Friday I bagged a real nice caribou. Looks like about 320 B&C or so, I am no expert but it is nice enough that I want to save it. I have only saved 3-4 out of the dozen or so bulls that I have shot over the years and I have never taken a bull in velvet.
My question is how do I do a crown mount with the velvet? It is sliding off and I don’t think it will stay. If I peal it can I dry and stain it so it will look nice and brown and how?
Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
Always my answer - that's why they are professionals.
A taxidermist can either stain your rack after it has been peeled or put an artificial velvet on it. I personally have no experience with artificial velvet. Look at what the taxidermist has as an example of what he/she can do.
I think my taxidermist (not in Alaska) is very reasonable in price.
I have done three racks in velvet by freeze drying them. First thing I did was drain all the blood out of them. I then tossed them whole into the Alaska Airlines freezer (connections are great) until winter time, then I took them out and let them sit outside all winter. So far I'm three for three.
I took a pretty cool non-typical, drop-tine caribou several years ago that I wanted to do a euro mount in velvet. I freeze dried the velvet, then wrapped it up real well and boiled the skull. I didn't want to cook the velvet, so I didn't boil long enough to get everything out. I've had the skull/antlers in a shed (dang near forgot about it) for a few years now. I eventually want to finish that one up and make a mount out of it. The bugs wouldn't work for this as they said the bugs would find a way to get to and eat the velvet.
Walt, got pics you can share to get our blood pumping?
As far as the antlers, to save the velvet, I inject my antlers with a product called preservz-it and let the blood drain out...I always keep the stuff on hand and they come out perfect. If the velvet is already peeling, it's most likely too late to save anything. You can take the velvet off, clean the antlers up and then stain them with a very light stain (like Natural tone) as if you were staining a piece of wood...with a rag...wiping it on and off. If done right, they come out "exactly" like the real color....you would "never" know they were stained. Good luck.
freeze dry here too.
I've done the same. I put the antlers in the freezer until it gets -20 and then take out and let drain. Take outside for a few days, bring in and let drain. After that, when it hits -40 to -70 here, doesn't take long to freezer dry it. They are beautiful in the velvet! Now I just have to get 2 August capes to get them mounted!