A simple European deer mount can make a great addition to any wall or trophy room, and they are much cheaper than taxidermy. You might be surprised to know that bleaching your own deer skull at home is very easy to do and not nearly as difficult as you might think.
There are a variety of ways to actually do this, but here are our favorite ways that will produce a whitened deer skull for you to proudly display in your home!
Step 1: Remove as much skin and meat as possible from the skull while it is still fresh. Don’t worry too much about the skin and hair around the bases of the antlers, as it can be taken care of during the boiling.
Step 2: Start boiling the skull in a container of water for around one hour and continue to check on it. Bring the water to a simmer (not so much of a boil) and don’t let the water get on the antlers, as it can discolor them. At this point, you can also take off any excess meat or hair around the bases as it softens up.
Step 3: During this step, continue to pull out the skull and pick off any meat that you can. Once it cools off and the meat and tissue hardens, put it back in the warm water in 15-minute increments. For quicker results, use an electric power washer to blast off the meat and soft tissue from the skull. Be careful to shoot from the backside of the skull forward as to not damage the fragile nasal bones. This step will also get pretty dirty, so be sure to wear some old clothes!
Step 4: Use some small needlenosed pliers and small knives to get any remaining bits of meat and tissue that remain in hard to reach areas. Ensure that the entire skull is completely clean of everything.
Step 5: After removing every bit of flesh and tissue, let the skull completely dry.
Step 6: Once the skull is dry, now is the time to bleach it. Instead of actual bleach, hydrogen peroxide works much better to whiten the skull and does not compromise the bone density like bleach does. With 40-vol peroxide (available at any beauty supply store), use a paintbrush and apply a healthy coating all over the skull. Be careful not to get any on the antlers. Set it out in the sun and allow it to completely dry.
Step 7: Rinse the peroxide off with water and allow the skull to dry. You can repeat steps 6 and 7 as many times as needed to get the desired level of whiteness on the skull.
And there you have it, seven simple steps to clean, bleach, and prepare a deer skull for proper display in your home! There is nothing better than doing something yourself and saving some money in the process, and bleaching a deer skull is a perfect way to do both! Don’t forget to check out the Bradley Smoker Blog for hunting & fishing guides year-round!