The prized possession of many deer hunters is the set of antlers from a successful hunt. Having your deer antlers mounted professionally can be expensive, but you can mount them yourself easily and inexpensively. It can be done in an afternoon, and by doing the mounts yourself, you can choose the style and design you prefer.
You can purchase a pre-made wood mounting plaque, already stained and varnished, from trophy shops or taxidermists. You can purchase a raw wood plaque from craft stores, and stain and varnish it yourself. The least expensive mounting plaque is one you make yourself out of a piece of nice wood. You can then cut it to shape with a jigsaw, router it as desired, and finish it by staining and varnishing.
The size of plaque to use depends on the size of the deer's antlers. It is helpful to hold them up to different size plaques to see what size shows the antlers to their best advantage.
If you want a formal mount and the antlers are still attached to the skull plate, remove them at the base with a handsaw. If you plan to leave the skull exposed, do not cut off the antlers. Remove any hide that may still be attached to the skull plate. Remove the remaining tissues by boiling the skull plate in water for at least ten minutes.
Position the skull plate (if using one) on the plaque. Hold the deer antlers in place, also, to check the whole arrangement. Drill two holes, one on each side of the skull plate. Screw two wood screws through the holes and into the plaque. This mounts the skull plate. Cover the skull plate with a piece of foam, then cover the foam with a piece of leather or felt. Attach the leather or felt to the plaque with decorative tacks, turning under edges as you go. Drill two pilot holes in the plaque to mark where the antlers will mount. Hold one antler against the hole, and from the rear of the plaque, screw through the pilot hole and into the antler. Repeat for the other antler.
If making a mount with an exposed skull plate, position the skull plate with the attached antlers on the plaque. Mark the plaque below the base of the antlers. Drill pilot holes through the marks. Hold the skull plate and antlers back in place, and through the rear of the plaque, screw wood screws through the pilot holes and into the bases of the antlers.
Hold the antlers in position. Mark the plaque at the antler bases. Drill pilot holes through the marks. From the rear of the plaque, screw wood screws through the pilot holes and into the bases of the antlers.
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