After scoring a trophy buck, many hunters like to mount a portion of the deer. With a European mount, flesh is removed from the head to leave only the skull and antlers. Additionally, the skull's bone is bleached to a very bright white. Preparing a skull for a European mount takes several hours of work and can produce some unpleasant smells, making it a job best suited for outside the home.
Clean the skull, removing as much flesh as possible. Use a utility knife to remove the skin and muscle, and pliers and a screwdriver to remove any matter from difficult to reach crevices.
Prepare a pot of boiling water with the water level lower than the height of the skull. It is important the antlers remain above water when placed in the pot.
Add the bleach to the water as it heats.
Ladle water over the top of the skull, which sits out of the water, every few minutes. Make certain the antlers remain dry.
Remove the skull from the water after an hour.
Clean the skull again after boiling has loosened more flesh from the skull.
Fill a second pot with hydrogen peroxide equal to the amount of water in the boiling pot. Place the skull in the pot and let it soak about an hour. Ladle the hydrogen peroxide over the skull during this time. Do not allow the liquid to touch the antlers.
Remove the skull and clean it using the same tools as in Step 1.
Repeat the process using boiling hydrogen peroxide until the skull is fully bleached and cleaned.
- Be careful in handling the skull immediately after boiling because hot water or hydrogen peroxide trapped in crevices can run out and burn you.
- whitetail buck image by Bruce MacQueen from Fotolia.com