How to European Mount Your Own Deer Head

by Robert Preston
A European mount shows off the skull and horns of the deer.

A European mount shows off the skull and horns of the deer.

After a successful hunt in which a buck is scored, many hunters like to keep a portion of the deer for mounting as a trophy. A European mount is a popular style of deer mount in which, rather than simply removing and mounting the antlers, the skull of the deer is stripped of all flesh and tissue, so that only the skull and antlers remain, and the skull itself is mounted on the plaque.

Skin the deer skull and remove as much meat and tissue as you can by hand, using the knife to remove the skin and help pry off the meat.

Prepare a pot of soapy water that is just full enough to submerge the skull up to its antlers. Place the skull in the pot and heat the water to a boil. Allow the skull to sit in the boiling water for 15 minutes.

Remove the skull and remove as much meat as you can--the boiling will help loosen the meat. Be careful to avoid burning yourself with water trapped in the skull.

Pour Borax powder into any hard-to-reach cavities and then empty out the Borax using a screwdriver to scrape it out. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 until the skull is fully cleaned.

Mix the magnesium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide and apply the mixture to the skull with a paintbrush. Repeat two to three times, if needed, to make the skull bright and attractive, rinsing after each application.

Spray the skull with a clear protective finish to help prevent discoloration after years on display.

Mount the skull to the plaque by screwing through the back of the plaque and into the underside of the skull.

Items you will need

  • Skull
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Borax
  • Screwdriver
  • 4 ounces magnesium carbonate
  • 2 ounces 40-percent hydrogen peroxide
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear finish
  • Plaque
  • Screws
  • Power screwdriver

Photo Credits

  • whitetail buck image by Bruce MacQueen from Fotolia.com