Any collector will tell you that the best way to acquire a deer head for your wall is to kill the creature yourself. If that’s not your style, perhaps you know someone who hunts and is willing to pass off this non-edible portion to you. If neither of these are an option, and you’re still set on mounting a furry, antlered bust in your home, you could buy an artificial deer head off Amazon for $100. The same goes for a “modern,” geometric version that, for some reason, comes in both yellow and pink forms. Or you could do the least repulsive thing while leaning fully into the kitsch vibe and go for the Beer Deer.
The Beer Deer is a mounted deer head wall decoration made from colorfully-labeled cardboard beer boxes. If you’re feeling thrifty, you can completely DIY this creation, or you can purchase a pre-cut version online for easy assembly. The company behind the pre-cut Beer Deer occasionally offers brand-specific deers, like the Busch Light Deer or the Booze Moose, a moose head made of liquor packaging.
Both the Beer Deer and the Booze Moose give us a home decoration that presents American pastimes in concept only. Outlines of a mammal’s bust elicit hunting in the abstract, while drinking is a soft suggestion presented in familiar packaging labels. And, of course, no deers were killed or beers chugged for these familiar wall mounts.
Instead, the real pastime honored here is arts and crafts. Even in the pre-cut version, some sense of craftiness or artistic skill appears to be required for assembly. This is particularly the case for those who completely DIY it. But it’s a craft that, funny enough, still has a sense of conquest, especially when you’re tasked with searching for the perfect packaging, and fitting together all the pieces just right.
In many ways, the Beer Deer and Booze Moose aren’t all that different from a real buck’s head — they’re just trophies of our fraternal conquests, after all. And that makes the cardboard-forward mount an honorable alternative to the real thing. Yes, it’s trashy, but it’s more than that — it’s literal trash. And if you aren’t willing to drag a 250-pound buck through the forest yourself, why would you deserve a trophy that’s any more than that?