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Thread: My first moose, antler mount

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    Default My first moose, antler mount

    Hi guys,

    I shot my first moose, on Monday. Very exiting stuff. After removing all the meat, (it's a lot of work), I removed the head from the field, because I want to do a nice antler mount. We are currently working on getting the meat all ready for the freezer, I am thinking on how should I go about making the antler mount. Should I scrape the velvet off the antler, or wait until it falls off? How do I preserve the antler? what product do I need to apply? and where should I make the cut on the skull for just antler mount?

    thanks a lot

    Jack

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackxx View Post
    Hi guys,

    I shot my first moose, on Monday. Very exiting stuff. After removing all the meat, (it's a lot of work), I removed the head from the field, because I want to do a nice antler mount. We are currently working on getting the meat all ready for the freezer, I am thinking on how should I go about making the antler mount. Should I scrape the velvet off the antler, or wait until it falls off? How do I preserve the antler? what product do I need to apply? and where should I make the cut on the skull for just antler mount?

    thanks a lot

    Jack
    Best bet is to ask a local taxidermist. The rest if us may give you our opinions, but a taxidermist will give you the facts. And congratulations on your first moose !!!

  3. #3

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    Sawing through a moose skull is hard work no matter where you do it. If you have the whole head, you might want to look into European mounts.
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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    The longer the velvet stays on the horn, the tougher it is to remove.
    To remove it, peel it by hand, be gentle around the tips as you peel so you don't pop the tip off. Then power wash to remove the white membrane and some of the blood from the rack. Lastly, rub borax on them a couple times to soak up the blood that will continue to weep as it helps to preserve them.
    BK

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    thanks Grizzly for the info. Though I want to save some money and try to do it myself.
    Troy I was thinking about an european mount, but I just dont know how to go about it.
    Thanks bkmail, after the borax part, do i need to put anything else?

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    Europeans will again get you lots of opinions, here's mine.

    It's easy to do, mix up Dawn soap and borax in something big enough dunk the head in while over a propane turkey fryer/crab boiler element. (this will be the biggest challenge....that and putting together enough time)

    Take off all the skin and meat you can from skull, careful not to put too many gouges in the bone with the knife.

    Get the water/soap up to a simmer or low boil (hard boil is hard on the bones. Place the head in there, open a beer, and get your tools together. They include a knife, a forceps or pliers, a dull knife for scraping, and a wire coat hanger to poke into the little holes, take one section of the hanger and bend it in a sharp u. This will be used for pulling out brains and grabbing other membranes that are in dark places.

    After about 45 minutes of good simmer, remove the head and start taking materials off, take what you can, then replace it in the water. Do this repeatedly until it's as clean as you wish it to be. The brains will need to be swished around and broken apart and should come out the hole where the first vertebrae had attached.

    I haven't treated the bones on the deer I've done (but most do), and also haven't done a moose so I see extra challenges in the tub needed to get the head submerbed to the base of the antlers, and also the extra time with the larger amount of tissue to be removed.

    Other than that it is just a long process, at least 5 hours start to finish, but there's lots of downtime inbetween while things cook. Looking forward to doing this with my next moose for sure.

    I will leave it to the pros as to what to do with the velvet, haven't messed with it myself. Some folks get real anal about water toucing the bases of the antlers, but from what I've seen discoloration is minimal with just soap and borax and the forehead and back of the head is tough to do if not submerged.

    Lookin forward to seein it.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    P1020461.jpgP1020470.jpg

    I don't do anything more. The borax is a preservative and will help stop the blood from weeping out.

    A euro mount is easy, just takes time to clean the skull. Find a comfy spot in the shop and start cutting away flesh, eyeballs, and so on till it's fairly free of all loose material. Then simmer it (with some dish soap) in a large pot trying to keep the horns out. Use a towel/rag to cover the portion of the skull that is exposed to the air. This will transfer the hot water to the exposed part without submerging the horns. Keep an eye on the water level as it will obviously boil away during this process.
    Again, use a power washer to clean the skull and repeat till it is clean.
    To whiten the horns, use these two products mixed together to make a paste and apply it all over the skull.
    Wrap the skull with saran wrap, (do not get anything on the horns), and heat the head to activate the whitening product. This takes about 30 mins. Unwrap the skull and wash off with water.
    Once the skull is dry, mix 50/50 water and elmers glue and paint on the skull. This seals it. Others use a spray on krylon clear coat or Kills white paint. The final is a matter of preference according to how glossy or white you want it.

    Good luck and post some pics when through.

    Also do a search in the taxidermy section to find other peoples methods....
    BK

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    bkmail obviously has an excellent recipe for a Euro mount. His results show he knows what he's doing. I have found you can subsititute Simple Green for the dish soap, but dish soap is likely less expensive given the volume of Simple Green/water necessary to do a moose skull. The point of the Simple Green or dish soap is to keep the fat from staining the bone. Either way, be prepared to skim the fatty froth that will float on the water surface as you heat the skull. Also, a large metal spoon makes a great flesh scraper.

    If you want to keep the velvet on the antlers you have two options: 1) take it to Knight's Taxidermy and pay them ~$200 to treat the antlers. To do this, they must cut the antlers off the skull, so a Euro mount is not an option, or 2) get a blue kiddie pool and 5-gal (or more) of gasoline, place the moose rack in the pool, and pour the gasoline over the rack until the liquid coming off the rack becomes the color of gasoline. Alot of blood will be removed with the gasoline so the liquid running off the rack will initially appear black. Once the liquid coming off the rack is the color of gasoline, you're done. Place the skull in a location that will allow it to dry for several months, such as a little-used garden shed. Once the smell of gasoline is gone, mount the velvet-covered rack and enjoy.

    Good luck with your project.

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    If you add Ammonia to the water while boiling it eats the flesh off very well. Maybe 20%. I've done it to all of mine and I learned it when I worked at a game and fish dept in the lower 48 from their forensic scientist guy.

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    One word: Beetles

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    Quote Originally Posted by 257wby View Post
    One word: Beetles
    I was thinking the same thing, but the op did say he wanted to save money and do it himself.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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