Summer is in mid-stream, and it’s time to think about your hunting plans for this fall. With only a month until many bear seasons open up, and a few more months before archery hunting starts in most areas, the time to prepare is now.

To prepare, many hunters set up cameras, scout, hang tree stands, and build food plots. Careful planning and taking these steps will increase your odds of success, but what will you do when you harvest an animal?

Taxidermy or Skull Mount:

There is nothing better for preserving the memory of a great hunt than a well-mounted animal hanging on the wall of your camp or office. So, why would you consider a skull mount for a trophy animal? At Bare Bones, we ask customers that often, and have even recommended to some customers that they get full mounts of a particularly amazing specimen.

The type of mount you choose is based on three factors. Two are common, and the third, not-so-common: Cost, Space, and Collection.


Full taxidermy can be expensive, and saving money by using a cheap Taxidermist is a bad plan. When choosing a Taxidermist, check out their work, in person if possible. Many times when you visit a taxidermy shop in the summer, you will see the pieces that they are working on from the previous season that have not been picked up by customers yet. These pieces give you a better view into their real work, rather than just the pictures they have selected to show on their web site.

The same is true for people processing skull mounts for you. In-person viewing of samples tells you much more than you can see in pictures. A skull mount can save you money, while preserving your trophy and still giving you a way to display your bragging rights. Shoulder mounting a deer averages about $450 in most areas, while a deer skull mount is $100-$250 depending on who does the work and whether you have it mounted to a plaque or not.


In many cases, space is also an issue to contend with for sportsmen looking to preserve their trophies. Animals such as moose, elk, and even deer take up a lot of space in a room, some easily reaching three to four feet out from a wall with antlers that can be 60-70” wide or tall. Many of our moose customers have chosen a skull mount over a traditional taxidermy mount because they do not have the physical space to display a shoulder mount.


When cost and space are not the issue, some people just like to keep memoirs of every successful hunt. While we process trophy animals for many sportsmen, many of our clients collect skull mounts of every animal they harvest. Each year, they try to add to the collection in order to build up their bragging rights. We have clients who bring us every animal imaginable because they enjoy collecting, and also hunters who have brought in animals large and small for us to finish and hang on the wall for them.

As you prepare for your next hunt, consider what you will do with the trophy. If you are ready for a true taxidermy mount, be sure to do your homework before you have the animal, so that you can choose a quality artist who will give you a finished trophy that you will be proud of.

If you choose a skull mount, remember, it’s like choosing a car: You are not choosing between a Cadillac and a Kia, you are choosing between a sports car or a truck. The sports car has great lines and looks great, but the truck gets the job done.