How to Preserve Deer Antlers & Skull Caps

Written by jay angel
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How to Preserve Deer Antlers & Skull Caps
(deer antler image by CraterValley Photo from

A deer skull cap and antler mount is commonly known as a European mount. These are becoming increasingly popular among sportsmen simply because they are less expensive and take up less room in the house than the traditional shoulder mount. With a little effort, you can make a European mount to display your trophy buck.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Utility knife
  • Spoon
  • Boiling pot
  • Bleach
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Super glue
  • Clear acrylic

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  1. 1

    Prepare the skull by scraping out as much flesh as you can with a spoon and utility knife. Scrape the marrow out of the antlers.

  2. 2

    Fill a large boiling pot with two gallons of water. Add 2 tbsp of bleach to the water, and bring to boil. The bleach is used to assist in sterilising the skull.

  3. 3

    Hold the skull by the antlers, and immerse in the boiling water. Allow the skull to soak for 15 minutes without immersing the antlers in the water.

  4. 4

    Pour a 40 per cent solution of hydrogen peroxide into a pot. Allow the skull to soak in this solution for at least 12 hours. Make sure none of the solution gets splashed on the antlers. Rinse the skull when complete.

  5. 5

    Inspect the bottom of the pot for loose teeth and bone fragments. Determine a loose tooth's origin, and glue it back into place with the super glue.

  6. 6

    Allow the skull to dry, and then spray the entire skull and antlers with clear acrylic to seal.

Tips and warnings

  • Allowing the antlers to soak in the boiling bleach or the hydrogen peroxide solution will lighten the antlers' colour.

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