Monday, 10 December 2018

Commemorating a Hunt: Antler Mounts

Every hunt that I have been on has a story.  I come back with many great memories and valuable lessons about nature, animals, and myself. 

The real trophy is always the experience of the hunt itself.  Any meat that I come back with is fantastic bonus. 


I like to commemorate the animals which I have hunted with a mount so that every time I look at their unique antlers I can reminisce about the experience and meals.  These antlers hold a place of honour in my home and give me a great appreciation of the importance of these animals and conservation of their habitat.

Here is how I like to commemorate my antlers.
 Once I get home from the hunt I usually have either the whole head or the skull cap.

I use a bone saw to cut the cap off from behind the ears, down to the eye sockets, and from the bridge of the nose to the eye sockets.  It is best to cut it level so that it is easy to mount at this stage.

As a side note, I have used fiber glass to reassemble a skull which was broken when I had to use a second shot to make sure my moose stayed down.

 Next, I boil the skull cap until the flesh peels off easily,  usually about an hour or two.  I do this outside on the BBQ to make sure the smell is minimized.

 Then I pick off the flesh with a knife and screw driver and then let the skull dry out. I apply 2 coats of semigloss varnish to the antlers to preserve the colour. Once I am sure the skull is cut at the right angle and it is sitting nicely against the wall, I trace and cut out a 1/2 inch backing board out of plywood and screw the skull cap to it.  This allows the skull cap to be upholstered.

I buy a hobby board from Michael's or Amazon and then stain it to the colour I like.


 I use glossy varnish to protect the plaque.

 I use upholdery foam and cut an oversize block. 



I use a stapler to start upholstering the skull cap as shown in the photos.



Cut the foam around the antlers






 Pull tightly and upholster the whole skull cap.




 Cut off the excess.


 Pick fabric and decorative rope.  I usually go to Fabricland.


 Upholster the antlers with the fabric.

 I use zip ties to gather the fabric around the antlers and then cut off the excess.


 I hide the seam on the side using decorative rope.  I try to make the seam end up where you naturally won't see it very much on the sides.

I use a glue gun to attach the rope and hide the seam and zip ties.
 


The last step is to screw the antlers to the board and hang it in your house.




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