How to Cut Deer Antlers Off the Head

by Zach Lazzari
Separate the antlers to create natural rattles.

Separate the antlers to create natural rattles.

Removing deer antlers from the skull is done for taxidermy, furniture, decorative and hunting uses. Deer antlers are used for drawer handles, table bases, lamp bases and light fixtures. Antlers are also use by hunters for rattling during the rut. Clashing the antlers together imitates the sound of sparring bucks and attracts other doe-seeking bucks.

1. Set the base of the skull on a level surface. Have a partner hold the antler tips while applying downward pressure.

2. Start the saw and make a horizontal cut, starting 5-inches below the antlers on the back of the skull. Stop the cut when you reach the eye sockets.

3. Make a second vertical cut starting behind the eye sockets and ending when you reach the first cut. The antlers are now free from the majority of the skull. Stop at this point if you want a European antler mount.

4. Remove the scrap skull from the table and place the base of the antlers and skull cap flush with the table. Have your partner place downward pressure on the antlers.

5. Make a vertical cut between the antlers to separate. The antlers are now free for any hunting or decorative use.

6. The remainder of the attached skull is fragile. Hit the base of the antlers against a hard surface to remove the remaining skull pieces.

Items you will need

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Hammer
  • Chisel

Tip

  • Use a hammer and chisel to remove any stubborn skull pieces that remain.

Warning

  • Use extreme caution while handling the saw. Always cut away from your body to prevent contact with the blade.

About the Author

Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can view his work at zachlazzari.com

Photo Credits

  • Evgeniy1/iStock/Getty Images