How to Taxidermy a Deer : The Ultimate Guide for Preservation

How to Taxidermy a Deer

Taxidermy is the art of preserving and mounting animal specimens for display or study. If you’re interested in learning how to taxidermy a deer, read on for a step-by-step guide that will help you achieve a lifelike and professional-looking mount.

1. Prepare the Necessary Materials

Before starting the taxidermy process, gather all the necessary materials:

  • Deer carcass
  • Taxidermy tools: scalpel, scissors, wire, and needle
  • Polyurethane foam or cotton filling
  • Taxidermy clay and clay sculpting tools
  • Mounting stand or wall plaque
  • Borax or salt for preservation

2. Skinning the Deer

Start by carefully skinning the deer, making sure to preserve the hide as intact as possible. Use a sharp scalpel or scissors to make the incisions along the deer’s legs and belly. Peel the skin back, being cautious not to damage it.

3. Fleshing and Preserving the Hide

Next, remove all excess flesh from the skin. Scrape off any remaining muscle or fat using a fleshing tool or knife, being thorough but gentle to avoid tearing the hide. Sprinkle borax or salt on the flesh side to prevent bacterial growth and preserve the hide.

4. Mounting the Deer Head

If you wish to mount only the deer head, proceed as follows:

  • Remove the skull from the head by cutting the neck muscles and skin around it.
  • Clean the skull by removing the brain and soaking it in a degreaser solution. Rinse and bleach it to whiten the bones.
  • Fill the skull cavity with foam or cotton and attach the cleaned antlers.
  • Shape the clay to recreate facial features and attach it to the skull, blending it seamlessly with the hide.
  • Allow the clay to dry, and then paint the mount to match the deer’s natural colors.

5. Mounting the Full Deer

If you want to mount the entire deer, including the body, follow these steps:

  • Measure and cut a foam or wooden body form to fit the deer’s shape.
  • Secure the form to the mounting stand or wall plaque for support.
  • Fill the form with polyurethane foam or cotton, shaping it to approximate the deer’s original body size and proportions.
  • Attach the preserved hide to the form, carefully positioning and smoothing it to give a natural appearance.
  • Use wire and needle to sew any incisions closed and secure the hide in place.
  • Sculpt clay to recreate the nose, eyes, and other facial features, blending it with the skin.
  • Allow the clay to dry, and then paint the mount to resemble the deer’s natural coloring.

6. Finishing Touches

Finally, add any necessary finishing touches to your taxidermy mount:

  • Brush the fur to remove any dust or debris.
  • Check for any loose or sagging areas and secure them with wire or additional stitching.
  • Position the mount in a natural and lifelike pose.
  • Clean and polish the eyes and nose to bring out their natural luster.
  • Apply a clear and protective varnish to the mount for long-lasting preservation.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Taxidermy A Deer : The Ultimate Guide For Preservation

How Do You Start Taxidermy On A Deer?

Taxidermy on a deer begins by properly skinning the animal, removing all flesh, preserving the hide, and mounting it.

What Tools Do I Need To Taxidermy A Deer?

Some essential tools for deer taxidermy include a sharp knife, scissors, fleshing tools, wire, clay, pins, borax, and a manikin.

Is Taxidermy On A Deer Difficult?

Taxidermy on a deer can be challenging for beginners but with practice, patience, and proper guidance, it can be accomplished.

Can I Taxidermy A Deer Without Professional Help?

With the right information and tools, it is possible to taxidermy a deer at home without professional assistance.


Taxidermy is a skill that requires patience and attention to detail. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can learn how to taxidermy a deer and create a beautiful and realistic mount. Remember to always prioritize safety and proper handling of the animal during the process.

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