When the deer hunt is over, the meat is processed and tanning the hide is underway, your next decision is whether or not to mount the antlers. If you want to proudly display the rack, removing the velvet is the only way to preserve the antlers.
Things You'll Need
- Big stock pot Boiling water Sandpaper Small pairing knife
Check to see where the antler growth is in process. Depending on the age of the deer and where he is in the process of shedding the velvet from his antlers will dictate the process to use.
Determine how you will use the antlers. You may want to mount them on a decorative head piece, leave them attached and mount the entire trophy or use them to make rustic and country decor around the house. Antlers are very popular in rustic chandeliers and candle holders.
Peel away the velvet. The buck may have already begun to scrape off his own velvet on tree bark. This is always helpful. Most velvet will be in the in-between stage and will require a little effort. Peel away all of the dried velvet flakes and determine your next step by how much velvet is still attached.
Boil the antlers. In a large stock pot, boil water and add a pinch of iodized salt. Use your small paring knife to cut away or loosen any biological matter still on the crown. Carefully immerse only the crown and antlers for a few minutes at a time. This process is helpful in removing the stubborn skin, fur and other matter.
Scrape the antlers clean of debris. After the antlers cool enough to handle, hold them firmly in one hand and with the other, using a fine grained sandpaper, lightly go over each antler until you have a smooth finish. For a shiny rack, use a regular wood varnish to seal the antler.
Tips & Warnings
- Decide quickly what you want the antlers for. Use as much of the animal as possible.
- Be very careful with the boiling water as it can scald you while dipping the crown and antlers.
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