setting the antlers right .... lost measurements

Submitted by cody on 02/02/2004. ( )

I have lost the measurements that i took to set the antlers at the same angle they were at when the deer was shot, the measurements i took were (tip of the nose to bur at base of antler)and (tip of nose to tip of antler)on both antlers. Do you know any way of geting the antlers set right without the measurements?Thanks.

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Do a look up on the web for whtietail deer pics.

This response submitted by John C on 02/02/2004. ( )

Eacg set of antlers sit differently on the deers gead, some lay back while others are tilted forward.

Go to the biggest magazine rack you can find, wal amrt sometimes have many.

Look at the pictures, oh by the way, buy a few of them for reference you will be suprized at what you find.

Is position as important

This response submitted by Tenbears on 02/02/2004. ( )

As presentation? I use to set the antlers on the form exactly as they were on the deer.
I took the measurements as you do. Often times if a deer had a crocked rack, that is how I mounted it. But a lot of times the customer would comment that the rack was crocked. or laid back to far. It lead me to realize that most, not all but most customers do not realize the position, or flaws in the antlers. They are still star struck when they bring the deer in. By the time they see it again their memory has faded and their imagination has made the rack near perfect. I place the antlers on the form. And look at them from ten feet away. a wedge of 1/4 inch plywood here or there can improve the look immensely. Even if it is not how they naturally were. sometimes it presents them better, and makes them look bigger. Maybe this is not the philosophy of everyone. But I have had no complaints. and a lot of repeat business. You will have to decide for yourself. it has worked for me.

Look at the skull plate.

This response submitted by Steve on 02/02/2004. ( )

This may not be quite exact, but look at the skull plate. The top of it should sit right or level on top of your form, not tipped up one way or the other too far. I lot of taxidermists set the antlers too far forward. Look at a lot of reference photos, and this will help also. I set the horns with bondo and wood wool and a few long screws. If it doesn't look quite right you can rasp or saw the bondo. Make sure it's the way you want them, because once the capes on you'll have to live with it. Anyhow that's how I've done it up to this point. And yes, use your measurements if you have them...Steve


This response submitted by Vic on 02/02/2004. ( )

Cody, measure from the back corner of the eye to the place on the cape that goes around the base of the antler. The measurement is usually 2 inches and if the base is differant on both sides adjust to fit

Steve, thats a generalization on deer.

This response submitted by John C on 02/02/2004. ( )

I have looked at several thousand photos of live white-tails all on the web and they antlers set at different angles. You need to do some looking!

Yes I see the few that lay back, but there are a lot of them that do have a forward tilt, and of all the people to point it out to me was Archie Phillips several years ago. I have since looked and looked and damned if Archie aint just pretty smart about that.

So what the correct angles? The ones that show the antlers the best, just as Tenbears said!

Include this as part of your initial assessment

This response submitted by Lance H on 02/02/2004. ( )

when the customer shows up with the deer. Note on the account sheet if the antlers tilted slightly up, laid slightly back, or were inline with the top of the nose. Just this past week, I got all my antler mounts done and delivered. One in particular was a really nice buck that the customer had dropped with one poorly placed shot, then when the deer got up to make its escape, he finished it off with one more round right through the back of the head. When they dropped the head off, the right antler was flopping all over because of a fragged skull plate. There was no way in hell this guy knew how symmetrical his buck was before he blew its skull all to hell. Well, luckily, the upper part of the skull plate was in three pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and after wiring them back together and laminating with a two-part resin to restore some strength, I finished the mount and delivered it, sturdier than the original. Couple days later, the guy calls to tell me that the antlers are crooked. I go to his place to see what's up and yes, they're crooked. One antler canted up at about five degrees higher an angle than the other side, and turned more to the inside. The distance between the burrs and the backside of the form was equal between each side. The difference between one side and the other was a genetic factor and "normal" for that deer. The guy looks at me and says he's never heard of such a thing. I explained to him that deer, like people, are rarely perfectly symmetrical. He asks me, "whaddya mean?" I told him that I got one side hangs a little lower than the other... understand? He just laughs and says he gets it now. I've only handled a couple antler sets that were evenly symmetrical. Just one more twist for you.

I have to agree w/ tenbears

This response submitted by shooter on 02/03/2004. ( )

I used to take the tip of antler to tip of nose measurement and try to set the antlers just like they were on the actual deer. Often the antlers laid back on the head as is normal for some deer.
I soon got tired of all of the cutting, recutting, wedging and all of the other stuff you sometimes have to go through. I began to realize that some antlers just look better set certain ways. A lot of it depens on what type of pose and turn that the customer has requested.

Now I just take the eye to burr measurement and set the antlers to present them in the most attractive manner.

God Bless,


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