First Time Antler Mount with Skull Cap
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Taxidermy.Net Forum  |  Taxidermy Discussion Categories  |  Deer and Gameheads  |  Topic: First Time Antler Mount with Skull Cap « previous next »
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Author Topic: First Time Antler Mount with Skull Cap  (Read 1548 times)
Ben
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Posts: 4

« on: February 19, 2007, 08:04:55 PM »

Hello out there!! I got my first deer finally after 5 years of patience and it turned out to be a nice buck.  My processor cut off the Skull Cap with Rack for me and I have no idea what to do in order to prep it for mounting.  I have a big chunk of skull complete with skin and fur on top and all the goodies inside the skull.  The peice of brain fell out after it started to thaw.  It just hit 40 degrees out and the thing is sitting in my Garage.  What in the world do I do?????
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b hymel
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007, 08:15:15 PM »

I don't quite understand, did he cut the skull cap completely off with the hide still on, if so bad move you will need a new cape or be prepared to do some sewing.
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Ben
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Posts: 4

« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 08:19:10 PM »

I'm not interested in retaining the fur/skin.  What's the best method for removing the skin/fur and cleaning/preserving whatever the terminology is (the skull) so the thing doesn't stink or rot. 
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wallace taxidermy
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Location: Waverly, TN
Posts: 20

« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 08:20:19 PM »

I usually boil mine in water until the meat falls off about 2 hours then take a pressure washer to it and clean it up good.  Then get on McKenzie.com and order your a horn mount kit they are about $25 they come with instructions and a engraved plaque.  Very easy and look good when finished.
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Ben
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Posts: 4

« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 08:24:17 PM »

Sounds easy thanks!!  is there anything special I need to put on the rack or remaining bone in the skull to preserve them?  What about protecting the rack from discoloration?  Or does it stay as is? 
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wallace taxidermy
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Location: Waverly, TN
Posts: 20

« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 08:29:18 PM »

If you get all of the meat off it will not spoil the antlers will maintain their color.  You can wipe some W-D 40 on the antlers.  This will make them shine and look clean.
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Ben
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Posts: 4

« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 08:34:43 PM »

Sounding easier as we go.  Hopefully my last question....I heard to keep the rack itself out of the boiling water. Is that accurate? If so what do you recommend for covering them?
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oneshot
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Posts: 590

« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2007, 10:51:00 PM »

Cut as much meat and hide off as possible. Put the skull in a simmering (not boiling) post of water with some (not a lot) Super Washing Soda. You can buy a box for $2 at the grocery store.  It's with the clothes detergent. Be careful to not submerse your antlers into the water.  It will be tough not to, but you can place a board across the top of the pot at help hold the antlers in place. You want the water to just cover the skull plate. Check the antlers quite often. Don't let them turn white and get chalky. You just want the skull plate to clean up. Wipe them off when they are cleaned white. You can darken any light areas with some wood stain.

Get a taxidermy supply catalog and order one of the small or medium pre-made foam antler base forms. They cost about $5. Order a small or medium plaque from the catalog as well. They cost about $10 to $15. Order a wall hanging bracket as well. They are small and brass colored and about 75 cents each. Trim your skull plate so it sits flush in the form you bought. It will sit inside the center. You will need to trim up your skull cap so you don't have any skull protruding outside the form.  Attach the antlers to the form with wood screws. I use 2 in ch screws and I break the protruding backs off with a pliers.  Mix up some bondo or sculpt all plaster and cover the skull plate.  Smooth it out as it dries. Bondo is much easier to shape before it totally hardens.  You can shape it with a small knife and a drywall shaping tool. Let the plaster or bondo harden. Make sure it sanded smooth, especially along the transition to the form you bought. I use 60 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Bumps will show though your material.

Get yourself some leather or whatever material you want to cover your form with. Attach it to the front of the form on the back with a staple gun or small tacks. Don't drive the staples or tacks all the way in at this time.  Work your way around the form being most careful when you cut around the burrs of the antlers. This is a bit tricky so be careful.  Attach your material all the way around. You will end up with a vertical cut behind each antler which will be covered with braiding. Go back and remove tacks and adjust material if necessary and re-tack so you don't have any wrinkles on the edge of the form. Once you are happy drive the tacks or staples all the way in.  You should have material right up against the burrs but not climbing way up the burrs.

Now get some braiding that you like. I buy mine from Joanns fabric store. They have a million kinds.  Measure a piece that starts 1 " down on the back of the form, goes up the seam on the back and around the burr.  Cut it off.  Make 2 pieces. Hot glue the braiding on starting on the back, working your way up the seam and around each antler. Go slowly doing about 1" at a time.  Trim the braid when it crosses itself on the seam behind the burr.  Do the same on the other antler.

Attach your wall hanging bracket to the back of your plaque with 2 small screws. Center it and place it 3 inches from the top. Be careful not to drill through your plaque. Check the size of your screws before you drill them through the plaque.

Set your plaque down nice side up and hold your antlers over it to estimate where you want them to sit. Allow room for your engraved plaque at the bottom.  Now turn your plaque over on a soft cloth so it does not get scratched.  Drill a hole that will postion your antlers in the desired place.  Counter sink the hole a tiny bit.  Put a 2" screw through the hole and flip the plaque over. Position your form over the screw making sure its centered well on both sides an from the top. Push down a bit on the screw. Pick the plaque up while holding  the screw in place. Use your cordless drill to drive the screw into your form from the back.  Flip it over and pray that you have it centered. 

Attach the engraved 3" brass plated plaque that you ordered from Van Dykes for $3 and wala... you are done.  The engraved plaque has a sticky back on it.

This sounds worse than it really is. I can do one in an hour not counting drying time.

Hope it helps.

Oneshot.

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