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Thread: Caribou and velvet

  1. #1

    Default Caribou and velvet

    Anybody know how much of the velvet is off the caribou these days. Going to Adak in a week or so and hopeing for my first bull!

    Is there anything special I need to do if they are still partially in velvet. Any tips for getting rid of the velvet or is it as simple as peeling it off?

    I noticed one guy mentioned something about the antlers stinking after a while due to blood inside.

    What other special care needs to be done aside from removing the remaining velvet.

  2. #2
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    Full on velvet.
    Bulls wont scrape untill early sept.

    I toss them or give them to some asian friends, who eat them.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Default water

    Seems I heard someone a while back say that after you strip the velvet off, if you can put them in a running stream a lot of the blood will washout overnight.
    Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
    Genesis 9:3

  4. #4

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    Definately easier to strip the velvet within a day of killing the bull. The longer it sets, the harder it is to get off. I've never rinsed them after peeling the velvet and have never had a problem with stink. The only stink issue comes when you leave the velvet off and do not treat the antlers.

  5. #5

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    Jerod, you mean the only issue is when you leave the velvet on?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by WIsam View Post
    Jerod, you mean the only issue is when you leave the velvet on?
    Yes, my goof.

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    They will be in full velvet and I think they are still pretty soft this time of year, at least towards the tips. Saving them will probably not work until later in the year. In a couple weeks, ok. If you are trying to save them, call a taxidermist and talk to them about a preservative. I got some from mine. Then I hung the antelrs upside down, used a needle to put tiny holes in the ends of the points to let any blood out and then used a large bore hypodermic needle to inject the preservative. Work, 4 years later the velvet still looks good.

  8. #8
    Member ArcherBob's Avatar
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    I personnaly leave it on if they are completely covered. I drill a hole up into the antler through the scalp to help with drying. If you can see the vanes you can inject them with a seringe of preservative that I get shipped up, you slitt the tips of the antler and when no more blood comes out and just the preservative your good at that point hang them upside down at camp, I hang them upside down in the garage for a week or two when i get home. If you are wanting to keep the velvet on I can get you the contact info for the stuff I use, works great. When they get dusty i vacuum them and never have any problems. The oldest set I've done this to are four years old and look like a fresh kill. When I do peal them I like to sit them in the creek like was mentioned earlier.
    Bob

    Become one with Nature......... Then Marinade it.

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    Good info Bill S. I guess we were writing at the same time and thinking alike!
    Bob

    Become one with Nature......... Then Marinade it.

  10. #10

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    From what I hear, keeping the velvet on is a bit of a hassle, so I'd probably peel it off.

    Anybody know if they have any preservative at sportsman's warehouse? Got to make a run there anyways.

    Could I get away with just peeling the velvet off, leaving the antlers in a stream and having a taxidermist inject them when I get back to anchorage?

    Of course I always like doing stuff myself so if the stuff is cheap and easy to come by I could just do that.

  11. #11
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    If you peel off the velvet now, some of the antler will probably come with it, not all of it will have hardened yet. If it is hard, then the antlers will be red from the blood that's still there, that is why people say put them in a stream, to leech the blood off. If you peel the velvet off, then there is no reason to inject them.

  12. #12

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    Please excuse my ignorance, I've only shot a cow caribou and aside from that, most of my hunting has been deer in November so I've really never dealt with eary season antlers.

    So it sounds like it would be better to leave the velvet on then and inject them? Only the tips would be soft right?

    Probably sounds like a silly question, but if the antlers are still relatively soft, would they be more delicate to ship?

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    I avoid hunting when the antlers are soft if I have any thought of keeping them. If they are hard to the touch, then treat as willphish4food described. My taxidermist is the one that gave me the preservative. I injected it and brushed it on the outside. If the antlers are soft, I would think, but do not know for sure, they they would rot and stink. However injecting enough preservative might work. I will be honest and tell you I have never tried to preserve antlers that were still soft. Maybe stranger, who has taken early caribou might know more.

  14. #14

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    Bringing home some good meat is my main priority which is why I wanted to go in August and not late September or October.

    I'm not out for a huge trophy, but if I shoot something semi decent I would love to bring it home if it's at all practical. Anybody brought antlers back from a Mid to late August hunt?

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    Late august I have and they are usually safe. Just check to see if they are still soft at the tips and you'll be ok. The bigger bulls should be hard under the velvet in late August, I've taken them in the first week in Sept and the velvet was rubbed off.

  16. #16

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    Out of curiosity would a smaller bull's antlers harden sooner or later in the season?

  17. #17
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    I took one four years ago in early Aug and the tips were very soft. I used plenty of preservative and they do not rot or stink, they actually harden up when they dry.

    In my experience i would say the smaller ones harden a little later, I say this because when the big boys are rubbing the smaller guys are generally not for another week or two.
    Bob

    Become one with Nature......... Then Marinade it.

  18. #18

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    If you inject the preservative, does it preserve the velvet indefinately, or is it just a tempory fix untill you can get them treated by a taxidermist?

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    I don't think my taxidermist had to do anything else besides mounting it on a panel. Of course I pumped so much preservative into them that is was running out the tips.

  20. #20

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    Thanks. Let me just summarize everything to make sure I understand.

    • If the tips are soft, they will harden eventually.
    • If I leave the velvet on, pump it with preservative till it runs out the other side (I did find a source for preservative by the way)
    • If I decide to take the velvet off, all I have to do is let the antlers sit in a fast running stream for a few days to get rid of the blood and use some preservative if they are soft. If they are soft, they will harden eventually???
    Is do I have all this correct?

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