Monday, December 22, 2014

PART 11 - Antler Care on Your Alaska Sitka Blacktail Hunt

Velvet Season

During the early season you will likely get a buck in velvet. Meaning if you want to keep the velvet intact you will need to preserve it ASAP if you can’t freeze it within 24 hours. You will have to inject and spray the antlers with formaldehyde or some of the new solutions on the market. I personally stripped our antlers but would have loved to kept Emily’s buck’s velvet.

Here you can see Dan's buck antlers have been stripped of their velvet.

Preserving Velvet Antlers

To preserve the antlers you will first have to cut small slits around the circumference of the antlers and on the antler tips then hang them upside down to let all the blood drain. Next you will need to inject the bases with the preserving solution until the solutions start to drip out the cuts. Let them hang overnight and then take the watered down solution and spray it on using a spray bottle. Remember to wear gloves and eye protection especially when spraying.

Stripping the Antlers

If you want to strip your velvet the process is very simple. Use a sharp knife and make long cuts about every inch or so up and down the antlers.  Use your fingers to peel away the velvet at the tip of the antlers until you have a ½ inch exposed. Then use a set of pliers and start to strip the velvet strips off in the large sections you cut. Once you’re done set them out to dry and you will be able to get all the small pieces and veins and velvet off with ease. 

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