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How to Preserve Deer Hooves- In Just 2 Effective Steps!

Wondering why you need to preserve deer hooves? Well, the addition of deer hooves on the mount is excellent. They are a memento of the hunt when used as a shotgun or bow rack. It is also a great place to start learning about taxidermy. 

But you have no idea how to preserve hooves? Well, don’t worry we’re here to save you!

So, how to preserve deer hooves?

To preserve the deer’s hooves, first of all, you need to cut the hooves out of the legs. Follow the right way while processing. Then make a salt solution using 1 cup of salt, 1 lb of alum, and warm water. Soak the hooves into the salt and dry them out. 

Do you like the overview so far? Well, that is only the nitty-gritty of our whole concept. Spare some minutes for us and find all the in-depth information in our next segment.

So what are you waiting for? Hop on!

How to Preserve Deer Hooves: Processing & Preservation

You can use every part of your hunt if you want. From mounting deer heads to hooves, every part has its own demand. Deer hooves make a nice rattle. Preserved deer hooves can be used for many purposes.

Processing of Deer Hooves

To preserve the deer hooves, first, you need to process them in the correct way. Start with removing the hooves from the deer legs. It should be done very neatly. To do that, you are going to need some equipment. These are-

  • A bowl of boiling hot water 
  • Sharp knife 
  • Hacksaw
  • Fire ash
  • Pliers or grabbing tools 
  • Hand gloves 

We need to get the inside hot enough for deer legs. So, it starts to cook and releases the tissue. This tissue basically holds the hooves on. Because inside that part, the bone is not solid, it’s actually hollow. So, if it gets hot, it will just pop off. 

You can do the whole procedure with a campfire as well. You need to put it in the hot ashes, underneath the fire. But make sure, you don’t scorch or overcook the hooves.

Otherwise, the easiest way is to use boiling hot water at home. 

With the hacksaw, split the legs around the knee joint. Then peel the skin straight down the hooves with the knife. Remove the skin to reveal the dewclaw & tendons. Cut the dewclaw as well as tendons. 

Drill through the shin bone longitudinally to extract the bone. Because it cannot be preserved. Remove the final pieces of marrow using an acetone-soaked pipe cleaner. Have you ever removed dried hide from a deer skull? It’s quite similar in process. 

Then put the legs in the boiling hot water.

After a few minutes, you can start testing them. To be safe, you can use hand gloves while testing the hooves.

If the boiling temperature is at the correct point, the hooves should just pop right off. If it’s not, then wait a while. Or else, you can try another leg piece. 

You may use a pair of pliers instead of hands to remove the hooves. Sometimes, older deers are harder to pull off. So, pliers will make the job easier for you.

Here are some recommendations for pliers that might be helpful for you:

Now comes the preservation part. After removing the hooves from the leg, you can preserve the hooves for years. All you have to do is, just follow these simple methods. 

Preservation of Deer Hooves

When you are done with removing the hooves from the deer leg, clean them. Use fresh hot water to make it clean and get rid of blood, skin, and other things. 

For the preservation, you can follow these steps-

Step 1: Trim the Hoof

The soft and rubbery part of the deer hooves is called the frog. And the other part is harder. You can either leave the frog end or just trim around. Trim it with the help of a sharp knife. As you try to cut the hoof, it will bend away. 

Also, you can cut the frog out from the hoof. 

Be careful with that, because that is dicey! You will have to push it hard. 

Try to clean the edges nicely before you dry them. 

Step 2: Dry It In The Salt

Lay down the newspapers and place the deer hooves on top of them. To suck out all the moisture, coat and compress the legs with salt. To avoid missing any fissures, pay extra attention. Especially in the region surrounding the dewclaw. 

Salt the sunken bone as well as the spaces between the skin and muscle. Allow the salted leg to sit for at least 3 days. Use 1 pound of alum, and 1 cup of salt with 1 gallon of hot water to make the solution. 

Allow the hooves and skins to soak in this solution for another 7 days.

This way, the preservation is done. The process is not that lengthy, almost like how long it takes to taxidermy a deer head. And you can preserve the hooves for ages.


Is it possible to eat deer hooves?

Yes, you may eat deer feet, including the insides of the hoof. And inspite of being the fact that it may seem strange to some. We can assure you that deer feet are incredibly tasty more than garbage to toss away or give to the dog.

Is it possible to make deer hooves from deer legs?

Yes. First, find a drill bit and cut the legs by their length. Drill off all of the cartilage inside the leg, leaving only the bone exposed. Fill with salt, then salt the top. Shape the hoof anyway you want it to be. Leave it against the wall & bind it at a 90 ° angle with a block while it dries.

What do deer hooves do?

While jumping, a deer’s front cloven hooves help it to turn around and push off. It also supports the weight, dispersing energy. When the hooves contact the earth or surface. It protects the tissue and bone inside the hoof capsules and creates traction.

Wrapping Up

We hope this solves all of your queries regarding how to preserve deer hooves. When you go for hunting, stay careful to avoid wild animal attacks. Also, do not hunt any endangered animals.

Please contact us if you have any more queries.

Goodbye till the next time!

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