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Thread: velvet removal?

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Default velvet removal?

    I have never stripped a rack before and I'm in the process of stripping the velvet on a recent caribou kill... but I'm having a heck of a time since I let it sit for about a week. It isn't stripping off completely down to the bone and is leaving "skin" on the rack in some places. Any idea how to remove this (or if I have to)? Also, do I have to be concerned with it smelling? What about the blood vessels that penetrate the rack?

    I'm going for a DIY European mount. Any help is appreciated!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you have access to a pressure washer, that's a really effective way to go. Leave it out in the rain to soften it up, then go at it for a while - should come right off. You'll likely want to stain it after it dries for a while.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    There's lots of useful info in the Alaska Trophy Care & Taxidermy forum section. It's best to strip the velvet right away before it sticks on there like that. I would submerge it in water for a few days...or more till it loosens up. Have you done anything to the skull yet? There's always the beetle clean guy, if you don't want to DIY.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Pressure washer is the way to go.
    Rub it with some Borax as well to help dry up any blood afterwards.

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Sounds good... I'll put it out in the rain to rehydrate the tissue areas and wash it off. I knew it was going to be heck to get off but had no choice on putting it off so long. Thanks for the replies.

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iusckeeper View Post
    Sounds good... I'll put it out in the rain to rehydrate the tissue areas and wash it off. I knew it was going to be heck to get off but had no choice on putting it off so long. Thanks for the replies.
    Don't worry you are not the only one that waited too long to start pulling it off. Been soaking one for a few days now and pealing some every night. I need a bigger tub to soak the entire antlers in, that would make life much easier I think.

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    I was thinking... is there any harm in leaving some of the white tissue areas attached? The stuff dries pretty solid and I was planning on coating the rack with KILZ and then staining it anyway. Thoughts?

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iusckeeper View Post
    I was thinking... is there any harm in leaving some of the white tissue areas attached? The stuff dries pretty solid and I was planning on coating the rack with KILZ and then staining it anyway. Thoughts?
    Just peel it as close as you can, if there is still some white membrane left sand the edges of it smooth so it doesn't show through the Kilz.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    It just may affect the color as I've got to assume the stain will soak in differently in the antler compared to any remaining tissue.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    It just may affect the color as I've got to assume the stain will soak in differently in the antler compared to any remaining tissue.
    True, but if the antlers are coated with Kilz, or latex paint, the stain will go on evenly. Been there done that, made those mistakes.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Yes, it's best to seal the antlers with something before staining...antlers that have been stripped of velvet are very porous, and the stain does not apply well in that case. I've wanted to try the natural way of staining, ( but haven't done it yet ) by rubbing the antlers after they are stripped, with shrub branches or a piece of spruce...has anyone tried this method?
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I find that they look better without sealing them first, as the color will vary across the antlers similar to how they have naturally varying colors. If sealed, you'll likely get a uniform shade throughout. That's not anything close to realistic, as real antlers have dark areas, light areas, and everything in between. We did my wife's antlers without sealing first and the color looks pretty dang good in my opinion.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    ... We did my wife's antlers without sealing first and the color looks pretty dang good in my opinion.
    I am a fairly observant fella and have never noticed that your wife had antlers.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    I am a fairly observant fella and have never noticed that your wife had antlers.
    Well, they shed annually, so perhaps it's just always worked out that you've seen her when they're not present. Seriously...you'd think a science teacher would understand that.

  15. #15
    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    I find that they look better without sealing them first, as the color will vary across the antlers similar to how they have naturally varying colors. If sealed, you'll likely get a uniform shade throughout. That's not anything close to realistic, as real antlers have dark areas, light areas, and everything in between. We did my wife's antlers without sealing first and the color looks pretty dang good in my opinion.
    Can we see a pic?

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