If you've ever thought about doing a skull mount but haven't known where to start let me help you. Learn from my mistakes and successes with my first ever DIY deer skull mount.
Through this venture here are the key things I learned:
1. Have a sharp and reliable knife. Skinning the skull can easily dull your knife. Being able to work quickly and efficiently is extremely helpful during any phase of this process. A sharp knife only helps with this process. Also, the saying "a dull knife is the most dangerous knife," is accurate.
2. If you are going to wear gloves make sure they fit properly. Again, going back to safety, loose gloves may caused you to loose your grip when skinning the skull and could potentially cause you to cut yourself. I actually used needle-nose pliers to grip parts of the skin or membrane I was cutting and that worked out well. It allowed me to get my fingers farther away from the blade incase an accident were to happen and the knife were to slip.
3. Pressure washing is your friend. The amount of time I was able to save by pressuring washing the skull after skinning it was well worth the hassle of pulling out our pressure washer. We don't own the most expensive pressure washer but it got the job done!
4. Wear a face mask when pressure washing. No matter how far away you are from the skull, or how skilled you think you are, even if you stab the antlers into the ground so the skull doesn't move and stand a decent distance away while pressure washing, at some point there will be back spray and you will get dirty. To avoid debris or ickiness getting on your face, in your eyes or worse your mouth wear a face shield / mask. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!
5. Boiling the skull does not mean on high heat. You want a slow steady boil not a hissing spitting boil. Leaving the skull in too high of heat for an extended period of time can cause damage to the bones and you don't want that after all this hard work you've put in.
6. Patience is a virtue. It's ok if this project takes you several days. Take your time and do it right. You'll be proud of your hard work when it is hanging on the wall. But also be aware that the longer you drag it out the stinkier it will get.
Next step / phase will be to whiten the skull. Again, this was my first and it was a good learning experience. I'm always open to suggestions if you have some tips, tricks or helpful advice you've learned from doing your own. Please feel free to comment on my "Learn With Me" tab to help us all!
Thank you for reading, watching and stopping by my site. I appreciate all your support.
Photo Credit: Caleb Smith