Skip to main content

Make Your Own Euro Mount at Home in 4 Steps

Transforming a hard-won trophy into a classy display piece is easy and affordable. Use this process to create skull mounts at home.

Make Your Own Euro Mount at Home in 4 Steps

Shutterstock image

Taxidermy is a beautiful way to honor the animals and the hunts that have shaped some of your best memories. Every time I glance at the animal art in my home—from turkey spurs to big-game mounts to bear and zebra rugs—I pause and remember subtle details of each adventure that ultimately led me to nature's greatest bounties.

However, when it comes to big-game animals, two prominent issues arise for any avid (and successful) hunter who has a taxidermy addiction: cost and space. Shoulder mounts or even full-body mounts are incredible, but one can quickly rack up several thousand dollars of investment in taxidermy, and real estate to park these beasts can quickly run out. This is where do-it-yourself European mounts become an ideal solution. The only thing they'll cost you is a little bit of time and effort.

STEP 1: FLESH IT

Euro-Mount
Illustration by Kevin Hand

The critical first step in starting your DIY Euro mount is to remove all the flesh from the animal's skull. You'll want to start with a razor-sharp knife. Keep a sharpener handy (Work Sharp makes a number of excellent compact sharpeners) to maintain your blade edge throughout this process. If possible, remove all the external flesh, eyeballs and brain shortly after the kill. If time isn't a luxury, freeze the entire head until you're ready to flesh.

Did you forget about a head in your garage or backyard that has started to rot? Not all hope is lost. Soak the head in a container of water and/or lightly boil it for a short amount of time to remove most of the unbearable filth before completing the fleshing process. The soak is also a great way to "quarantine" the head—versus continuing to let it rot and stink in the open—until you're ready to deal with it. Putting an already rotting head in a freezer is not a good idea.


STEP 2: COOK IT

Euro-Mount
Illustration by Kevin Hand

Once the skull has been fleshed, prepare a large pot of water in which to simmer it (a full boil can potentially loosen and damage sensitive parts of the skull or crack the teeth). A turkey fryer kit (approximately 20-quart stock pot and propane burner) works great for this step. The skull will need to be fully submerged with the antlers above water. Protect the antler bases by covering them in plastic wrap or clear packing tape. Place a short length of lumber between the main beams of the antlers and the pot to ensure the antlers don't develop burn lines on the pot edge. Cooking will take 2 to 4 hours, with the goal being to loosen all remaining flesh and tissue for the next step in the process.


STEP 3: CLEAN IT

Euro-Mount
Illustration by Kevin Hand

While the skull flesh is still moist from cooking, use a power washer to spray off remaining flesh, including external meat, internal brain matter and particles in the nasal cavity. Use a rotating nozzle and be careful how much pressure you apply; start at a distance and slowly move closer. My 1,600-psi pressure washer works effectively for removing flesh without damaging the skull. Stick the nozzle in the brain stem and move it around to spray out stubborn brain matter.

Euro-Mount
Illustration by Kevin Hand

Want to keep this nasty situation contained and avoid getting sprayed? Build a wooden box with four walls and a top. Cut a small hole in the top, and spray the skull while it's in the box. This is a particularly good idea in suburban environments.

You can use a variety of small tools—a knife, metal scrapers and nylon brushes, for instance—to help scrape away any remaining bits of flesh after the power washing is complete. Be careful not to scratch the skull or break any bones, especially around the delicate nasal cavity. When finished, thoroughly rinse off the skull or simmer it once more and allow it to air dry.

STEP 4: WHITEN IT

Euro-Mount
Illustration by Kevin Hand

This fourth and final step is optional. If you're going for a rugged, more natural look, you can stop after the cleaning stage. For a bright white skull, there are several whitening agents available that can be applied.


Perhaps the most popular skull whitener is 40-volume peroxide cream, which can be purchased from beauty supply or taxidermy shops online. Wrap the antler bases in tape or plastic wrap to keep them protected, then apply the cream to the entire skull with a paintbrush. Cover the coated skull with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for a day or two before rinsing. Repeat the whitening process once again if it's not white enough for your liking.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows

New for 2021, here's a look at the new Rage Trypan NC, Nockturnal Shift Nock, Carbon Express Maxima RED Contour and D-Stroyer PileDRIVER arrows.

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

New for 2021: Bear Redemption EKO, Legit RTH Compound Bows

Bear Archery's newest bows - Redemption EKO and Legit RTH - are light, adjustable and fast.

New for 2021: Elite Archery Bows, Slick Trick Broadheads and CBE Sight

New for 2021: Elite Archery Bows, Slick Trick Broadheads and CBE Sight

Learn more about two new Elite Archery bows, the Enkore and Remedy, two new broadhead from Slick Trick and a new site from Custom Bow Equipment (CBE).

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

New for 2021: Mathews V3 27 & 31 Bows

After a fall of testing new 2021 Mathews products on the road as he filmed new episodes for Bowhunter Magazine's television program, editor Curt Wells had an exciting visit with Mark Hayes, Mathews design engineer, as the pair looked at the new V3 27 and V3 31 bows.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Get ready to braise ground venison with all the traditional chili ingredients, directly on the grill, for a smokin' hot take on this comfort food classic.Smoked Venison Chili Recipe Wild Game

Smoked Venison Chili Recipe

Eva Shockey - October 16, 2020

Get ready to braise ground venison with all the traditional chili ingredients, directly on the...

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties are accompanied by melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and Thousand Island dressing and then pressed in between two toasted and golden brown pieces of rye bread.Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe Wild Game

Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe

Kristy Crabtree - October 27, 2020

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties...

Enjoy canned venison warmed or use it in stews, chili, and other hot dishes.Canned Venison Recipe Wild Game

Canned Venison Recipe

Raschell Rule - January 15, 2021

Enjoy canned venison warmed or use it in stews, chili, and other hot dishes.

These affordable designs are big on features, short on cash outlay — ATA Show.New Crossbows Under $600 for 2021 ATA Show

New Crossbows Under $600 for 2021

Lynn Burkhead - January 14, 2021

These affordable designs are big on features, short on cash outlay — ATA Show.

See More Trending Articles

More Hunting How-To

Every bowhunter should be able to handle four key tasks in setting up a compound.Setting Up a Compound Bow: You Can Do This Bows

Setting Up a Compound Bow: You Can Do This

Tony Hansen - January 08, 2021

Every bowhunter should be able to handle four key tasks in setting up a compound.

Bundle up and punch the clock; end-of-year monster bucks not uncommon.Whitetail Record Books Show Late Season Can Still Be Great Whitetail

Whitetail Record Books Show Late Season Can Still Be Great

Lynn Burkhead - December 23, 2020

Bundle up and punch the clock; end-of-year monster bucks not uncommon.

For less than $100, you can put together a repair kit that's easy to pack into the field.A Compact Rifle Toolkit to Save the Day During Your Hunt Hunting How-To

A Compact Rifle Toolkit to Save the Day During Your Hunt

Richard Mann - January 04, 2021

For less than $100, you can put together a repair kit that's easy to pack into the field.

Throughout November, blacktail hunters' chances improve as the weather gets wetter. Here's how to fill your tag in snotty conditions.Tough It Out to Tag a November Blacktail Buck Big Game

Tough It Out to Tag a November Blacktail Buck

Gary Lewis - November 12, 2020

Throughout November, blacktail hunters' chances improve as the weather gets wetter. Here's how...

See More Hunting How-To

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now