Ever seen an AR15 carved into a deer skull? Didn’t think so! Here at US Skull Hunter I am redefining an already small trade by giving the ordinary hunter a new way to display their trophies. And may I say its beats your traditional taxidermy mounts! Not that traditional taxidermy doesn’t have its place of course.
So, the following is how I turned a dead head deer into a patriotic symbol of freedom and self-defense!
- Start with a clean skull.
By clean I mean free of all flesh and grease. For what we are doing here it is not important to whiten the skull beforehand because in the end we will be staining it a darker color anyway.
- Transfer your pattern unto the skull.
This can be best done by printing out your design (laser printers work best) and using Liquitex Professional Gloss Gel to transfer the design from the paper to the skull. Simply cut out your design and add a thin coat of the gel onto the print. Place the paper ink side down onto the skull and use your fingers to press the paper to the shape of the skull. Adding water to the paper facing up will help make it more malleable. Let it dry overnight and then wet the paper and gently rub off the paper. The ink will remain on the skull as you can see in the photos.
I am using a Dremel 4000 with ZFE Flex Shaft extension on it. To outline the AR15s and the eagles I used burrs # 105 and #106. For the dimpling behind the designs I used a #105 (please note! There are some affiliate links in this article meaning if you buy something off of amazon I will get a commission, usually pennies that I use to help cover the cost of this website) which worked out well and really make the AR15s stand out.
This part is actually pretty easy. I have gone through a lot of different stains only to come to the conclusion that coffee works pretty darn well. For this mount I went to Starbucks and got 2 shots of espresso and boiled it down in order to make it darker. Simply apply where you want the stain an boom your trophy will look great. Put on one final coat of polyurethane or clear coat to lock the stain in. Use a spray on clear coat because if you apply it with a brush it will mix with the coffee and mess up what you just did (experience talking).
Now, one more thing about using coffee; if your stain is too watered down it will soak into the porous parts on the bone. If you are specifically trying to only stain one are to highlight another (like I did with the AR15s), make sure you boil the coffee down to a paste. Even better just use instant coffee!
Last is to mount your skull on a plaque and enjoy!