How to Clean Deer Skulls

by Larry Anderson
Hunters can clean deer skulls at home.

Hunters can clean deer skulls at home.

Many hunters hunt and shoot deer simply because they enjoy the sport and enjoy having venison in the freezer. But some of them – especially those who shoot a big deer – want to preserve their trophy. One option is to take it to a taxidermist. Those hunters who do not want to shoulder that expense can clean the skull at home and display it.

1. Remove as much fur and skin as possible from the skull using a knife and pliers. Also, remove the eyes, tongue and brain. A spoon may be helpful in removing the eyes and brain.

2. Fill a large pot with water. The pot must be big enough to hold the entire skull. Turn a burner on the stove to high and place the pot of water on it.

3. Mix 2 tbsp. of laundry detergent into the water. Wait for the water to boil.

4. Place the skull in the boiling water. If there are antlers on the skull, take care to avoid getting them wet.

5. Boil the skull for 15 minutes. Pull it out. Remove as much skin from the skull as you can with a knife and pliers. Repeat the boiling and removal process until you cannot remove any more tissue from the skull.

6. Drop the skull in the water and pull it right back out. Run a hard-bristled brush over it to remove any tissue that remains.

7. Place the skull under running, cold water.

8. Form a paste made of 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 pound of magnesium carbonate.

9. Brush the mixture over the skull and wait for it to dry.

10. Run hard- and soft-bristled brushes over the skull to remove as much of the mixture as possible. Run cold water over the skull to remove any paste that remains.

Items you will need

  • Stove-top burner
  • Pot
  • Water
  • Laundry detergent
  • Pliers
  • Hard-bristle brush
  • Knife
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Spoon

About the Author

Larry Anderson has been a freelance writer since 2000. He has covered a wide variety of topics, from golf and baseball to hunting and fishing. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, including "Fargo Forum" newspaper. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in print journalism from Concordia College.

Photo Credits

  • NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images