Gone Outdoors

Preserving Deer Antlers

by Tara Dooley

Older Antlers

Preserving antlers can be easy or difficult depending on the season. For the most part, antlers are not easily damaged. If the deer still has velvet on the antlers, it can be more of a challenge. For antlers without velvet, they just need to be washed off. The antlers should be hard and are fine as they are. If the object is to turn them white, leaving the antlers outside for a time will turn their color. If a more natural color is wanted, an oak stain can be wiped on.

Hardening through Boiling

If the antlers still have velvet, one way to preserve them is to strip the velvet off. They will be softer than those already without velvet, and stripping the velvet off will leave a more porous antler to be preserved. One option is to harden them by boiling them in water. This will also shrink the pores to a certain extent and make them less noticeable. This step, however, can cause the antler to stain with blood because of the blood vessels still operating in the antler. To remove the stains, the antlers would then have to be soaked in a combination of bleach and water.

Soaking

Another method of preserving the antlers is to strip the velvet off and soak them in water to keep the blood from staining. This way the antlers will appear porous but will be clean and without blood stains. They can then be left as is, stained with a light wood stain, or sealed to keep dirt out of the pores.

About the Author

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.