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Smell in moose antlers

Discussion in 'Lifesize Mammals' started by uphill, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. uphill

    uphill New Member

    I did a set on moose antlers for a customer and he called telling me the antlers smell. It was shot the last week of September so they were hard and out of velvet. Anyone had this happen before and how to get the smell out?
  2. juli

    juli Active Member

    What condition did he bring them to you in?

    did you remove all the fat/tissue from the skull plate? pressure wash it? etc?

    Could be the bull stunk up his horns in a wallow, too, considering he was shot right in the middle of the rut - (Alaska, at any rate)


  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I did an elk antler mount for a friend. It was a late august bull and I mounted it a few days after he killed it. I started to smell something off while it was in my shop waiting for him to pick it up. He had it a few days and called me and said it was starting smell so he brought it over. I tore it apart but the skull was super clean, mine always are, so I drilled a hole up through the skull and into the core of the antler. Oh, man! Gross nasty blood oozed out of that antler for about 3 days. The other one was dry and odorless. After it drained for a week, I cleaned out the core with a bactericide, DP'd it and that took care of it.
  4. grumpa

    grumpa Active Member

    30 year dead moose antlers smell from the dirt and urine they wallow in. Just a damp cloth on a dry moose antler will make you think you're knee deep in his wallow.
  5. uphill

    uphill New Member

    These was a moose killed in late September. The antlers were hard and all the meat was cleaned off the skull. I have no clue as to why they smell It did not smell for 6 months after I did them is when he started to smell them
  6. Raphite01

    Raphite01 New Member

    If it's not just dirty antlers from a wallow, it sounds like an issue with antlers not completely hardened internally that has been discussed a couple times in the skulls/skeletons forum. If it's the same phenomenon, there doesn't seem to be an easy fix but people have been able to get it under control eventually.

  7. sterling

    sterling My son and my 2011 Moose

    Frank, aka " Grumpa" knows his stuff. I have hunted, handled and mounted a lot of Moose as well as purchased and sold 1000's of Moose Antlers. The peak of the rut for Moose happens right around the end of September here in Maine and is just about the same most anywhere else in North America give or take a few days.

    When they roll in the wallows every part of them gets covered in that nasty smelling urine, including the Antlers. I have had antlers laying around for 10 years or more and add a littler water with a damp cloth and it is just like the live rutting Moose himself is standing there. Same holds true if there are humid conditions. The only thing that will solve the problem is dry conditions and time. Do not try to wipe them down or neutralize the smell with a liquid, trust me.

    If you don't trust me ask Grumpa, he has been around A LOT longer than me. LOL! I will give you an example; the first Moose we harvested last year was shot on September 25th and I smelled that Moose long before we saw him. The hunting clothes I had on had to be washed several times before the rut smell came out, but this past Turkey season I had one of the pull overs on during a rainy day and it brought me back to September 25th. Good thing Turkeys can't smell.

    The second Moose we harvested last year was shot the second week of October and did not have the musky smell, but I can guarantee that if I put water on the antlers they will smell. I would almost guarantee that is the smell your customer senses. It is possible that the antlers aren't completely hard, but I have never seen that with September harvested Moose that I have handled here in Maine, NH, VT or Canada.

    Stinky Rutting September Bull

    No Rutting smell October Bull