I've never done a deer, but have done many longhorn skulls. I strip the hide now, take off all the tissue I can, and hang from a low limb with wire. Make sure it's high enough a dog can't get to it, and low enough a squirrel want chew the rack. I have only done them in the summer when maggots are out and about. I bleach the skull when it's done curing, and spray with a rattle can of clear varnish.