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How to Choose the Taxidermy Mount You’ll be Happy With for Years to Come

Posted by 
October 31, 2017
Published in News & Tips > Hunting > Taxidermy
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The hard work and anticipation of that special hunt finally paid off with you taking the trophy of your dreams. No matter if the trophy happens to be the record book whitetail you’ve hunted for all your life or if it is your child’s first squirrel, a trophy is in the eye of the hunter. 

3 mount deer turkey 300After nerves have calmed, stories told and retold and you are anxious to preserve the memories however,  the caped head has been resting in the freezer for months simply because you don’t know how to tell the taxidermist what you want. Don’t feel alone, most folks that have ever had taxidermy work done go through this same struggle of decisions. 

1 arrow pointTip: Taxidermy: How to Care for Deer You Plan to Mount


We have all seen mounts that are beautiful and lifelike while others may leave a lot to be desired. Over the years I have had 100’s of my animals mounted.  I do this to honor the animal as well as to preserve the memory of the hunt and to better share the experience with friends and family. Here are a five key things I’ve learned to insure I’m spending my money wisely on a service and product I’ll be happy with for years to come.

1 arrow pointTip: Bass Pro Shops® Wildlife Creations Taxidermy Studio. Our professional artists and taxidermists produce replicas and lifelike game mounts in meticulous detail and vibrant color.


2 mounts BV3001. This is VERY important. Decide where the mount will be placed. Find your exact spot on the wall for that big buck, turkey fan etc. Examine the ceiling height making sure there is clearance for antlers. This could make the difference between the type of form you must use such as the: Upright, Sneak, Semi-Sneak, Pedestal or Euro  etc.

2. Walk into the room you plan to display the mount and note from which angle will you first see the animal. This will determine which direction you should turn the head as it is desirable to have it facing you when you enter the room. Perhaps you want to admire the trophy from your easy chair in the evenings, I’m sure you will want it facing you from that angle. Focus on the direction of the eyes and the best positioning will become obvious.

1 mount antelope 3003. To preserve the experience even more I often pose the animal in much the same manner as I saw it in the field through posture, ear position and expression. I shy away from stiff straight forward upright positioning opting more for relaxed graceful turns and flowing lines.  Accentuate the most impressive features such as an unusually wide or heavy rack or perhaps a drop-time by placing it in a most obvious focal point.  Give the animal back a personality or attitude whenever possible and make sure your taxidermist understands these terms.

4. Decide if you want to preserve the imperfections or have them repaired. Sometimes battle scars or ripped ears give character to an old warrior and likely you’d want to keep that look.  It requires more work on behalf of the artist but it may be worth it to you. It is commonplace to have broken tines repaired but this is also a personal choice decision. I have had a couple of nice bucks that broke a tine or two when they fell and luckily I was able to find the pieces and have them reattached. If it looks like an old break that happened some time ago I usually opt not to repair but as noted this is everyone’s own choice.  

5. Taxidermy is artistry. Look at work done by a variety of taxidermist and don’t choose your artist strictly by price or speed. Make sure you are paying someone that recognizes the beauty of every animal and has the ability and time to bring that beauty to life using quality products and processes that will insure your mount will last a lifetime.





Tagged under Read 2405 times Last modified on October 31, 2017
Brenda Valentine

Home: Puryear, Tenessee
(husband) Barney, (daughters) Melissa & Scarlet
Hourseback riding / training. Farming for wildlife. Gardening / Flowers
All legal methods

Hunting Stuff

Years Been Hunting: 50 years plus
Hunting Strength:
The woodsmanship skills and knowledge I learned as a kid have always been my ace-in-the-hole. Paired with my above average shooting skills with bow and firearms, these skills have been key to many of my hunting successes. I also have an unusual physical and mental toughness that has come in handy many times on particularly difficult hunts.
Favorite Technique:
Bow, Muzzleloader, Centerfire
Favorite Game to Hunt:
Turkey & Whitetail Deer
Favorite Places to Hunt:
Tennessee, Illinois, Montana, and Africa
Favorite Season to Hunt:
Turkey &  Deer
Favorite Time to Hunt: Anytime the season is open and I am free to go
Favorite Way to Hunt: Treestand
Favorite Turkey Call:
Brenda Valentine Sweet Talk

Career Highlights

Biggest Kill: Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Moose, Elk, Caribou, Kudu
Greatest Hunting Achievement: Cleanly killing a Cape Buffalo bull with one arrow at 19 steps, several turkey grandslams
Favorite Hunting Moment: Assisting each of my 4 grandkids shoot their first deer — each when they were five years old

Professional Affiliations: National Spokesperson for the National Wild Turkey Federation
Host of the NWTF's award winning TV program, "Turkey Call" on the Pursuit channel
21-yr veteran of Bass Pro Shops National RedHead Hunting Team
Co-hosts Bass Pro's "REAL HUNTING TV" on Verses network as well as being a regular on the Bass Pro "King of Bucks" program
First woman inducted into the National Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame
Member of the West Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
A present nominee for the National Archery Hall of Fame
2012 Inducted into the Tennessee Turkey Hunters Hall of Fame
2013 Professional Outdoor Media Association Pinnacle Award
Bethel University, Head Archery Coach
First/only woman selected to represent the outdoor and hunting industry in the 2012 Armed Forces Entertainment "Outdoor Legends" S.E. Asia Tour
National champion 3-D Archer
Featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal
About to receive the Silver Lance award, the Amvets highest honor for my work with the wounded vets

Often described as the 1 person responsible for recruiting more women into hunting than any other in modern history.  Brenda Valentine, the "First Lady of Hunting"®, grew up in a family where wild game was the primary table fare and  good hunting/shooting skills were learned at an early age.  The lessons of woodsmanship, animal behavior, and handling a firearm that once provided meat for the table were also building a firm foundation for Brenda to become a respected leader and a role model in today's world of hunting and conservation. 

Latest from Brenda Valentine


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