Mounting a Majestic Red Hartebeest Antelope Trophy

Mounting a Majestic Red Hartebeest Antelope Trophy
Table Of Content

An Overview of Mounting a Red Hartebeest

For hunters and outdoor enthusiasts, mounting hunted game as trophies is a time-honored tradition. Of the many antelope species found in Africa, the majestic red hartebeest makes for an exceptional taxidermy display. With its sweeping horns and vibrant red coat, a mounted red hartebeest can be the crowning piece of any trophy room.

What is a Red Hartebeest?

The red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus) is an antelope species found across central and southern Africa. It gets its name from the deep red coloration of its coat. Adult males also sport impressive curved horns that sweep upward from the sides of the head before hooking inward toward each other. These horns can reach over 30 inches long.

Red hartebeest live in open grassland and light woodland habitats. They are fast runners and very wary, making them a prized challenge for hunters. Their populations are stable across most of their wide range. But due to habitat loss, they face threats in certain areas.

Reasons to Mount a Red Hartebeest

For hunters lucky enough to harvest a red hartebeest, having it mounted makes an ideal trophy.

First, their vibrant red coats make for a dramatic display not found on many other antelope species. The horns are also very unique in their shape and size.

Second, because red hartebeest are exceptional runners and very alert, bringing one down demonstrates real skill as a hunter. Any trophy room will be enhanced by including an animal that required true hunting prowess.

And third, populations of this species face pressure in certain parts of Africa. Having a mounted red hartebeest serves as a conservation piece - preserving the memory of the animal for future generations.

Choosing a Taxidermist

For the best results mounting a red hartebeest, it is essential to select a highly qualified taxidermist. Be sure that they have expertise specifically with African antelope. Recreating the vivid red coat takes specialized techniques. And properly preparing and shaping the long, slender horns can be very demanding.

When reviewing taxidermists' portfolios, look closely at any examples of African antelope they display. Assess whether they accurately capture fine details like horn texture and ear shapes. Judge if they convey a proper sense of the animal's alertness and energy. By taking the time to choose an excellent taxidermist, you will ensure your mounted red hartebeest does justice to your trophy.

The Mounting Process Step-by-Step

From field preparation through completion, mounting a red hartebeest as a shoulder mount trophy takes significant time and care. But the end result is well worth the effort.

Field Preparation

As with any big game trophy, proper field preparation is essential to preserve the red hartebeest for the taxidermy process. Key steps include:

  • Protecting the antelope from dirt and insects until transported
  • Keeping the carcass cool to avoid hair slippage
  • Caping out the skin carefully to prevent unnecessary tears or cuts
  • Salting the hide thoroughly and drying it as soon as possible

Correct field prep protects the quality of the hide and prevents irreversible damage before reaching the taxidermist’s studio.

Mount Design

The first step at the taxidermy studio is discussing the design for the mount. Key considerations include:

  • Posed standing or full shoulder mount
  • Realistic habitat backdrop
  • Reference photos of the specific animal
  • Matching distinct horn shapes

Good communication with the taxidermist ensures your vision for the final piece is achieved.

Form Preparation

An excellent taxidermist will have a range of sculpted manikin forms specifically made for different African antelope species. The forms recreate the body contours, musculature, and skeletal anatomy to provide a realistic foundation.

Special care goes into sculpting and fitting forms for the horns. This ensures accurate horn placement and a natural sweep that captures the essence of the living hartebeest.

Mount Assembly

The meticulous work of bringing all the elements together involves multiple sub-steps:

  • Tanning and treating the hide
  • Fitting the treated hide over the manikin form
  • Precisely sealing seams and creases
  • Inserting taxidermic eyes to match the original’s gaze
  • Applying finishes to recreate skin and horn textures

A quality taxidermist will take extreme care during assembly to produce a truly lifelike piece.

Final Touches

With the red hartebeest form fully assembled and the coat perfectly fitted, final touches make all the difference:

  • Touch up spots or areas as needed
  • Add distinctive markings if referenced in photos
  • Style any weight loss before death into the mount’s shape
  • Adjust features for maximum animation and expression

Meticulous final touches elevate skillful assembly into a world-class trophy mount.

Caring for a Completed Red Hartebeest Mount

Once your taxidermist artwork is complete, proper care and maintenance will protect it for the long term:

  • Use a wide, sturdy base for stability
  • Keep away from direct sunlight to prevent fading
  • Apply conditioners to preserve hide suppleness
  • Dust and clean periodically with specialty products
  • Control humidity and pests where displayed

With appropriate care, a high-quality red hartebeest mount will remain in pristine condition for generations of proud display. It will stand testament to the marvellous animal and memorable hunt it represents.


What type of habitat do red hartebeest live in?

Red hartebeest inhabit open grassland plains and light woodland areas across central and southern Africa. They prefer habitats with plenty of room to see predators coming from a distance.

How long do the horns grow to on a male red hartebeest?

An adult male red hartebeest's horns can reach over 30 inches (75 cm) long. The horns curve up and back in a spectacular shape unique to this antelope species.

What field preparation is most important for preserving a trophy red hartebeest?

Prompt skinning, salting, and drying of the hide is vital. This prevents slippage and deterioration until the mounted work begins. Keeping the carcass cool also protects the quality of the hair coat.

What maintenance does a mounted red hartebeest display require?

Key maintenance steps include using a sturdy base, keeping the mount from direct light, periodically conditioning and cleaning the hide, controlling humidity, and preventing pests around the display area.

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