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With elk season upon us, many of us are dreaming of bugling elk, full freezers and awesome trophy antlers. When it comes to preserving those antlers, keep in mind that elk are extremely large. Whether it’s the cost or the sheer size, a shoulder mount may not be the best option for you. A DIY European elk skull mount may be your best bet. 

As an alterative, elk European mounts make excellent trophies to preserve the memories of a hunt. What’s more, a euro mount is a reasonable DIY project at home. Here, we’ll offer a simple step-by-step list of instructions to help you make the most out of your hard-earned trophies this fall. If you harvest something other than a bull elk this year, stick around. This works for every antlered skull you want to hang on your wall.

Steps for Your DIY Euro Mount:

Step 1: Clean your skull of meat, brain matter, and other fleshy material. We’d suggest using a smaller replaceable blade knife and really get meticulous about this.

Step 2: Wash your skull. There are a couple of different ways to do this, boiling, powerwashing, or with beetles. 

2 a: Boiling your skull is the simplest way to wash it. Wrap the base of the antlers in clear plastic wrap and tape it down well. Then submerge the entire skull into water and simmer the skull until it is completely clean of flesh, meat, and brain matter. Don’t leave it at a rolling boil for too long as it will make the skull brittle.

2 b: Powerwash your skull clean of flesh, meat, and brain matter with a professional grade power washer. You’ll want to secure the skull to something like a fence.

2 c: Beetles are an excellent way of cleaning your skull as they will help preserve even the fine nasal bones that will break down when boiling or power washing. However, finding someone with an established beetle colony to do the job is tricky. Some taxidermists offer this service for a reasonable fee. But if you know someone willing to let you use their beetles, go for it.

Step 3: Whiten your skull. This can be done a couple different ways as well. You can use bleach when boiling your skull or use a DIY whitening paste.

3 a: When bleaching your skull white we suggest using borax or another powdered bleach. Liquid bleach is more harsh to the bone. Create a solution of a 1-cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Bring it to a simmer and don’t let it come to a full boil. Then, let it sit in the solution for a day or two.

3 b: If you’ve boiled your skull in water or used one of the other methods you can use a paste to get that porcelain white look to your skull. Go to a salon and obtain some basic white mixture and dilute that with some hydrogen peroxide. You’re looking for a 60:40 ratio respectively. Paint the paste onto your skull and let it dry. Once it’s dry and hard, use a bristle brush to remove the top layer of the paste.

Great! Now your skull is ready to hang on the wall. Have fun sharing your memories with friends and family. And best of luck on all your elk hunting adventures this fall!

About LOH Outfitters

To learn more about LOH Outfitters, please take a few minutes to explore the rest of our website or read about our New Mexico elk hunts. If you have questions or would like more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help you plan an unforgettable hunt in New Mexico!

By Lee Harrison