Whitetail Display Options for Taxidermy, with Nickie Carter


Award-winning taxidermist, artist and designer Nickie Carter clearly explains all of the options available when choosing a taxidermy display for whitetail deer shoulder mounts.

When you take your deer to the taxidermist, you will be asked to make some decisions that you may not have considered. You need to decide on the pose, the turn, and the design of your deer mount.

The first thing your taxidermist will do upon receiving your deer is to take detailed measurements in order to select a mannikin that will fit your deer’s skin.

Your taxidermist will want to know the direction that you want your deer’s head turned. You can choose to have your deer’s head turned to the right, looking straightforward, or turned to the left.

The next decision to make is the pose, or the attitude of the deer. The most common poses are the upright, a tall and majestic pose; the semi-upright, which is a little more relaxed; the semi-sneak, which is a very natural-looking pose; and, the full sneak, like you would see a buck when he’s chasing does.

Remember, if you choose an upright or semi-upright pose, make sure there is enough room on top for the antlers to clear the ceiling.

There are many choices available for your mount beyond the flat back, which is made for hanging on the wall. For more decorative designs, you can choose a pedestal manikin, which is made for 360-degree viewing. It has a concave back, so your taxidermist can use a variety of options when decorating it. For example, they could use bark, artificial stone, leather, or fabric.

If you like the dramatic effect of the pedestal mount, but you still want to hang it on the wall, then the wall pedestal is the best of both worlds. It still has a concave area for decorating, but also includes a flat back to attach to the wall. It also has a greater shoulder area for displaying more of your deer.

Now that you’ve chosen the pose and the turn of your deer, you need to decide how you’d like to display it in your home. You can hang it on the wall in a traditional flat back manner, or you can go a step further, and have your taxidermist attach it to a wooden display panel to compliment the décor in your home.

Some recent innovations in taxidermy and habitat have opened up a whole new way to display your hunting trophies. Think about warmth, texture, and color. Consider a display that shows appreciation for the animal, and tells part of the story of the hunt. Talk to your taxidermist. He or she can easily incorporate all types of scenery which allows you to replicate the natural environment where your hunt occurred.

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