Summit Treestands
Anyone dry out their deer feet??
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
SILVERADO 11-Nov-08
hunter722 11-Nov-08
soldier,bowman 11-Nov-08
soldier,bowman 11-Nov-08
Skip 11-Nov-08
Skip 11-Nov-08
Skip 11-Nov-08
SILVERADO 12-Nov-08
Skip 12-Nov-08
steve 13-Nov-08
steve 13-Nov-08
Mopieintheeye 30-Dec-18
Mopieintheeye 30-Dec-18
Franklin 30-Dec-18
Buffalo1 31-Dec-18
gunmaster 09-Jan-19
SixLomaz 09-Jan-19
ground hunter 09-Jan-19
gunmaster 09-Jan-19
Franklin 09-Jan-19
Cheesehead Mike 09-Jan-19
gunmaster 09-Jan-19
stlhntr 26-Jan-19
stlhntr 26-Jan-19
dirtclod Az. 26-Jan-19
oldtimer 27-Jan-19
dirtclod Az. 27-Jan-19
oldtimer 27-Jan-19
nvgoat 27-Jan-19
White Falcon 27-Jan-19
Monmouth533 28-Jan-19
From: SILVERADO
11-Nov-08
I would like to make a bow holder out of the feet of my last buck, anyine know the proper way to do this?

From: hunter722
11-Nov-08
bend them how you want them, and put them on a bed of granular salt and then cover them up in salt. the more salt, the better. salt them for a good month or two, and they will be just fine. ive done many this way, and it really works good. it helps to turn them over every once in a while and change out the salt.

11-Nov-08
tHE ( CORRECT WAY ) IS TO SKIN THEM OUT AND TAN THE SKIN AND THEN GLUE THEM OVER THE DEERFOOT FORM MADE FOR THAT PORUSE. hOWEVER IF YOU LEAVE THEM A LITTLE LONG DUE TO THE SKIN PULLING UP A LITTLE. wIRE THEM INTO POSISTION AND LET DRY FOR A COUPLE MONTHS.tHE BONE MARROW INSIDE THE BONE WILL TURN TO MUSH AND NEEDS TO BE DUG OUT. i USED THE HEAD OF A 8 PENNY NAIL.Match them up to a plaque of some sort and the screw goes through the plaque into the bone. Put a little epoxy sculpt or bondo into the bone before you run the srew into them ,then let set up. Mine was made in the 80,s and are still fine but My DAD tought me to do it this way and I still have mule deer feet he did in 52.

11-Nov-08
sorry for all caps, the key stuck on me.

From: Skip
11-Nov-08

Skip's embedded Photo
Skip's embedded Photo
I dry most of the feet from the deer I shoot- I have gunracks almost 20 years old. I alos have shoe boxes of dried hooves waiting for a project. Mty technique: I take a rubber band, or some string and tie the hoof at a 90 deg angle to the leg. I then thow it into the basement refridgerator for a couple months (don't try this with the kitchen reefer if you're married). The refridgerator dries the soft tissue (dessicate) while preventing spoilage. I take the leg out, salt the cut end liberally, or salt it with borax. When I'm ready, I drill out the marrow space using a large bit (size depends on the size of the bone)then fill the space with salt or borax for a week or so. Clean out the salt, and epoxy a length of all thread in the clean, rounded marrow space. the leg/hoof can then be attached to a countersunk base board with an appropriate washer/nut. (the all thread can be cut with a dremel tool or hacksaw to length). Since the direction of the hair is away from the board, there is a small area next to the board that doesn't look great- so I dress that area with a short length of three strand line (rope for the landlubers and pollywogs)of a proportionate diameter placed around the leg and glued to the board. If you want to get fancy, you could tie a turk's head knot at the same place, or you could make a wooden rosette (cut a circular piece of solid wood. Cut an oval out of the middle to match the oval size and shape of the leg. Shape and sand and stain as you want...You can also polish and shine the hooves if you want. Good for gun racks, coat racks, back scratchers (small deer), lamp bases, cane handles...

From: Skip
11-Nov-08

Skip's embedded Photo
Skip's embedded Photo

From: Skip
11-Nov-08

Skip's embedded Photo
Skip's embedded Photo
Pics show with 3 strand line, plain, and wood rosette- and dust...

From: SILVERADO
12-Nov-08
Currently I have them tied, like you stated but in a zip lock bag in the freezer, would that work???

From: Skip
12-Nov-08
The freezer doesn't dehydrate- esp in a ziploc. The moisture freezes and stays there-When it thaws, there will still be moisture which allows decomposition. Maybe in the freezer unwrapped would work, I haven't tried it- but the refridgerator works faster.

From: steve
13-Nov-08
So there in the frezzer !!!! You told me you thru out them stinky things .

DAD

PS you thought I would not find them !!!!!!!!

From: steve
13-Nov-08
TTT

30-Dec-18
I found a deer foot and want to preserve it properly. Do the feet need to be fresh in order to use them for a project, or can I use the one I found? I don't know how long it was out there.

30-Dec-18
I found a deer foot and want to preserve it properly. Do the feet need to be fresh in order to use them for a project, or can I use the one I found? I don't know how long it was out there.

From: Franklin
30-Dec-18
Split the skin down the back of the leg....skinning the hide off the bone. The skin is attached to the hoofs. You need to stick a sharp tool....small screwdriver...pointed knife etc. and go around the perimeter of the inside of the hoof. This releases the toes out of the hoof.

You will be left with a skin with a hollow hoof attached. You can flesh the skin and either salt and tan or you could use "dry preservative" which for a laymen is Borax. Order the "foot form" from a taxidermy supplier like McKensies. Put glue on the form and slide in the skin/ foot....sew the back with Fireline or Spiderwire fishing line...at least 10-12 test. Finish the end whatever way you like.

You would have to have a commercial freeze dryer to "freeze dry" them. If you don`t do it properly you may attract bugs. These bugs will "eat" the deer legs and possibly jump to other mounts in your place. There are tutorials on how to do this all over the Internet and supply houses.

From: Buffalo1
31-Dec-18
This thread reminds me so much of my dad. I can hear him saying now, " Son, you want to do this the simple way or the hard way?" Hunter 722 hit the nail on the head. "bend them how you want them, and put them on a bed of granular salt and then cover them up in salt. the more salt, the better. salt them for a good month or two, and they will be just fine.......... it helps to turn them over every once in a while and change out the salt."

I have no idea how many deer legs/feet I've done making gun racks, hat racks, etc. and this simple method has always worked and lasted for years.

From: gunmaster
09-Jan-19
I have a deer leg that I am trying to preserve, any suggestions on whether to do it inside or in the garage since it is winter? -thanks

From: SixLomaz
09-Jan-19
In a box, buried in salt, in the garage. Why cause ripples in the family fabric?

09-Jan-19
I have done the same, and one more thing,,,, I had a taxidermist mount one on the bottom of my walking staff.... when I hunt in the snow I carry it and make deer tracks, while its mixed with my tracks....... it may sound goofy, but I think it will relax the deer, the come by, seeing the tracks...... my friends thinks I am nuts, but I believe mature bucks get on alert with human tracks,,,,,

From: gunmaster
09-Jan-19
thanks, just trying to keep something since it was my first deer but no rack

From: Franklin
09-Jan-19
You can purchase "pre Freeze Dried" deer feet from VanDykes/ McKensie for $21 a pair. Or you can get a entire kit for $14 and have it done correctly in a days worth of work. Great little project for the winter. The "salt" deal is not the correct method and does not preserve the entire deer foot properly.

09-Jan-19
Just a caution for you guys that are using salt. I skinned out the front feet from the first deer I ever killed back in the early 1970's, salted the flesh side of the skin liberally and then sewed them back together over plastic taxidermy forms. I then let them dry out and mounted them to a nice walnut board that I made in shop class. I used the board with the deer feet for a gun rack for my Winchester Model 94, 30-30.

The next time I took my 30-30 off of the deer foot gunrack there was rust on the two spots where the salty hide was contacting the gun. The salt permanently blemished the gun so be careful. Personally, I would avoid using salt...

From: gunmaster
09-Jan-19
Someone told me that you didn't need to slice open the foot cuz the stuff inside would kinda just shrivle up if you salted it long enough. Can any of you verify?

From: stlhntr
26-Jan-19
Im a taxidermist by trade I prefer to soak them in denatured alchol for a month then dry works great

From: stlhntr
26-Jan-19
Im a taxidermist by trade I prefer to soak them in denatured alchol for a month then dry works great

From: dirtclod Az.
26-Jan-19
Made a set of two for coat racks years later during Az. monsoon season they developed maggots,had to throw them out!

From: oldtimer
27-Jan-19

oldtimer's embedded Photo
oldtimer's embedded Photo
Here is a photo of a lamp with my sons first elk , with a freeze dried elk foot that I dried in one of my freeze dryers , the feet that I do are soaked in a preservative for 24 hours and will keep bugs away

From: dirtclod Az.
27-Jan-19
oldtimer,what type of preservative should I use?

From: oldtimer
27-Jan-19
Borax and a commercial preservative that I get from Taxidermy suppliers

From: nvgoat
27-Jan-19
Here in Nevada where it is very low humidity most of the year, I just position them as I want them and let them dry on their own. Have some 20yrs old and never had a problem.

From: White Falcon
27-Jan-19
Shape, by using string to hold the bend. Clean out as much marrow as you can from the bone, pack with Borax, read in about 1 month.

From: Monmouth533
28-Jan-19
wow I'm confused.......

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