I use the bugs, but they'd likely eat the velvet before anything else, so the antlers can't go in the box. Clean up head as good as you can and drill from the back of the skull up through the pedicle and into the antler. That gives you your reference when you have to put them back together, take a few other measurements for reference, width, etc. Then using a narrow kerf bone saw cut the antlers off at their base. Once that is done the skull goes into the bug box.
I hang the antlers with an eye screw in the hole that was drilled and using a needle I'll inject Velvet Tan at the base (most taxi places sell it) Make a small hole in the antler tips for fluid to escape, gravity helps some. Depending on the stage of velvet you may get a good deal of fluid or none at all. With the antler cut like that it's way easier to see the veins you want to inject. I'll come back every 15 or 20 minutes and inject some more. I'll keep that up until it's pretty much velvet tan dripping out the ends. You want to paint the entire antler with the velvet tan as well. I'll hang them like that for a day and then give em another coat and maybe try to inject some more tan. The bottle just mentions one time and let it set for a couple days, but I like to do 3 or 4 coats, a couple days in between, cure for a few more days and then you wash it all off, let it thoroughly dry and gently fluff up the velvet. Soft brush and light compressed air works well.
The head goes from the bugs to the degreasing tank for however long that takes, then whitened, sealed, ect. When everything is done I use Marine Tex epoxy and a 5/16 stainless steel threaded rod down through the hole I drilled before cutting them off. I'll set the rod and epoxy it in the skull one day and then come back and epoxy in the antlers the next. I had to make a jig for the antlers with clamps to hold everything in position. Even with the hole for alignment there is a good deal of adjusting to do. I always ask folks if they want em a little wider or they want em taller.... =D
The white Marine Tex matches the whitened bone so well that when the seams are cleaned up and sanded a bit you pretty much need a magnifying glass to see em. The antlers are on real solid.
Have 2 in the freezer right now (one of em is mine)..... they are such pain I'm kinda putting them off..... mine has been in there a couple years...... the running joke is I'm trying to test my freeze drying process.....
I tried to boil out a mule deer skull and keep the velvet once. Wrapped the antlers in foil thinking it would keep the heat off. Didn't work very well...
Then the skull was cleaned and whitened using beetles.
Re-attached the antlers and hung it up