How to Preserve Shed Antlers

by Tiffany Bennett

Any wildlife enthusiast can tell you that finding a pair of shed antlers in good condition is a true prize. However, without special care, natural tissue breakdown and gnawing from rodents will cause the antlers to deteriorate. Fortunately, there are a few methods you can use to keep your shed antlers looking as nice as possible.

1. Clean the antlers. While you are still outside, use a cloth to gently clean the dirt and debris off the antlers. Only remove what will readily come off, as scrubbing may cause damage to the antlers.

2. Bring the antlers inside. Storing your antlers in a climate controlled location, such as inside your house, is the best way to prevent them from deteriorating. Keeping antlers indoors will protect them from cold weather, changes in humidity and destruction from rodents.

3. Cover the antlers with a protective coating. Although keeping the antlers inside is the most effective way to protect them, it may help to spray or soak the antlers in something that will preserve them. For example, you can coat them in two layers of paste floor wax and then buff them until they shine. Although the buffing may take some time, it will keep the antlers looking beautiful.

4. Soak the antlers in a solution of one part linseed oil and one part turpentine to help preserve them. You can also spray antlers with furniture polish, but this will have to be done on a regular basis.

Items you will need

  • Paste floor wax (optional)
  • Linseed oil
  • Turpentine
  • Furniture polish (optional)

Tip

  • This is a great activity to do with the kids! Once you’ve had some practice preserving the antlers, you can use them to make a variety of items, including lamp stands, table centerpieces, knife handles and walking sticks.

About the Author

Tiffany Bennett is a recent graduate from Toccoa Falls College. While earning her degree in counseling and psychology, she discovered that she enjoys various forms of writing. She is currently living in Athens, Ga., and looking forward to beginning a graduate degree program in international affairs at the University of Georgia.

Photo Credits

  • DC Productions/Digital Vision/Getty Images