1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Maceration Smell On Deer Antlers

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by jordan.feller, May 19, 2020.

  1. jordan.feller

    jordan.feller Member

    I've got some deer antlers that have a nasty odor on them from the maceration tank. The antlers look flawless, no dark lines or "gunk" left on them but the smell will not go away. I've tried scrubbing with brushes, different scented soaps, spraying with febreeze, soaking in hot water filled soap and laundry scent booster (this was a temporary fix but after a day of airing out the bad smell over takes the good).

    What are you guys' methods for getting the antlers to not smell like a maceration tank? Thanks!
  2. FurFinFeather

    FurFinFeather New Member

    I had that problem too. I spray antlers with crylon clear matte finish. That usually takes care if smell

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Once fully dry, they should be good. If they were antlers that were porous from still being in velvet it will take longer. Have you finished degreasing and whitening? After the degreasing step I don't notice any odor to speak of.
  4. jordan.feller

    jordan.feller Member

    Thanks, I have finished degreasing and whitening. The bone smells fine, the antlers smell awful. The maceration water got pretty rancid and must have soaked in to the antlers. These have been sitting in my 3 season room for 4 months now and no improvement.
  5. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Member

    I had a small whitetail skull that fit all the way inside a 5 gallon bucket and it soaked in the antlers. I ended up spraying with odoban and letting it sit outside in the sun for a week. it finally went away.
    jordan.feller likes this.
  6. blindluck

    blindluck Member

    Once in a while there is still a bad smell after degreasing but usually goes away within a couple months
  7. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    It would be way better to dissipate the odor rather than masking it. I have soaked them in an ammonia solution for a few days and then allow to air dry. About a quart of ACE Hardware Janitorial Ammonia in 3 gallons of water.
    jordan.feller likes this.
  8. jordan.feller

    jordan.feller Member

    Thank you! I'll try that as well!
  9. jordan.feller

    jordan.feller Member

    Trying this as a sealer once I’m done, see if that helps ‘seal’ the smell in... going to use this as a last resort of the above tricks don’t work

  10. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Take your skull/antlers and spray with windex and wipe down then put in a container that has a lid , now take a small bowl of bleach and set it inside container, your not pouring it in your just setting it in for the fumes to take over the smell , put lid on it and give it 2 days . Take out let it air out , works for me .
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  11. drwalleye

    drwalleye Member

    Im in Wisconsin and while degreasing I cover everything up with garbage bags to hold the heat in. my antlers turn green and smell very bad .the green wont wipe off even with steel wool. I actually whiten the antler green area and re stain. anything I can do diff.? going to cost a fortune if I just leave it open. I tried balls and that didn't help much. and ya stinky antlers
  12. jordan.feller

    jordan.feller Member

    I have had good luck with ping pong balls. I used to put blankets over top of the antlers and that was allowing lots of condensation and a little molding, probably adding to the smelly antler problem. I stopped with the blankets and just use ping pong balls.
  13. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It is the humidity and condensation in the air around the antlers that is causing the mold. You need to expose them to air. I wrap the container and use the balls on the top and I can't say there is a jump in heat loss. Your other option would be to use a deeper container and submerge the antlers too but now you are using more materials and heating a larger volume of solution.