After the boil

wytex

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Got the dead head boiled out and pretty much finished with the coloring. Just needs the peroxide and then antlers sealed with Skidmore's Liquid Beeswax wood finish.
Not perfect but turned out just fine. We're going to give it to a friend to hang in his cabin.DSCN0718.jpgDSCN0722.jpgDSCN0720.jpg
 

npaden

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That coloring looks REALLY good. You should add a before picture to this thread for folks who haven't seen it.
 

jrabq

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What did you use for the antler stain? Looks great!
 

wytex

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Liquid pine tar, bark and dirt. We opted for the natural route since he was such a neat bull. Takes a while but ends up looking like a naturally rubbed rack.
I've seen better stain jobs but this is a little more forgiving if you don't get the color right.
 

pddubs

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Apr 28, 2016
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Looks awesome man. Can I ask what the sealing with the liquid beeswax does? I have a few nice antlers that I'd like to be sure don't deteriorate or degrade, does this sealant prevent dust/moisture? Thanks a lot, and thanks again for explaining the coloring process, that is the most natural/best looking coloring I have ever seen.
 

wytex

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The Skidmores has some natural oils in it so I only use it on brown antlers. The oils and beeswax in it penetrate the antler a bit and the beeswax give a sheen, like natural antlers have when fresh. I put it on all the antlers we hang inside the house, dry climate here and it's keeps them from drying out and cracking. I wonder of a paste wax would do the same, but it would not have the natural oils that penetrate the antlers a bit like Skidmore's. I also put it on antelope horns and they really look nice. A little goes a long way.
 

wytex

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We actually found him about 1/2 mile from the highway up a little draw near a spring. Could have been shot from across the road or a state section of land adjacent. Bones were still there but none looked like bullet holes in them. Always make us wonder what happened but it is a "wasters" area, CWD. Lots of animals are hit on the road also.

Remember if you find a skull with antlers attached in Wyoming you must notify the game warden as soon as you have cell phone reception to report it and see if they want to investigate it. You also need to know the coordinates where you picked it up for the game tag form.
 

nidahunter

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I would be interested in the process of getting them to look like that, did you just put the pine tar on the antlers and rub bark and dirt on them until you were happy with the result? They look amazing, I have a whitetail deadhead I would like to try that with.
 

dcopas78

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Remember if you find a skull with antlers attached in Wyoming you must notify the game warden as soon as you have cell phone reception to report it and see if they want to investigate it. You also need to know the coordinates where you picked it up for the game tag form.
Can you bring the rack out with you before you talk to the game warden? I'm going to be in Wyoming this fall again, and I'd like to be able to claim a deadhead properly if I find one.
 

wytex

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We brought this one out then called the next day but really you are supposed to call when you get cell phone reception and I think wait to bring them out when the warden says it's ok. We know our Game Warden well so he cut me some slack, but from now on I will call asap. Might check with them warden in the area you will be hunting on what he or she wants you to do if you find something.

We get the pine tar pretty viscous and brush it on to cover all of the antler then start rubbing with a mixture of dirt and bark dust . It will brush off if you don't like the color , but the pine tar will leave a yellowish/ brown color and the surface, just rub in dirt and bark till the color is what you like. Some small bark bits help, leave it looking natural. It set in the sun for a couple of days after to kind of set the pine tar and dirt, then I sealed it with Skidmore's. Took about 6 hours to get it right but part of that was applying pine tar with a tooth brush. I found a bigger brush later. Get the pine tar down into all the cracks and make sure the dirt and bark get down into them also.
Have done many mule deer antlers and they are much easier and a lot less time consuming. They turn out nice also.
 

wytex

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Here are some mule deer sheds from several years ago. I think you can see the one on the left did not get Skidmore's put on it. It still looks dull, like an older pick up. They were all very white but not yet cracked when found. These are some of our early attempts at coloring.DSCN0739.jpgDSCN0740.jpg
 

Lefty315

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If you're looking to experiment with color, try some shoe polish. I know a guy who was using that for some sheds and I think it was Cordovan(color) that added a little reddish look to them.
 

wytex

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I think he's done. Matched his color with some other elk from the same area, sparsely timbered so he's not as dark and a forest bull.

DSCN0750.jpgDSCN0754.jpg
 
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