Deer antler shrinkage.

Submitted by Larson on 4/18/05 at 8:40 AM. ( )

Has anyone ever heard of the distance between the antlers on a shoulder mount shrinking after it's mounted. My little brother-in-law just got his six pointer back in the u.p. and says the distance shrunk 2 inches. His uncle shot a 18 point non-typical a few years back and says his shrunk by 4 inches. Just wondering if anyone has ever heard of this. I know they shrink but 2 and 4 inches seems like allot. Thanks,

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Yes they will shrink

This response submitted by Marshell on 4/18/05 at 8:52 AM. ( )

The hard bone antler will shrink also. The spread will shrink according to the skull cap shrinkage. When I receive a large rack buck, will cut the skull cap extra large to give this area strength,
after the rack has been scored and properly dryed I can remove the extra skull cap and complete the mount. As a extra insurance measure I place bondo in the skull's brain cavity to ensure that the antler are going to stay at the correct width or spread. If you are mounting a young deer and the skull cap is thin, you can run into problems or excess shrinkage. Hope this information helps. Marshell

Shrink very little

This response submitted by vermont valley on 4/18/05 at 9:27 AM. ( )

I agree, antlers can shrink. I do about 150 mounts a year and can say that antlers may shrink up to 1/2 inch on spread. Usually this happens when a customer is holding them and they are putting them in all kinds of extreme conditions.

I don't believe your antlers shrunk 2-4 inches. What may have happened is the taxidermists may have broke the skull plate and incorrectly put them back together. Or, the biggest thing I find that promotes antler shrinkage is that the taxidermists took too long of a time to get your buck back and therefor your story got bigger than the actual buck. This is usually the case! sorry to be so honest.

I'll buy the half inch

This response submitted by George on 4/18/05 at 12:29 PM. ( )

But those other stories are crap, pure and simple. The Jordan buck, which was killed nearly 100 years ago hasn't changed measurements since that first scoring (almost 50 years after it had been shot). Antler is bone and dead bone at that. It doesn't shrink. The skull, however, is live bone and that live bone will contract as it dries bringing your spread in somewhat.

Thanks George

This response submitted by John W. on 4/18/05 at 10:46 PM. ( )

Thanks for bringing me back to reality,I thought I had gone to the Twilight Zone.Larson,one thing to think about,if those stories were accurate,most of us could not get those deer back together again without them looking so distorted-2to 4 inchs is quite a bit between the antlers.Now if your talking overall measurement,between green score and official score-yes that occurs.

2" x 4"

This response submitted by duckfeathers on 4/19/05 at 12:02 AM. ( )

Antlers under 130" don't bother. But on antlers over 130 my customers are touchy about the score. I wedge a length of 2x4 between the tips of the main beam until I get to mount them(usually 6 months).
I don't keep measuring so I don't know if it helps but it keeps my customers happy.

The 2x4 trick is old

This response submitted by George on 4/19/05 at 12:01 PM. ( )

But in my opinion, it does very little. A set of trophy class antlers makes it's score on tine LENGTH, not spread, not circumferences. You lose a half inch in spread credit and that keeps you out of the book is one thing, but for a 160 class animal, you still have a 160 class animal. Until you get to the 190+ categories, you have enough people in front of you to fill a catalog. In fact they DO fit a catalog. For customers who're hung up on "score", I green score them and tell them that they will shrink and that's why B&C and P&Y both require the 60 day drying period. If they HAVE to have their name in the "book", I tell them to go to Buckmasters where their score in uneffected by shrinkage. I warn them, however, that their buddies are still going to ask them, "Well how much do they score in the REAL "book"?

2x4 has braoke some customers skullplate

This response submitted by vermont valley on 4/19/05 at 2:02 PM. ( )

I have had a few customers put a 2x4 in the spread when it is green. They spread the width with everything they had and as it dried it caused the skullplate to crack and even distort the symmetry of the antlers. That's ok, I just charge them to fix what they created.

Like I said earlier, the hunters story grew and the antlers stay the same.

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