When removing your trophy antlers from the skull it is always best to remove any hide from around the base of the antlers before cutting them free. The soft hide is much easier to cut away then dried on hide. Make your first cut with a meat saw or reciprocating saw just above the eyes. Then your second cut should be behind the antlers parallel to the main beam. Try to make this cut nice and even and the same distance away from the main beam as this will make it easier to mount later. Make this distance about 1 inch or so.Remove the brain matter and any meat that may be left.
Be sure to clean close to the burs to be sure of a nice clean look when finished. After all of the meat is removed you can burn away any remnants with a torch.Next you need to measure the outside measurement of the burs. You will now need to cut out a circle from ½” or 5/8” plywood the same diameter as the measurement of the outside of the burs. You can now hold your antlers on the plywood cut out to get an idea as to how the antlers will sit in relation to the wall. According to this website you can drill 3- ¼” holes in the skull.
Position the skull on the plywood cut out with the outside of the burs in line with the edge of the plywood. Mark your holes in the skull through to the plywood with your drill. Then drill through the plywood. On the back of the
plywood use a spade bit to countersink your bolts.You will now use 3- 3” long, ¼” carriage bolts to mountyour antlers on the plywood. If the antlers are sitting a little lopsided, you can now use washers or anything else to shim the antlers. Once the antlers sit the way you want them to, tighten the nuts and cut off any excess bolt with bolt cutters or dremil tool. Now mix some Drywall compound to a stiff consistency.
This will be applied to the skull and plywood. Now smooth out the drywall compound making a nice half ball around
the skull. Leave a small bit of space around the burs, about 1/8” or ¼”.
Here is one good video I like:
Once the drywall compound is dry you can file off any imperfections in the drywall compound with a file or rasp.
You can spray varnish your antlers now if you want a shiny look that will hold it’s color longer. Now cover the drywall compound with ¼” to ½” thick foam, stapling it to the back of the plywood. Trim off any excess. This softens the finished look and also hides any imperfections in the drywall compound.You are now ready to cover the foam with either felt or leather. Cut your felt at least 12” square. Place the felt over the foam with a point to the top.
Staple it on the back between the antlers and then on the bottom. Now cut the felt from the base of each antler to the outer edge of the felt following the antler.
Tuck the felt around the base of the antlers cutting out any excess as needed to make a nice fit under the burs. Then staple on the back. Repeat for both antlers.