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BLACKJACK

Getting the hide off the skull and antlers

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My brother-in-law was asking me how to get the hide off his deer head and I thought others might be interested:

Get the hide off the skull soon, before it dries!!!

Remove any brain matter and use a hack saw to trim the eye sockets and lower head away, cut right thru the hide and bone. This part is not for the weak of stomach!! Leave plenty of skull!! You can always trim more, but you don’t want to risk breaking the two antlers in half. Right above the eye socket is where I cut. Now some butchers do a nice job, this might be easy or some butchers just give you the whole head.

After trimming bone with the hacksaw, time to work the hide off around the antlers. Use a sharp knife and a pliers. Cut right down the middle of the skull with your knife, thru the hide. Cut thru the hide to the antler on one side, then using the pliers start pulling the hide away. Use your knife for cutting the hide off the skull. Sometimes it works great to where the pliers will pull it right off. The tough part will be right next to the antler. When you're done with one antler, do the other antler and hide around it. When you have the hide off, scrape the excess flesh off. Be careful with the knife!! Now at this point you can trim a little more bone off if you need to.

Good luck!! Take your time!! Big or small, they're all trophies to me!!!

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I use a vice grip. Lock on tight and roll the vice grip and it just peels the flesh right off. Takes some elbow grease, but it works very good.

Key point as you stated!!!!!!!!

DO IT BEFORE IT DRIES!!!!!!

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I always use a knife and trim it all off it has not dried on the skull plate. Then one can take a very soft brass wire brush and clean all the matter around the antler base. A dentist pick will also work for this too.

Much easier if this is done right after the antlers are removed from the deer.

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I have gotten most of the flesh off using a knife and screwdriver, and then used a handheld torch to burn the rest off. As long as you are not doing a european mount, it worked just fine.

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I found a sidecutter to be very helpful in cutting the hide away from the base of the antlers. Once the hide is off, you can soak the skull in hot water for a few minutes and the rest will scrape off quite easily.

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Even if it does dry on the skull you can just soak it in a bucket of water for a day or two and it will peel right off.

Easy thing to do to get the meat off...if you're boiling it, add some baking soda to the water...it turns the meat to jelly and it scrapes right off.

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