Whitetail European Mount

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NWmissouriman
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Whitetail European Mount

Post by NWmissouriman » 02 Sep 2013, 08:01

Hey guys. I just finished my first European mount on a whitetail. It's not too hard to do and is fairly cheap if you have a few household items. I've learned a LOT in the process and have definitely found out some things that you do not want to do. If anyone is interested in how I did it, just let me know and I'll gladly give you the details. Let me know what you think!

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huddleston101
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Re: Whitetail European Mount

Post by huddleston101 » 02 Sep 2013, 11:05

:thumb: looks really good, did you use dermestid beetles? I have been thanking about trying the beetles. :ponder:
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

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NWmissouriman
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Re: Whitetail European Mount

Post by NWmissouriman » 02 Sep 2013, 13:47

Thank you! It could look a little better, but for attempt one I will take it. No sir I did not use the beetles. I've heard they work really well, however, I do not think they are necessary. I was able to get mine extremely clean with what I would consider little effort.
You gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?

huddleston101
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Re: Whitetail European Mount

Post by huddleston101 » 03 Sep 2013, 07:18

how did you get the skull so clean, did you boil it? if I am lucky enough this deer season I might get a chance to give my hand a try at the European mount, I have wanted to try this style for a while now. any advise would be a big help, thanks. :D
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

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NWmissouriman
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Re: Whitetail European Mount

Post by NWmissouriman » 03 Sep 2013, 08:44

Man I would be more than happy to tell you how I did it. I'll try to keep it short and precise.

Background - Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of shooting this buck, but actually found this buck dead in the pasture, the product of CWD. This is important, because when I found it, it had probably been there for a couple of months, so the hide seemed as if it were glued on, and the pieces of the skull that were visible were badly grease stained.

Here's what I did following the head removal:

1. Soaked the skull in water combined with Dawn dish soap (degreaser) for five days, changing the water once daily. After five days I began to remove the hide, which surprisingly was very, very easy. It almost just fell off.

2. After I got the hide removed, I carefully used a power washer to clean off what little flesh and hide that was left. (Be careful when doing this, the high pressure can cause you to knock off some of the bone, however, if it happens, they can be glued back in place)

3. After the wash, I used a propane fryer and a mixture of water and once again Dawn dish soap to boil the skull in for 30 minutes. I actually confided in two different taxidermists when trying to determine a boil time and this is how long they both advised. You will get various answers throughout the internet that say to boil it for much, much longer, but I was told that this would weaken the skull and I should not do it, so I didn't. If you do not have an outdoor propane fryer, you may also use a grill, it will just take longer for the water to boil. Stove top is the same way, though I highly advise against this as the smell is awful and if you're married your wife will be less than impressed, to say the least. Boiling the skull in a degreaser will help to remove grease stains and kill and remaining bacteria on the skull, as well as help to remove foul odors.

4. After boiling the skull, I went back to the power washer to rinse the skull one last time.

5. Find a plastic container that will fit the skull so that a peroxide/water mixture can be allowed to fully cover the skull. You do not want an oversized container, as it will require more peroxide (which is the most expensive part). Too small of a container will not allow the peroxide to fully cover the skull. I found a perfect sized plastic container for $3 at Dollar General, so this should not be too tasking.

6. After finding an appropriate container, you will need to go to a beauty supply store and invest in some 30-40 volume peroxide. I was able to purchase 35 volume and I diluted it down to around 28% peroxide. The amount you need will depend on the size of your container and the desired percentage of peroxide solution. I tried to stay between 25-30% peroxide. You can only purchase this high concentrate peroxide at beauty supply stores. Wal-Mart, Target, etc do not carry high concentration peroxide. The stuff on their shelves I believe is around 2% peroxide solution. Do not waste your money on it, I've did it, and it simply is not strong enough to whiten the skull like you desire.

7. Place your skull in your container. ***WRAP YOUR ANTLERS***. This is where I went wrong, my container was ALMOST the perfect size, however, the back few inches of the antlers were below the top of the container, thus allowing them to be soaked in the peroxide/water solution. You might not have realized it until now, but unfortunately this is visible in my pictures above. My recommendation, place a trash bag over each of the antlers and tape them very, very well at the base of each antler. I have not tried this yet, but it is what I intend on doing the next time (this November hopefully). I assume doing this will work. If for some reason it does not, you can fixed bleached antlers. You can purchase antler stain online via Van Dykes, so don't get all bent out of shape if it happens like I did.

8. After your antlers are sealed off and the skull is in the container, carefully pour in your 25-30% peroxide/water solution until the entire skull is covered. Now, you wait. Check the antlers every 24 hours to see how much they have whitened. I soaked mine for 3 days, but this was because the skull was heavily stained due to the fact that the flesh was not removed when the buck died, but rather sat and rotted on it for weeks. Most likely, in 24-48 hours your skull will have achieved the whiteness that you desire, however, you may soak it as long as you like. I was advised not to soak the skull for over 3 days due to potential skull weakening. Once you have achieved the desired whiteness, remove the skull from the solution, rinse off with water, and allow the skull to drive. *USE GLOVES* any time you deal with high concentrate peroxide you should use gloves, this will burn if it gets on your skin, this I promise you.

9. You are officially ready to mount!

I think that covers all of the steps I did, but if I see I've left anything out I will correct it. It was a little more lengthy than I thought it would be, but hopefully you find it helpful. If there's anything you have questions about, please ask. I'm very happy with how mine turned out, minus the lower whitening of the antlers. So, if you do step *7* as I described, hopefully you won't have the same issue I did and you will be much more satisfied.

Thank you for your interest!
You gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?

huddleston101
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Re: Whitetail European Mount

Post by huddleston101 » 03 Sep 2013, 14:35

thanks for the info and your time of explaining it. I hope I get a chance to try it this year, know I just have to wait for deer season :(
When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

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