How to Clean & Care for Deer-Head Mounts

Many hunters commemorate their catch by mounting the head and antlers.
Many hunters commemorate their catch by mounting the head and antlers. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

A deer-head mount allows the hunter to show off his success while adding a rustic touch to the room. Over time, the deer-head mount will begin to collect dust, dirt and -- if there is a smoker or fireplace in the home -- smoke residue. The buildup will cause the deer head to look old and dingy and to have an unpleasant odor. With proper cleaning and care, your deer-head mount will look its best for years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum with upholstery-brush attachment
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Spray bottle
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Towel
  • White vinegar
  • Linseed oil
  • Small bowl
  • Cotton swab
  • Feather duster

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Remove the deer-head mount from the wall.

Attach the upholstery brush to your vacuum. Turn on the vacuum and run the brush over the deer-head mount in the direction of the fur, removing surface debris.

Dampen a clean, lint-free cloth with cool water. Wipe the mount in the direction of the fur.

Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup rubbing alcohol and mist the fur lightly. Wipe the mount with a clean, lint-free cloth in the direction of the fur. Pat the fur dry with a clean, soft towel.

Dampen a clean, lint-free cloth with white vinegar and rub the antlers gently. Wipe the antlers dry with the towel.

Apply two to three drops of linseed oil to a clean, lint-free cloth and rub the antlers gently. Buff the antlers with the cloth to make them shine.

Fill a small bowl with rubbing alcohol. Dip the tip of a cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol. Rub the deer's eyes with the cotton swab in a gentle, circular motion. Continue rubbing until the eyes are clean and clear. Wipe the eyes clean with a clean, lint-free cloth.


Keep the deer-head mount out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will cause the fur and antlers to fade. Furthermore, the mount should be placed away from direct heat such as a fireplace and heaters.

Place the mount in an area of your home that is relatively bug-free. Bugs -- such as moths, beetles and dust mites -- will eat away at the mount and burrow into it.

Refrain from placing the mount in a basement or other damp location. The excess moisture will increase the chance of fungus growth -- such as mold and mildew -- on the mount.

Dust the mount regularly with a feather duster.


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