Whaleoil Projects – The European Mount

Last week I went for a bit of a hunt with my mate Simon Lusk.

This is what I stalked in on:


It was a nice even 8 pointer Red deer stag. There were three roaring in that area, and they were answering our calls. I went up the slope after them and left Simon to keep them calling while I stalked closer. It was pretty thick undergrowth and plenty of Ongaonga too. On the way up the slope I was sidling staying down wind but I put up several hinds and a couple of spikers. The stags weren’t moving, so obviously holding tight with hinds having a good old root.

I came up through a game trail in some ferns and bracken and spotted this deer moving across the slope from left to right until he stopped for a look side on to me. I had already dialled the scope back to its lowest setting and knew I didn’t have long for the shot, up came the Tikka T3 Lite rifle, I centred the cross hairs just behind the shoulder and sent the 150gr .308 Nosler Ballistic tip on its way. I have a moderator on the rifle so heard the thump as the bullet hit home. The deer bolted and I swore. It was less than 40yds away, probably closer to 30yds. I moved up to the spot where I shot it and saw the spray of blood. He was hit and from the colour of the blood he was hit hard.  

I called back to Simon to bring up Bruce as the scrub was thick and if this deer went down in the thick stuff only the dog would find it. Bruce leapt about confused by all the sign and trails. After stuffing around for 40 minutes I went back to the blood trail and started slowly and painstakingly tracking it. A bit higher up he had wiped his side across a fern frond, a little bit further up and to the left he had spat out frothy blood, a spot here, a slight drop there and then there he was, about 35 yards from where I had nailed him, tipped over in the scrub.

I wasn’t sure of how many points, but knew it was at least 8. Once I worked out that it was only 8 I decided to take the head for a European mount. We then butchered the meat and carried out the back steaks, hind quarters and a good deal more of the meat. I reckon there was at least 80kg of meat plus the head to carry out.

Ok so how do you European mount a deer head?

Well, never having done it before I checked out Youtube…and yes there are lots of videos. This one seemed the best so I have been following that.


Col the deer ready for head skinning

First up start with the head and strip off the skin. Once that is completed the head will look like this.


Col the deer with his face off

Now it is time to boil the head to soften up the brains and remove all the meaty parts.


Gas cooker, big pot and Col having a nice hot spa

The head was boiled up for several hours, using a ladle to spoon hot water over all the top of the skull. Add washing powder and dishwashing liquid to the water in order to soften and dissolve the fats, Once it is soft and falling of you can scrape off the tough bits. I have a small wire brush as well for removing tough parts. Occasionally take the skull out and jam a thin bladed knife into the brain cavity to mush up the brains, then get a hose and hose off the meat and into the brain cavity. Watch out doing this part as the brains have only one place to go, which is straight out the hole you are hosing back into your face.


Meat and brains all gone, ready for next step

After less than a day Col the deer is ready for the skull whitening process. I will be using industrial strength Hydrogen Peroxide.

The whitening and mounting process will be in my next project post.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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