Thursday, March 13, 2014


How to Make an ANTLER MOUNT Easily by Yourself. Easy, Step by Step Detailed Instructions. Beginner Taxidermy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

ANTLER MOUNTS (aka HORN MOUNTS) - "Supplies I Use"


I'm trying something different with this supply list. The highlighted,  or underlined, words are a Link that takes you to the product and it's description. Just click on the word(s) to view. I'm hoping that by not using graphics, my web pages will load quicker. Thank you. - Rick

In a big mixing bowl, mix Plaster of Paris Powder with water in a ratio of approximately two parts Plaster of Paris to one part water. This forms a clay-like paste that can be sculpted into a form. If the mixture is too thin, add Plaster of Paris powder, if it is too thick or dry, add water one teaspoon at a time. This paste sets within 30 minutes, so work quickly. Let dry completely, about one or two days.

You can purchase powdered Paper Mache. Easy to use. Just add water. Add some Plaster of Paris to it to add strength and durability.

You can also make homemade Paper Mache and Plaster of Paris yourself with ordinary items around the house.

Create a flour paste to use as Plaster of Paris . Use two to three cups of white flour with one to two cups of warm water. Mix the flour and water in a plastic bowl until there are no lumps, and the consistency is a smooth paste that's easy to stir.  Add small pieces of thin paper, like newspaper, or Gauze Pieces.  Make sure the newspaper or Gauze soaks into the mixture completely before transferring the mixture to the skull cap.

(I found this recipe for plaster using white glue. I have never tried it, but here it is)

Use two parts All Purpose White Glue with one part warm water. Put the All Purpose White Glue and water into a plastic bowl. Add more water, while stirring, until you get a soupy mixture. The final product should be watery yet still have a slight white glue consistency. Then, also add to this mixture, small pieces of thin paper, like newspaper, or Gauze Pieces.  Always make sure the newspaper or Gauze soaks into the mixture completely before transferring the mixture to the skull cap. This method requires extra time to dry.

Regular air dry Pottery Clay for filling in cracks or imperfections on the skull cap mache and giving your cap a smoother, stable surface. Pottery Clay can be worked with easily and does not dry too quickly. Takes about a day or two to completely dry, depending upon the environmental conditions.

Pack inside the back of the skull cap with Body Putty to give the cap a solid base in which to screw through and attach to your plaque.

If you don't make your own plaque, there's quite a variety of different sizes and shapes of Unfinished Wood Plaques that can be stained or waterproofed before attaching it to the cap. Sand your bare wood with a Variety of Sandpaper Grits. Make sure you get all the sawdust off the wood. Then, I usually just use Rustoleum Clear Gloss Spray or Rustoleum Semi-Gloss Clear Spray because I like wood's natural beauty to show through. When a customer requests a particular stain for the plaque, I use Minwax Stains.

I use my 2-Step Knife Sharpener to keep my Victorinox Bird's Beak Knife as sharp as possible. As you know, I use the Victorinox Bird's Beak Knife a lot in the shop.

To secure the leather, or cloth on the back side of the skull cap, I use this Heavy Duty Stapler with Heavy Duty 3/8" Staples. A similar, but, cheaper Stanley Heavy Duty Stapler works just as well.

As I explained in the video, I made my own hanger from a washer I cut in half, drilled a hole in each side, cut a slot in the center, then, screwed it on through the drilled holes. A corner bracket works well too. But, if you want to buy a hanger, there is quite a variety of Heavy Duty Hangers for sale. Also, VanDykes Taxidermy Supply has an handy hanger called The Noose. Comes in a set and is hard to beat for hanging just about anything.

You can easily spend too much money on a glue gun. I usually spend $10 to $15 USD for mine. This Stanley Glue Gun Kit includes both a good gun and glue sticks. Well worth the money. Don't get a mini glue gun. They just don't hold enough glue.

For covering the skull cap, I use whatever scraps I have left over; deerskin, elk hide, etc. I try to stay away from cow hides, it's not as easy to work with. You'll need at least an 8" x 8" or a 10" x 10" piece. If you can't find any leather scraps, and you have to buy some, here is a variety of Leather Pieces.

If I don't use leather to cover the cap, I'll use a Variety of Felt Material like medium green, bright red or black looks nice. If you want to use a material, like cotton, a cammo pattern would look good.

For decorative purposes, and to hide any gaps, I use 3/8" Solid Color Braided Cord or 3/8" Twisted Jute Rope to go around the base of the cap. This just sets the mount off and looks good.

I don't recommend these, but, a Deer Antler Mounting Kit can be purchased. The caps are usually plastic and just don't fit well. I never use them.

Lastly, there's my Black and Decker Variable Speed Jigsaw, Dewalt Palm Grip Sander and a Ryobi Router.