Taxidermy Industry

Taxidermy Prices The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Your house needs electrical work. Who do you hire? A qualified experienced electrician who gets $25 + per hour or the part-time handyman down the road who does handy work on the side for beer or poker money? The handyman who can do or at least claims they can do the same job for ½ the cost of the licensed professional electrician. The same handyman who said they watched a few YouTube videos on how to wire a fuse box, so they got this. So what does this have to do with taxidermy prices?

Let’s start off that this year’s hunting season within North America is in full swing and is actually coming to end for some areas (seasons that start in August) within the next week or two. Taxidermy shops (mostly their freezers) scattered across the land of the free is becoming crowded with wild game to be preserved for a lifetime of memories. Whitetail deer are being delivered by the minute to qualified taxidermists everywhere inside the states during business hours. With that stated it should be no shock to the hunter that taxidermy prices are on the rise in this day and age.

Everything within the hunting industry has increased in prices over the last decade. Gun and ammo prices have sky rocketed along with high tech hunting gear. Breaking news PEOPLE taxidermy is no different. The days of $400 deer head taxidermy prices are long gone. If you find anyone still charging that amount for a quality deer mount, let that be your first red flag when doing research to hire a taxidermist. So let us explain why before you release the dogs on us.

A recent poll conducted on the Taxidermy Lab Facebook group concluded that the national average taxidermy prices for a complete whitetail deer shoulder mount is between $600 and $800 for a full time taxidermy business.

If you’re asking yourself why so much money for a deer head today compared to taxidermy prices 10 years ago, it’s a no brainer. It’s not that the taxidermist is making more money, which is rarely the case. Every year a taxidermist is hit with a 2 to 5 percent increase for cost of supplies and shipping and handling of such said supplies. Under recently adopted state and federal laws self-employed taxidermists were forced to go and buy medical insurance if they already didn’t have it.  Whether they bought health insurance or paid the penalty come tax time, those funds come out of their business profits.

A taxidermist is a businessman or in most cases these days a businesswoman, a capitalist and not a charity organizer. They do not work pro-bono they work for profit while at the same time providing the sportsman and women with a unique quality service. Taxidermy is a luxury and not a need and taxidermy prices will reflect that. Just like that over and under $1500 pheasant 12 gauge is that you had to have at no costs.

Do you think that taxidermy prices of $600, $700 or $800 is too much to spend on a full shoulder deer head? If you say yes then do yourself a favor. Hang up the phone and stop wasting your time and all the taxidermists you are calling while price shopping. Go back out to the hanging pole and just cut the antlers off your one in a lifetime trophy and hang the rack up on the wall.

Never price shop for taxidermy prices. You will however as much as we hate to omit it, you will find individuals that will charge well below the national average, so be forewarned. You will get what you pay for it’s that simple. It’s as plain as apple pie and clear as water. A taxidermist who only charges $400 will not have enough money to buy quality material, pay a tanning bill and make above minimum wage salary when all said and done. Not to mention returning a long lasting quality mount.

One of the reasons Las Vegas is so successful and profitable is that society is so predictable. People love to gamble and take chances. But you have to ask yourself this one question. Do you want to gamble on a once in a lifetime memory? A memory that maybe gone a few years down the road forever because you gambled that $600 to $800 was way too much to spend?

While we covered whitetail deer taxidermy prices here are few other know taxidermy prices quoted often. The average fish mount will run around $25 per inch. Turkey taxidermy ranges from $650 to $1200 depending on pose. Full body coyote taxidermy is $1000 and up and the same goes for bobcat. Waterfowl taxidermy is within the $500 range with geese being more. A full body bear mount, take out a second mortgage.

Thanks for reading, have a nice day!

By CJ Herring

CJ Herring has been practicing taxidermy for 22 years and resides in the hills outside of Cooperstown, New York. A crippling and disabling brain tumor took control of his life in early 2018. In 2019 CJ took a major turn for the worse and was diagnosed with Acromegaly and underwent brain tumor removal in 2020. CJ also suffers from end stage Osteoarthritis within his entire body. In 2021 CJ began his journey with total hip replacement. CJ continues to write about taxidermy and still manages the day to day operations of the Taxidermy Lab Facebook group.