DEAR SUN SPOTS: I was fortunate to get my moose in October. He was a large bull with massive antlers — 51-inch spread and 18 points.
I have saved the antlers and need to know what the taxidermists use to preserve the antlers and keep them from turning lighter as they age.
Thank you for your help. — Daniel Cole, Auburn
ANSWER: The online topic on this advice depends on whether or not the antlers have already been removed from the skull. Sun Spots is going to assume you have already done that, because she really doesn’t want to think too much about how to remove brains and other flesh.
All the websites but one agree that the antlers should be kept indoors and preferably out of the sun to avoid bleaching. Rodents can also be a problem if the antlers are left outside.
Some sites recommend washing them with dishwashing soap, others with just plain water. But you should be gentle. No scrubbing, which will cause damage, perhaps even break a point if you rub too hard on the velvet.
At ehow.com, it offers these suggestions for possible preservatives:
* Coat them in two layers of paste floor wax and then buff them until they shine. Although the buffing may take some time, it will keep the antlers looking beautiful.
* Soak the antlers in a solution of one part linseed oil and one part turpentine to help preserve them.
* Spray antlers with furniture polish, but this will have to be done on a regular basis.
One outlier site from Canada suggested leaving the antlers outdoors in a shed over the winter or until the interior gets chalky. Then you drill holes and fill them with clear acrylic. From what the other sites said, this might be a good option for antlers that have already suffered from neglect.
Perhaps some local hunters will write in with solutions that worked well for them. This is certainly not an area in which Sun Spots has any expertise!
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I read your column every day and love it.
I belong to a dancing group of eight people. We are looking for someone to make some vests for us, around the Wilton area. If you have any questions, you can call 207-860-6313. Thank you. — G., Dryden
ANSWER: Sun Spots has the following seamstresses in her Rolodex. Please let her know if there are any additions, subtractions or changes needed.
* Alice Hilton, Gardiner area, 582-3759
* Alterations by Judy, 906 Sabattus St., Lewiston, 783-6201
* Barefoot Seamstress, Ruth Howe, Bryant Pond, 665-2410
* Cecile Giguere, 1048 Sabattus St., Lot 28, 784-3028
* Chez Dorea, Dorea Fortier, 1 Brule St., Lewiston, 333-0755
* Mainly Sewing, 114 Western Ave., Auburn, 783-9406, also teaches sewing
* Nita Brissette, Nita’s Alterations in Turner, 212-3766
DEAR SUN SPOTS: This is in response to the Dec. 5 query about unwanted mailings from groups the writer found objectionable.
I, too, had problems with this same church, so I called and called them. I wrote to them. I contacted the U.S. Postal Service in Portland and locally, wrote to the Attorney General’s Office and contacted the Direct Mail Association, all to no avail.
I started returning their mailings in their postage-paid envelopes with subtle cuss words; mailings still came. Out of desperation the only way I was able to stop them was to be very vulgar and return them. Then they stopped.
If No Name wants help, she can contact me. — [email protected]
ANSWER: Sun Spots guesses both readers are referring to Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, which is known for picketing soldiers’ funerals and its virulently anti-gay stance. If so, considering statements from this “church” (it has about 40 members of primarily one extended family), it’s not surprising that it took vulgarity to scare them off.
This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]