Which deer mounts are best?

Your hard work has finally paid off from several hunting trips, and you have the perfect deer that you want to proudly display. Local and state health laws aside, it would be hugely impractical to just peg the deer to a wall and hope for the best.

Luckily, we no longer live in the Wild West, and there are plenty of solutions when it comes to mounting your deer. If you want to show off your latest trophy in a shoulder mount, one of the best options is the Full Range Hanging Systems Wall-Mounted Corner Game Display.

What to know before you buy a deer mount

Types of deer mounts

The first thing you should do before working on your deer is to decide which mount you want to use. Actually, you need to decide on this even before you go hunting. It can be a tough choice, as each one is designed to show off different aspects. An antler mount is self-explanatory, while a European mount incorporates the skull as well. For much larger displays, you might want to go with a good shoulder mount (displaying the deer from the shoulders up), or a full-body mount. If you don’t know what to do with leftover deer parts, you can always make some antler dog chews.

Prep the deer

Once the deer has been taken down, you have several options for what to do next. The whole carcass can be removed from the hunting ground if you plan on using the entire deer. For a shoulder mount, most won’t be comfortable with caping the deer without risking damage, so it’s best to then take it to a professional taxidermist. The rest of the meat and organs can be used to make different products. If you decide on a full-body mount, the deer needs to be gutted. 

Where to mount 

Just as the mounting type is crucial, you also need to consider where the deer will be on display. Deer mounts are available in different sizes and also depend on the size of the buck. Selecting the right location for the deer mount is important, as there needs to be enough space not only for the deer itself but also enough room to work around it. 

What to look for in a quality deer mount

No gaps should be visible

The authenticity of a deer mount can quickly be shattered if unnatural elements are visible. This is especially important when it comes to antler mounts. A quality antler mount should have no gaps between the base and the antlers, and the hair should cover the base as well. The ultimate goal of an antler base is so that you won’t be able to tell that the antlers have been removed from the head.

Ease of installation

Whether you mounted the deer yourself or you had it done by a taxidermist, you want to put it on display somewhere. Depending on the mount type, you might need to affix the mounting base onto the wall first. A quality deer mount can make this a fairly simple process, with the need for minimal tools. Antler mounts make this especially easy, as some allow you to set the antler in the mount after it has been positioned. 

Rotation and adjustments

The position on the wall where the mount will go might not be at the correct viewing angle. Smaller, inexpensive mounts might not have adjustability options, but a quality shoulder mount should. Most of these mounts have a bolt close to the wall that acts as a rotation point, with many mounts being able to rotate at least 100 degrees. If you want to mount two or three shoulder trophies, you can also get a double or triple mount system where you can adjust the rotation (the spacing) between each deer.

How much you can expect to spend on a deer mount

The average price of a deer mount depends on the mounting type and the materials used for the base. Antler mounts or European mounts cost $20-$30. Shoulder wall mounts go for $40-$60.

Deer mount FAQ

How strong should a deer mount be?

A. This depends on where you want the mount, the type of mount and the surface construction of the mounting area. A shoulder mount into a wall should be strong enough to carry around 30 pounds. Antler mounts carry less weight, so heavy-duty bolts and screws aren’t necessary.

How much does it cost to mount a deer skull?

A. If you want to do it yourself (clean the skull, prepare it and then mount), it shouldn’t cost you more than $50. It’s more expensive if you take the deer head to a taxidermist to have it cleaned professionally. But, for around $80-$120, you can be sure that there won’t be any brain matter left behind. 

What’s the best deer mount to buy?

Top deer mount

Full Range Hanging Systems Wall-Mounted Corner Game Display

Full Range Hanging Systems Wall-Mounted Corner Game Display

What you need to know: This is a great system for a shoulder mount that can rotate.

What you’ll love: Used for shoulder-mounted deer in a corner of a room, this deer mount is able to rotate 180 degrees so you can get the perfect angle. It’s strong enough to support a 35-pound mount, perfect for whitetail and mule deer. The rotating arm is about 8 inches in length.

What you should consider: This mount isn’t suitable for elk or moose.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top deer mount for the money

Highwild European Mount Skull Hanger

Highwild European Mount Skull Hanger

What you need to know: Highwild provides a simple and elegant solution for mounting a skull.

What you’ll love: Made from heavy-duty steel, this skull mount can be affixed to a flat surface in minutes. The hook can carry a load of about 20 pounds, so it shouldn’t bend or break when used for whitetail or mule deer.  

What you should consider: This hook is not recommended for alligators or similar-sized skulls.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Skull Hooker Little Hooker European Trophy Mount

Skull Hooker Little Hooker European Trophy Mount

What you need to know: Little Hooker makes for a solid hook that can be used for a range of animal skulls.

What you’ll love: The prong system has been designed to slip into the natural holes in the back of the deer skull. It creates a sturdy fit, and the bolt can be rotated 180 degrees to get the angle right on the display wall. In addition to deer, it can also be used for the skulls of hogs, antelope and cougars.

What you should consider: The skull doesn’t sit flush to the mount, so it protrudes somewhat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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