When it comes to hanging your hunting trophies, you want something you can trust to keep it safe and secure. I personally like the look of European mounts, and of course, they are much cheaper than shoulder mounts or you can even do it yourself. The hard thing about skull mounts though—especially large ones—is hanging them securely.
In 2016, John and I both drew Idaho bull elk rifle tags, and when we harvested them, I knew immediately that they would become skull mounts. Upon returning home, getting them cleaned up and ready to hang, I was at a loss on what to do to hang them on the wall. Since they are large, and we have standard height ceilings, I wanted something that would allow the teeth to sit against the wall rather than having it stick out diagonally. I did a few searches online to find mounting brackets and came across Dead on Display.
The Dead on Display system allows you to “show off your trophy, not their mounting system.” It uses a few simple pieces that fit inside the skull and hook onto a bracket screwed into the wall. It is made with laser grade A36 American Steel, and is black zinc plated to protect from rust, scratching and chipping.
After watching a few videos on their website and browsing their photo gallery, I took the plunge and ordered one for my elk.
First impression: Skeptical.
When I opened the box, the bracket was fairly small (and I ordered the Large). I honestly didn't think it would be big enough or strong enough to hold my elk skull but I proceeded.
Installation: Super easy.
One piece (C bracket) fits inside of the skull, and has a handy little string tied to it so you don't drop it inside. The eye bolt screws into the C bracket. The wall bracket should be screwed into wall studs. Once the wall bracket is in place, hook the eye bolt onto the wall bracket. That's it...took less than 5 minutes.
Final Impression: Love this bracket!
Once I hung my elk skull, it fit against the wall exactly how I wanted. I gave it a shake and there was absolutely NO movement. The skull hangs above my craft desk, and to be completely honest, I have stood up multiple times and bumped my head on the G1s—and even with that, there is no movement and it has never seemed like it wasn't secure. Once I knew this was the bracket I needed, I ordered another for John's elk skull.
Fast forward to 2019—we had to hang John's moose skull and my spike elk. I knew immediately that I needed to order more Dead on Display systems. We now have 4 of these and every single skull is safe and secure.
Small - Recommended for deer, mountain goat, small African game and small/medium predators
Medium - Recommended for large deer, antelope, medium African game, large predators
Large - Recommended for moose, elk, buffalo, large African game
Price: $20.99 - $30.99, depending on size
Dead on Display also offers an angle bracket and desktop mount, which I have not personally used, but did have the chance to take a look at during the Hunt Expo in Salt Lake City. They both seemed equally as secure if that is the type of mounting system you need.
Overall, I highly recommend the Dead on Display bracket if you are looking for a way to hang a European mount skull.
I also have a Skull Hooker wall bracket that I received as a gift, and although I have my mule deer skull on it, it definitely doesn't feel as secure and it sticks out from the wall pretty far. I have never had any issue with it falling (thankfully!), but it's also positioned in an area that doesn't get traffic and is out of the way. It does rotate left/right, and if I reposition it, I am always extremely careful since the skull is just sitting on the bracket and not locked on.
Sarah Honadel is an avid outdoorswoman from Kentucky, now living in Idaho, who enjoys hunting elk, deer, turkey and waterfowl. She is a team member at Huntress View, Pro Staff for Browning Trail Cameras and Brand Ambassador for the GoWild app and BaseMap app. Follow her on Instagram @waddysarah and @arrowridgecreations.