Hunting trophies?

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Quite a few hunters on this site - question - what do you guys do with your various trophies?

My habits have changed over the years. Long ago, any antlers got put on the wall, or at least set on a bookshelf. Now... Not so much. For instance this year's mule deer had decent 3x3 antlers. I didn't even consider putting them on the wall. Just sawed them off and cut 'em up as doggie chew toys. They make great doggie chew toys!

Bears - bear skins take up a LOT of room! An average adult male bear in Washington is about 6' long and 6' wide when turned into a rug. That takes up a LOT of wall space or floor space, and they don't look like they'd hold up to much foot traffic.

A bear skull sits real nice on a bookshelf though.


With my bull elk, I was going to have a full head, neck, shoulders mount done - until I saw the size of those things and took a hard look at my modest sized home... So, the elk antlers went on the wall, on a simple wooden plaque. They take up a LOT less room that way, and still look pretty good. Kind of dramatic. This bull measures 51" from tip to tip, for size reference.

I've always had my deer antlers done the same way or as a "European" skull mount. Same with the pronghorn antelope.



Birds? I just pluck a few pheasant feathers now and again & stick 'em in a cup on my desk. My dog always stops to sniff them if I've got a fresh feather or two in there. I did recently skin a couple of pheasants and gave the skins to a fellow who does a lot of fly tying.

Fish? Hmm. Most I've ever done is to photograph 'em while my son, a friend, or I are holding them. Salmon & steelhead make pretty cool photos.

Mama tells me that the house is about running out of room for more antlers, bears, skulls, etc... Looking around, I tend to agree. And I don't even have the grizzly hide back from the tannery yet... That sucker measured a bit over 8' long and 8' wide on the snow in  hunting camp last May.

So, what do you do with your stuff? I enjoy looking at the trophies around the house, and remembering the hunts, particularly hunts with family and friends.

Until this year my elk and deer antlers have been European mounts or just cut off the skull. This years 4X4 Mulie, even though just better than average per my guide, will be a shoulder mount that I can gaze upon in my olde age, remembering the day....:). I have a black bear rug from my bear shot in 1970 rolled up in a closet.

This is my wall of trophies, My wife is running out of room she will let me use.

I know what you mean about bear rugs, I hang mine at my buddies gun shop.

I had a full fox mount and coyote rug back in Michigan but gave them to a buddy when I moved to Alaska.

Recently I have been leaning to getting pictures printed on canvas. They make a great trophy, are a lot less expensive, and look great. This is one I did of a caribou I shot a few years ago. I mounted a small LED light behind it. It turned out very nice.

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I also have a modest sized house. I have a couple of caribou euro mounts, a wolf pelt and skull.

I'm hard pressed to do much work with antlers anymore- most get left for the critters or turned into chew toys for the pup.

I half-jokingly call my freezer "The Trophy Room", I've got to admit that I enjoy looking in it more than at my mounts on the wall. I don't regret doing them, they're appropriate for the house and my lifestyle- but I won't do anymore unless I get a change of heart or a stunner of a moose.
The_bear78 - love that trophy wall, and yes, I agree, photos are a fine "trophy."

Guy Miner":c52xrx9f said:
The_bear78 - love that trophy wall, and yes, I agree, photos are a fine "trophy."


Thanks, They turned out real well

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'I have several sets of horns, including those from my dads first bull and his best buck and my first buck and best bull. But that's pretty much it. If we had kept them all, we would have well over a hundred, laying around. They would have been a pain to move. I have some pictures, but not a book of them or anything like that. Mostly they are in my head.
I only mounted three heads of game I have killed over the years and two are first kills and the last one I killed near my son's tree stand everything else has had the horns whacked off and are scattered around the house or was made into other things like buttons and knife handles.
I have basically been a meat hunter all my hunting age life and food was more important then trophies.
All antlers go for chew toys for my daughters dogs. My wife and I made an agreement years ago that I wouldn't bring hold dead animal parts and she would not complain about my hunting. We've pretty much kept that agreement. I am sometimes sorry that I wasn't able to keep some of the bear hides I've harvested; but I did have quite a happy home life.
Right now I have some elk and deer plaques hanging out in the garage where they are displayed nicely. I have one antelope shoulder mount and a black bear rug. I also have a fox and a coyote just skinned and tanned. The bear rug hangs in our TV/Entertainment room. Looks really nice in there. I have an antelope plaque in my reloading room and a pheasant that a friend fanned out for me like they do with a turkey sometimes. It's displayed on the wall there too.

If I ever draw a sheep tag and I got a nice ram I would probably have it mounted. I do like mounts as Guy said every time I look at them I remember the hunts and the adventure. I think they really add to a place. When one of my son's died in 2006 I sold a really pretty mule deer mount, a 16" antelope buck mount, my big elk mount, and a 5 point whitetail mount. Not sure what happened but it was a pretty rough time and I sold them to Sportsman's surplus so at least they are hanging in a store someplace and folks get to enjoy them. I do wish I had a couple of those back home with me now.

I enjoy photographs too and I have a few "outdoors activities" albums that have hunting, fishing, snowshoeing, and other adventures in them. I really enjoy looking at pictures and love it when folks share theirs here on this forum.I have quite a few framed that I need to display somewhere but I just haven't quite figured out where at this point. Nice photographs are wonderful to look at. I suggested to the Boone & Crockett club (Have no idea if my input made this happen.) that they put albums together showing the pictures various trophies they have on record with a short line or two telling about the picture and the animal. They did finally do that and I purchased it as soon as it came out. I guess they sold out in a hurry! I must not be the only one who likes to look at them!

I do want to get another bear or two. I really like the meat. I would take one of the skulls and have it bleached because I don't have one right now. I ruined mine with a shot to the head. Guy I just had a thought too. They make a device they call the Skull Hooker that really makes it slick to display European mounts and bear skulls and such. Here's a link to them.

David, a very informative and thoughtful post. I am sure you still miss him and I can more than understand the tough time you went through and at times, still do.

As for your mounts, skins, etc, you have given away a bunch and still have a bunch of them. A testimony to your hunting skills through the years.

Guy, we actually had a Longhorn mount over our fireplace, as we raised Longhorns and had a bull with some excellent horns. When he passed away we replaced the Kudu horns that were there. and that was all we had in the house.

We had a fairly large barn and had fixed up a very nice large room in it and that is where we kept; whatever we kept.

Does anyone else here, besides Cheyenne, make clothes, blankets, rugs, and/or sell your bear hides. Maybe Gil ? I know she made and sent some of the things she made in the past to some of the members who had young daughters.

Bill, speaking of "hundreds laying around" . I always enjoyed visiting Jackson Hole, Wy. Not just to see the large herd of Elk, but I loved the "arches" in the center of town made from sheds and several stores had some very nice lamps and other items, made from them also.

Bear 78--what a nice thing to do. It looks good there
I have a couple of Euro mounts, mainly a few bucks and bulls I have taken. I also have my daughters and son's first bucks as well. Those are cool memories.

I have a bunch of nice tanned elk, coyote, and fox hides that I string up and hang from a large post in the house from a nail, looks kinda neat, sorta like a trappers pole.

I am not sure what I would do with a monster brown bear or a big bull elk, but I will sort it out when the time comes I guess.. I think that is an easy problem to have, when it happens.
Years ago I was all about shoulder mounting nice bucks. After my 3rd one, I decided that the money could be used for other things. Now all deer get European mounted. If they are small, I do it myself in the summer but if they are nice, I pay a few bucks to have them done. We have a few nice fish on the wall but one of my favorites is a fish print I made with a 40" northern. I used ink and a sheet of cloth to make the print then framed the sheet. I also have one of every furbear I trapped tanned and hanging up. I have shot 2 bears and one is a rug and the other a full body mount. If I ever shoot a nother bear, I would tan the hide or give it away (can't sell them in WI). I also have a file folder rack that angles up and holds 5 turkey tails perfectly. Those get replaced every few years by new birds. I put all my spurs and beards on a string to represent the spring they were all shot. If I were to ever get an elk, mule deer or any other animal, I will do the European mounts. My room in the basement is getting full and I have some big plans for furture hunts!!!
I had an Elk hide tanned a couple years bsck with the desire of having a vest made with it. It turned out great. Anyone know of a place taht makes such clothing of tanned animal hides? Plans were to leave the bullet hole in it to add to the memory of the hunt.
Al in SC":2i220tgx said:
I had an Elk hide tanned a couple years bsck with the desire of having a vest made with it. It turned out great. Anyone know of a place taht makes such clothing of tanned animal hides? Plans were to leave the bullet hole in it to add to the memory of the hunt.

That is a very cool idea! But no, off the top of my head I don't know of anyone who makes clothing out of tanned game hides. I'm sure they exist though!

The only trophy in my house is a european mount that is my son's first deer. All others are hanging in my office. Everyone at work calls it the "dead room". The euro mount is in the bedroom, my wife won't allow any displayed in any other part of the house. We're going to have a change in attitude when I retire and they must come home with me. I'm just not sure yet who is going to change.
Got a couple of mounts not many, some small game, 3 whitetail's . Usually antlers get cut out by cutting the skull in a V and then the hide and meat trimmed off while it's still fresh and easy to do, then hung in the garage and I usually magic marker the yr on the skull.
I started off with just skull caps, then when I dropped my first Mulie in 1998 I went with a shoulder mount ( "just one" I said) one more mule deer, three whitetails later.... haha.

I did a few Euro mounts in between as well. Currently my smaller ( score wise) mulie is hanging in my office.


The very first Euro mount I ever did DIY, is now proudly hanging in my oldest daughters bedroom at her request. My wife helped her find some arrows to compliment the design after Mack came up with a vision for the wall. I hope that this fall she can drop one of her own and replace my 15 year old Euro with one of her own.


And finally my 4 point bull from New Mexico. Wife wanted one for above the fire place. I happily obliged her.


The rest are in the basement awaiting to be hung somewhere..... Wife says garage, I say in the house. We shall see who wins. :)

Not sure if I will ever get another shoulder mount. I really like Euro's better. And yeah photos are for sure trophies in my book. I have albums loaded with early coon hunts with the blueticks, rabbits with the beagles, first deer, first goose, first duck, etc... all trophies.
Looks like a pretty good trophy off to the side of the four-point! :? Can't actually say who tagged whom. :mrgreen: