Cleaning deer antlers

Submitted by Bazie Dulen on 07/07/2003. ( bdulen@mrtc.com ) 206.157.148.64

I can't really find the answer I am looking for in the search engine or maybe I just don't interpet what I see correctly!, so I need some help. I am a beginner taxidermist who has done 4 or 5 deerheads. I like my antlers to look natural, just the way they do in the wild. Some I have seen look like they have been buffed down until they are white looking. That just looks totally unnatural to me. Can I just brush all the dirt and grime from the antlers and do something with this 50:50 mix of linseed oil and stain to maintain a more natural color or maybe even a 75:25 mixture of linseed oil and stain. I have never used linseed oil on them before, would straight linseed oil do the trick? I just don't want antlers "shiny and sealed."
Thanks,
Bazie Dulen

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Bazie

This response submitted by Coot on 07/07/2003. ( skygun4@hotmail.com ) 63.149.216.42

50/50 mix mineral spirit/linseed oil . No more linseed oil than that . It will give the antlers a hint of yellow look . (not good) . If the anlters are in bad shape you might have to apply a couple coats of "antler stain". Then lightly sand to match reference photos. Van Dykes has the stain and I believe WASCO does also.


Potassium permanangate

This response submitted by Raven on 07/07/2003. ( ) 24.150.167.36

I believe thats whats it's called; spelling may be off - but look that compound up in da archives and you'll find a wikked way to colour faded antlers to look natural =)


Thanks Guys

This response submitted by Bazie Dulen on 07/07/2003. ( bdulen@mrtc.com ) 206.157.148.76

Thanks, I like just the natural color of the antlers. I did my own deer head last year(first one) and I didn't do anything to the antlers but brush them off. They look 10 to 1 better than the one I had someone else do the year before that seemed to have buffed them or something. By just "brushing them off" will they eventually start fading or would you guys treat them immediately with the methods you just told me about?
Thanks Coot & Raven
Baz


Bazie

This response submitted by George on 07/07/2003. ( georoof@aol.com ) 64.12.96.104

You're assuming a few things not in evidence. ALL antlers get to a whiter stage the later in the antler year it gets. Early season antlers are dark because bucks are fired up when they rub the velvet off. Then as the rut nears, the tips get ivoried from dragging through sandy scrapes while the bases get darker from pine pitch during rubbing and mock fighting. As the season wears on, the activity lessens and the rubbing stops. Then the antlers turn whiter before shedding.

As a side light, here in Delaware, many of our deer live on the marsh with only phragmites to rub the velvet off. This soaks up the blood and when their scraping and rubbing continues, they have no pitch to get into the pedicels. Many of our big deer have white antlers even early on in the season.

When you get the antlers in the shop,you should be able to tell what they were just a few hours before. Don't screw with Mother Nature. Your customers might not appreciate your artistic interpretation.


Bazie

This response submitted by George on 07/07/2003. ( georoof@aol.com ) 64.12.96.104

You're assuming a few things not in evidence. ALL antlers get to a whiter stage the later in the antler year it gets. Early season antlers are dark because bucks are fired up when they rub the velvet off. Then as the rut nears, the tips get ivoried from dragging through sandy scrapes while the bases get darker from pine pitch during rubbing and mock fighting. As the season wears on, the activity lessens and the rubbing stops. Then the antlers turn whiter before shedding.

As a side light, here in Delaware, many of our deer live on the marsh with only phragmites to rub the velvet off. This soaks up the blood and when their scraping and rubbing continues, they have no pitch to get into the pedicels. Many of our big deer have white antlers even early on in the season.

When you get the antlers in the shop,you should be able to tell what they were just a few hours before. Don't screw with Mother Nature. Your customers might not appreciate your artistic interpretation.


Thanks Georoof

This response submitted by Bazie Dulen on 07/07/2003. ( ) 208.135.164.27

I agree with you George. I want them as natural as possible. The antlers I were talking about being white were on a fairly young 8 point and they didn't look anything near the same when I got them back as when I turned them in to the guy. They actually looked white from being rubbed down was what I was refering too. Thanks for the info.
Baz


RAVEN

This response submitted by ETCC on 07/08/2003. ( getrichkwik@webtv.net ) 209.240.198.61

Potassium Permanganate is the chemical...Antler stain. Use to use it in my home chemistry lab experiments..surprising what you can do with it.
~ ETCC


Try this

This response submitted by MTP on 07/08/2003. ( ) 152.163.252.197

I just clean the antlers with a little dawn dish soap and cold water to get the blood and dirt off, theirs also a product from Van Dykes called van clean that works good also. The only other thing I do is wipe some furniture polish like lemon pledge or liquid gold on the antlers with a rag, it doesnt make it shiny like it would on wood, they come out looking really natural. GOOD LUCK|


Thanks MTP

This response submitted by Bazie Dulen on 07/08/2003. ( bdulen@mrtc.com ) 206.157.148.61

I appreciate that. I'll try it on a few sets I have here.
Cya
Baz


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