Antlers are enjoying a hipster-fueled resurgence as semi-ironic pieces of wall art, cropping up as decoration in bars where the bearded class can quaff PBR while blasting virtual deer in Buck Hunter.
I reject that thesis. Step out of the virtual and enter the world of the real, where men hunt, animals bleed, and one death gives rise to another's life. Antlers are beautiful and venison is tasty; here is a way to update the old-school velvet-and-walnut, smoky cigar-lounge look of your typical mount. Dropping the antlers onto a simple, graphic skull shape elevates them to an appropriate level of badassery, creating a new human-animal hybrid that defies the cliches. Use them for decoration or to hang your favorite camo baseball cap.
I got these antlers out of my parent's garage, where they had been sitting for years. The provenance is unknown; if not in the practice of shooting one's own buck, antlers can be found in attics, garages, basements, and thrift stores everywhere.
You will need these materials:
Antlers (deer, moose, pronghorn antelope, etc.)
3/4" x 18" x 24" piece of plywood
1 can white spray paint
1 can gray/black spray paint
1 can gloss spray lacquer
2 2" black drywall screws
2 2-1/2"-3" galvanized deck screws
2 steel drywall anchors
4 #10 washers
80-100 grit sandpaper
You will need these tools:
Bandsaw (optional but helpful)
Step 1: Antlerin'
Scrape away any scraps of hair on the frontspiece of the antlers with the blade of an x-acto and some sandpaper. Drill two mounting holes, about 1/4" in diameter; put them on a diagonal from one another to prevent splitting.
Wash thoroughly with dish soap, hot water, and a mildly abrasive sponge. Make sure to get at all the grit and dirt in the crevices and cracks.
Paint with two coats of high-gloss white paint, again making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices. Once dry, hit with a coat of high-gloss clear lacquer to add depth, shine, and protection.