FPS combines my passion for hunting and wildlife conservation with the overall need for self sufficiency.
Step 1: The 2012 bow season was a success, this buck followed a doe into one of our food plots.
Step 2: This antler mount is easy to do with minimal tools.
Using a handsaw, split the skull across the bridge of the nose between the eye sockets, continuing back and exiting behind the ears. This will give plenty of bone to work with once the final shaping is done.
Clean off the skull cap and remove as much hide as possible. The cleaner the skull cap, the easier it will be to boil the skull down.
Step 3: Working over the burner of an outdoor grill, place the skull cap into a pot of hot water.
Allow the pot of water to simmer on a low boil as the hide and membrane loosens from the bone.
For reference, this skull mount simmered for 5 hours on a low boil before everything was ready to be scraped away.
BTW, if you're wanting your wife to divorce you just boil the antlers on the kitchen stove!!
Step 4: A deeper pot may be needed depending on the size of the rack.
Step 5: Using a screwdriver and pliers scrape away the remaining material.
Step 6: Be sure to get all of the hide off. The stubborn areas may need to be boiled a little longer.
Step 7: Mark a straight line across the skull just over the eye sockets.
Step 8: On the backside of the skull, mark a 45 degree angle towards the skull base.
Step 9: Using a hacksaw, square up the skull for mounting.
Step 10: Once the skull is cut, square up any remaining irregularities with a belt sander.
Step 11: These antlers will be mounted on a piece of 1 x 4 cedar. Cedar looks good whether stained or left natural.
Step 12: Cut the cedar back plate 12 inches long and the shelf at 6 inches in length.
Once the two pieces are cut to length miter the corners to give a more finished appearance.
Step 13: The two pieces of cedar are cut and mocked up to show the fit.
Step 14: Mark and drill pilot holes into the backplate and attach the shelf.
Step 15: One more final mock up before sanding and finishing.
Step 16: Using a belt sander break all the edges on the wood. Rounding the edges gives the wood a natural and worn appearance.
Step 17: Screws will be used to attach the cedar shelf to the thickest portion of the skull cap directly below the antlers.
Step 18: Draw an outline of the skull cap onto the shelf, this outline will help determine the pilot hole position.
Step 19: Carefully drill the pilot holes making sure they are straight.
Step 20: Depending on the mounting screws used, the mounting holes may need to be countersunk.
Step 21: Stain and finish.
Step 22: Using the pilot holes as guides, drill into the skull. These pilot holes will make it much easier for the screws to penetrate the bone.
Step 23: Apply a small amount of adhesive to the skull base as a preventative measure. Once the adhesive cures the mount will be rock solid.
Step 24: This is a great winter time project, I hope you've enjoyed it. Please share, thanks.
Step 25: We have several cedar mounts available if you need one.