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Deer Plaque Designs and Usage

Updated on November 21, 2012
Plaque with pedestal for display on a table or flat counter top.
Plaque with pedestal for display on a table or flat counter top. | Source


This hub will cover how deer plaques are made and the typical uses in the real world. Afterwards you should have a better understanding of the quality expected with different types of plaques and how they are commonly displayed.

Glossary of terms

  • Plaques / panels / bases - all can describe the piece of wood that a typical animal skull or form is attached to (usually by standard screws).
  • Form - is a reproduction of the body of an animal.
  • Pedestal - is the base plus the stem that is usually attached to the plaque. It's also loosely used to describe the entire piece of wood that the animal skull is attached to.
  • MDF (medium density fibre board) - faux wood made from wood dust through a pressure and heating process.

CNC Machine for high volume jobs
CNC Machine for high volume jobs | Source

How Are They Made?

Most high volume distributors make plaques with CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. These expensive computerized systems cut plaques that are pre-designed with CAD software from slabs of wood. Each piece is cut very precise and in little time.

The more time-consuming way to make plaques is by hand. Whichever way they are made, human interaction is needed at some point in the process for staining and clear coats.

Would you want a deer plaque made of wood dust or would you choose solid natural wood?

See results

"We've seen many woodworking shops sell deer plaques that are made with inferior material that fall apart over time and that's why we're committed to selling plaques that are made of solid natural wood."



Not all plaques are made equal and neither is the wood used to build them. For example, if you're looking for a picture frame at Walmart you will be surprised to find that none of the picture frames are made of solid natural wood. Trust me, I've looked for one myself.

Did you know that many picture frames at Walmart and other big box stores are made from wood dust?! Also known has fiber core or MDF wood, these picture frames are made of wood that is compressed together and heated to form a solid piece of faux wood. Afterwards, usually a thin layer of veneer is on top to give it the wood grain look.

Plaques made of fiber core have less density than their real counter parts and are prone to accidental water and physical damage. One benefit of fiber core plaques is that they are cheap to manufacture and are therefore cheaper for the consumer.

Benefits of Fiber Core:

  • Less costly to manufacture
  • Cheap consume prices

Solid natural wood plaques is more often then not denser than fake wood. Natural solid wood feels and looks better to many experts in the mill work industry.

Benefits of Natural Solid Wood:

  • Premium feel & look
  • Easier to do mounts with
  • Less prone to water & physical damage

Real World Use

Deer plaques are commonly found in man caves, cabins, and in homes with outdoor themed decor. There are many ways that they are used to display mounts. Two of the common ways include flat plaques hung from the wall and plaques with pedestals that sit on a table or counter top. A typical plaque size for deer has 9" width x 15" height dimensions.

Common wall mount attached to a flat plaque.
Common wall mount attached to a flat plaque. | Source
Great looking wall mount that has plaque with pedestal.
Great looking wall mount that has plaque with pedestal. | Source
This deer skull is attached to a pedestal that sits on a table or flat counter top.
This deer skull is attached to a pedestal that sits on a table or flat counter top. | Source


The old addage: you get what you pay for is very true when it comes to plaques. When looking for wood plaques for future projects please keep in mind that plaques can be made of different materials and processes. Expect higher quality plaques that are natural solid wood and made through a CNC machining process, but watch out for plaques that are made of MDF wood if you want a plaque that lasts a long time and is easy to work with.


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