mounting antlers on a plaque


Well-Known Member
Mar 11, 2007
I have a small white tailed buck this year I'd like to make a horn mount of... not having it professionally done or anything, just want to do it myself for a few bucks (lol) and am not sure how to go about doing it. I've heard some guys just using bond doe to shape it and screwing it to a board w/ velvet covering between the horns. I'm not sure how to go about cutting the antlers off... do I remove them together w/ scull or individually w/o skull. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Mark.
Antler mounting kits are sold in many places. Do a web search and you'll find sources for various kits. Typically they provide a wood plaque, some leather to cover the skull crown, a few decorative tacks and instructions.

After you complete your first mount with a kit you'll be ready to do as many as you like with bulk supplies that can be purchased very inexpensively.
The way I did it for many years until I just quit altogether was to cut out a plaque and use a router to fancy up the edges. Stain the wood and varnish it. Drill a recessed hole in the back of the plaque for the bolt and nut. Screw in a hanger or else drill a small slanted hole for sliding over a nail to hang it.

For the skull you will need to make a compound cut with a hack saw. The exact angle of the cut is determine by holding he skull up against a wall and looking at how you want the horns to go. They will stick straight out if you just make a straight cut. I cut on an angle so they point upwards at an angle when mounted. So cut it however you wish and then clean it up and let it dry. Get a bolt that is about the right length and will go through the plaque. Fill up the skull plate that the horns are attached to with plaster of paris or bondo or whatever and put the bolt in with the threaded part sticking out so it will fit through the hole in the plaque. Let it dry and then assemble your plaque.

In about 15 years you will one day find the skull and horns laying on the floor and the plaster of paris still bolted to the plaque up on the wall. Pick up the antlers and throw them away. Take the plaque off the wall and throw it away. By this time you will have killed something better to take its place. If you haven't killed anything better then congratulations for spending time with your family and your job and hope you do better when you retire.
Thanks a lot for the information guys! I will think about which route I will go. Much appreciated!
I've done several for myself and a few for others. Mostly as described above, but have a different method for the covering of the skull. After mounting it with screws to the board, I use layers of 1" foam padding, creating a nice shape and using staples to fasten that to the board. The shape I use is of a hard boiled egg cut in half the long way if you can imagine that. I then cover the foam with fabric, usually a satin or suede looking fabric from wal mart or a fabric store. The fabric is cut to cover around and behind the horns and then stretched and stapled just past the staples for the foam. I then use a braided rope also from a fabric outlet to make a border around the whole thing and the base of the horns. This covers the staples and the seams and is held in place by hot glue.

If you are interested or have any questions, I could take some pictures. If there were a few people interested, I could do a step by step how-to with some pics.

Some of mine are 15 years old and have had no problems with things comming apart, only dust.
I wouldn't bother with the kits. Make you plaque like said above. I use a piece of pine I cut out in an oval(I get the shape I like and then I make patterns). I fix my antlers to it with screws. I mix up some plaster of paris(alot cheaper than bondo) and shape a cap(over filling and sanding to you liking). I then use a staple gun to fix some crush velvet(if you get a fabric with a little stretch it can be worked with alot more easily) onto the cap we made. I attach the antlers to the plaque with a couple of screws from the back of your plaque. This hides everything and is a very clean look to it. I've done many many deer for people this way and a handful of elk. After season ends here I will snap a few pics as I do a couple of my own.

If you don't want to spend the time to make a plaque, this is about as easy as anything if you have a shelf handy. The one on the end is my daughters deer. Its not real big but it is a trophy in my book. One of them is my son's boar. Its really good looking and you can just pick it up and handle it and feel the tusks.

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