Most gals don’t go out hunting and bag, tag, field dress, process and prepare their deer. But I do. I grew up hunting. When I was too small to carry a gun, I just trudged along with my parents, looking through the wrong end of the binoculars at my little sister and giggling. All the while learning to hunt. When I was 12, I bagged my first buck. My dad helped me mount the antlers. I have since done a couple of horn mounts. That leads me to today’s post. I recently watched a “Design Rambling” on Miss Mustard Seed’s blog (which I ardently follow). Marian and her assistant Kriste were talking about the recent trend of deer heads/antlers/animal heads and whether the fad should stay or go in their opinion. Their conclusion at the end was that real ones and classy ones should stay. (Miss Mustard Seed has a rustic-looking cow head above her stove, after all…)
My deer from this year, although not huge, was mountable. Definitely not the trophy buck that my mom got, but nonetheless, one that I’m not ashamed to hang up in my house. After the antlers and skull were removed from the rest of the animal, I started by boiling the skull to get off all the hair, etc. I chose to do this outside on my BBQ burner so as to not stink up the house. It took a good day and a half of boiling. (Actually you don’t want the water to be fully boiling, but almost.) For the last few hours, I added some Dawn dish soap to help de-grease. (I don’t have any pictures of this process.) I put a 2×4 across the pot to hold the antlers up out of the water since it will stain the antlers. Just the skull should be submerged. I added about half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide to a bowl-full of water to whiten and brighten. (The experts suggest using a 40% peroxide solution.) Here’s what they looked like after all that process- by far the most gross, stinky, and time-consuming. 😉 Next, I wrapped the skull in jute cord, making sure to cover all the white that I had just whitened and brightened. 🙂 (So I guess really the whitening and brightening would be more for a European-style mount with the skull showing… oh well.) 😉 In my garage I have a stash of barn wood… you never know when it could come in handy! This last summer I drove down the road to the neighbor’s and stuffed my poor car full. (I say poor car because I have a nice car. But she has hauled everything from straw to goats to dogs to baby trees to barn wood… She’s a good car!) The wood is gorgeous wood from an old barn that was being torn down. I cut a piece in half and mounted my antlers on it with two long screws, one through the existing hole near the bottom of the skull and another through a pilot hole I drilled through the top. Lastly, I nailed a picture mounting thingy on the back. (One of these.) And, voila! The finished mount hanging in my entryway.