European Mounts – A Cheap Way to Preserve Your Trophy

imageYou have shot your buck for the season. Every buck deserves to have a spot in the house no matter how big it is. I love looking at my trophies on the wall because it takes me back to that day of harvest. I remember everything from the hunt, the people, the weather to the time of the kill. Killing a buck is like a story of its own and I want to remember that. You have out smarted the buck and killed him. It’s like a trophy you would win at a sporting event in a different form.

What do you do after you have made that shot? You don’t need to take every deer you shoot to a taxidermist and have an expensive bill at the end to remember the memory. Most can’t afford it. However, you can make a european mount for very low cost. Your biggest cost is the turkey fryer and the propane. You can get a turkey fryer for $30-50. After that, it’s basically free to mount a deer depending on if you put it on a plaque or not. The plaque cost can be anywhere between $0 to $100. Dedicate most of the day to sticking around the house.

Don’t put to much thinking into the process. It’s not rocket science to do this.

1.The first thing you do is to cut the head off of the deer. Cut as much of the meat off as possible so it will take less time in the fryer.


My 2016 buck ready to go into the fryer


My first buck I did a european mount on. I didn’t take the skin off and the water became really hot. I ended up loosing my nose bone.

2. I like to wrap electrical tape around the base of the antlers to preserve the color.


3. While boiling the skull, the smell is extremely bad. Do not do this around your wife, girlfriend, etc. Make sure to do it somewhere that the smell won’t be enclosed or linger. Also, make sure to do this somewhere that won’t start a fire. I don’t put any chemicals in the water like some videos say to do.


4. After several hours of boiling you should be able to pick away at the meat with a butter knife. After 4-5 hours you should be able to shake some of the brain out.

5. Once all the meat and brain has fallen off, I will spray water in the skull through the nose to make sure everything is out.

6. I let mine sit in a garage a week or two while it dries.

If the skull breaks at all, use super glue to glue the pieces back together.

What you do after this is up to you. Some people will buy chemicals to whiten the skull. I have never done it so I can not give any advice. I personally like the rustic look of the skull after. However, a year from now the skull should be completely white. Some people talk about the skull turning yellow. The first skull I did that broke in the turkey fryer was 4 years ago and the skull is still white.

You can either make a plaque yourself and be creative. Or, you can jump on and purchase a plaque from someone else for very little money. I like mounting the skull on either a plaque that looks like a broad head or a piece of ammunition. One of these days I will print off the pictures of me and the kill and put it in a frame below the skull. I like to include as much of the kill in the mount. Whether it’s a broken arrow, tag, etc.

If you enjoy making european mounts, please leave a picture in the comments section for us to see. I hope everyone has a deer this year to make a european mount.

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