Selecting The best Taxidermist For Your Trophy

Just took a “Trophy of a Lifetime” What’s Next?

You have just harvested a trophy of a lifetime maybe it will even make the Boone and Crocket or Pope and Young record books, now what? This experience may not be encountered again for many years for most hunters, so you need to be made aware of the questions a taxidermist will ask you and what you need to Mounted Whitetail Deerask them before contacting a taxidermist. You also know that you will have the animal mounted by a reputable taxidermist. Selecting a taxidermist can be almost as challenging as harvesting your new trophy.

What Room will Display the Mounted Animal?

Where are you going to hang your new trophy mount? The room in which the mount will hang is a contributing factor on the pose you will select for the mount. There are so many poses available! If your ceilings are around 8′ high or a basement den, the ceilings are not likely to be vaulted. How tall are the antlers? A full upright taxidermy pose might require the mount to hang low on the wall. There are three basic form poses – upright, semi-sneak, and full sneak. With an upright form, the neck is in a vertical position almost parallel to the wall. The semi sneak form has the neck and head down at approximate 40 degree angle off the wall. The full sneak pose has the neck at almost 85 degrees from the wall. For a low ceiling, a semi sneak or full sneak may be the better choice for your new trophy mount.

Time to Interview The Taxidermist!

Now that you have decided where to hang your trophy it is time get a list of taxidermist from fellow hunters you may know. There are many questions you need to ask them when you speak to them. Fisrt 3 questions to ask are :

  1. How long have you been in business? At least three to five years of experience should be sufficient. If you are talking to a taxidermist with less experience you need to look very close to as many mounts that they have done to make sure you aren’t making a mistake!Tanned Hide
  2. Do you tan your hides or use a dry preservative? True tanned hides are the best way to go, hands down! Dry preserve is OK but will not last as long ,you will see the hide start to fade after seven or eight years
  3. Where can I see some of your work? You need to look at their work very close. Look at the eyes, is it a natural look or does it look like the animal is bug eyed? Feel the back of the head between the antlers and slide your hand down the back of the neck. Do you feel the Stitches they used to sew the hide together? Has the hide shrunk? You will not notice this with true tanned hides.

Found your Taxidermist ”Enjoy” your Trophy!

The return time of your trophy mount is not as important as the above questions if you feel you have found the right taxidermist to do the mount for you. It should still be around 1 year, but 1 1/2 years is not uncommon! The Last this is the cost of the mount. How much is it worth to you? If you think you have found the right person to mount the animal the actual cost should not impact your decision. After all you get what you pay for!!