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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In TN, they have opened up a Velvet hunt to some of the spots I am able to hunt the third week in August. Anyone killed a Velvet buck? What are the options for taxidermy in these circumstances? I know I kinda have to kill one first, but if there is extra cost associated with killing a velvet monster, one may think twice before toughing off the release and letting the arrow do its job.

My chances are pretty good in one of my spots, and I think I have a bead on a good deer, but would love to know if there are any handling concerns before I mess up an awesome deer/experience.
 

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Immediately after kill you want to keep the antlers dry, cool, and away from bugs if possible. I recommend putting skull in a game bag. Buy some ‘antler in velvet tan’ and a large gauge hypodermic needle. Puncture small holes in the tips of the tines. Inject the velvet tan into the veins from the base of the antler and allow to run through. It should push out blood from the tips. Once the fluid starts to run out clear you are set. Brush a heavy coat of the remaining velvet tan on the outside of the antlers. You want full coverage. This should keep the velvet in good shape until you can get to a taxidermist. The velvet will also last forever in the freezer if you need to buy some time. Most taxidermists charge slightly more for velvet mounts. Let me know if you have any other questions. The biggest thing IMO is keeping them cool, and away from bugs.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would imagine that wont be easy in the swamps of west tn in August, but thanks for the info, and Awesome Caribou BTW, thats for sure on my bucket list. pretty awesome creatures.
 

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Faux Velvet is the way to go , I have killed a few , you would never know the difference . Plus the real velvet only holds up for about 8-10 years .
 

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Immediately after kill you want to keep the antlers dry, cool, and away from bugs if possible. I recommend putting skull in a game bag. Buy some ‘antler in velvet tan’ and a large gauge hypodermic needle. Puncture small holes in the tips of the tines. Inject the velvet tan into the veins from the base of the antler and allow to run through. It should push out blood from the tips. Once the fluid starts to run out clear you are set. Brush a heavy coat of the remaining velvet tan on the outside of the antlers. You want full coverage. This should keep the velvet in good shape until you can get to a taxidermist. The velvet will also last forever in the freezer if you need to buy some time. Most taxidermists charge slightly more for velvet mounts. Let me know if you have any other questions. The biggest thing IMO is keeping them cool, and away from bugs.


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Why go through all that trouble if youre just going to take it to the taxidermist anyway? Plus this could jack up his process.

Stick it in your freezer. Your taxi will take care of the rest. Best option for preserving the real stuff is freeze dry. If you damage the velvet the fake velvet is awesome.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
is the faux velvet like the spray on stuff Taxidermist use? and is it a significant expense at the taxi?
 

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I’ve killed a velvet buck in Ky. Buddies have killed several too. The important thing to remember is to handle the antlers gently. It’s best to wear gloves and try not to touch the velvet. Cape the deer and get the antlers in the freezer as soon as you can. You do have several hours so don’t rush. It took me an hour to get him out and another two to get home, take pics and cape him out. Mine were freeze dried by the taxidermist and there was extra cost for this method. Turned out great.
 

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i killed a nice velvet buck in 2005, stuck the cape and horns in the freezer and took it to my taxidermist. he sent it across town and had the antlers freeze dried. looks just like new to this day.
 

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My taxi said to soak the rack in borax saturated water, keep fresh solution till the blood is out. Replaced the solution several times over a few days. 2012...it is as soft and plush today as it was then! If I shot one today I'd do the same process.
 

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I think I paid 50-75$ extra. After I killed, I carefully loaded the buck making sure I didn’t touch the antlers at all and didn’t drag them against anything. I propped them up in the back of the truck. My taxi advised me not to handle them too much and keep them dry and cool. I caped and got it in a cooler making sure the melted ice would drain and the antlers weren’t pressed against the side. Took to taxi next day and it turned out nice. This was from the first ever velvet season in TN.

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To me the biggest issue with a velvet buck is most look like Olemossyhorns buck which looks just like he did when he was shot. Skinny and no muscle tones unlike a buck shot later in the year. If you look at TDS894's buck you can see he doesn't look like he did when he was killed, the taxidermist used a mount ment for a deer shot later in the year. Just look at the picture of his son holding it [skinny neck] and then look at the mount. The mount is much bigger than the kill shot picture. I have two mule deer hanging on my wall and both are skinny necked deer. Are they nice mounts ? Yes but both look odd because I have several Whitetails with big thick necks while the Mule deer have big/huge bodies and skinny necks. I am sure you can get your taxidermist to stretch the cape onto a bigger form for you but doesn't that delete the point of mounting your deer ?
 
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