We are trying to find an easier method for preserving velvet antlers. Our caribou seasons begin as early as July 1st, if not open year round, so high numbers of bulls are taken in full velvet. I have talked to a company that has a method for soaking the antlers in a methanol based chemical for 2-7 days, which completely preserves the velvet on the antler. There is only one place I know that does this, but they are unwilling to share their trade secrets of course!
Has anybody heard of this method? The draining and injection methods work well MOST of the time, but with the utilization of a tank that we could submerse the antlers in for a week, and pull them out completed would be a nice feature.
Thanks in advance... good hunting!
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Our Rittel's Preservz-It product does the same thing as the Methanol based product - however, since its not Methanol based, it does it in a different way! Unlike Methanol, it actually has tanning properties and doesnt evaporate. Another advantage of Preservz-It is its concentration. You dilute it - you dont have to use it pure and lug around 55 Gallon Drums of it. You only need 1-2 fl. ozs. per each 1 gallon of Water, along with some Borax or Alkaline to raise the PH of the solution. Prick the antlers all over, and then soak them in this solution for 7-10 days. Then remove and dry. If pumped full of blood, we recommend injecting and flushing them first. Need more info? Contect us at Rittels! Click on our name!
The one thing Bruce left out is that you are probably hunting out of Spike camps and not a walk in deer stand. If you are spike or jump camp hunting the "boo from a base camp, you need to check the ph of your water before altering it. A lot of the glacial outflow water is loaded with all sorts of minerals, that is why it appears as it does. If you are hunting one on one ot two on one, you should train your guides to inject the antlers in base camp, prior to the pick up date to prevent clogging and poor penetration later. I would also take a PH test kit along before adding borax or anything to the water near your campsite, or take in some distilled water just for that purpose.
The veins can be injected after packing the head back to the spike camp. Locate the main artery (If possible) feeding the antler substance, and pump in Bruce's Preservation solution with a large syringe and needle until it returns from the corresponding vein. A soaking vat could be arranged at base camp to finish the processing as describe by Bruce.
First of all I would like to thank you guys for such a speedy and informative responses. What we are looking at is setting up a system back home at the local fur tannery so we could forward antlers to him from our hunting grounds. We have full use of freezers large enough to capacitate a hundred racks, so keeping them cool and getting them to Fairbanks is not an issue.
He has a 500 gallon tank set aside for setting up a system for soaking the antlers. I doubt we could even get a single antler into a 55 gallon drum!
We haven't worked directly with preservz-It as of yet, but we had been looking at giving it a try this year. Is that an injection only method, or like you said, can you dilute 100-200 ounces into 100 gallons of water (DI if need be) and use that as a soaking agent after draining the antlers of blood? That is pretty much what we are looking for!
It's nice to hear directly from you Bruce, I was wondering if the tannery in Shishmaref is main tannery in the Nome area? Congrats on the success of your business and thank you once again for your assistance.
It's suitable for both methods Jerry! In fact, we recommend flushing out any blood first, then using the soak to reduce the amount of handling involved. And Yes, In 100 Gallons of Water, you would use 100 fluid ounces (I think that thats 12 1/2 cupfuls @ 8 ozs. per cupful) of the Preservz-It to do the job. That's less than 1 gallon of it. You will have to check the PH of your solution. For it to be effective you will have to raise its PH level up to a 8.0-8.5 for it to "fix" to the protein in the velvet. To raise it you can simply use good old 20 Mule Team Borax or Baking Soda.
If you run into dried velvet - then we recommend making yourself a paddle with nails sticking thru it and pricking the velvet all over, and then soaking it for 7-10 days before drying.
This is an aldehyde product - like Formaldehyde but not a carcinigen (cancer causing). Different type of aldehyde! We are getting a lot of very positive feedback on its use as a good velvet preserver!
In a 55 gal drum, that'd be a hen.....lol.....It'll break Bruce's heart to sell ya that much of his patent goodies.....lol....
If we have to buy the 5 gallon size! :)
I printed out his entire pricing schedule, as well as a few other pages from the Rittels websight to give to the tannery. This is pretty much exactly what we are looking for, but all along we thought the Preservz-It was an injection only method.
Thanks for all the information, and hopefully we'll get this set up this year!