How to Clean White Tail Deer Antlers

by James Rada, Jr.
Deer antlers should be cleaned properly before displaying.

Deer antlers should be cleaned properly before displaying.

Hunters who take that trophy buck they've been after often want to show off the antlers. That means cleaning the antlers so that they will be preserved in good condition and look great when displayed on a wall. Make sure that the antlers harden and that any blood within the antlers is removed to avoid it staining the antlers. Cleaning also removes dirt and parasites from the antlers.

Strip any velvet from the antlers using a razor knife. If some small bits remain, they should come off when the antlers are boiled.

Fill a pot that is large enough to hold the antlers with water and liquid soap. Place the antlers in the pot so they are submerged. Allow the antlers to soak for a day. The soap will clean the pores in the antlers.

Bring the water to a boil for at least five minutes and no more than half an hour. This hardens the antlers and shrinks the size of the pores.

Remove the antlers with tongs. Dry them off and remove any remaining velvet. Sand the antlers to smooth them. Stain the antlers if desired or allow them to fade naturally. Polish them with linseed oil if desired.

Items you will need

  • Water
  • Large pot
  • Bleach
  • Liquid soap
  • Razor knife

Tip

  • To remove any stains on the antlers, add bleach to the water while the antlers are soaking.

About the Author

James Rada, Jr. was a newspaper reporter for eight years and earned 23 awards from the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association, Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists, Maryland State Teachers’ Association and CNHI. He also worked for 12 years as a marketing communications writer, earning a Print Copywriter of the Year Award from the Utah Ad Federation. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

Photo Credits

  • whitetail deer buck image by Bruce MacQueen from Fotolia.com