I am not a hunter, in the literal sense; more of an alley walker, stalking dumpsters and backyard scrap heaps for promising prey, old wood, discarded appliances, mint-condition cardboard.  My trophies are oft-unappreciated, fading into the background of my apartment.  No longer.  Here is a way for us rifle-less sportsmen to decorate our bars, dens, and studies.  

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
wood glue
finish of your choice

You will need these tools:

Bandsaw or jigsaw
Cardboard or masonite (for templating)
Ruler/tape measure

Step 1: Templating

Templates and jigs in the woodshop are an art unto themselves; for this little project, I used masonite to make the stencils, as the edges will hold up through thousands of tracings.

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.  
<p>this is cool... it was fun to make! just what i needed for room decor:)</p>
<p>Had a funtime doing this project. Did not need expensive equipment. Great for beginners</p>
Just had to give this a try. I went for the unicorn design for my little girl. She loves it. Great gift idea for almost anybody.
<p>Reminds me of the plywood &quot;lawn deer&quot; people put <br>in their yards, sometimes decorated by shotguns as the owner artfully combines <br>his two hobbies into one. This is better though, as you can make up a great lie <br>about bagging &quot;the big one&quot;.</p>
<p>Wow, this is so cool! I am so going to make this! Great 'ible :D</p>
This is really cool! Like the rustic look
great project, I just had to give it a go myself
I made one with my cousin over a couple of days. He liked your design so much that he made me trace your templates from the pictures onto some 15mm board we had lying about which we then cut with a jigsaw.
do you still have the templates?
Here's what I did. It's not accurate (it was a rough trace from the pictures, so is also a little bit distorted). You'll have to decide on a size before you print though.
I want one
Couldn't resist going with the Unicorn option. My dinky bandsaw couldn't cut through 2&quot; boards too well, but 3/4&quot; ply seemed to work just fine. <br> <br>Thanks for the awesome idea!
Great job, I love it, much much better than real taxidermy, I actually think the real stuff is pretty disgusting
That's awesome. The mounted heads look great, and I bet your pupils learned a ton. The bandsaw wood-paper-kindergarten analogy was particularly good.
How cute it is! Congrats.

About This Instructable


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Bio: Furniture hacker. Author of Guerilla Furniture Design, out now. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @objectguerilla.
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