A well-designed trophy room adds up to more than a sum of its mounts.
“What often happens is that people start hunting, accumulate 50 or 100 mounts, then suddenly realize they need a man cave,” says Mike Baird of Houston-based B&B Taxidermy.
“Certainly you can design something that fits around your collection, but it’s always better to sit down earlier, with the knowledge that you’re going to want a trophy room, and then mount different critters in different positions.”
Baird says the current trend he’s seeing is to have the room separated from the house entirely.
Common features for the high-end trophy room include
- artificial trees
- and even artificial water holes
Lighting is very important, so Baird recommends using a lighting engineer to ensure you have even, shadow-less lighting.
While you might think a trophy room is the most testosterone fueled type of man cave around, there are plenty of couples who would disagree. “We have some hunters whose wives also hunt and they do a combination—one gets a male lion, the other a female,” Baird says. “A combination mount gives them a memory of a hunt together. On the other hand, some husbands and wives like to have a separate wall. It depends, I guess, on how they get along and how competitive they are.”
For those who get a bit squeamish about the idea of hunting, Baird offers some perspective. “Everything in life dies, of old age or otherwise,” he says. “Today’s outfitters are focused on sustainability. There are usually quotas, and they’ll choose the oldest animal out of a herd, which prevents inbreeding. The revenue runs the parks, maintains the herds and helps fund the governments, plus the meat feeds the native tribes. It’s a sustainable circle with many benefits.”