How To Do a European Deer Mount

By Brodie SwisherAugust 26, 2016

If you’re like me, you hate to pay somebody to do something you can do yourself. European deer mounts are one of those chores. Sure, the job can be messy. But apart from the mess, the task is really quite simple. And you’ll save roughly $85-$150 by doing the job yourself. Plus you’ll have the sense of pride and accomplishment by doing your own deer skulls. Here’s a look at how to do a European deer mount, as well as some tips to make the task easier along the way.

easton first deer

A child’s first deer, especially a spike, is the perfect specimen for a DIY European skull mount.

First things first.

Here’s a list of the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to the DIY skull mount job.

  1. Never boil a skull in the house. The smell that results is of the devil. And if you’re married, your wife will kill you. Consider yourself warned.
  2. Fresh skulls are easier to work with. Get started with the skull as quickly as possible after the kill. Don’t let it freeze in the cold, or collect maggots in the heat. Knock it out fast.
  3. Don’t overdue it when it comes to boiling. Low and slow is better than a fast and hot boil. Too much boiling and the skull will separate and fall apart.
  4. Use a pressure washer for cleaning the meat, brain, and everything else from the skull. If you don’t have one, go buy or borrow one. It’s worth its weight in gold when it comes to saving you time and hassle from scraping meat by hand.
  5. Use a cargo pallet to hold the skull in place when pressure washing. You simply wedge the antlers in between the wood slats for a solid hold. This allows you to stand back away from the skull and avoid the splatter on your clothes and body.
  6. Use salon grade peroxide for whitening. Bleach can actually damage the skull (more on this in the video).
  7. After soaking/covering the skull in peroxide, place the skull in the sun. The peroxide and sun combination will make it pop whiter than snow.
  8. Don’t leave your skull out overnight where a pet or wild critter can get to it. More than once, I’ve had skulls disappear from a bandit that hauled it off while I wasn’t looking. When it’s a big buck, or a child’s first deer, it’ll make you wanna puke. Keep them put up, or tied down.
European skull

Here’s a couple skulls that I knocked out quick and easy with a pressure washer. Next step, whitening with peroxide. The spike was my son’s first deer kill. A true trophy for life.

Check out the video below for the step by step process in how to do your own European deer mount.

We learn by trial and error…or by watching the guy that has already figured it out and made a Youtube video on the subject. Get out there this season and make it happen for yourself. You’ll find the experience of doing your own European skull mounts to be a cool and rewarding chore that will last for many years.

Got tips, advice, and words of wisdom on how to do your own European deer mount? Comment below and let us know what works best for you.


Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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