Whitetail Hunting photo
Field & Stream Online Editors
deer skull mount
A perfect project for deer camp. Dan Marsiglio

Trophy antlers displayed over the cabin door are a classic hunting tradition. This is an elegant way to show them off and at the same time say “Welcome” to all. Later on, you always get to tell your guests the story of the hunt behind the mount.

How to build it

( 1 ) Using a paper pattern, cut an 8×10-inch piece of oak lumber into the shape of a plaque. File the edges. Finish the wood surface with two coats of spar polyurethane on all sides.

( 2 ) Cut the antlers from the skull with a handsaw, leaving an ample oval skull plate intact. Remove any skin and membrane, then boil the skull plate in water for 10 minutes. Clean it with a wire brush and bleach. Drill two small screw-size holes, 2 inches apart, through the thickest part of the skull plate. Drill corresponding holes through the back of the plaque.

( 3 ) Cut a piece of leather large enough to cover the skull plate plus 1/2 inch over the edges. Measure the distance between the antler burrs, and draw matching circles on the leather where the antlers will be centered. Cut in a straight line from either top corner to each circle, and cut out the two holes.

( 4 ) Stretch the leather over the skull plate with the edges rolled under. Fasten the covering tightly with brass or copper tacks (on the underside). Position the skull plate on the plaque, and secure it from the back with two long drywall screws through the pre-drilled holes. Rub paste floor wax on the antlers annually to prevent bleaching.