Hunters can utilize every part of their kill once they learn how to make a coat rack out of deer legs. Preserving the legs requires professional taxidermy supplies and a significant amount of time. However, with patience you can easily make a distinctive piece of furniture.
Step 1 – Dress Deer Legs
Sever the legs at the knee joint with the hacksaw, and then cut the skin with the knife all the way down the hoof. Peel the skin back to expose the dew claw; sever the dew claw and tendons. Drill lengthwise through the shin bone to remove the marrow, which cannot be preserved. Use a pipe cleaner soaked in acetone to remove the last bits of marrow.
Step 2 – Preserve Deer Legs
Spread the newspapers out and lay the deer legs on them. Coat and pack the legs in salt to draw out all of the moisture. Pay special attention to the area around the dew claw so as not to miss any crevices. Pack salt into the hollowed bones as well as between skin and muscle. Allow the leg to sit salted for 2-3 days. Prepare a solution of 1 lb. of alum, 1 gallon of warm water, and 1 cup of salt. Soak the hooves and hides in this solution for an additional 7 – 10 days.
Step 3 – Mount Deer Legs
After the legs have been cured, preserved, and allowed to dry, stuff the hollowed hoof with taxidermy clay and slip the toe end of the foot form into it. Wrap the loose hide tightly around the form, then start sewing it from the hoof up, spacing the stitches no more than an 1/8-inch apart. At the end of the leg, pin the skin flat and trim off any excess with scissors. Allow the mounting clay to dry before removing the legs. Alternatively, if you do not have or do not wish to use a foot form, you can stuff the bone cavity as tightly as possible with popsicle sticks. Then, drive a screw through the mounting board facing outward and fasten the legs to it. The threaded end of the screw should be able to grip against the tightly packed wooden shims. Finally, paint the hooves with one or two coats of clear varnish or black paint.
Step 4 – Assemble Coat Rack
If you used pre-bolted foot forms, it will be a simple matter to drill guide holes into a dowel rod and screw the deer legs into them. Then screw the dowel rod into a base of your own design; stain or paint all wooden parts of the piece to ensure longevity. If you did not use mounting forms you will have to drill through or into the bones.