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Different Types of Taxidermy Plaques for Mounts

Updated on September 4, 2012
Wall Deer Skull Plaque Taxidermy
Wall Deer Skull Plaque Taxidermy

Before you send your kill from the latest hunting season to the taxidermist, think about what you want the final mount to look like. Specifically, consider having your mount on a solid wood plaque. Featuring a mount on a wood plaque can make all the difference in the world to make your mount look awesome. It's nice to have friends, family, and neighbors give compliments left and right for a properly finished mount.

This article will be covering:

  • Wood Species
  • Common & Uncommon Plaque Designs
  • Plaque accessories

Mount Placement

The placement of your mount is important in choosing your plaque because not all rooms in a house is the same. The furniture, lighting, and colors can affect the overall feel of the room which will determine the appropriate type of plaque for that room. Below are a few key things to consider when choosing the most appropriate plaque.

Dark Rooms - For dark rooms, consider using dark wood species such as mahogany, african blackwood, dark oak, and rosewood for your plaque.

Light Rooms - For rooms with lighter tones use lighter wood species such as maple, cedar, cherry, pine, or ash so the plaque will compliment the overall feel of the room.

European Style Deer Mount
European Style Deer Mount

European Mount Plaques

The European style mount is probably the most popular type of mount because they are an inexpensive way to showcase the outcome of a hunt and can be done in many different ways. For this article we will take a look at European skull mounts which involves removing the hide & innards. The final product is a skull mounted on a plaque. As you can see in the sample image to the right, a properly mounted skull looks great!

Red Oak Original Style Plaque
Red Oak Original Style Plaque
Walnut Original Style Plaque
Walnut Original Style Plaque

Common Plaque Styles for European Mounts

Most, if not all, European mounts have plaques made of solid wood construction. They are usually stained and varnished. As you can see below, plaques are usually wider at the top compared to the bottom. For deer skulls, a common size is 9 inches wide x 14 inches tall.

Your taxidermist will know what size skull plaque is adequate

Wall or Table Plaques?

Plaques come in different wood species and styles, but they also come with the choice of being installed hanging on the wall or sitting on table. Wall plaques are great if you don't have the table space and they can draw much conversation if placed in a prominent location inside a house.

On the flip side, table plaques are great because they can be moved frequently and one does not need to drill holes into the wall. Table plaques are usually installed on a pedestal that lifts the plaque above the ground. Many so-called "table pedestals" can actually be installed on the wall by flipping the plaque around.

Cedar Plaque with Pedestal installed on the wall.
Cedar Plaque with Pedestal installed on the wall.
Walnut Plaque with Pedestal for use tables.
Walnut Plaque with Pedestal for use tables.
Bear Skull Plaque
Bear Skull Plaque
Elk skull plaque
Elk skull plaque
Deer skull plaque
Deer skull plaque

Animal Specific Plaques

There are plaques designed with specific animals in mind such as bear, deer, and elk to name a few. The contours of these plaques are appealing because they were designed from the ground up to resemble the contours of the mount. A bear skull would not look great on a deer skull plaque and vice versa. The benefit to animal specific plaques is that there is no guesswork involved in the plaque design.

Bear Skull Plaques - are usually wide and short due to the shape of the bear skull.

Deer Skull Plaques - as mentioned earlier, are wider at the top and narrow at the bottom.

Elk Skull Plaques - are similar to deer skull plaques, but on a bigger scale.

Some animals have similar shaped skulls that may fit on the above common skull plaques

Shoulder, Crest, & Oval Plaques
Shoulder, Crest, & Oval Plaques

Shoulder, Crest, & Oval Plaques

Other popular plaques styles include: shoulder, crest, and ovals - each with their own unique use. Should mount plaques are shaped like that of an animal shoulder and are larger than the skull plaques. Crest shaped plaques are classic way to mount any skull and is very common with skull taxidermists. Oval plaques is great for fish mounts due to the obvious contour of fish.

Specialty Shaped Plaque Designs

Specialty shaped designed plaques are a great way to make a unique looking mount. Types of special shaped plaques for taxidermy include: shotgun shell, arrow & broad head, rifle shell, etc. Although special shaped plaques are uncommon, they come in a variety of designs that compliment different types of mounts.

Photos of Special Shaped Taxidermy Plaques

Special Shaped Taxidermy Plaques: Arrow, Shotgun Shell, Rifle Shell, & more
Special Shaped Taxidermy Plaques: Arrow, Shotgun Shell, Rifle Shell, & more
Solid wood broadhead arrow reproduction for taxidermy plaques
Solid wood broadhead arrow reproduction for taxidermy plaques

Plaque Accessories

Want to stay away from the plain vanilla looking mount? Consider plaque accessories (i.e. plaque décor) such as wood rifle shell, shotgun shell, and broadhead arrow reproductions to attach to your plaque to give it that extra WOW factor.

If you're looking for wood taxidermy supplies check out the following supplier.


Thanks for reading this article. I hope you gained some understanding about the different types of plaques for taxidermy, types of plaque designs, and options available for your mount. So before you have your taxidermist do your taxidermy, choose the right type of plaque for your mount!

Feel free to leave me comments and suggestions below. I would appreciate that.


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