Added new pics-Tutorial how to skull mount a whitetail

cpowel10

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
I've received several PMs asking about DIY skull mounts. There may be a better way, but this is how I do them. I added more pictures in post #15 and #22

Supply list:
SHARP knife and sharpener
Pliers
Flathead screwdriver
Aluminum foil
10 bottles of 3% peroxide (found at any drug store)
Turkey fryer (one you won't use for food)
Shallow metal pot (one you won't use for food)
Patience and time

This is our project deer. My brother in laws first bowkill.


Start by cutting the deer's entire head off behind the ears. You need to completely skin the head. I usually start with the ears because that give you a place to get the knife under the skin. Use the pliers to pull the skin up and cut along the bone, be careful to not cut lines into the skull itself. Leave the nose skin on the deer until you have it completely skinned. That will help protect the brittle bones on the end. It's ok to leave a little bit of hair/skin at the base of the antlers.

Flip the head over and make two long cuts down the inside of the bottom jaw. You should be able to flip the tounge out of the skull. Then cut the little bit of skin holding it in at the front of the jaw. Flip the head back over and carefully remove the skin from the deer's nose.

Get as much meat off as possible. This will save you a lot of time, gas and work later on.

This is what it looks like at this point


Now comes the easy part. Put the head down in the turkey fryer hanging straight down (or close to it). You'll need to rig something up to hold the head. You don't want it resting on the brittle nose. I usually use a pitchfork.


You want the water to be a slow rolling boil. Barely boiling, be careful because a turkey fryer can get 400 degrees if you don't watch it. Walk away, cut the grass, shoot your bow, play with the kids. Don't pull the head out and mess with it. Ocassionally add water as it evaporates I usually add water ever 30 minutes.

Let it boil about 3 hrs. Pull it out and pick as much meat off as possible, it's a strange smell but not to bad. There's a long rubbery piece of cartilage in the nose that's about an inch tall and 4 inches long. If it doesn't pull out easily put him back in the boil for another hour. You should be able to pull the jaw off now. Pull it off and toss it back in the boil so it will be clean too.

He should be getting fairly clean now. Take your screwdriver and stir the brain up through the hole in the back of the skull (gross I know). Insert a water house and rise it out. A lot of brain will pour out of the hole. It will look like cottage cheese. The eyes should come out easily, you may have to cut the back of them. You may need to cut the meat out from behind them below the antlers.

Stick him back in the boil for another 15 minutes or so. Pull him back out and rise off with a water hose. Be careful with the two nose bones, they'll probably fall out. No big deal just sit them to the side since they're clean.

Pick all the meat and fat off the skull that's left. It should almost fall off now. Spray him down with a water hose, again be careful with the nose and sinuses on the side of the skull.

This is what you should have


Sit the pot of head juice to the side. The pot is HOT so be careful. If any teeth are missing then pour it out and find them.

Wrap the bucks bases with aluminum foil as tight ad you can, covering the bottom 3" or so. Sit him in the pot and pour the peroxide until its about halfway up the skull. Boil the peroxide while taking a ladle and pouring the hot peroxide on the top of the skill an between his antlers. Do this for about 45 minutes.

I lay the jaw down in the peroxide so it will be clean as well.

Make sure you have foil between to antlers and pot so you won't burn them.


When he's white enough for you liking pull him out. You may need to touch up the bases if a little peroxide got on them, use a wood stain that matches the color. Glue the nose bones back in if they fell out (they usually do). Wash him off and you're finished!



I typed this on my phone so there's probably a lot of typos. Hopefully this will help you guys out this year. Please add any tips you guys may have, and post pics of any deer you mount!
 
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Milkman

Retired Moderator
#8
ttt
 

Hankus

Senior Member
#9
Prishatecha :cheers:
 
#11
Good post! Just a little something that I do different, I use petroleum jelly on the bases of the antlers when I stick the skull in the peroxide it keeps it from being bleached out by the peroxide that might slip through the foil.
 
#12
Good job putting all that together. That's gotta be tough doing from a phone. Saw Bill Winke do the same for his daughter's youth hunt Midwest success in his online video episode last week & he wired the antlers to the pot handle. Appreciate your good post with photos.:clap:
 

cpowel10

Senior Member
Thread starter #15
Y'all don't forget to post pics of mounts y'all complete! I did another deer this past weekend and took some more pics. The hunter killed him Saturday morning and had him on the wall Sunday afternoon.

Deer



This is the piece of cartilage that should pull straight out of the nose with little effort. Use large pliers so you won't tear through it. Be very careful not to break any bones! If it doesn't pull out easily then it's not ready.



Try to get as much meat off the skull as possible. Especially behind the jaw. It saves a lot of work and time.


Using a ladle to pour hot peroxide on the top of the skull


Less than 24 hrs after he was shot he was on the wall.
 
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73Cj5

Senior Member
#16
Question? The peroxide solution that you put him in after the boil.... is that a peroxide solution (half water/half peroxide) or is it all peroxide. And, is this the same home peroxide that you buy at WalMart to wash out cuts, etc. Thanks for all of the info. I've done these in the past, but I've never done the peroxide to bleach out the scull, I've just done the boiling. Thanks again!
 

cpowel10

Senior Member
Thread starter #17
Question? The peroxide solution that you put him in after the boil.... is that a peroxide solution (half water/half peroxide) or is it all peroxide. And, is this the same home peroxide that you buy at WalMart to wash out cuts, etc. Thanks for all of the info. I've done these in the past, but I've never done the peroxide to bleach out the scull, I've just done the boiling. Thanks again!
It's the regular peroxide you can find at Wal Mart or a drug store (3% I think, brown bottle). I don't dilute it, just pour it in until its almost to the antler bases. The pot I use for peroxide is small so it usually takes 9-11 bottles. I've heard of people using cosmetology peroxide (around 40%) but that seems that it would damage the bone. 3% works fine for me.

I believe peroxide has a higher boiling point than water too. I usually get the peroxide simmering, the longer you leave him in there the whiter he gets.
 

chefrific

Senior Member
#18
Process works GREAT!!!
Did my first bow kill (8 point) and my girlfriends first deer.
Her first deer was just a little 5 point, but hey... it was her first.
Rubber bands on her skull while drying to secure the nose bones.

 

cpowel10

Senior Member
Thread starter #19
Process works GREAT!!!
Did my first bow kill (8 point) and my girlfriends first deer.
Her first deer was just a little 5 point, but hey... it was her first.
Rubber bands on her skull while drying to secure the nose bones.

You did an excellent job on them. Sure beats paying someone $100 doesn't it?
 

73Cj5

Senior Member
#20
It's the regular peroxide you can find at Wal Mart or a drug store (3% I think, brown bottle). I don't dilute it, just pour it in until its almost to the antler bases. The pot I use for peroxide is small so it usually takes 9-11 bottles. I've heard of people using cosmetology peroxide (around 40%) but that seems that it would damage the bone. 3% works fine for me.

I believe peroxide has a higher boiling point than water too. I usually get the peroxide simmering, the longer you leave him in there the whiter he gets.
Thanks! I'll give it a try, I appreciate the help!
 
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