Sitka Gear
Shoulder Mount Cost
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
APauls 01-Nov-21
greg simon 01-Nov-21
Old Reb 01-Nov-21
t-roy 01-Nov-21
milnrick 01-Nov-21
HUNT MAN 01-Nov-21
MA-PAdeerslayer 01-Nov-21
JohnMC 01-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 01-Nov-21
iceman 01-Nov-21
deerhunter72 01-Nov-21
EmbryOklahoma 01-Nov-21
skull 01-Nov-21
grizzly63 01-Nov-21
tradi-doerr 02-Nov-21
CFMuley 02-Nov-21
kevo 02-Nov-21
timex 02-Nov-21
Butcherboy 02-Nov-21
BOWUNTR 02-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 02-Nov-21
APauls 02-Nov-21
olebuck 02-Nov-21
deerhunter72 02-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 02-Nov-21
badguybuster 02-Nov-21
Trial153 02-Nov-21
Hancock West 02-Nov-21
TGbow 02-Nov-21
Nick Muche 02-Nov-21
Butcherboy 02-Nov-21
badbull 03-Nov-21
wytex 03-Nov-21
Live2Hunt 03-Nov-21
Scott/IL 03-Nov-21
Hancock West 04-Nov-21
kscatman76 04-Nov-21
BC173 04-Nov-21
Huntingpooch 05-Nov-21
Huntingpooch 05-Nov-21
APauls 05-Nov-21
olebuck 12-Nov-21
12yards 12-Nov-21
SIP 12-Nov-21
KC9 12-Nov-21
caribou77 12-Nov-21
esean 12-Nov-21
Rackmastr 13-Nov-21
markr 13-Nov-21
Butcherboy 14-Nov-21
Pete-pec 14-Nov-21
Barron114 14-Nov-21
markr 14-Nov-21
wraith8 15-Nov-21
Hancock West 15-Nov-21
Rock 15-Nov-21
Wildan2 16-Nov-21
arlone 19-Nov-21
Matt-6 20-Nov-21
Bassman 25-Nov-21
Nemophilist 26-Nov-21
NCK 26-Nov-21
SteveB 30-Nov-21
SaddleReaper 02-Dec-21
APauls 02-Dec-21
markr 02-Dec-21
From: APauls
01-Nov-21
Just curious what shoulder mount costs are running in your area from a reputable experienced taxidermist? 100% curiosity. Whether COVID has changed prices drastically etc. I'm not looking for a taxidermist I've used the same guy for everything I've ever done. But it might be my last shoulder mount lol.

From: greg simon
01-Nov-21
$700 is pretty normal in my area.

From: Old Reb
01-Nov-21
Ii paid 450 for a pronghorn shoulder mount last year.

From: t-roy
01-Nov-21

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
We pay about $225 for stuff like this. Any alterations are extra, of course.

A whitetail shoulder mount runs about $550-$650 in our area.

From: milnrick
01-Nov-21
Haven't had any done here in TN, but a WT shoulder mount was $550, and a wall pedestal running near $700.

From: HUNT MAN
01-Nov-21
750-825 depending on forms

01-Nov-21
225$ is a great deal for that T-Roy!

I paid 500 for my last one from PA. That was basically just materials cost as my buddy did it. They usually get 750 I think

From: JohnMC
01-Nov-21
T-Roy I am a bit confused. You said a mount like the one above is $225 but any alterations are more. So did the $225 included the open mouth and canine teeth or were they extra?

From: Grey Ghost
01-Nov-21

Grey Ghost's Link
Jonas Brothers gets $750 for a deer shoulder mount here in Colorado.

Matt

From: iceman
01-Nov-21
$550 ish here

From: deerhunter72
01-Nov-21
In southern Illinois I paid $700 for a WT wall pedestal mount 2 years ago. Took a buck to the same guy last week and the standard price is now $675 for a shoulder mount plus $150 if you want the wall pedestal. Prices have gone up just like everything else.

01-Nov-21
My guy just went up to $700 here in the Tulsa area. He’s gonna have to be over 160” before I mount another. Euros for me, done in the backyard.

From: skull
01-Nov-21
1200$ At my taxidermy in south Ontario

From: grizzly63
01-Nov-21
I feel bad walking up on a large racked deer anymore knowing that I'm not going to get it mounted as its just too expensive. Bury in the ground, boil em, I'm trying maceration this year. Call me cheap. Its ok. Live within my means. It would take a pretty large deer to get mounted for me anymore. The cost is running around $750 for a shoulder mount in my area.

From: tradi-doerr
02-Nov-21
$1700 for my Co. bull moose shoulder mount.

From: CFMuley
02-Nov-21
$800-$850 in my area. I don’t mount much anymore. I did mount me Mexico deer from this year though, and it was $1,500 for the mount, pedestal, and habitat.

From: kevo
02-Nov-21
For an outstanding work of art, it will cost you $675.00 in Moberly Missouri.

From: timex
02-Nov-21
I had my son Cary 2 piebald deer hides from last season & the hide from a big bodied buck this season to be soft tanned. The taxidermist called & said the price had gone up $75.00 from the last ones I had done & the wait would long.

From: Butcherboy
02-Nov-21
I used to charge $800 + tax for deer and antelope. $1400 + tax for elk. More of course if they were floor pedestals with habitat. Lots of other prices for different sized animals and life size of course. I have about 5 more to do then I’m done for good.

From: BOWUNTR
02-Nov-21
Expect the price to go up. Tanneries and suppliers have already sent out notices of price increases. Ed F

From: Grey Ghost
02-Nov-21
I'm surprised more guys don't learn to do taxidermy themselves. There's certainly an art to it, but it's not that difficult.

Years ago, I ordered a how-to VHS tape done by a guy named Bill Atkins. I watched it start to finish 3 times before I attempted my first mount. He uses the borax method to preserve the hides. No tanning involved. You can start the mounting process as soon as you get the cape fleshed out. I've completed shoulder mounts 2-3 weeks after killing the animal. I wouldn't say my mounts are the highest quality, but I've see worse from guys who do it professionally.

It's not something that I'd want a steady diet of, but it is rewarding to do your own mounts when you kill something that's worthy of it.

Matt

From: APauls
02-Nov-21
Matt - it's definitely something I'm interested in. Thanks for the note of experience. Not going to do it on this one though, just shot my best deer ever, but something I am interested in for the future.

From: olebuck
02-Nov-21
i'm in Mississippi and i'm a taxidermist. i charge $520 for a commercial shoulder mount for a whitetail.

the material cost has gone way up since covid. Raw material for a should mount is around $170.00 tanning cost is about $150.00 - over head - just depends on utilites, rent, taxes, etc,

doesn't leave alot of room for profit....

From: deerhunter72
02-Nov-21
Grizzly, maceration works great and is faster. I try to get of as much hide as I can, throw it in a bucket of water and then I put in a fish tank heater. I set this up in an insulated trash can and add water as necessary. Works well and is pretty fast and inexpensive.

I drew a bobcat permit this year and if I get one I’m going to have it mounted too. My taxidermist reluctantly agreed to do it for me for $800. Might be silly but they make a great looking mount.

From: Grey Ghost
02-Nov-21

Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
Grey Ghost's embedded Photo
For guys who want to do their own euro mounts, a turkey frier works great. Just fill a large tub with water and add Dawn dish washing soap and Oxy Clean. Then slow boil the skull for about 45 minutes. After that, I use a power washer to blast most of the remaining flesh and tissue away. Be careful around the fragile nose bones. From there, a bit of hand scraping will usually remove the final bits.

Some guys prefer the natural yellowish skull color. If you like the white bleached out look, 40 volume peroxide that you can buy at a hair salon works the best. Just rub a liberal amount on the skull, being careful to not get any on the antlers, and let sit for a few days.

That's how I did my elk euro mount from last year and it turned out great.

Matt

From: badguybuster
02-Nov-21

badguybuster's embedded Photo
badguybuster's embedded Photo
I paid 650 for this one and yes it was intentional... makes a great conversation piece for the wifes non-hunting friends.

From: Trial153
02-Nov-21
800-1000 for one of the better taxidermists in my area

From: Hancock West
02-Nov-21
$450-$500 in our area

From: TGbow
02-Nov-21
dang. ..mounting gets expensive don't it

From: Nick Muche
02-Nov-21

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Just picked this one up a few weeks ago, $1,400.00. Seems any shoulder mount up here is over a grand nowadays.

From: Butcherboy
02-Nov-21
The best ways to learn how to do taxidermy is to wither go to a good school or pay a really good taxidermist to come into his shop and learn from him as a day to day, weekly, or hourly rate. Make sure your cape is already tanned. He can teach you how to measure it properly for the right manikin as well. I went to a decent school but wish I would have went to a different one now or learned from a really good taxidermist on a one on one basis. I also learned a ton by going to state competitions and competing myself. I also came up with my own methods that worked better for me with much better results than the way I was taught.

From: badbull
03-Nov-21
APauls, I would keep your cape well frozen so that you can make a decision to have him mounted or try to mount him yourself someday. As an ex taxidermist (that only mounts for family these days) , I can tell you that those large capes are hard to come by. They can last frozen indefinitely if done right and can be worth quite a bit especially if not cut short. Congratulations on taking a trophy like that with your bow. Badbull

From: wytex
03-Nov-21
$750 for my bighorn sheep mount and he did all the form modifications for free. Sadly he is retired now.

No way VHS tape will tech you what a good taxidermist knows. Borax will not keep that cape in good shape for many years, as a good tanning job will.

From: Live2Hunt
03-Nov-21
You pay for what you get as the old saying goes. A dry preservative mount, black nose and no claywork around the eye's is going to be cheap. Now, a properly thinned, tanned cape, detailed clay work around eyes/nose with a multi colored paint job around the eyes and nose is going to cost you. Place the above 2 together and you can tell big time. I do it for family and friends. I know the work involved and what it takes. For me, I want a mount that looks like an art piece rather than a dried out piece of fur with a black nose and brown eyes.

From: Scott/IL
03-Nov-21
Noticed a price hike around here last year. There’s a guy that does pretty good work and he is $550 but only takes in a certain number. Up the road is another who does award quality and he’s $850 and has a shed full of skulls.

5 years ago, I was paying $300.

From: Hancock West
04-Nov-21
Good Looking mount Nick!

From: kscatman76
04-Nov-21
$675 to $750 here in kansas is the norm now I believe.

From: BC173
04-Nov-21
$750 or more, depending on the form, at my taxidermist

04-Nov-21
Nick is that a Dall or Marco. Holly cow!

From: Huntingpooch
05-Nov-21

Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
Huntingpooch's embedded Photo
$325 for my taxi in WI. He does great work and his price has been the same since I took my first deer there in 2010. Picking my 2020 buck up tomorrow!

05-Nov-21
Huntingpooch, He does a great job. That looks very lifelike

From: Huntingpooch
05-Nov-21
Not bad for $325, right.....LOL!

From: APauls
05-Nov-21
lol, Giant habitat base too.

From: olebuck
12-Nov-21
i'm a taxidermist. i recently went up on my price to $520

i make make about $200 per deer head....

From: 12yards
12-Nov-21
I paid $750 for my whitetail last year. Still waiting.

From: SIP
12-Nov-21
I know a guy that just took a deer to the taxidermist in Delaware today and $500 was the cost for that. He said the guys work in his shop looked pretty good, I didn’t see it myself

From: KC9
12-Nov-21
Badbull Can you elaborate on how to correctly freeze a cape. My son in law shot his first buck and we are going to euro it now. But it was a great buck for 1st one and I caped it out to save so he has the option later. Thanks

From: caribou77
12-Nov-21
550$ to 675$ Depending on which taxidermist I want to take it too. My guy charges 550. All my mounts have been by him. My buddy uses the 675 guy. Both look incredible. Full bodied goats are 3200.

From: esean
12-Nov-21
Ranges from under $400 from a part-time guy using dry preservative (instead of tanning) to $800 for a museum-quality professional job.

From: Rackmastr
13-Nov-21
I'm currently at $1175 CAD for a deer/pronghorn mount. Sheep/goats I charge more for. Likely will go to $1250 next year on deer.

From: markr
13-Nov-21
Huntingpooch, $325? your guy may do good work but either likes working for free or he's an idiot (possibly both).

From: Butcherboy
14-Nov-21
If I was still doing taxidermy my prices would be pretty close to what Rackmastr is charging. I just can’t seem to get my last 6 done. I’ve been trying to get a bull mounted for the last 2 1/2 months! Everything is prepped and ready, just need the time.

From: Pete-pec
14-Nov-21
Ultimately, hunters are often the worst judges of what a quality mount should or could look like. That's not saying that none do, but some of the endorsements for taxidermists is perplexing at times. There is a big gap from fair to good to great. Those extra details come at a price. Nose, lips, eyes, ears, fleshing and tanning work, and the manikin itself, are what determines the artistry involved. I'd be very leery hearing a low price, because professional taxidermists tend to be professional businessmen, and they are few and far between. Guys make claims of being a master taxidermist, but in my opinion, a master is someone who competed, and was judged highly amongst his peers by another master. Not a guy who's mounted crap for 30 years. That doesn't mean that the friend's uncle cannot mount a deer, even at a fair price, and even good. It just means it's rare. When shopping for a taxidermist, ask to see their work, and look beyond the antlers. Look at the ears for great shape, lack of curl at the tips, vein detail in painting. Look at the nose. Is it wet looking? Are the nodules shaped correctly? Look at the eyes and lips. Are they accurate, tucked cleanly? I'd expect to pay $700 or greater.

From: Barron114
14-Nov-21
$475 for a 2020 whitetail here in Georgia. 2021 price is now $540. Also my taxidermist said that several of the tanneries shut down during Covid and never reopened, so expect longer turn around times.

From: markr
14-Nov-21
Spot on Pete-pec

From: wraith8
15-Nov-21
I just dropped one off at a near-by taxidermist, his rate for a whitetail shoulder mount is $550. The other one we got a quote from was $600.

From: Hancock West
15-Nov-21
well my $475 mount in 2019 went to $600 now.

From: Rock
15-Nov-21
My taxidermist is at $650

From: Wildan2
16-Nov-21
Shipping cost+foam+tannery expect the at least $450 for a quality job.Don't have them use Borax.

From: arlone
19-Nov-21
Went with my brother-in-law to drop off his rifle kill to have a Euro mount done. A horn mount is $129 a Euro mount $129/$149 with plaque. He asked about a shoulder, $800 was told. They had a full body mount of a black bear in process.....$4200.00 with the base. Nice looking work! Good thing I'm too old to turn into a trophy hunter, not enough time to save for mounts. My bear rug was $375 back in 1985. Dropped it off in 85 wasn't done till '87.

From: Matt-6
20-Nov-21
Mine was $750 this year in Greensburg, IN.

From: Bassman
25-Nov-21

Bassman's embedded Photo
Bassman's embedded Photo
Here I mass. From 450 cheep just learning , to 700 for award winning job thats the guy I use l should b getting a call soon to pick up my previous years,

From: Nemophilist
26-Nov-21
Mine with a panel is costing me $620.00

From: NCK
26-Nov-21

NCK's embedded Photo
NCK's embedded Photo

From: SteveB
30-Nov-21
$495 here in Ohio for museum quality hand tanned mount, up from $350 just two years ago.

From: SaddleReaper
02-Dec-21
$725 for a wall ped deer with bracket from my NY guy... and he's really good. There's a guy between his shop and where I live that supposedly upped his price to $900 for a wall ped and his work is at times "hot garbage" and at others not bad - to my "untrained eye".

From: APauls
02-Dec-21
Finally went it to drop mine off. Was quoted $650-$725. Looking at an offset shoulder, semi-sneak left turn.

From: markr
02-Dec-21
"Museum quality" I've seen more garbage then not in museums.

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