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Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Mad Dawg Taxidermy, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Hey everybody!

    I will possibly be doing a mule deer in full velvet very soon. I have read up on preserving velvet and some people just say put denatured alcohol on them.

    What is the best way to preserve them?
  2. The 3 ways I am aware of are, freeze drying (requires a vacuum chamber to properly do), injecting with formalin (or equiv.) and soaking in alcohol for several days. As for the best the jury is still out.
    Mad Dawg Taxidermy likes this.

  3. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    I’m interested also. Going to Kentucky next season for opening week! What method gives the best results?
  4. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    820A5A01-EC4A-41B4-A6BC-2C9DF75FB234.jpeg These were brought to me by a non paying customer about 10 years ago. I placed them in a Rubbermaid tote, draped a towel over them so they would wick up the alcohol, poured a gallon or two of denatured alcohol over them, sealed the container, and didn’t open it for a couple of months. The velvet is locked down, and hasn’t shown any sign of damage after hanging in my shop for 10 years. It’s denatured alcohol for me.
    Lance.G and Micah Howards like this.
  5. GP1419

    GP1419 Member

    I took Joey's advice last year and all my velvet bucks turned out great, even one that was not recovered until the next afternoon after being shot the previous morning, had to wear a respirator to get the antlers off it stunk so bad but 1 month in the alcohol and the smell was gone and the velvet turned out great. I go a step further than Joey recommended, I wrap 3 " strips around each tine and main beam then got 10 gallons of de-natured alcohol in a rubber maid tote, it almost completely submerged them but not quite, so 2 times a day I will pour alcohol on the tines sticking up to keep them saturated, I keep a cup in the container so it takes about 1 minute to do this. I filter the alcohol and put it back in a container for the next season when I'm done, whole lot cheaper than freeze drying, well freeze drying is not to bad but overnight shipping in 95 degree weather is a risk and very expensive, thanks Joey for the tip.
    Micah Howards likes this.
  6. I wouldn't do them any other way but DA. I cut the skull plate into in a v shape. and submerge completely. If some is out I rotate ever 12 hours for. several days. never left any longer than two weeks. If they are soft on the tips I push a few holes in them with a cape needle. 0913191534a.jpg
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  7. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    Looks very nice!
  8. Lance.G

    Lance.G Well-Known Member

    Where do y’all buy your DA? Can you buy in larger containers?
  9. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Local hardware store sells it for $13/gallon
    Lance.G likes this.
  10. Dwb5

    Dwb5 Member

    So just wrap the towel around the horns.
  11. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    The few I have done were antlers that were already hardened, but still had velvet - just before they started scraping them off. I used the brush on velvet tan (from Van Dykes I think) and had excellent results. I point out that they were nearly hardened because there was very little blood still circulating. I punctured the tips of the antlers to drain and tried injecting into veins but they wouldn’t drain or accept much fluid via injection. I don’t know how the brush on tan would have worked on an earlier season set of antlers that are less developed.
  12. Brode J.

    Brode J. New Member

    I’ve talked to taxidermists in Alaska that buy it buy the 55gal barrel
  13. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    It's best for taxidermist to buy standard denatured alcohol (ethanol "denatured" with 10% methanol) from hardware or paint stores a couple of gallons at a time. It is highly flammable, and it's best not to have 5 to 55 gallons sitting around your shop. Could be a disaster waiting to happen.
    Lance.G and Jackson1814 like this.
  14. sealow

    sealow Member

    I've been injecting them for a while, but came across this product this season. Maybe someone's already commented in the forums about it. I was very skeptical, bought one bottle to try and it just works. It's spray on and that's it!