I just started working on a specimin taken from Kansas. The antlers were all busted up and the customer agreed to have the points repaired. I drilled holes in the broken point to insert wires into and found that the antlers were very soft. The drill bored in without any effort. It's no wonder the points broke off. Even the points that arn't broken have weird bulbs on the ends. The rack is also a very odd color. It reminds me of caribou I've done where they were in velvet when shot and the velvet was peeled off. Its a modled gray color from bases to tips. The buck was shot during December and it has a 19" spread with very long main beams. The cape was good and heathy looking. I'm going to use my standard tine repair method of glueing in heavy wire, applying Majic Sculp, then putting on a layer of Epoxy wood filler from Minwax. I did drill the holes deeper than normal down into the mail beams and hopefully the added reinforcement of the wire will strenthen the point bases so they won't break down the road. Anybody had antles like these befoer?
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ALL antlers are soft in the center. If you ever cut one crosscut, you'd see that the center portion is a lot like a flower stem. It's corky. That doesn't mean it's without strength. Remember man has copied nature in making carbon arrows just on the same principles. In December, the mature bucks are already preparing for the cast. Antlers start to deteriorate as they no longer get the "stropping" of being rubbed against pines as they did during the rut. The natural loss of these oils makes them drier and more brittle. They often don't make good rattlin' antlers because they lose this timbre. That's why I always paint my antlers with linseedoil/turpentine so I can replace that natural moisture.