How to Preserve Deer Antlers & Skull Caps

by Jay Angel

deer antler image by CraterValley Photo from

A deer skull cap and antler mount is commonly known as a European mount. These are becoming increasingly popular among sportsmen simply because they are less expensive and take up less room in the house than the traditional shoulder mount. With a little effort, you can make a European mount to display your trophy buck.

Step 1

Prepare the skull by scraping out as much flesh as you can with a spoon and utility knife. Scrape the marrow out of the antlers.

Step 2

Fill a large boiling pot with two gallons of water. Add 2 tbsp. of bleach to the water, and bring to boil. The bleach is used to assist in sterilizing the skull.

Step 3

Hold the skull by the antlers, and immerse in the boiling water. Allow the skull to soak for 15 minutes without immersing the antlers in the water.

Step 4

Pour a 40 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide into a pot. Allow the skull to soak in this solution for at least 12 hours. Make sure none of the solution gets splashed on the antlers. Rinse the skull when complete.

Step 5

Inspect the bottom of the pot for loose teeth and bone fragments. Determine a loose tooth's origin, and glue it back into place with the super glue.

Step 6

Allow the skull to dry, and then spray the entire skull and antlers with clear acrylic to seal.

Items you will need

  • Utility knife
  • Spoon
  • Boiling pot
  • Bleach
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Super glue
  • Clear acrylic


  • Allowing the antlers to soak in the boiling bleach or the hydrogen peroxide solution will lighten the antlers' color.

Photo Credits

  • deer antler image by CraterValley Photo from

About the Author

Jay Angel has been a writer since 1998, specializing in scientific writing, as well as articles about fishing and hunting. He worked as a columnist for the Illinois newspapers, "Daily Chronicle" and "News Tribune." Angel has a Master of Science in fluvial geomorphology from Northern Illinois University.