Hang Your Head – Decorating with Taxidermy


Hang-your-head-Leopard-012716Hunters are a proud lot. Proud of their skills, proud of their trophies and proud of the work and challenges it took to get them. The problem is that many trophy rooms end up a hodge-podge of trophies hanging with no theme or purpose.

When I met my husband over two decades ago, he was a hunter and I was not. With the mounts he brought to our new home, I knew the decorating would be a challenge. Fast forward and here we are with over 60 mounts adorning our walls in our Scottsdale home.

Here is what I’ve learned:

– Don’t crowd the mounts all together. Their individual beauty will be lost.

– Hang em’ high. Having an antler poke someone in the eye is probably not a good idea.

– Paint the wall a warm taupe color. Stark white or a dark color does not provide a good contrast or backdrop for your beautiful trophy.

Hang-your-head-African-wall-012716– Great lighting is essential. Think track, spots and indirect lighting. Dimmer switches are your friend.

– Keep them dusted. Having spider condos building behind the ears or fins is not a great reason to have people notice your hard work.

Here are some ideas from our home . . .

We painted a muted mountain range on the wall in the pot shelf. Then decided to give the scene more depth by placing Styrofoam blocks on the floor of the pot shelf out of sight and stuck dried flowers and grasses around. (The old Diorama!) The florescent lighting is on the floor of the shelf as well. Track lighting highlights the Desert Big Horn sheep. Our taxidermist placed the Mountain Lion on a plastic rock and did the same with the sheep mount. There was another deer behind the sheep, but it was way too crowded so we had to find him a new home.

Hang-your-head-Sheep-and-Mountain-Lion-012716Notice the track lighting on the ceiling at the top of the picture. Prior to that installation, the animals looked like they were hiding in a cave. Notice there a couple of birds on the tables to break up the African theme and the Black Bear from British Columbia. The Zebra rug was the final touch in this room.

Below, this very special mount deserved a space all her own. The very clever taxidermist positioned the Leopard lounging on a tree branch. One spot light on it’s own track highlights this beauty. Taupe walls provide the appropriate contrast for my favorite hunt.

Hang your head and do it proudly. Solve the problem by paying just a little attention will make your story of the hunt come alive. –Marsha Petrie Sue, Chair Women’s Outdoor Media Assn.

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