How to Clean a Deer Skull

As part of preserving the memory of your hunting trips, most people would take the time to have a skull of a deer cleaned and mounted in the house. Each time you get to look at the skull, you will always remember the thrill of making the kill. Even the others who check it out would want to know how you did it. As you can see, it is going to be something great. So, how do you clean the deer skull?If you are just starting as a hunter, this is a question you will always ask yourself all the time. We get to show you how to clean a deer skill easily once you have hunted the deer.


What you’ll need

  • A dead deer
  • Sharp knife
  • Boiling water
  • Sticks
  • Protective gloves
  • Wire brush
  • Soft bristle brush


1. Hunt the deer legally

Of course, you will need to get your hands on a dead deer if you need the skull. You can do so by hunting in an allowed place. Once you have your deer, proceed to cut the head, as it is the one you need for this process. Make the cut close to the skull as much as possible.

​Now that you have the head, proceed to prepare it for boiling. This part involves cutting as much meat as possible off the skull. Remove the meat in all sections with your sharp knife. Proceed also to remove the eyes, eyes and other parts from the skull. Removing more meat helps in cutting down the boiling time needed to clean the skull.

2. Cook the skull

How to Clean a Deer Skull


Since you will have inserted the skull in boiling water, you could as well as settle for cooking. You will need a large fryer or container to hold enough water so that you can immerse the skull.

One tip to consider while doing this is by making sure that the antlers are above water at all times. They are the ones that would be suspended up to hold the skull into the boiling water.

Let the skull settle in the boiling water for about an hour before you can take it out. Take the skull out and start removing more pieces of meat that might have remained during the first round. The boiling water is important for cooking the meat so that it softens and becomes easier to remove. You could use sticks when it comes to pulling the brain out of the cavity.

The meat at this point is hot since it is just coming from boiling water, so you might want to handle it with care.

Keep alternating the cleaning of the meat with cooking the skull for about 5 hours to remove all the meat and tissues from the skull.

​3. Cleaning up the skull further

Removal of meat is not all that you need for cleaning the deer skull. After the several hot baths in the boiling water and removal of meat residues, it is now time for some detailed cleaning. Here you get to use a nose pliers, and small picks to remove more tissues from the cavities of the skull.

You are supposed to be careful when it comes to cleaning around the nasal bones as they are often delicate. You do not want to break them easily.

The brain cavity and the nasal sinuses can be hard to clean. You might have to use the picks to get into those crevices to remove as much tissue as possible.

This cleaning part could also use the wire brush to get the job done. When using the wire brush, you have to be careful not to end up breaking more bones or gouging the surface of the bones. Always make sure to remove all meat and connective tissues from the skull as if left to stay, they would make the skull to stink.

​4. Wash the skull

Wash the skull

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Still on cleaning, you now have to wash the skull in warm water mixed with soap. The idea here is to remove any grease that the skull might have absorbed when you were boiling it. You will still need to have a good scrubber for the process. Just make sure that you do not end up breaking the bones. If you want the grease to easily come out, make sure that you let it settle for about 10 minutes in the warm water.

Use a soft bristled brush at this stage as the wire brush might end up breaking more fragile bones.


The process is not as hard as you might have thought in the first place. Maybe you will have to boil the skull for several hours, but it is always rewarding to end up with a clean skull. Once it is cleaned, you can opt for European mount as a way of keeping it as a memory never to forget in your house.

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