Written by Aaron VanWoerkom
Gone are the days of throwing your deer and elk antlers in the shed or back yard to let them rot and bleach in the sun like our grandparents and parents used to do. Antlers are valuable, crazed shed hunters spend all spring and summer looking for shed antlers for financial gain by selling what they find to antler buyers. Some people even make replicas of big bucks or bulls that have been killed and take them all over showing it off. Boy have times changed. If our grandparents were to look at social media and see how some worship a set of antlers they would scoff in disbelief. Regardless, times have changed and hunters are very particular in how our trophies are displayed.
It’s true, there’s no better way to bring your animal back to life than by a shoulder or full body mount. A great taxidermist is an artist that can bring those trophies back to a life-like presence. You can polish a great mount off by adding a pedestal and habitat.
- Cons of shoulder mounts – They are very pricey, often times $1,000 plus – so when you harvest multiple animals a year it can start to add up quickly. Don’t even ask how much a full body mount is. They are also difficult to move around and transport, they take up a ton of space, they simply wear down/fall apart (we’ve all seen those dusty shoulder mounts at a gas station that were done in the 70’s that are starting to fall apart), and we are always nervous about people touching them and ruining them.
Why Call It European Mount
A European mount is a skull with antlers or horns on top with no hair or skin attached to the skull. The name “Euro Mount” or “European Mount” comes from the fact that this particular type of display was popular in Europe. It was too expensive for taxidermists to import products for shoulder mounts from America, so they did it this cheaper way instead.
- Pros of Euro Mounts – They cost MUCH less than a shoulder or full body mount, in fact, they are often a tenth or more of the price of a shoulder mount. They also take up less space in a room, are easier to move around and transport, they don’t fall apart or wear unless dropped (been there done that), and in our opinion, they look primally elegant!
There are a handful of options of how to display your European Mount. Our personal favorite way to display them is on a Skull Hooker wall mount. Skull Hookers allow for adjustability both vertically and horizontally so that the skull is displayed in the best way for the specific room it’s going in.
Skull Hookers have a beautiful powder coat finish in either black or rust and the best part, no drilling required in the skull. The adjustable prong fits inside the natural holes on the back of the skull. Other put them strait to the wall or some even add them to some sort of plaque with habitat.