After the hunt and the deer has been quartered and butchered, don't discard the bones. Deer bones, including the antlers, are useful for a variety of purposes. Native Americans used deer antler-bones to make knife handles. Make your own custom deer bone knife handle from your deer, giving you a piece of field gear with a history. Clean the bine properly and prep the bone for the cuts and design of the knife handle.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and place the deer bone into the water. Boil it to sterilize the bone and to remove as much gristle, sinew and meat as possible. Remove the bone with tongs and let it cool and dry. Cut off any remaining sinew and meat.
Place the bone into the bucket with water and one tablespoon of bleach. Let the bone soak for an hour. Remove and rinse.
Place the bone into a bench vise. Cut down the bone to your desired length. Keep the cut longer than the handle end of the knife blade. For example; if the knife blade handle end is 4 inches, make the bone handle length 6 inches.
Turn the bone in the vise so the knife end of the bone faces up, lengthwise. Use a jigsaw to cut the knife blade slit in the bone. Sand and buff the sawed cuts. Push the knife blade down and into the slit. Squirt a generous amount of the liquid super adhesive into both sides of the slit. Wipe away excess glue immediately. Let the knife blade glue dry.
Remove the knife from the vise. Wrap the rawhide straps around the handle for decoration if you wish.
- deer antler image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com