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Pickling antler with velvet

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by All Seasons Taxidermy, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. All Seasons Taxidermy

    All Seasons Taxidermy New Member

    Talked with McKenzie about preserving velvet on antlers. There taxidermist recommended there ult acid so i bought a quart. The directions don't say anything about neutralizing after they come out of the pickle. The velvet is hard on the antlers. Do I need to neutralize them after they come out of the pickle and do i need to do anything else to tan them? I don't have a lot of experience pickling due to using an auto tanner. My client does not want to spend the cash on getting the antlers freeze dried. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Texas 1

    Texas 1 New Member

    I just mounted an axis buck in velvet doing the same method. I did not neutralize the horns after they came out of the pickle. They turned out really well. I had to inject mine with Fantastic Cast because the velvet was still soft on the tips. If your horn are not soft you should not have to use the injection step. I also injected the pickle soulution into the horns since they were soft to push all of the blood out before i sumerged it.

  3. All Seasons Taxidermy

    All Seasons Taxidermy New Member

    Thanks for the info. The antlers will be going into the pickle today.
  4. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    Freeze drying is only useful to keep shrinkage to a minimum, it has very little preservation properties beyond that. Especially in keeping the bugs from finding and "enjoying" the velvet. That's a lesson I learned the "hard way"! I've been preserving velvet antlers for many years with the following method. I've used it for very soft summer antlers and to preserve the dried shards of velvet on half rubbed antlers. I submerse the rack in alcohol for half a day or so. That kills any bacteria that may cause decomposition and pulls moisture from the velvet. Then the rack goes into a Borax solution for about half a day and then back into the alcohol, again for at least half a day, then....done. If the rack is soft under the velvet I repeat the steps for several days until I feel enough Borax has been absorbed into the velvet. The final step in both cases is the soak in alcohol. ANY alcohol will do. The sole purpose of the alcohol is to remove the water and kill bacteria. Cheaper is better and I get my Methyl alcohol from my local LP dealer, they use it to clean LP tanks before filling. At that point you can send the "soft" antlers to a freeze dryer. If they are hard under the velvet, just let them dry out.
  5. Dawg3458

    Dawg3458 New Member

    Have them freeze dried...
    I had a set done over the winter by Doug Montgomery from this site. He did a excellent job with super fast turnaround,& a great price.
    Heres a link to his website if your interested in having him do them
  6. if its a July or aug deer freeze dry. but i pickle lots of horns if close to hard horns. and no do not neutralize the horns. because the 1.5 ph bacteria cant grow at a low ph. iv never had a problem