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#1720678 - 11/17/10 07:14 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Wolfwoman]
uttrapper Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 12/04/09
Posts: 98
Loc: s.w. utah
What type of stain or mixture do you use on the horns if they are bleached white from time?


Edited by uttrapper (11/17/10 07:15 PM)

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#1738807 - 12/04/10 07:51 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: uttrapper]
cjg Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 93
Loc: North Waterboro Maine
Get yourself some beetles, you can buy them on ebay, they clean them up nice and white and no lost teeth.

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#1739168 - 12/05/10 01:14 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: cjg]
VarmintOr Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/28/10
Posts: 8
Loc: Sothern Oregon
i have to say beetles it the simplest way to go, fast easy and very efficent. no shull shrinking and no cracked teeth,
i have done over 300 skulls and complete sketelons this year alone, and have done almost every triditional way to clean bone and beetles work the best for ME, this is all IMO but it works great for me!

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#2226641 - 05/31/12 09:14 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
sittinpretty Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 132
Loc: mid-ohio
Easiest way I found. Tried it out on a buck last year and was amazed. Cut it off at the kneck. Wrapped a metal chain with rubber coating (dogleash) around the antlers and threw it in the pond. Not actually threw, but tied it to the dock to keep it off the bottom. Didn't skin it nothing, no mess, no stink, hardley anytime, nor money. Came back a month later and checked on it and it was clean as a bone. Did have alittle discoloration to it but ur going to paint it anyways or brush a little peroxide/bleach combo. If I was to do it again I would try to keep the antlers out of the water. I wish I had pics but I ended up doing a shoulder mount on it. Just thought I would share, I know not everyone has a pond

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#2373649 - 12/27/12 09:53 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: sittinpretty]
erict Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 420
Loc: near Albany, NY
Here's my first skull project using alot of the information from this thread (thanks to all!). I put this together as a Christmas present for my nephew and part of the gift was that he had to figure out where the teeth went and then Elmer's Glue the teeth in. I didn't get a chance to take a pic since.

Short story - shot red fox, cleaned skull, 3 day soak in water, simmered for about 1.5 hours in Dawn and Sal Soda solution to degrease. DO NOT boil, as this degrades the bone and will result in cracked teeth and also most or all of the teeth, like the tiny ones, will fall out and you will have to pick them out of the crud. Sal Soda causes many of the connective tissue bits to "gel" up and they are easier to remove. If you like to see the nasal cavity bones, such as on deer, you may need to simmer again or use beetles/maceration method. Pick off all of the bits and pieces of meat, etc using dental picks. Rinse, dry, about 24 hour soak in Baquacil Oxydizer (27% hydrogen peroxide pool chemical), rinse, dry, two coats of Krylon Matte Clear, glue in smaller teeth. Sand plaque, 3 coats polyurethane top, 2 coats poly back, made stencil for back, spray painted black, removed stencil, another coat of poly, apply three silicone feet on back, drilled hole and installed wooden dowel on front (skull brain stem hole slides down dowel perfectly). Nephew glued in remaining teeth.

I was pretty happy with the way it came out despite making a few mistakes here and there. Couldn't have done it without a friend who let's me hunt his properties AND gave me a few of these plaques from wood cut off those lands. Can't wait to try it again.

(pics updated Dec 2020)

Skull and teeth after whitening (it was missing the #3 incisor and molars did not come out during simmer)



Skull overturned and teeth (it is completely white, shadows caused color inside skull.)
*Note far right where dowel easily slides into brain cavity hole.




Jawbone and teeth




Curly Maple Plaque



Plaque and skull (minus major teeth)





Plaque reverse, skull and major teeth ready to be glued in






Edited by erict (12/05/20 05:51 PM)

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#2451494 - 03/02/13 01:41 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Yote Whacker Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/29/13
Posts: 78
Loc: USA
Very good info and very well done overall.Thank you for sharing such good and very cool stuff!

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#2497735 - 05/16/13 11:01 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Yote Whacker]
J.Mark Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/09/13
Posts: 445
Loc: N.W.Wis.
I will add one other degreasing method I got from a skull guy at a taxidermy compitition.He said use Oxiclean,2 scoops per gallon.He said it works just as good as acitone.I quit doing skulls for my customers years ago.I just don't have time for it.My goal is to get out hunting more like I use to before I became a taxidermist.Mike Boyce of Animal Artistry in Reno Nevada ( They did all the Cabellas mountians )wrote years ago that "every taxidemist he had ever known,either Quit the buisness or grew mad at the world while he balded under florecent lights."I know what he meant.I have won a state best all around taxidermist award and several best of show and first place masters .Im the highest priced Taxidermist in the area and if my wife didnt have a good job I coulndt make it.I hardly get out anymore.Thats changing.Im scaling down,I hope.The thing that bothers me the most is that people think Taxidermists are loaded.Nothing could be further from the truth.Sorry for the rant it just slips out now and then

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#2612741 - 01/13/14 06:47 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
coyotewhisperer Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/13/14
Posts: 56
Loc: Heart of Indiana
I've been killing a lot of coyotes and my buddy and i have been skinning them and freezing the pelts till we get stretchers to do the fleshing and drying,now that we have stretchers we heard that when you put them on the stretcher you're suppose to put the hide on inside out first then switch it after a little bit. I was wondering if this is true and if so how long should we leave it inside out before turning it fur side out and why you're suppose to do it anyways. thanks
_________________________
Good things come to those who shoot straight

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#2690099 - 06/08/14 07:42 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
anthonyinva Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 09/07/08
Posts: 176
Loc: virginia
wow, lots of good info here I will be trying this fall

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#2795345 - 02/10/15 05:34 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
COYOTEKILLERMILLER Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/16/02
Posts: 233
Loc: FLINT HILLS OF KANSAS
Here is the step by step process I have used for many years . When finished , My skulls end up looking like a plastic model

1. Place skull in crock pot until meat falls off bone.
2. Using a garden hose, Spray meat off and inside cranium with garden hose , teeth should come out at this point.
3. Fresh water in crock pot along with good amount of liquid dish soap to degrease bone. Let cook in hot soapy water for about the same amount of time or less than step one.
4. Spray off fine pieces
5. Place skull in Hydrogen peroxide and soak till white.

Tips: Do Not Bleach as bleach will make bone Chalky
Animals such as Bobcats and raccoon are more delicate and require less cook time than a heavier boned animals such as beaver and coyote.

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#2796849 - 02/12/15 07:48 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
leebrown Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Virginia
What % hydrogen peroxide do you use? You never have to degrease either?

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#2796864 - 02/12/15 08:02 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
turned out very nice.. Great job. looks amazing.
_________________________
Have fun being an [beeep].. I hope it's all you hoped for.

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#2796869 - 02/12/15 08:09 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: COYOTEKILLERMILLER]
leebrown Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: COYOTEKILLERMILLER
Here is the step by step process I have used for many years . When finished , My skulls end up looking like a plastic model

1. Place skull in crock pot until meat falls off bone.
2. Using a garden hose, Spray meat off and inside cranium with garden hose , teeth should come out at this point.
3. Fresh water in crock pot along with good amount of liquid dish soap to degrease bone. Let cook in hot soapy water for about the same amount of time or less than step one.
4. Spray off fine pieces
5. Place skull in Hydrogen peroxide and soak till white.

Tips: Do Not Bleach as bleach will make bone Chalky
Animals such as Bobcats and raccoon are more delicate and require less cook time than a heavier boned animals such as beaver and coyote.


What % peroxide do you use and do you ever have to degrease them?

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#2898257 - 12/18/15 01:39 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Jared Malbeck Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/14/15
Posts: 9
Loc: Connell Washington
This helps ALOT! ive been working on 2 different skulls for about 4 weeks now. there doing alright, but they could be doing better. ive just been boiling, then pulling off meat. i didnt get much meat off the secound one, but the first one was done pretty good. i kinda gave up in them and just let them sit in water for a while. its doing the job, but could be done better. thank you tons!

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#2898258 - 12/18/15 01:39 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
Jared Malbeck Offline
New Member

Registered: 11/14/15
Posts: 9
Loc: Connell Washington
This helps ALOT! ive been working on 2 different skulls for about 4 weeks now. there doing alright, but they could be doing better. ive just been boiling, then pulling off meat. i didnt get much meat off the secound one, but the first one was done pretty good. i kinda gave up in them and just let them sit in water for a while. its doing the job, but could be done better. thank you tons!

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