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Thread: Preparing trophy with antlers in tatters

  1. #1

    Preparing trophy with antlers in tatters

    I was fortunate enough to shoot a decent 6 pointer 10 days ago and want to prepare the head. I have done once before, but this one has a new factor to consider which is that the antlers are not fully cleaned of velvet.

    A friend has suggested that I boil it out in the conventional way, but leave the antlers in tatters as a point of interest and beacsue that's how I shot it (also the antlers will lack colour if the velvet is stripped off).

    I was concerned that the velvet could smell in time, but my friend pointed out that perruque heads seem to be mounted without this issue. Does anyone have experience in this area that they could share with me.

    Thanks in advance.

    Neal

  2. #2
    Some mounted perruque heads are cast and not the real ones. Any real perruque head will rot if not treated and will also shrink.

    If the head you have shot is in hard antler underneath and not soft, and the velvet is pealing off it will do no harm to take the rest of the velvet off the head. Although this will leave you with a white set of antlers, this is easily resolved by using antler stain from most taxidermy supply companies or purchasing potassium permanganate (purple crystals) and mixing this with water and painting it on the antlers. By applying it gently you can build up the colour on the antlers which gives the best natural effect.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to www.UKOutfitters.co.uk

    ZEISS PRO STALKER.

  3. #3
    Many thanks for such an informative reply.

    The velvet is peeling off so I can do as you suggest - given I will be using antlet stain or potassium permanganate to add colour to the antlers would it be easier to remove the velvet having submerged the antlers in the boiler for a while or would this be a mistake?

    Thanks

    Neal

  4. #4
    No dont boil the antlers!!

    Leave them to dry and peel it off, or use some warm soapy water to loosen the velvet first, but dont let the antlers fall into the boiling water. Besides the whole skull should not be boiled, jusst simmer it until the flesh is loose and peel the flesh off and then change the water to clean water with a little washing soda added as this will take out the fat from the skull.

    Once this is cleaned put the skull part in clean cold water with some bleach to whiten the skull, but again do not let the antlers slip into the bleached water.

    Hope this helps.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to www.UKOutfitters.co.uk

    ZEISS PRO STALKER.

  5. #5
    The only thing I would add is get some peroxide to whiten the skull be very careful of using household bleach while it will whiten the bone, it sets off some kind of reaction with the bone, it will be fine for a while but over time the bone turns chalk like and will crumble far better to get some peroxide either liquid from the chemists or you can buy stronger on line, but if not doing heads on a regular basis the stuff from the chemist will do you fine, alternatively you can get cream peroxide from a hair dressers or again some chemists stock it, really easy to use, it would work out a bit expensive if you were doing a lot of heads , but fine if only an odd one now and again.

  6. #6
    That is fantastic advice - you have certainly already ensured a much better result than had I just "had a go".

    Thanks again
    Neal

  7. #7
    I've never prepared a trophy before, but I'll take all this advice on board this evening when I help my brother prepare the skeleton of the muntjac I shot last weekend. I've removed almost all of the meat already, so I plan to simmer the bones in for half an hour of so, remove the remaining flesh, then return it to new water with the addition of some washing soda. There's no need to whiten the bones in this case, but I may do the skull anyway for practice. Presumable the teeth fall out of the jaw. Do you stick them back in with Superglue?

  8. #8
    Think you will find teeth are fine

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Pine Marten View Post
    I've never prepared a trophy before, but I'll take all this advice on board this evening when I help my brother prepare the skeleton of the muntjac I shot last weekend. I've removed almost all of the meat already, so I plan to simmer the bones in for half an hour of so, remove the remaining flesh, then return it to new water with the addition of some washing soda. There's no need to whiten the bones in this case, but I may do the skull anyway for practice. Presumable the teeth fall out of the jaw. Do you stick them back in with Superglue?
    Pm sent Wf1

  10. #10
    Depending on how deep the pearling is, it can be a real pain to get out of the crevesses. If you can get access to a pressure washer I would advise using that. It is by far the fastest way to de-flesh a skull and will do a good job of stripping velvet too.
    I recently boiled, de-fleshed and bleached 7 full skulls and a skull cap (chamois, tahr, fallow in NZ the day before I flew home!) in a single day using an old kitchen sink on a gas bbq, a pressure washer and a plastic tub with roughly 20% diluted peroxide.
    Pressure washer took all meat off of a head in about ten minutes!

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