Smelly Moose Antler

Submitted by Dan on 08/27/2002. ( )

I found a moose antler last January while hiking in New Hampshire. I left it hang in the basement until August to dry it out, but it still reaks. What should I do to remove the smell? Thanks for any help!

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This response submitted by cur on 08/28/2002. ( wildart )

If the antler was a true shed, there should be no more odor than that of any other cast antler. Perhaps the antler in question was salvaged from a dead animal and the odor is that of decaying tissue and not from the antler itself. It may be the calcified core of a developing antler that was broken off, or it may be tainted by scent markings of one animal or another. Perhaps a bobcat used it as a cornerstone for his territory and marked it with scent and urine. The odor may be all of the above.

Try this: Run, walk or drive down to a Big Lots or Target store if there is one in your neighborhood. Purchase a bottle or two of a cleanser product called, "The Works". The liquid is nothing more than a 10% HCL (Hydrochloric Acid) solution. Wear rubber gloves and work outside to wash down the antler with the product. The HCL will dissolve any blood residue and other materials from the surface. When finished, hose the antler off liberally and then wash with a solution of 1/2 cup baking soda dissolved into 2 quarts of water. After the baking soda bath to stop any remaining acid, rinse well with a hose and allow to dry. When dry, wash again, this time with household ammonia to remove any material the HCL did not, and then rinse, wash with detergent and rinse and dry. If the odor remains, send the darn thing to the Smithsonian for may have come from an alien moose from beyond our galaxy....LOL

Good luck

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