How to Preserve Velvet Antlers

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If you want to properly preserve velvet antlers, you will have to inject & brush them with formaldehyde or some of the new less toxic chemicals (4 in 1 solution works great as does Knobloch's antler in velvet tan) as its  easier to use  however, both will work.

First, using rubber gloves take a razor blade and make small incisions at the tips of all points about 1/8". Next hang the antlers upside down, allowing the blood to drain. Starting at the bases inject the solution into the veins, you'll see and feel them that follow the antler. You will begin to see the solution force out blood towards the tips. Continue injecting the solution as you work the untreated blood towards the tips. When you reach the ends, make sure you've treated each and every  veins on each antler. You'll quit injecting solution when the color of the solution is the same coming out as it was going in.
Let the antlers hang upside down overnight.

After the solution and blood has stopped dripping out the ends, use a very fine painter's brush and lightly brush the velvet with the solution. This will prevent bugs from entering the velvet that has no blood. After leaving the velvet to dry, lightly "brush" out the velvet to give it the natural look. Remember to wear eye protection and gloves when using formaldehyde or any other chemicals. Slow down and don't be in a hurry to finish. When done correctly, your trophy will last forever.


groovy mike's picture


I didn't even know it was possible let alone how to do it.  Thanks for sharing the information.  I bet they look great.  Arrow Flipper - show us your mount!

arrowflipper's picture

a lot of work

Wow, that seems like a lot of work!  But I do know that's the proper way of preserving antlers in the velvet.  And if you get a buck in the velvet, they make a wonderful mount still in the velvet.

A number of years ago, I went to Alaska (my first time and I thought it was my lifetime dream hunt) on a caribou hunt.  It was a pretty much do-it-yourself hunt in that we booked a pilot to drop us off on some small lake out the middle of who knows where.  What a hunt it was!  We ended up taking 4 caribou between the four of us.  Nothing spectacular (that's what you get for doing it by yourself... you don't know how to judge those big animals on your first time out) but nice.  They were all in the velvet.  I flew my meat and antlers home and took the cape and antlers to the taxidermist immediately.

I told him I wanted them to remain in the velvet so today I have a nice bou mount in the velvet.  Many people comment on how nice they look.  My taxidermist injected the formaldehyde and they turned out great.

Last October I took a small three point mule deer here in Washington that was still in the velvet.  He should not have been in the velvet at that time of year.  In cleaning him, I found a large abscess on one shoulder and I think that was what kept him from developing properly.  I didn't even keep those antlers.

A mount in the velvet is a thing of beauty.  If you get a chance, do it. 

hunter25's picture

This is a great one and

This is a great one and hopefully one I will be able to use someday. We did take a couple bucks in the bp season a while back but the velvet was already pealing and fell off quickly. My dad got a small 2 point in archery one year but it dried up all wrinkled because we did not know what to do.

Thanks again for the tip and how to do it.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Maybe some day I will get to

Maybe some day I will get to try that. about the only way to get velvet antlers in Ohio would be to hit one with your vehicle. Even then the state would probably still confiscate the rack.

Critter's picture

It does work, I have also had

It does work, I have also had good luck by placing the antlers in a freezer for a couple of months.  So far a velvet buck that I got 14 years ago is still looking good.

Alpine_Archer's picture

Wish I would have seen this

Wish I would have seen this sooner. I got a small rack hanging on my wall thats begining to shed its old velvet. thanks for sharing.

Great info, I would have

Great info, I would have never known

numbnutz's picture

Good advice.

Good advice.