Is it weird to others? Maybe, but guess what, we don't care because we love it!
Taxidermy is a beautiful expression of artistic ability through a hunter's eyes, but what about the outside world? If you look at it through their eyes, you can see why it might be a little creepy and strange to have dead animals plastered all over your home and walls.
But my oh my, don't we all love our trophies! But why?
Not to long ago I had a conversation about this with a few of my buddies. We got to talking about how tight we are with money, but how we don't hesitate to drop a big chunk of change on a mount, whether that's a whitetail, turkey or a waterfowl mount. Beyond the mount, there's all the expensive hunting equipment and time it took to get the animals.
Why do we do it all? Do we do it for our kids or wives to sell all of it for pennies on the dollar at a garage sale someday when we're gone? You couldn't blame them for it, they have no connection to any of it. But we do. That's why we love dead animals on our walls so much. They mean something to us.
I currently live in a small house and all my mounts are crammed in my office. It's easily my favorite room in our house, even though some might think it's a little overwhelming. When I walk into the room, it's like a movie being played in my head. It's raw, visceral, real and brings back many emotions I love to revisit.
I can look at each animal and the hunt begins to vividly replay in my mind. I instantly remember the sights, the sounds, the preparation, the way the sun was hitting the ducks' wings that day, where I was when that first gobbler sounded off or how visible the bucks' breath was in the cold winter air that day. All those moments flood your brain like real-life movie.
As weird as it sounds, you can sit there and look at all the neat characteristics of each mount and get lost in the moment. It's more than just an object, but that's all it is to anyone else. It's the end result of a moment of time, when hard work, patience, luck and many other factors came together.
In my eyes, the more those filling your walls, the better.
Walk into any hunter's trophy room and ask him about one of his mounts. I guarantee you'll see his eyes light up if before he dives into the story. We love to go back into that moment, and that's why we love our creepy dead animals.
So, sometimes you might just catch me awkwardly staring at some of my mounts as I drift back to that hunt. You might think I am weird, but guess what, I don't care! The only good bill on planet earth is a taxidermy bill.