I picked up this buffalo ( Bison ) horn at a local rendezvous last month and finally went at it. Went very smooth with zero issues which really surprised me. I did not want a shiny, fake looking horn. I wanted something that was natural looking without all the fancy thrill. No mountain man ever carried around the fancy stuff you see online today. Their equipment was exposed to weather and hard conditions. If they ever had anything decorated or snazzy, it was from boredom of being in winter camp, when they had some time on their hands.
Keeping my horn simple, I just went with a double cut bastard file and gently took down any really bad rough scale on the horn that could snag on clothing, etc. The horn spout I made from mule deer antler and a hardwood dowel that is just a super tight press fit. The large plug on the back of the horn is pine. Remember, we don't have all the fancy hardwoods that the east does. Pine, Cedar, Cotton wood, Juniper, Scrub Oak and Alder, pretty much sums in up in my parts of Southern Colorado.
The horn base plug was sealed with an epoxy. When I do another, I will use something more traditional such as pine sap, charcoal and finely ground deer droppings as a binder.
Coming to my senses and forgetting about all the fancy horns I've seen or owned in the past, I wanted something that was believable.
You're a mountain man coming across the plains. Naturally you pick up a collection of items along the way. My buff'ler horn being one of them.
Somehow, my fancy ( or even a plain jane ) powder horn is either lost or damaged.
What do you do?
Go through the saddle bags and see what you have of course!
I stuck with local pine wood and mule deer antler.
If you were a mountain man back in the day and had to make something important, such as a powder horn, you darn sure were not worried about scraping it thin and laying down a fancy scrimshaw. Most mountain men back in the day actually purchased their horns from the store, same as we do today. It was an item very high up on the traders list of items to sell to mountain men/trappers.
So this is my "replacement" horn I made out on the trail to replace my lost/broken powder horn.