How To Bleach A Deer Skull Properly Even If It’s Your First Time?

Do you know how to deer hunt? Of course, you do. Why else would you want to know how to bleach a deer skull otherwise? The joy of deer hunting can be experienced even long after the hunt is over. Many hunters simply love to display the trophy of their biggest buck in their home. While some gift it to their loved ones or fellow hunters.

You don’t have to be a professional taxidermist to know how to turn deer skull white. You can easily do it all by yourself. All you need are some basic tools and the interest to carry out a job like this.

You should know that cleaning deer skull is a tedious task, so it is very important to be well aware of all the skull bleaching instructions. But remember that once you’re successfully through with the task, the kind of satisfaction, joy, and pride that you will feel is something that makes hunting seem like a truly wonderful activity.


The materials that you will need

Boss Gloves 4708L Large 12-Inch Orange Latex Lined Gloves

Latex Gloves

You are going to be working with a freshly captured buck, which is why putting on latex gloves is very important. The gloves will protect your hands not only from any unexpected blood spills but also from the buck’s tissues that your hands will probably come in contact with.

Apron and Boots


When learning to bleach a deer skull, you should know that the process can get a tad too messy and dirty. So a proper gear is essential if you want to keep yourself clean and protected from all the mess.

And what’s the best way to do that? By wearing a plastic apron on top of your clean clothes. And the boots will protect your feet from unavoidable blood spills.

CLC R23011 Over The Sock Black PVC Men's Rain Boot, Size 11

Large Container

Snapware 18.5-Cup Airtight Rectangle Food Storage Container, Plastic

The container should be large enough to accommodate the entire skull of the buck. This large container is also used for the processes of simmering and maceration later.

Just make sure that it is constructed with metal so as to respond well to heat conduction as well as convection.

Winco Utility Tong with Rubber Tip and Locking Clip, 9-Inch

Old Tongs

In order to remove muscles and tissues from the deer’s skull, you will need to use tongs of various sizes.

Dish Wash

The skull undergoes the process of degreasing with the help of dish wash. Degreasing is carried out to clean the skull properly.

Skull Bleaching Paste


There are two types of skull bleaching paste that people use. They are hydrogen peroxide and chlorine.

Hydrogen peroxide is the most preferred choice as it doesn’t do any harm to the deer’s bone structure. In fact, it is largely used to not only sanitize but also whiten the buck’s skull.

On the other hand, bleaching with chlorine tends to leave behind some powdery residue. And this causes the skull to turn yellow after a certain period of time.

How to bleach a deer skull? Skull bleaching instructions

1.The Meat Removing Process

In order to know how to bleach a deer skull, you must first know how to separate the buck’s head from the body. Use a large knife to sever the deer’s head in such a way that the bones along with the veins, nerves, and tissues are disconnected from the body. Then you carry out the process of skinning the deer from the forehead region.

Now it’s time to separate the lower jaw of the buck from its head. Following which you should repeat the same process for the deer’s brain, tongue, and eyeballs. Keep removing the meat from the body till you can spot the bone parts.

How to Clean a Deer Skull?​

2.The Maceration Process

This particular step plays a very important role in making the whole process of skull bleaching a lot easier. After you remove all the meat from the buck’s head, chances are that there might still be tiny parts of meat stuck to the skull. So in this case, the best thing to do is maceration.

The process requires you to soak the skull in a large container filled with water. This ensures that the remaining flesh found on the skull gets eaten up by the bacteria in the water. For maximum results, it’s best to soak the skull for almost 2 months. You will have to keep changing the water with a fresh batch in order to keep the foul odor in check.


3. The Cooking Process

Due to maceration, the remaining flesh must have become soft. So it’s time for the simmering process to be carried out. This is one of the most crucial skull bleaching instructions. With the process of simmering, you should also sanitize the buck’s skull.


For this step, fill up a large container with water till a level that will completely submerge the head. The antlers should remain outside the water because its dark colors need to be preserved. Add some dish wash into the container and let the liquid boil till you spot bubbles.

As soon as the water starts producing tiny bubbles, lower the heat and bring in the skull. It should be simmered in this boiling water for at least half an hour. What this does is tenderize the remaining flesh so it can be quite easily removed. Make use of a thin knife to gently remove all the tenderized meat from the deer’s skull.

You can repeat the whole process for as many times as you want (reduce the simmering time from 30 to 15 minutes) until you have a skull with absolutely no flesh attached to it.

4.The Bleaching Process


The best skull bleaching paste is hydrogen peroxide. This chemical agent has exceptional sanitizing as well as whitening properties. So do you want to bleach a deer skull with hydrogen peroxide?

First, pour some of the hydrogen peroxides into the large container filled with water and boil the solution for a decent amount of time. Then dip the deer’s skull into the container but only halfway.

Then use a ladle to brush the hydrogen peroxide liquid all over the buck’s skull. But remember that the antlers shouldn’t come in contact with the hydrogen peroxide solution.

The next step is to properly soak the buck’s skull inside a plastic container for a few hours. Make sure that the lid of the container is placed on top of it in a semi-closed manner. This eliminates the possibility of bubbles permeating the solution and creating unwanted air pressure inside.

The final step is to take out the head from the container and rinse it thoroughly. You can keep it under the sun for at least 2 days before spraying some polyurethane or any other coat used for animal skulls.

​How to Bleach a Skull w/ Hydrogen Peroxide and Preserve It?

And that’s about it!

So I hope now you finally know how to bleach a deer skull. The process may be a tad difficult and tedious but I can’t tell you how much more rewarding it feels once you successfully learn how to turn deer skull white.

The skull bleaching instructions that I have provided will take some time and plenty of effort on your part. But they ensure that the job gets done in the most flawless and efficient manner.

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Just remember that you should be using skull bleaching paste like hydrogen peroxide and not chlorine. The latter does more harm than good to the skull so it’s better to not involve it in the process at all.

Have you ever tried learning how to whiten an old deer skull? And now after reading these skull bleaching instructions, do you think you’ll be able to carry it out on your own?

Please share your thoughts with us here. You can leave your wonderful comments in the section below.

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