Intro: Whitetail Skull Mount
If you are not squeamish, and you should not be if you are a deer hunter, a skull mount is a good way to preserve the trophy you have taken.
A skull mount is easy and does not take much time. It adds to your satisfaction being an activity that extends the experience of the hunt.
WARNING: If you are squeamish, continue at your own risk.
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Step 1: Full Skull?
You can boil the entire skull once the skin has been removed then pick it clean of tissue (inside and out), a tedious process, indeed.
Step 2: Remove the Skin
Remove the head and using a sharp knife (Exacto knife or razor blade) cut the skin away from the skull and as much tissue as you can manage.
Step 3: Mark for the Cut
Mark a line from the pocket in the back of the skull behind the antlers to the nose.
Step 4: Cut the Skull
Here comes the messy part and the part where you are most likely to screw it up. I use a reciprocating saw with a long blade to cut the skull on the line just marked.
Step 5: The Cap
Now the skull cap and antlers are off and you have a messy, slimy saw blade and a cap with half the brains, not to mention you just cut through the eyeballs.
Step 6: Boil and Clean the Skull Cap
Boil the skull in a large pot of water with a few drops of Dawn dish soap. DO IT OUTSIDE. The smell is not too pleasant.
Be sure to check it every so often, if you boil too long the skull can crack, warp or separate.
Let it cool and begin to pick the bits of meat off with a sharp knife, both inside and out. Be sure to peel every piece of tissue and hair from under the antler crowns.
Step 7: Paint the Bone
Once I have all the tissue picked off, I wire brush the skull, and lightly sand it. Don’t do this to the antlers though.
You could bleach the bone by soaking it in peroxide but I found that gloss acrylic paint from the hobby store works better. I first paint the skull with a darker neutral tone like “Natural”, to cover any stains that may bleed through the white paint.
Step 8: Make a Plaque
I made a template out of thin poster board for the plaque by setting the skull on the poster board and tracing free hand around the skull a few inches from the edge.
Apply your favorite stain and varnish.
Step 9: Mount the Skull to the Plaque
Drill holes in bony portions on the bottom side of the skull, being careful not to drill all the way through. Then place nails that were cut long enough to protrude into the holes. Then press the skull onto the plaque to mark the holes for screws that would hold the skull to the template.
Step 10: Hang on the Wall and Admire
Now while the wife is away, find a prominent place in the living room and hang your trophy.
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