With some weathered, old-growth wood, a bandsaw, and a free afternoon, I made my own deer mount with angular antlers and a smooth, modern appeal. Without fur, it won't hold smells and moths; without eyes, it won't creep out little children; and without killing anything, it will appease the militant vegan faction. So, grab some tools and go deer yourself.
I designed this deer head for a class I teach at the ReBuilding Exchange. The relatively simple form and limited set of skills is perfect for a short class, as it teaches a straightforward, measurable objective in a reasonable amount of time. In addition to the class, we may be making multiples of these for sale. So, for smooth and efficient reproduction, I made templates for the head and antlers.
You will need these materials:
~ 18" of 2" x 12" material (for the head)
~ 12" of 2" x 10" material (for the plaque, could use plywood)
4 3" wood or deck screws
finish of your choice
You will need these tools:
Bandsaw or jigsaw
Cardboard or masonite (for templating)
Step 1: Templating
Start with a stock image of a deer head. Lacking a printer, I just sketched it onto the masonite. If you have a printer, scale it to the size of a standard letter-size sheet of paper, or 11" x 17". Glue it to the masonite and cut it out on the bandsaw, sans antlers. Alternately, if you're not making multiple heads, just trace it onto cardboard and cut out with scissors or a boxcutter.
Some of my co-workers suggested the ear on the head makes it look kind of like a German Shepard. Point taken; eliminate the ear if you like and round off the top of the skull so it doesn't look like a bare flat spot.
The antlers are free-form, about a foot long each, some angular, some curved. Alternately, random shop cut-offs, pieces of broom stick, pieces of metal scrap -- the possibilites are endless. Just pick something with a sculptural presence, tack it on, and see how it looks.