Shoulder Mount Supplies

Table of Contents

Shoulder mounts are so named because they display a mounted animals head, neck, and upper shoulder area. They’re good for beginning taxidermists who want to create something a bit more complex than a skull mount, but don’t have the time, space, or expertise to make and display a full-body mount. However, shoulder mounts still require some of the same supplies that mounting a whole hide does.

First of all, skinning the animal should be taken into consideration. Depending on the species, this will require knives, scalpels, or fine blades, as well as tools for removing bits of muscle and soft tissue that adhere to the inside of the skin. Specialized fleshing tools are useful for this, though some hobbyists use sharpened spoons for small animals, carefully scraping the inside of the hide until it’s clean.

After the skin is cleaned and prepared, supplies are needed to properly preserve the hide. Tools like plastic buckets, paint stirring sticks, and plastic bowls are useful for mixing and preparing tanning or pickling solutions, as well as allowing hides to soak. The hides of some species can be preserved with borax or dry borax, but beginners might want to use a specific kit until they develop a preference for one chemical over another.

Once the hide is preserved, other supplies like needles, thread, different types of glue, or hide paste are use to secure the hide to the mannequin. While the type of adhesive or method of securing the hide will vary from taxidermist to taxidermist, the mannequin itself will be species (and possibly age or gender) specific, and most likely made of polyurethane foam. Some kits for creating shoulder mounts come with all of these supplies, while others will leave the mannequin separate, in which case it is up to the hobbyist to choose an appropriate one for their project. Depending on the type of animal, other supplies like ear liners or small cards can be used to give the ears an alert, lifelike appearance, and glass or acrylic eyes are generally placed on the mount as a finishing touch.

After the hide is mounted and the ears and eyes properly in place, the last supplies needed are to actually hang the mount. Some prefer to hang it directly on a wall, while others prefer to place it on a wooden plaque prior to hanging. Whichever the case, things like screws, saw tooth hangers, wood, and picture hanging wire can all be used to place the mount on a plaque or wall.
Though creating a shoulder mount might seem equally as complicated as mounting a whole hide, their smaller size makes them ideal for novice taxidermists to try. By choosing a selection of good quality supplies, even someone new to the process can create a professional-looking shoulder mount.