Deer shoulder mounts are the most common type of taxidermy for mule deer and whitetail deer in the United States. But within that category is a vast variety of options for the finished mount. Depending on the particularities of any given deer, you can choose the style that best suits your trophy.
The upright pose is the classic trophy mount. From the shoulders, including the chest down to the breastbone, the mount turns upward so that the neck is at an angle of almost 90 degrees. Still very popular, the upright mount gives a trophy a sense of regal magnificence.
The sneak pose is a relative newcomer to the mount market. In the sneak pose, the deer's neck is stretched out, almost horizontal. The position is more similar to the position adopted by real bucks on the trail of a hot doe in the rut. The mount position is designed to create an air of authenticity to the deer in the wild. Semi-sneak poses are also available, which tilt the neck at roughly a 45-degree angle, halfway between upright and sneak positions.
Mounts begin from one of the three basic positions--upright, sneak or semi-sneak--but there are other variables as well. The first is neck turn, which can swing the mount to either right or left. If a buck has an uneven rack, with one antler significantly larger than the other, a neck turn is a good way to present the better side more conspicuously.
Head position can also be used for the same purpose as neck turn, with a variable degree of turn to either right or left to present the stronger side of the trophy. But the head can also be tilted vertically. A raised chin is often used with an upright mount to create the "King of the Forest" feeling. But a lowered chin can also be used to great effect with an upright mount to foster a sense of aggression.
For still another twist on turning, you can also have a mount canted completely. A canted mount, also called a one-shoulder mount, uses uneven amounts of the hide from the deer's two shoulders. When the mount is hung, it essentially protrudes from the wall at an angle. Depending on the layout of a room, a canted mount can be helpful in positioning the mount for optimal viewing from a number of angles.
- Photo Credit deer image by Joan Stanton from Fotolia.com
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