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Antelope Horns In Freezer

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Slate Run, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Slate Run

    Slate Run Member

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    Customer brought in an antelope for a shoulder mount that has been in the freezer for about a yr. My concern is how hard are the sheaths going to be to remove from the cores? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. PensivePronghorn

    PensivePronghorn Member

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    Just boil the snot out of them. Water, and nothing else. I am currently working on some ancient (maybe a couple years old) sheaths still attached the cores, and so far we are on day three of total boiling time with minimal movement. I'm just gonna let them boil with close observation until I can bust apart that tough adhesive tissue. Let it go too long, however, may soften the sheaths to where they may fall apart, so just be patient. Good luck!
     

  3. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    Let soak in water for a few days before boiling. Long boils will destroy them if you don't watch them.
     
    rogerswildlife likes this.
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I would soak them in water for a day or two then put in a plastic bag in a really warm room and rot them off.
     
  5. Slate Run

    Slate Run Member

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    Have heard that over boiling could ruin the sheaths that's why I'm a little hesitant about doing so. Will soak them in water a few days before boiling. hopefully that will help some
     
    NMJagdHunter likes this.
  6. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Don't boil them, they are hair. Steam them if you have to. They may be a tad harder to remove after a year in the freezer but I prefer to rot them off in a garbage bag with a cup of water. Too much water here will also make them very soft.
    The method I use that I learned here, is to drill a small hole on back of horn to not only allow me to replace the sheath where it belongs but also to allow some moisture in. I them take a flexible blade fillet knife and cut up around the base as far around as I can. Then into a black garbage bag, add a cup of water and then place in the sun or in front of a heat source. After a couple days check em and maybe get the knife up in there some more, and then pull and twist at the same time. Keep checking them and trying sooner or later they will slide off, with little or no damage. I then either freeze the cores after I scrub em up inside and out, or I scrub em pack em with borax and let them hang downward to dry. When it is time to attach them soak the bases in warm water ti they become pliable enough to slide back on the cores so your holes align. Use whatever adhesive you are comfortable with here and glue em back on. For my alignment hole I use a small finish nail a tad bigger than the hole I drilled and tap it in an leave it. The hair around the base hides it.
     
  7. jimss

    jimss Active Member

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    There's a pretty good chance that you can get them off without boiling them. As mentioned several times above....soak them in water for a day or 2 and then put them in a couple tight garbage bags to let the horns rot off the bone. I usually wrap duct tape around the bases so that I don't have to put the horns inside the bags. I would keep them in a warm area while rotting or it will be super slow to rot. Be prepared for the stench!
     
  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    When I said soak, I meant the skull plate and bases in water then bag them.

    There is no reason for them to be any different than fresh ones unless they are freezer burnt.
     
  9. Slate Run

    Slate Run Member

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    Once rotted off what do you use to get rid of the smell in the cores?
     
  10. jimss

    jimss Active Member

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    I often boil and/or let the skull sit in dawn plus borax. I also use either high concentrate hydrogen perioxide paste or liquid on the skull.