Southerners
Scott Misita built his first deer skull lamp in 2007 for a friend and since then has constructed approximately 20 more lamps. Misita does all of the woodcarving and copper work from hand. “It’s a different way to display a trophy,” Misita said. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)
Scott Misita built his first deer skull lamp in 2007 for a friend and since then has constructed approximately 20 more lamps. Misita does all of the woodcarving and copper work from hand. “It’s a different way to display a trophy,” Misita said. (Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat)

Misita enjoys turning deer skulls into creative lamps

Published 12:01am Sunday, January 19, 2014

NATCHEZ — It’s evident that most hunters like to showcase their game, whether it’s with pictures, taxidermy or a big trophy with their name on it.

But Scott Misita has discovered a totally new way for hunters to flaunt their kills.

“I found an article about how to do a skull mount and I did a couple and I thought about what I could do next, and a lamp came to mind,” he said. “I pitched my idea to a friend and he said he liked the idea and he had the perfect skull to do one with and he brought it to me and said ‘make me one.’”

Misita has now been creating skull lamps for six years, and he said he makes majority of the lamps by hand.

“I do all my own woodwork,” he said. “It’s not hard labor, just tedious labor. The finishing of the wood, the finishing of the copper and the electrical work is a little more challenging to work with, but my brother is a coppersmith so he showed me how to do different things with it.”

Misita said he uses copper to make the pipe of the lamp simply because it looks better. But the reason he uses Sinker Cypress wood to mount the deer head at the base of the lamp has a little more meaning,

“I use Sinker Cypress because of the historical value of it,” he said. “It is trees that were cut down in the late 1800s and the logs were so large that when they floated down river, the larger logs would sink and break away from the rest. People have found it in the water one hundred years later and it’s so stable because it’s been under water for so long. The Cypressene in it preserves the hardwood.”

The lamp also features a shade made from rawhide, which he orders.

“The original (lamps) I made were with a camouflage shade, but I learned rawhide shades look a little more elegant, yet rugged too,” Misita said. “They’ve got a nice glow to them, it’s almost like a fire place glow. It just went together.”

The pull chain and finial are both made of deer antler tips, which he also makes himself.

Misita said most customers bring in the deer they kill, but for those who just want a nice hunters’ lamp made, he said he also would use a skull replicas.

Those who come with their own deer have the option of keeping the skull as is, or getting the skull whitened. And Misita said whitening takes a lot more time, but has a cleaner finish.

“I use peroxide to whiten it because it doesn’t harm the skull,” he said. “The outside (of the skull) leaves all of the grease (from the deer), so I have to soak them. Over time, it takes the grease out of it. The longer it soaks, the more grease comes out of it.”

Misita estimates he soaks the deer skulls for about two months to get it as white as possible in as little time.

And though two months seems lengthy, Misita said the time used to perfect every part of the lamp is worth it.

“It’s a quality piece of artwork,” he said,

Misita said the work can get tedious at times, but he does it for the shear enjoyment as he works at Southern Signs in the day.

“It’s more like a hobby even though I do them for customers,” Misita said. “I just enjoy it, I’ve been making them for six years, and I still think they come out looking cool.”

Misita can be contacted at 601-807-9262 or visit his website at www.boneheadskulllamp.com