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DIY Antler Mounting


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  • DonBo

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Hello all. New here, but wanted to say thanks to everyone here. Your photos helped my dad and I mount a set of antlers from this year.    First a bit of context. The antlers here belonged to

Beagler_Wes, Welcome to the forum   Nice save on finding the buck, and nice work mounting the antlers.   Looks great!  👍

Thanks!

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BRULEDRIFTER

Yup, did the whole thing myself. I used the heavy duty peroxide from hair salons to bleach it.

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Yup, did the whole thing myself. I used the heavy duty peroxide from hair salons to bleach it.

full-20096-4497-full_7782_4479_img_0359.

Nice job. Maybe you could let us all know exactly how you did it?

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BRULEDRIFTER

Well, it was a learning experience to say the least. It was also done a few years ago, so my memory is a little fuzzy on some parts, so bear with me. I also google searched it and stole a lot of ideas from the internets.

After skinning, picking and pulling off as much as I could it went into a big pot with boiling water. I wrapped the base of the antlers in tinfoil to keep the water off of them (not too good of an idea because it really darkened them up, which caused me to brush away some of the natural antler color when it was done).

I probably spread this effort over a few days, a few hours a day. Boiled for an hour, pick for an hour, and on and on until it was close to being done. Then I let it sit and dry in the garage for quite a while (king procrastinator here) then I picked and picked some more.... (total pain in the arse and disgusting! I'll never do it again, I'll pay the money and let the beetles have at it). I used every tool imaginable and the ones that did me best were a dental pick, wire coat hanger and a butter knife.

Once it was picked clean, I got some 4% peroxide from my sister who works at a hair salon and poured a bottle or 2 worth into a plastic tub about the size of a shoe box. I filled it up to the eyes and took an old white t-shirt and saturated it with the stuff and laid it on the top portions I couldn't get covered by the solution. (kept the antler bases covered in plastic wrap). I let it soak for a few days, occasionally re-soaking the cloth to keep it wet. I think I pulled it out one time and let it dry and took a wire brush to it to scour it, rinsed it off and put it in for a while longer.

After it was all bleached and looking good, I colored up the bases a little with some wood polish to somewhat bring back some natural color to them. It looked pretty close, but not perfect). I then sprayed on some Krylon Satin spray on the skull and applied a light coat of lacquer onto the antlers to keep their color indefinitely and give them some shine.

I really did a half-arsed job applying it to the plaque that I cut, sanded and lacquered during the whole process. All I did was jimmy some wire through the back of the skull and made a loop and hung it off a screw and cranked it down tight. As long as it doesn't get knocked around it's not coming off and it's in a safe spot so I'm not to worried.

There's my quick run down on the how to's. If there are any specific questions, I'll gladly do my best to answer.

If I do it again, I'm cutting the back of the skull off and then making a plaster mold to fill in the space so I can screw it directly to the plaque.

Also would love to hear how others have done the boil and how they protected the antlers cause wrapping them up was not a good idea. It caused them to turn almost black.

Thanks for the compliments, DonBo!

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Thanks for the info. Sounds like lots of work, but then again anything worthwhile usually is. I believe the bug lady gets about $75 to clean all the flesh, then it still needs to be bleached.

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The european is one thing I wont deal with.

My taxidermist does it for $65.

All the muss and fuss, its not worth it to me to even attempt it.

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BRULEDRIFTER

Definitely not worth the muss or fuss! I probably dumped close to $50 into supplies, and only a few of them are reusable.

Bleaching and everything once the skull is clean is no problem and even fun, I'd have no problem doing that. It's the cleaning that's just a huge pain in the bum and I would rather pay someone the money and save myself a lot of my free time I could have used to do many other things.

I guess I get a feeling of pride and accomplishment when I visit my folks and see it hanging on the wall, but not enough to do it again! wink

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Boiling = No thanks!

There is a beetle guy in St Cloud that does phenomenal work….skulls are beetled and bleached for $75…definitely worth it but his turn around time is pretty lengthy because of all the skulls he has to do plus he works a full time job as well….but if you’re in no hurry, definitely the way to go if you’re close enough.

Best way to clean a skull if you don’t have beetles and don’t want to boil them is to hit the skull with a pressure washer. The only downside is it blows out the nasal bones but depending on how a Euro is displayed you might not see those anyway. I can pressure wash a skull and have it be completely clean in under 20 minutes. Let it sit in the sun for a day or two then whiten and you are done.

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  • 11 months later...

Another season has come and gone. Bumped this to the top again for those of you lucky hunters with a new set of antlers and wondering what to do with them.

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  • 1 year later...

Yet another season is nearing the end. I'm sure many of you still have those antlers from your successful hunt in a box in the garage, maybe even last years... Shame on you. grin Break 'em out and let's get-r-done.

My projects this year include a small 8 pt I shot in MN with my bow, and a nice 8 pt shot in WS by a man from Atlanta on his very first northern deer hunt. I'll try to add some photos as I get to work on these.

Let's see what you're all working on.

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My father in law is boiling the skull from the deer I got this year.

In case you are wondering why the skull looks weird, it's because I used photoshop to lighten the freshly skinned meat look. Co workers wouldn't like to see the bloody red skull as my desktop wallpaper smile

full-29355-27036-choppedskull.jpg

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Nice buck Frosty. Be sure to show us what it looks like when it's done.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's one I just finished for a buddy:

PC190244.jpg

And a few more still in progress:

PC190245.jpg

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I have used supplies from a Taxidermy supply in South Dakota. I have used their oval shape antler mount and a small amount of paper mache. I put Buckskin saddle suede over the form as a finish cover. Leather streches easily and it is easy to staple it on the back of the base. One square foot will do a set of antlers. I wrap decorative braid around each antler base and another piece around the antler mount. I glue the ends with hot glue. One yard of decorative braid/set of antlers. Plaster is very heavy compared to paper mache or foam. Aves Paper mache dries very hard and is very lightweight. I boil the skull plates and scrape them them with a knife to clean them. I have also cut my own pieces of plywood and used a combination of spray foam and mache to shape the form.

full-6648-27927-image.jpg

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Ive got a real small rack of my daughters first deer an the store kits dont work cause the antlers come straight outa the top of the skul, I kneddt o do it my self an work like some detail on the skull cover if u have details or pictures please. Thanks. boar

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I attempted my 1st european mount this past weekend from a deer I shot this fall. I didn't know what to expect, but it was way easier than I thought. It took me about 4 hours total, although most of that time I could putter around on other stuff while I was keeping my eye on the process. Total cost of the project was about $6 or $7. I definitely won't be afraid to try this in the future, and actually can't wait to do another.

full-28108-27943-europeanmountii.jpg

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Ive got a real small rack of my daughters first deer an the store kits dont work cause the antlers come straight outa the top of the skul, I kneddt o do it my self an work like some detail on the skull cover if u have details or pictures please. Thanks. boar

Boar, check out the first 3 pages of this thread. It's all about how to do it yourself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, got the skull back. The small 8 is the first buck I got. I did that mount myself from a kit I got somewhere on the internet. Don't remember where I ordered it from. It was easy to do.

The two euro mounts are on skull hookers.

full-29355-28266-2012.jpg

full-29355-28267-g1.jpg

full-29355-28268-g2.jpg

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  • 10 months later...

That time of the year again. Don't just throw those horns in a box in the garage, mount them up and show them off proudly.

Here's one I just finished for a guy right here on HSO:

PB120436_zps95167264.jpg

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  • 2 months later...
gonefishing70

Just wanted to say thanks for the good thread. I just finished my first one working on a couple more I ended up going with the batting for the filler and used braided leather for the trim, the board took the longest to do but well worth the time. it is a fun project. Thanks again.

61009135-e388-4960-9a17-f8297bd7baca_zps

b0232d37-0276-4f91-a919-e4c111022bba_zps

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slimngrizzly

Hey Don that buck with the split 2's you did for me turned out great! I never knew you posted it on here or id have commented earlier. Thanks again!

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