Gone Outdoors

How to Boil Deer Skulls

by Larry Anderson

Sometimes hunters shoot a large deer that they want mounted, but they cannot afford the fees associated with taking it to a professional taxidermist. For some hunters, mounting the animal is an extension of the hunt. Hunters who mount their own deer often do a European mount, which includes the bare skull and antlers. An important step to performing that type of mount is boiling the skull.

1. Select a pot that can hold enough water to submerge the deer head. Fill the pot with water, and put it on a burner on the stove as hot as it will go.

2. Pour 2 tablespoons of laundry detergent into the water, and heat it until it is at a rolling boil.

3. Submerge the skull into the boiling water, but take care to keep the antlers out of the water. If the water is boiling so much that it splashes the antlers, turn the heat down.

4. Boil the skull in the water for 15 minutes. Pull the skull from the water and use a knife and pliers to remove as much skin and tissue from the skull as you can. Repeat boiling and cleaning until you can no longer remove anything from the skull with a knife and pliers.

5. Remove any additional flesh or tissue on the skull by running a hard-bristled brush over it.

6. Scrub and clean the skull with cold water once you have removed the skin and tissue.

7. Whiten the skull by mixing 1/2 cup of the strongest hydrogen peroxide you can buy over the counter with 1/2-lb. of magnesium carbonate. Mix the two until they form a paste. Brush the paste over the entire skull. Allow it to dry completely. Using your brushes, brush as much of the dry paste off the skull as possible. Run the skull under water remove the rest of the dry paste. Your skull should then be ready for presentation.

Items you will need
  • Stove
  • Pot
  • Water
  • Detergent
  • Pliers
  • Hard-bristled brush
  • Knife
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Soft-bristled brush

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images