I’m a huge fan of taxidermy as a way to commemorate and remember a hunt, but you can only have so much taxidermy in your house before you need to find other less space-consuming ways to commemorate your hunt. One of my favorite places to look for new ideas is at the annual Safari Club International (SCI) show, where one can find thousands of vendors who showcase not only beautiful taxidermy, but and other unique ideas that would look stunning in any outdoor enthusiast’s home.
Hippo End Table. The array of furniture that can be made out of mounts is truly unbelievable. This hippo end table is by far one of my absolute favorites. It’s incredibly unique and a great way to show off how big the skull of a hippo really is.
Beaded Skulls. Years ago I took my 79-year-old grandmother on a spot-and-stalk mule deer hunt. After she shot a huge buck she told me that she’d rather not have “one of those heads” in her house. It was a stunning buck, so I had the perfect idea. My good friend Jana Waller from Skullbound TV does amazing skull artwork. I sent her my grandma Rose’s European mount and she did the rest. She covered it in stunning Swarovski crystals and it now sits front and center on my grandma’s wall in her living room.
Antler Chandelier. Whether you’re looking for something to do with a big pile of sheds or have a bunch of racks lying around that you are unsure what to do with, an antler chandelier is a stunning addition in any home. It takes a lot of antlers to make one, but if you start saving up it can be done! My husband and I have been saving sheds for years and recently sent off all the sheds to have a chandelier made for the entrance of our home. If you don’t think you’ll ever have enough sheds or antlers to make your own, you can buy one pre-made.
Shutterfly Book. I absolutely love taking the photo memories from a hunt and making something special. So many people forget to print pictures and simply leave them on their phonea. A great and easy way to create something special is by going to a company like Shutterfly (I’m sure there are many others as well) and uploading your photos. They will automatically populate an entire book for you, or you can manually enter them in. It’s essentially the equivalent to a modernized version of scrapbooking, but fareasier! The end result is absolutely stunning, and you have a great book to leave on your end table or give to someone as a gift.
Abstract Feather Art. About five years ago I started buying abstract Feather Art from Jeff Fredrick, as I wanted a new way to display my love for turkey hunting. He has now expanded his line and does a wide variety of birds. I just absolutely love these as they are beautiful pieces for anywhere in your home that showcase the often overlooked beauty of the feathers.
Glass Rack Replica. There is one booth I visit every single year at SCI, and that is the one that showcases glass rack replicas. They are unique and something I have never seen in any home or lodge. They basically make a blown glass replica of your animal and install lights. There is also an option to do just the skull for animals and their actual antlers. They have molds for African animals, sheep, deer, mule deer, elk—you name it they have it. Someday I hope to have a variety of my animals immortalized this way.
Furniture. There is a huge variety of furniture that can be made to commemorate your hunt. I’ve seen wine racks, stools, chairs, foot rests, couches, lamps and many other creative ideas that I never knew were possible.
Feather Painting. Whether it’s a trophy elk, whitetail, mule deer, or even your favorite four-legged companion, a painting of them on a feather is a really cool way to cement that memory into your daily life. Nicole is an exceptional artist and I can’t imagine painting these beautiful images on paper, much less on a turkey feather.
Deer Antler/Feather Jewelry. Every once in a while, you discover a company that makes absolutely stunning and unique jewelry pieces. Antler’s & Grace is one of those. Years ago, I saw someone at the Archery Trade Association show wearing a deer antler necklace, which is how I learned of this unique business. Since then, I’ve ordered beautiful arrowhead necklaces, turkey feather necklaces, among others. I even wore the turkey feather necklace for family pictures!
Local Artist. Another great way to commemorate a hunt is to find a local artist and show them a still photo or video clip of your animal from the hunt. Have them do a painting for the wall to match the scenery you first spotted them in. We had this done for my husband’s bear and my biggest South Dakota hunt. This is a great way to have your own special and unique artwork memorialized to decorate your home.
The moral of the story is once you harvest a beautiful animal or have a memorable hunt, know there are many options to keep that memory alive.