How to Remove the Brains From a Deer Head

by Jeremiah Blanchard
Deer hide can be tanned using the animal's brain matter.

Deer hide can be tanned using the animal's brain matter.

Hunters and trappers often tan their own animal hides, or send the animals to a tannery or taxidermist to have the hides tanned. Tanning deer hides was traditionally performed using the animal's own brain. Chemicals in the brain contain the tannins used in brain-tanning. A deer's brain is usually large enough to tan its own hide. In order to brain-tan a hide, you must first remove the brain from the skull.

  1. Remove the deer's head by cutting through the neck bone at the base of the skull. Use a large knife or hacksaw.

  2. Shave or cut away the skin located in the ridge-line between the eyes and toward the back of the antlers; use a sharp knife. Ensure that the skin is scraped free, and that the skull bone is fully exposed.

  3. Cut a V-shaped trench in the skull using a hacksaw. Pry the skull slightly apart. Use the antlers to provide leverage.

  4. Scoop out the deer's brains using a spoon. Place the brains in an airtight container. Preserve the brains with refrigeration.

Items you will need

  • Knife
  • Hacksaw
  • Spoon

Photo Credits

  • NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images