A Guide to Whitetail Shoulder Mount Positions

With deer season in full swing I thought I would take a moment to discus several of the most popular shoulder mount positions.  Taxidermy has evolved drastically over the past century. My grandfather's "shoulder" mounts would now be considered a neck mount.  Modern taxidermy offers unlimited choices to which the only limit is your imagination.  We will look at the four most popular positions:

  1. Upright
  2. Semi Sneak
  3. Full Sneak
  4. Wall Pedistal

Visit my favorite taxidermy supply company to view all options: www.mckenziesp.com

1. Upright.  This is the classic deer mount.  It is a proud position normally mounted with ears in the alert position.  A slight turn to the left or right can accentuate the antlers.  This pose must be hung lower on the wall but does not stick out as far.

2. Semi Sneak. This is a relaxed pose that looks great with a small or large turn.  This position allows for the ears to be mounted either alert or relaxed, or my personal favorite, one of each. It can be hung higher on the wall but sticks out from the wall a little further than an Upright.

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3. Full Sneak. This is the most relaxed pose.  This position looks good either with both ears alert or both ears relaxed. Not as popular as the Upright and Semi Sneak but a nice addition to any trophy room.  It can be hung the highest on the wall but also sticks out the farthest.

4. Wall Pedistal.  This pose has been on the market for about a decade but started gaining popularity within the last several years.  This is a beautiful pose that adds a spark of creativity and movement that the other three positions do not allow. It has a cut out "shadow" section that is either covered in buckskin or felt.

I hope this helps you in choosing the best pose for your trophy.  Ask your local taxidermist for tips on making your trophy look the best.  Although I only covered Whitetail Shoulder Mounts in this post, the poses apply to all other shoulder mounts. Also, all photos with a black background are from McKenzie taxidermy supply website.  Actual deer mounts were mounted by Wildlife Designs Taxidermy, LLC.

Happy Hunting!

David Williamson

Artificial Skull - European Mount

This post will cover how to take antlers and attach them to an artificial skull. This can be done with shed antlers or antlers taken from a hunt.  In this post we use antlers taken from a buck harvested many years ago.

Supplies needed:

  1. Artificial Skull (McKenzie Taxidermy Supply)
  2. Pair of Antlers
  3. Plaque
  4. Hanger and screws
  5. Drill bits and counter sink
  6. Not pictured (epoxy and Martha Stewart paint)

1. Cut off antlers using bone saw.  I like to use a vice to clamp the antlers.  If you are using shed antlers you can skip this step.  This is a great learning opportunity for the little one.

2. This photo shows how the antlers will be attached to the skull with the square pins.  These pins were too long so I cut them in half which made them the perfect size.

3. Drill hole in antlers for metal pins

4. Test fit to make sure everything fits properly.  This photo shows how the metal pins have been cut down and the antlers are drilled out.

5. Put epoxy in the antlers and the artificial skull.  Do not put too much, you want the metal pins to be able to slide in and move a little.

6. Once the antlers are in the desired position, tape them in place and walk away for several hours.  Come back once the epoxy has hardened.

7. In this case the base of the skull was larger than my antlers.  I used a Dremel tool to grind down the skull to better match the antlers.  This step may be unnecessary if you have larger antlers.

8. Fill in gaps with epoxy and let dry.

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9. Paint the epoxy to blend into the skull.  I've found Martha Stewart "Wedding Cake" with a chalk finish blends in nicely with most skulls.  This paint can be found at Micheal's.

10. Seal the skull with Krylon, Matt Finish 1311.  This is a non yellowing sealant.

11. Add hanger and pre-drill holes and counter sink for screws that will go into skull.

12. Screw plaque to skull.

13. Hang on wall and enjoy!

Another shot with a filter.

I hope this post was helpful.  Feel free to leave comments below and I'll respond as soon as possible.  Also feel free to shoot me an email. 

Happy Hunting!

David Williamson