If you love hunting, a deer hoof gun rack is the perfect addition to your collection of game mounting. It will not only speak of your love of hunting but will also add to aesthetic value of your home. Follow the steps below to make your own deer hoof gun rack.
Step 1 – Taking Appropriate Precautions
Building a deer hoof gun rack involves using various chemicals to process the hide of the deer legs. As the materials involved might in some way harm your skin it's better to wear gloves during the curing part. We also recommend extreme caution while using the sewing needle because of its sharpness. Do not wear gloves while sewing because you won’t have control over your hands and the skin wont be stitched neatly. After you have gone over these precautions, move on to working on your rack.
Step 2 – Skinning the Deer Leg
Firstly, make sure that you use a sharp, thin knife to do this. Insert the knife between the skin and bone at the back of the leg and slowly start cutting downwards. Cut off the dewclaw and insert the knife into the back of the hoof to break off the knuckle. This separates the hoof from the leg. You will end up with a piece of skin attached to the hoof. This is your raw material for the gun rack.
Step 3 – Curing the Skin
Place the hoof on a newspaper and after heavily salting the skin, fold it in a newspaper. This will dry the skin and flesh and clean it from blood and other fluids. After 24 hours of drying, open the newspaper and rinse the skin and hoof in soapy water to remove the salt. Make sure that you clean out the crevices properly. This cures the skin and hoof and prevents decay. Dry properly so that it can be used in the next step.
Step 4 – Preparing the Hoof for Mounting on the Rack
This is where taxidermy comes in. You will need to go to a taxidermist to purchase a taxidermy clay deer foot form. This is the mold on to which the skin is to be sown. Use a sewing needle and some nylon thread to neatly sow the skin and hoof on to the form. T pins can be used to ensure that the skin remains crease free and doesn’t roll off the form. After the stitching, mold the hoof in the position that is suitable for holding a gun. This shape can be obtained by bending the hoof in such a way that it forms a 90-degree angle with the rest of the leg. Leave the clay to set and harden. Repeat all these steps for the other leg as well.
Step 5 – Completing Your Project
Drill holes into the wall mount and clay form and attach the two using nuts. After you have done this and made sure that the connection is not loose, place a gun on top to see if the hoofs support its weight. Add a few coats of varnish on the hoofs for shine and you’re done.