with all four feet firm on the ground.

Full sneak

The full sneak position will be the most relaxed pose. This can either be hung high on a wall with ears bent or alert and pointed forward, depending upon preference.

Semi sneak

The semi-sneak pose is one in which an animal can stay with its ears either alert or relaxed. The animal can be placed a little bit further away from the wall compared to the upright positions.

What are the extra costs?

Fish MountedYou can add a customized nameplate or plaque to any mount, like a pedestal plaque and this would cost anywhere between $60 and $480, depending on how many letters are engraved on the nameplate and the material it is made from.

Depending on the size, driftwood for a fish mount would cost anywhere between $35 and $80.

The costs will increase by 20% to 30% if you want a customized pose for your animal, like having its mouth open.

Also, another 20% to 30%  will be added to the estimated price for shed antlers.

You should take into consideration the skinning fees as well, which are $40 to $60 per hour, and the restoration and cleaning fees that are $40 to $60 per hour.

Another 20% to 30% will be added to the total cost for shipping/crate fees.

How can I save money?

If you can’t pay the whole bill upfront you have the possibility to take advantage of a payment plan offered by most professionals.

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