Deadhead Elk

Bleached Out Deadhead Elk Skull Beautifully Restored to Original Colors

Here is one way to restore color to a bleached out set of antlers.

Across America old sets of antlers are hanging on the sides of barns and garages where they were placed years ago as decoration. The only problem is that after decades in the sun, the beautiful chocolate brown color of most antlers is lost as they become bleached by constant sunlight. Even worse, the antlers can start to crack and fall apart.

If you have a set of antlers you want to preserve, it can be concerning, especially if they hold sentimental value as something your dad or grandfather shot. Well, have no fear. There is a way to restore the antlers to their original coloration.

It is a bit of a project, but this guy shows how he restores this beautiful deadhead set of 6x6 elk antlers that is close to becoming chalk. He ends up making an incredibly beautiful antler mount that any hunter would be proud to hang in their home!

As you can see, it is not easy replicating the conditions in nature that cause the natural coloration of antlers. This guy's first attempt was a complete failure. The difficulty in doing this is why we recommend against hanging your antlers outside for this very reason. Even if you do not care about them now, you may someday. It does make us wonder how many record-class bucks and bulls simply rotted away on the walls of cabins and barns over a hundred years ago.

The stain was a simple, but brilliant solution here. The method he came up with for applying it and giving it a weathered look turned out nicely. We are betting most people would not realize those antlers had been completely restored.

While the skull cap mount he did here looks very nice, we also think this mount could have worked with leaving the skull bleached out. It would have been a nice mix of old and new. Either way, we dig it and will have to try this method for some of the bleached out antlers in our own collections!

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels