Gone Outdoors

Types of Deer Mounts

by Joe White

A quality mount of your trophy is often the best way to preserve the memories of a successful hunt. Depending on the size of your deer and whether the condition of the hide was compromised by the hunt or the kill, there are several basic categories of mounts to choose from. And within these categories, the list of possibilities is virtually endless.

Full-Body Mount

A full-body mount is usually only practical for very small fawns; but since fawns are grown up by the time hunting season rolls around, the odds of bagging a fawn are small. It is possible to create a full-body mount for a full-grown deer, but skinning out the entire deer is extremely difficult without stretching, tearing or staining the skin or fur. And because full-body mounts are so rare, many taxidermists are simply not equipped for the work, making the prospect impossible or impractically expensive.

Neck Mount

A neck mount consists of the deer's head and neck. Some people mistakenly believe that this is the most common type of mount. In fact, the most common type is the shoulder mount, which includes more of the lower neck and the start of the torso. The neck mount is sometimes preferred because it is cheaper than a shoulder mount. It can also be the only viable option if the skin of the shoulder was damaged by a particularly bad exit hole.

Shoulder Mount

A shoulder mount is the most common type of mount. It uses all the skin down the chest to the sternum, as well as skin from beneath the shoulder. Even if the deer is killed with a neck shot or shoulder shot, most of the exit wounds are reparable. The shoulder mount is perfectly compatible with the most common gutting and skinning techniques, which only adds to its popularity.

Upright vs. Sneak

The upright pose is the most traditional mount, wherein the deer's neck is upright, close to vertical. The alternative, a relative newcomer which has steadily grown in popularity, is the sneak position, which places the neck almost horizontal, with the nose extended forward. In between the extremes is the semi-sneak position, canting the deer's neck at about 45 degrees.

Head Position

The neck positions are complemented by a variety of head positions. First, the head can be tilted to the left or right in a slight or exaggerated turn. Second, the head can be canted nose-up or nose-down. Nose-up is the more traditional pose when paired with the upright neck position. Nose-down positioning tends to give the mount a more aggressive appearance.

About the Author

Joe White has been writing since 2007. His work has appeared in various online publications, such as eHow and Insure.com. He graduated from the University of Dallas with a Bachelor of Arts in English.