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My First Skinned Deerhead.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Thistle, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Thistle

    Thistle New Member

    This is my very first attempt at skinning a deerhead. Usually I just skin for meat or hides, haven`t ever done this before.
    I`m sure it`ll look very amateurish to folks on here, but I really would appreciate any tips and advice. :)
    The most difficult parts were dealing with the ticks (I hate ticks! :-[ ) and cutting the skin around the antlers and eyes. I`ve put one small hole in the skin just behind one of the eyes but am hoping it can be repaired.
    It`s been put into the freezer til I can flesh it. Does anyone have any tips for that please? I`ve watched a couple of videos so have a rough idea of it but don`t mind admitting I`m a total newb so all advice gratefully received. Does anyone have any advice for getting the antlers off the skull? :-[


  2. tazzymoto

    tazzymoto Well-Known Member

    Click on my banner and watch the free videos!

  3. hntr78

    hntr78 New Member

    By the picture it still looks like there is some hide left around the antler bases. When you are skinning around the bases your first cut should be all the way to the bottom and underneath the basees. Once cut all the way you will have to pull the hide out and from underneath the bases to skin it completely around. Maybe you have done this just by the pics like I said it stiil looks like there is some hide left. Don't get disgouraged and keep trying.
  4. Take a flat head screwdriver and pry up the skin around those antler bases next time so you get everything. You are going to have gaps around the antler bases when you go to mount that one with so much skin missing.
  5. Thistle

    Thistle New Member

    You`re right, there is some hide left around the bases. I just couldn`t get it off :-[ It was pretty much desperation when I just cut as close as I could after the knife slipped in my hand a few times. The skin there seems welded to the antler base.
    For the purpose of practice, though, will I be able to still use the head as is? :) (even if I have to patch it?)
    Tazzymoto, thanks for the link, I`ve faved your site to watch those videos. :)

    Taflinger, you posted as I was typing this, many thanks for the screwdriver tip, will try that next time. :)
  6. Hey you gotta to start somewhere. And you'll never truly know how to do it till you get your hands dirty.
  7. Jeff Z

    Jeff Z New Member

    Use a Sawzall to remove the antlers. Much quicker than a hand saw.
  8. Watch Tazzymoto video and note how he cut the nose it looks like you a lot of the nostril area on the skull. The septum is usually removed after it is off of the skull and from that pic it looks like it is still on the skull.
  9. Thistle

    Thistle New Member

    Thanks for the advice, all taken on board. :)
    I returned to the skull armed with a screwdriver to try and remove the hair around the antler base...it wouldn`t budge! ??? :-[
    I cut into it at the back, that was ok but just couldn`t get it off the bases.
  10. Roger Ralph

    Roger Ralph Member

    I actually sharpened a flathead screwdriver and use it to pry around the base, once I cut it.

    TIM DUNCAN surry county va

    you tube, you tube, you tube there are plenty of videos to watch
  12. Cygnet

    Cygnet New Member

    I use a small,sharp chisel and tap it with a hammer to get down under the skin to the underneath. It's a job that you just have to muscle thru. like Jeff said, use a sawzall to cut the antlers off. don't cut too close, you want some of the skull with it, you can always cut more skull away from the antlers when you are mounting it.
  13. man2hit

    man2hit New Member

    X2 on the flathead screwdriver. It's much MUCH easier though to use the screwdriver to do this when the cape is still on the skull. It peels it right off everytime.
  14. dipper

    dipper New Member

    Don't leave hair around the bases, that's the best tip. j/k Get yourself a scapel and some blades, sharp tools, are good tools.
  15. Thistle

    Thistle New Member

    Taken on board, many thanks. :)
    Have to admit I had to give up on trying to get it off as it just wasn`t budging. :-[
    Hopefully the next one will be better as I`ll have a better idea of what to do, thanks to the videos and great advice on here. :)
  16. Thistle

    Thistle New Member

    Hi again...was just wanting to ask some opinions as to whether or not I should attempt to mount this head at all?
    I could try to do so...it`d be my first ever, but I won`t have the hair around the antler bases of course, and I`m not experienced enough to deal with that...
    or I could simply tan the head and use it to front a sporran. What do you think is the best thing to do, advice anyone? :)
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    You guys with your damned screwdrivers won't ever learn I guess. The very BEST tool to remove ALL the skin and thick cartilage under the pedicels is a CABINET MAKERS 1/4 INCH CHISEL, honed and sharpened. (Find one at www.JamestownDistributors.com. It's item # FUL-301 and costs $10.10) Invariably, a dull screwdriver is going to end up being pushed into or through your hand. A SHARP chisel will cut on contact and you slip the flat edge under the pedicel and simply life the handle upwards scraping the skin and cartilage down on the skull. If you try the chisel once, you'll put the damned screwdriver back into the tool box and leave it for SCREWS.

    Thistle, most of us will get to the soft tissue on the muzzle and then cut the nose and septum off. We flesh that out later along with the ears, eye brows and lips. This insures you get enough of the nostril skin to tuck properly.

    It doesn't look like you have any neck skin so I'm not sure you want to mount just the face like that.
  18. Scalpels here.
  19. dablaw

    dablaw Member

    The guy that is teaching me has taught me with a bird's beak knife..The method he teaches is a very short Y incision..I have learned to take the knife along the back of the head, where the hairline is different...(can't remember what he called this)..Take the Bir beak knife and run it slowly to the horn base prying (not cutting) as you go..When you can feel the bone where it attaches the horn then bend the knife back to you and backwards cut until the knife is out..Do the same on the other side, then make the small 2-3" downward incision to make the Y.

    Then I take the birds beak and stay very close to the skull antler base cutting upwards as I pull with my thumb and it comes right off...This is how I'm being taught anyway..I'm sure there are many ways to do it though..
  20. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I guess as long as it works, it works. I'm a bit anal about the thickness of my hides. I want ALL that skin under the pedicel and I can run the hide through my shaving machine. That pedicel skin gets shaved to the same thickness as the skin. Too often when the skin is removed with a knife or scalpel, the very edge that I need to cinch the skin down under the pedicel with has been tapered too thin to hold a stitch. The chisel scrapes it so I don't ever deal with trying to clean under the pedicel later on.