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Antlers in velvet

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by GP1419, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. GP1419

    GP1419 Member

    Getting ready for the first ever bowhunt here in Tennessee in 2 more weeks, I guess so someone has a chance to take a buck in velvet, it is only open for 2 or 3 days and then closes again until late September, my question is what is the best method for handling the velvet or preserving the velvet for mounting. I mount around 100 whitetail a year and have only had 1 in velvet that was hit by a car in August of last year, it messed the velvet up pretty bad so I carried it to Ben Jones of replica racks to be re-velveted, that was easy considering he met me in my hometown to pick it up and it looked great. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to preserve the velvet in house or just send it off to be re-done or freeze dried, any help appreciated.
  2. sgsmith

    sgsmith Member

    There are a few different ways of preserving the velvet the best way is freeze drying
    rigbobby and George like this.

  3. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Wrap them in a towel, place in a Rubbermaid tote, and pour a gallon of denatured alcohol (DA) over them. Put the lid on the tote and leave them in for a month. Move them around every day or two making sure that the towel soaks up the alcohol and can be saturated into every part of the antlers. This works well for "hard velvet" antlers. If they are soft velvet, and very bulbous, you will need to inject them with DA. Expect some shrinkage when this is done. Freeze drying or artificial velvet are better options, but come at a higher price.
    rigbobby and sponder like this.
  4. GP1419

    GP1419 Member

    Joey, do I need to completely submerge in DA or just keep the towel wet?
  5. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Just keep the towel wet. There will be about 1/2" of alcohol in the bottom of the tote for the towel to "wick" on. Make sure the lid fits good and tight. Denatured alcohol mixed with atmospheric moisture creates a gas similar to formeldehyde. It will permeate the antlers and kill bacteria. When you take them out, allow them to air dry for a few days before doing anything with them. You can brush the velvet to make it stand out. I've got antlers that are 30 years old that were preserved using this method.
  6. GP1419

    GP1419 Member

    Thanks for the help.
  7. nemo

    nemo Member

    Hey George, I see you're getting bombarded with calls from people of interest with the 3 day bow season. Glad to see some in-house responses. I recently received a road kill which was full velvet. Gonna ship it to Boonedocks in Kentucky. $8 dollars an inch × spread or height, whichever is greater. I cut these off at the skull. Customer wants an European mount. Gonna cost approximately $100 + shipping. I hope you have a great season ole buddy!
  8. BowDeadly

    BowDeadly "LIFE IS GREAT" It's better with a bow

  9. GP1419

    GP1419 Member

    Thanks Nemo, lots of calls from people who want to know how to take care of it if they kill one, I like getting them out as quick as I can so I will be ready for the November slam, so I was looking for a way to do it in house to avoid sending them out, but I may send them out anyway, I'm still working 50 hrs a week on my first job so time is everything, good luck to you also.
  10. nemo

    nemo Member

    Hi Earl, I was told when antlers were cut off at base, they'd be placed amongst other freeze dried items. It's all about the space taken. $100 dollars was an estimate, but makes sense when you minus the skull. A 16 spread, minus 3 inches of skull = 13 × 8 = 104. I have horns in the shop freezer as of now. I'll post total when I make payment.
  11. ktmhrs

    ktmhrs Member

    What is everyone’s opinion on knoblochs antler in velvet solution?
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    If you intent on doing it yourself, use Joey's method with denatured alcohol. However, if you want to eliminate shriveled up velvet, send them out for professional freeze drying. If you split the skull, they can be done for less than $150 for bragging sized antlers. DO NOT TRUST THE GUY WHO TELLS YOU HE DOESNT CARE IF THEY SHRIVEL HE LIES.
    sgsmith, rigbobby and joeym like this.
  13. ktmhrs

    ktmhrs Member

    Thanks George!
  14. daddys deerheads

    daddys deerheads Member

    Inject with Embalming fluid I did 2 yesterday.
  15. Dont be stupid! Don’t even consider that. I had to learn the hard way.
    Aside from ALS risk or other nervous system consequences, formaldehyde is a respiratory irritant that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and nose and throat irritation, according to the ATSDR. It can also cause cancer,
    In 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen under conditions of unusually high or prolonged exposure (1). Since that time, some studies of humans have suggested that formaldehyde exposure is associated with certain types of cancer.
    George likes this.
  16. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    I have a gallon of formalin, and I use it very sparingly. Believe it or not, I used it as a preservative for colostrum fed to baby dairy calves years ago. I've inhaled plenty of it, and hope it and a lot of other stupid stuff in my past doesn't lead to a cancerous death.
    George likes this.
  17. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    Freeze dry wont cause cancer. Add the cost to your price.
    sgsmith likes this.

  18. Bad Stuff! Your lucky Joey! I wasn’t . My lungs are chit, An inhaler is always near by now. All sorts of things now start closing me up, ( foam, bacon, any type smoke,) couple shots on the inhaler to get air. Its from using the crap inside a unventilated building , breathing the mess, could feel the burning then but kept right on. Common sence was yelling at me , if it hardens dead tissue what in the hell is it doing to live tissue. I didn’t listen to me! Nor the guy warning me that was selling it. It comes in different strengths, I think what i had was, dont really remember 70% . It was a high % Compared to the taxidermy supplier 10% maybe 20% at best.

    1. The inhalation of formaldehyde gas in even small quantities is followed by bronchitis and pneumonia. Pneumonia is due to the inhalation of the gas and not to secondary infection. 2. Formalin belongs to that rare group of poisons which are capable of producing death suddenly when swallowed. 3. The introduction of formalin into the stomach is followed by the production of a gastritis which varies greatly in character. The duodenum and upper jejunum may also be involved in the inflammatory process. 4. Intraperitoneal injections of formalin cause peritonitis of a fibrino-haemorrhagic character. A definite reaction is obtained when very dilute formalin (1–1000) is employed. In the peritoneal cavity formalin exercises a destructive action upon all organs (pancreas, liver, peritoneal fat, Fallopian tubes, etc.) with which it comes in contact and causes inflammation in these organs. 5. The lethal dose of formalin when injected intraperitoneally into guinea pigs is approximately 2 cc. of 1–1000 formalin for each 100 grm. of body weight. 6. The injection of formalin into the lungs is followed by pneumonia and bronchitis. 7. The inflammation which follows subcutaneous injections of formalin is characterized by intense exudation. 8. The injection of formalin into the muscles produces myositis. 9. The injection of formalin into the anterior chamber of the eye causes the accumulation of an exudate containing leucocytes and fibrin. When formalin is dropped into the conjunctival sac iritis follows and may be severe enough to destroy the eye. 10. Formalin in whatever way introduced into the body is absorbed, and is then capable of producing lesions in the parenchymatous organs. 11. Changes in the liver after absorption of formalin consist of mild or severe grade of cloudy swelling accompanied by vacuolation of the protoplasm, changes in the nuclei and leucocytic infiltration. Focal necrosis may result. Similar changes follow the inhalation of formaldehyde. 12. The injection of formalin or the inhalation of the vapors of formaldehyde produces cloudy swelling of the parenchyma of the kidney. Focal necrosis may result. 13. Pneumonia and bronchitis are found in all animals after the injection of formalin. 14. The leucocytic infiltration which follows the introduction of formalin into an organ has these general characteristics: The eosinophiles are the first leucocytes to appear; these are followed by the other polynuclear leucocytes; last appear the large and small mononuclear leucocytes. Similar phenomena occur in the trachea, bronchi and lungs of animals subjected to formaldehyde inhalations. 15. Formalin is, directly or indirectly, chemiotactic for leucocytes. The tissues which are not infiltrated with leucocytes after the injection of formalin are those which have been so injured by the chemical that an inflammatory reaction is impossible. 16. Animals subjected to chronic poisoning with formalin administered by intraperitoneal injection develop fibrinous peritonitis, associated with marked eosinophilia. The changes in the kidneys and liver consist of cloudy swelling, fatty degeneration, focal necrosis and leucocytic infiltration.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    George likes this.
  19. I put mine in DA also . Only thing i do different than Joey is a submerge them completely for a week.( or when i remember them again :() I uselessly have 30 gallons or more on hand which makes that no problem. Plus my local store sells it for 7.50 a gallon thats cheap compared to what home depot sells it for. I do a LOT of gator heads so i need that much or more.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  20. GP1419

    GP1419 Member

    Freeze dry prices were not that bad, it is the 1 and 2 day shipping that jacks the price up, by the time I would get mine back I would have over 200$ in them so I did them like you said Joey and they turned out great, thanks. I told my customers I could get them freeze dried for around 100$ but add the shipping and I was off by more than double, I totally didn't even realize the cost of over night shipping.