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Pronghorn Antelope horn removal - dried on cores. Removal???

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Lone Wolf AK, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Lone Wolf AK

    Lone Wolf AK Lone Wolf Taxidermy and Wildlife Artistry

    A client brought an antelope to me for mounting, and he's had the horns sitting in his shed for 5 years. Horns are hard dried on to cores.

    I've worked a lot with Dall sheep and Mt Goat horns, but never had a set of pronghorn that were dried on. Obviously the "hair" structure is markedly different than the keratin I'm used to, and don't want to split or destroy them in the attempt to remove.

    I need some advice on best way to remove these from the cores without damage. All the searches and tutorials only yielded removal of "fresh" horns, a process with which I'm familiar.

    Any advice appreciated.
  2. Never dealt with pronghorns but on rams and aoudads, rapping the sheaths with a rubber mallet did the trick.

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I had the same situation. No way could I get them off. I soaked them for weeks, cut up between the sheath and core, injected water up under the sheath, pried on them and even simmered them. Nothing worked and I ended up mounting them, horn mount, after they dried for a month or two. I told the customer to watch them for bugs and oder and 11 years later he says that they are bug free and oder free.
  4. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I wider if Alcohol would work, u know if you want to stretch new shoes they spray alcohol on them and put stretchers in them. Soak them. Maybe drill a hole up into the cores quit a ways in and then blast compressed air into the hole.
  5. point75

    point75 Member

    I heat a large pot of water to boiling then placed the horns over the top of the boiling water and cover the horns and top of bucket with aluminum foil. I let the horns steam for about 15 minutes and the horns pull off easily. If they don't come off the first time steam them longer.
  6. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Point 75, do you do this with fresh horns or dried out ones? Or both?
  7. point75

    point75 Member

    Only dried horns. I rot off fresh (new) horns.
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I never would have thought of steam. I put this one in my USEFUL INFO bank.
  9. ortegageno

    ortegageno Active Member

    Steam is the way to go, don't allow the water to touch the horns. Works well on antelope, oryx, and Barbary sheep.
  10. Yep steam does the trick! It worked on freezer burnt to the bone ones I'd tried everything on!
  11. Lone Wolf AK

    Lone Wolf AK Lone Wolf Taxidermy and Wildlife Artistry

    Thanks to all for the informative responses! I'll try the steam trick.