How to Do a European Deer Mount at Home

by Jen Weir
European mounts are a unique option to display your horns.

European mounts are a unique option to display your horns.

There are some bucks out there that you'd pay any price to have mounted. There are also bucks like the one you got this year -- nothing to be ashamed of but not quite big enough to shell out the big dollars for timeless preservation. Rather than leaving it out behind the shed with the smaller racks you're not so proud of, mounting it at home is a much more affordable option. European mounts offer a relatively straightforward method for preserving your deer at home.

Removing and Preparing the Head

1. Use a bone saw to cut through the deer's neck at the base of the skull to remove the head.

2. Skin the head using a sharp skinning knife.

3. Remove as much of the soft tissues from the head as possible. This includes the eyes, brain, connective tissue and meat. A combination of knife and pliers can be used for this step.

Cleaning the Skull

1. Wire the skull to an old board.

2. Use a power washer to remove the tissue remaining on the skull. Begin with low pressure and gradually increase as needed so as not to damage the skull.

3. Stop intermittently to use a wire brush to loosen up any stubborn tissue then continue with the power washer until only bone clean remains.

4. Wash the skull with mild dish detergent to remove excess fat and grease from the bone.

Bleaching the Skull

1. Tape off the antlers to protect them from the bleaching agent.

2. Don protective gloves and old clothes.

3. Place the skull on a piece of cardboard then use a brush to liberally paint the hydrogen peroxide creme all over the skull.

4. Wrap the skull in plastic wrap to improve absorption.

5. Let the mount sit 24 to 48 hours then remove the plastic wrap and wash away the peroxide residue.

6. Repeat the bleaching steps as needed until the skull reaches the desired level of whiteness.

Mounting the Skull

1. Drill a hole in the underside of the skull in the solid piece of bone that surrounds the brain cavity.

2. Drill a hole in your mounting plaque in the desired location so that your skull is centered on the plaque.

3. Line the hole in the skull up with the hole in the plaque and drill a screw through the back of the plaque and into the hole in the skull.

Items you will need

  • Bone saw
  • Skinning knife
  • Pliers
  • Board
  • Wire
  • Power washer
  • Wire brush
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Tape
  • 40 volume (12 percent) hydrogen peroxide creme
  • Protective gloves
  • Old clothes
  • Paint brush
  • Plastic wrap
  • Finished wooden plaque
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • One 4-inch grabber screw

Tips

  • Dermestid beetles and boiling are alternative techniques to clean the skull.
  • Forty volume hydrogen peroxide creme can be purchased at a beauty supply store.
  • Buy a bleaching kit from a sporting goods store if you're unable to find peroxide creme.
  • A clear acrylic spray can be used to seal the skull before mounting.

Warning

  • Because of its potency, caution should be taken with the hydrogen peroxide creme.

About the Author

Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.

Photo Credits

  • Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images