How much space for a hunter's trophy room?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by daggaboyblog, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    It does appear that a lot of those posting here do a fair bit of hunting - probably more than I do. I have read the odd post about trophy room design and decor, but I have that bit covered. At the moment the bulk of my trophies are either "work in progress" in the garage or tanned and dried waiting for me to have the space (no one wants to baby-sit my trophies!).
    We are about to design and build our new home and I'm hoping for a bit of input with regards to how big a dedicated trophy room needs to be. The existing space is only 9ft x 9ft and I'm having trouble working out how a larger space will work...
    The space needs to hold about 70 shoulder mounts, about 10 large full mounts (eg. nyala, warthog, bushpig, bushbuck x 2, hyena, etc) and lots of small full mounts (foxes, hare, caracal, steenbok, ducks and geese). I reload in this same space and keep the guns there as well. And the "souvenirs" I've collected along the way in Africa and outback Australia should fill the gaps.
    I was thinking of a space approx 26ft x 16ft with 10ft ceiling height. So all of those out there that keep there trophies in one space, I'd appreciate the input! And what colour would you paint the walls?
    Any thoughts?
     

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  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think it becomes a huge problem! I wish I lived in insulated pole shed building. Because I think high ceilings are a must to get everything off the floor. But I think I would go at least 12 feet high. For me it's the caribou, gemsbok, and the kudu that are going to be a problem. There is one spot in my house that goes to about 11 feet and I think that is just a little short.

    I know BuffyBr and I talked about it at one time when we were hunting caribou, people keep adding onto their house or "Trophy garage". Bigger is better!

    Think about it this way, start taking your collection and put it up against a wall some place and get a paper and pencil out....start calculating. It adds up quick!

    Good Luck!
     
  3. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    It seems like no matter how big a trophy room is it always fills up faster than you think it will. The bigger the better and high ceilings are a must.
     
  4. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    Make it bigger

    With the number of mounts you have, I would suggest a room of 28 x 36 with no windows. To help hold down labor costs, use dimensions that use standard sized drywall width of 4', that way there's less or no cutting and waste. I'd also suggest a vaulted ceiling that starts at 8' and goes up to 12' - you don't want anyone hitting their head on a mount protuding out of the wall. I didn't paint my trophy room walls. Instead I had them done with a woven grass wallpaper in light browns and tans that looks just like thatch. I would also suggest you work with a professional lighting consultant because done well, your mounts will really look dramatic. You'll want to look at a mix of floods lights and spot lights for great effect.
     
  5. ctulpa

    ctulpa AH Member

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    Bigger is always better when it comes to trophy rooms!

    Best to think about the space you will need if you keep hunting into the future and want to bring home the trophies. Are you going to be doing a lot more life-size or shoulder mounts or european skull mounts? Are they going to be on bases or are you going to have dioramas made to put them in?

    High ceilings are also very important as you try to put shoulder mounts up above the life-size mounts that may be on the floor.

    What animals are you planning to hunt in the future? If you are doing a lot of African and life-size for plains game dioramas, you will need a lot of floor space. If you are doing world-wide and getting a lot of mountain game, then a sheep/goat mountain with many platforms for mounts helps make a great room.

    I had a trophy room built that is 4000 square feet and it is already too small. You can reduce the cost of building the trophy room by using pole construction and be able to get very high ceilings. The ceilings in my trophy room in most areas is 20 feet and in the sheep mountain area it is 26 feet high. Also important is to have the walls of the entire room sheathed in plywood (I used 3/4 inch) so you can have good backing to hang your trophies anywhere in the room without worrying about hitting a stud or structure wood. Then cover it with drywall, panel or whatever finish wall you want.

    As for color, I used a sky blue as a back drop and it has turned out good and the animals stand out. I used blue as in the outdoors almost anything above the ground or horizon is usually sky blue. My intent was to have murals painted later on the walls to complete the dioramas.

    Making dioramas is a nice way to display them and it also reduced the cost in taxidermy as you don't need to add on for base work.

    Another important item when doing your design is to have a way to get the life-size animals into the room! Double doors or oversize doors are critical with this.

    Also the lighting is very important. A good mix of room lighting with ceiling spots are needed to highlight the animals.

    Windows are not good in a trophy room as sunlight is an enemy of your mounts of your mounted trophies. It will fade out the hair and also cause it to become brittle.

    Temperature control and humidity control is needed. As well as periodic treatments of the room for pests and insects.

    I have had friends tell me that they have to stop hunting so much as they dont have room for the trophies. So plan ahead and make extra room so you can always have space for another trophy!

    I have included some photos of a room I had done with dioramas. It is not completed in the photos and I don't have many of the animals in their places yet, but you can get an idea of how the life-size animals eat up space quickly.

    Good luck hunting and filling your new room!!!! Have fun with designing and making your room the way you want it!
     

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  6. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    Wow! Great trophy room Cliff.
     
  7. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Everyone has different ideas on how they want things. I think everyone is right in that you cannot have a trophy room which is too large as it will fill up. Of course a lot has to do with what you plan to do in your hunting life and if you plan on collecting as many different species as you can and you are in to life size mounts, then you need to build something a lot bigger than what meets your current needs.

    We have mounts spread throughout our home, with a couple of rooms that have higher concentrations. It is who we are and what we do and so we do not have a specific trophy room and then nothing in the rest of the house except 'normal' furnishings. If it offends people coming over ......... well they know where the door is and they do not need to come back.

    I also have a dedicated reloading and gun room with a steel door.

    As mentioned by several of the members a dedicated trophy room should be as devoid of windows as possible and you should build the walls with studs 12 inches on center, sheet with plywood and then what ever internal wall covering you planned on. Ceiling at least 12 feet, 14 is better. You also need to plan your lighting in advance so that you achieve the lighting conditions you want. The bottom line is though that your trophy room should be an extension of you and who you are, not someone else.
     
  8. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    Thanks...but keep those ideas coming

    Great to get some ideas; thanks for all of the responses. I'd love to hear from others who have chosen to go down the path of a dedicated trophy room.
     
  9. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Cliff that was a great post and I would almost think you covered every angle on the topic! That looks like an awesome trophy room. I wish I had the space to add on to the house to make a room. My room is the garage wall that I finished off several years ago & it does look fairly nice. My only problem is my African animals shouldn't be subjected to the cold Wisconsin winters, They are used to warm climates! My wife just doesn't buy that & tells me they will adapt and the garage is fine!!!
     
  10. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Cliff, please post some more pictures of your room.
     
  11. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    schembridan, something else you may want to think about regarding space is allowing for some place for socializing in your trophy room such as a lounge area, bar, pool or poker table... Make it more of a room to hang out in than just a room to visit, you, your friends and family will get more enjoyment out of it. If you have lots of hunting books and enjoy reading, you might want to incorporate a reading area with your books...

    I have to say I am really impressed by the great suggestions and ideas that members have shared in this thread, it's been a pleasure to read. Thanks everyone!
     
  12. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    Another thing that just came to mind is to incorporate a fireplace with a nice size mantle to place some curios of your trips. I suggest that the fireplace be a gas one instead of a wood burning one. That way you're not bringing insects into the house that could attack the mounts, and you also avoid having the mounts coated in soot.
     
  13. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale AH Senior Member

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    I suggest you buy or borrow a few of the quality trophy room books first,to find out what kind of look you are after.Diorama scenes, highly organised by specie or, country or continent....modern,rustic....you really need the fundementals down first.

    I have worked on several,and I know one really angry client (at the architect),cause he didn't explain well the atmosphere he wanted in the end.

    About the drywall,sorry to laugh a bit...sounds like my brother the engineer.Rock can come in other than 4 foot,I buy 54" alot.Also the space you initially discuss is around 450 sq ft. So on the cheap at $100 sq ft you have $45,000.The most possible waste on a sidewall based on 4' rock is about 170 sq ft at $80.So you will build a wall so you don't waste $80 on a $45,000 job? Sorry just smiling a bit:D Its like buying 8' for plates,cause you pay a premium for over 16':shocked:

    Good luck,it's easy to execute,much harder to change,plan alot.

    Dinsdale
     

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