Horn processing?

Discussion in 'Antelope Hunting' started by gcamp54, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. gcamp54

    gcamp54 Well-Known Member

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    I'm headed for Wyoming, area 27, in a week on my first antelope hunt. I plan to get as much meat home as I can and mount just the horns. I'm not planning to make a head mount. I've done some reading on horn processing but I thought I'd ask here for some advise on what to do with the horns. I plan to stay another week after the antelope hunt and maybe hunt some mulies before I drive back to Florida. I'm trying to decide if I should try and process/mount the horns myself or drop them off at a taxidermist in the Douglas area. Any advise would be appreciated.

    Gordon
    Niceville, Fl
     
  2. cinch

    cinch Well-Known Member

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    Most meat lockers will saw them off for a tip if you just want the horns.
     

  3. gcamp54

    gcamp54 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I can saw the skull cap and horns off. I'm just not sure if I can leave them as is after I saw off the skull cap until I get home. And I was just wondering what others on this site do to cure and then mount the horns. I've read that most like to boil the horns off, some like to leave them in a bag and rot off. Then clean up the skull cap and bondo the horns back on before mounting them. I won't be able to do that while I'm still on the road unless it doesn't bother the horns just to leave them tied to the top of my vehicle until I get home. I'm not interested in leaving a set of rotting anything inside my vehicle for a week. I'm interested in how others have dealt with that dilemma. Thanks again.

    Gordon
    Niceville, FL
     
  4. cinch

    cinch Well-Known Member

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    If thats the case, I would cut the horns off, skin off the to, peal the membrane off the bottom, and do the rest when you get home. I really don't think there will be a problem with that. It's always easier to skin them the fresher they are. Good luck on your hunt.
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I would drop them off and have them processed while you are there if you can find someone
    that will do it for you in that short amount of time. It is very smelly work no matter how you
    do it and if you let it rot off you will have a tough time getting rid of the smell.

    If no one will help you out then just skin and flesh the skull cap and ice it down to have it done
    or do it yourself when you get back home. If you don't want to fool with it when you first get
    home just freeze them and deal with them later.

    when boiling them be careful not to place the horns in the hot water or you will have to paint
    or stain them when finished.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

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    we have whitetail racks hanging all around our pa. camp. we simply cut off the horns, or have the butcher do it. take the hide off before it dries. remove the membrane and clean it, then leave it alone. my sons made a bunch of wood plaques in shop class years ago. fasten them to a plaque and cover the skull with some tanned deer hide using upolstery tacks. makes a very proffessional looking job and cost nothing. but first get the antelope. good luck.
     
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    What I do is throw the head into the box on top of the truck and then go elk and deer hunting for a month. When I get home about the first of November, I throw the head out near the firewood shed. Then after a week or so I will go and get a bucket and fill it up with water and drop the head into it. Then when the weather warms up in March or April I go and pull the horns off and put them in the garage to dry. I then pour out the water and remove all of the rotten tendons and meat and put the skull back into the bucket. One day when I have nothing to do I will get the Coleman camp stove out and a big pot and but some water and Oxybleach into the pot with the skull and boil it for an hour or so. Turns every thing real white. I then go and get some glue and the horns and glue them back on.
     
  8. blipelt

    blipelt Well-Known Member

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    BB, you never mentioned about the wonderful aroma coming from the head. Silicon works well also for gluing, if you screwup it isn't permanent then.


    Brent
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Remember guys , These are horns not antlers and they have meat in side the horns
    that will get pretty rank if you let it rot.

    Boiling will release the horns and then you can remove the meat from the skull and
    dry it with out the smell.

    Then glue the horns back on the nubs (There is a technical term but I cant think of
    it at the moment)left on the skull.

    J E CUSTOM

    PS: I'm just not as tough as BB.
     
  10. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Yep, too much trouble ... and I'm too lazy to do it myself. :D I had one done in European in 2004 ($125 processing + $50 for the base).

    [​IMG]

    Happy safe hunting!
     
  11. Petersen

    Petersen Well-Known Member

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    JE is right. Antelope horns need a lot more care than antlers.. If you want to stay and hunt for a while, cape the animal out and keep the horns in a cooler.

    When I boil these out I have the water simmering with the water level almost up to the prongs. After a while you will be able to twist the horns off. When you do this you measure how far the prong tips are apart and how far the tip of the horns are apart because when you reassemble the horns and skull you want him to look like your antelope.

    When you take the horns off there is a hairy sheath underneath you need to take off the skull. When I put the horns back on I use bondo.

    It will definitely be easier for you to drop it off at a taxidermist.
     
  12. 300rum

    300rum Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Just Cut off the horns with skull plates and leave it outside on the tree for 2-3 days.
    The flyers and ants will take care of all the brain and meat left, cleaning the skull very well.

    No smell, and after you will come home you can prepare it how you like.
    My self I just let it sit in salt for 3 mo after the skull was cleaned by ants and flyers. and no smell or loose hear

    I will post a photo in few minutes.

    [​IMG]
    Final product after 3 mo in salt.
    [​IMG]
    this is how the ants cleaned the skull. No smell, no loose skin or droping furr.

    I have another skull on my back yard at cleaning hang up on tree. In 2-3 days will be cleaned and then I have to placed on one bag with salt for 3 mo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  13. gcamp54

    gcamp54 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the info. I'm heading out tomorrow night. The weather doesn't look all that great in Wyoming next week but I still can't wait to get away and just hunt for 2 weeks.

    Gordon
    Niceville, FL