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#178008 - 03/16/04 05:23 PM Re: How to do a Skull.
crapshoot Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 03/22/02
Posts: 23155
Loc: Henderson,Nevada,USA
Another thing I see my Taxidermist do for his European mount is to use the real antlers , but use a fake plastic skull. No discoloration and no teeth to crack and fall apart. They really turn out nice. He also uses an air brush to do some fading on the antlers to give them a realistic look if needed.
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#178009 - 03/17/04 02:02 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
Moose57 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1104
Loc: Bountiful, Utah
Here's another way to do it. Skull preparation.
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#178010 - 03/17/04 05:41 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
RanUtah Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 5278
Loc: Taylorsville, Utah, and Manage...
I read that and it seems to be a real nasty slow way to get it done. I just soon boil them but when I do, Im constantly boiling, picking, boiling, picking until it's clean. Using Sal Soda when boiling decreases your time in half. Any meat just peals off. I can tell you one thing thought and thats if the lower jaw teeth are coming out then your boiling it too long. I use several different type of dental picks in the process. Generaly speaking the only teeth that mainly fall out are the canines. I also use a product called bone whitener. Currently it is suppose to be the cats meow. My experiance with it has been fantastic. It works fast and theres very little clean up. It just strips the yellow right out of a skull. It's almost like a paste consistency and you brush it on while the skull is still warm right after boiling, place it in a plastic bag and set in the sun. The warmer the better. In less than a day you will have a completed skull. They can have that messy, smelly, soak for a month garbage can crap, thats just nuts. But to each his own.
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#178011 - 03/17/04 09:06 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
Moose57 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 06/24/02
Posts: 1104
Loc: Bountiful, Utah
Randy,
Where do you get the bone whitener at?
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#178012 - 03/17/04 09:50 AM Re: How to do a Skull.
Tim Neitzke Offline
Former Moderator

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 15981
Loc: Michigan
Looks like u guys got this one covered. One thing I might add; 1 or 2 lite coats of flat white spray paint will keep your stuff from yellowing over time! I work part time for a taxidermist this is what we do some bear skulls . That don't always clean up well....Tim
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#178013 - 09/15/05 12:20 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Tim Neitzke]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
I have a set of moose horns with the upper skull attached that I would like to make an European mount. I can handle the cleaning part but any ideas on how to boil the skull when you have 5 1/2 feet of horns attached?

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#178014 - 09/25/05 02:28 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
Guido Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 166
Loc: North Las Vegas, Nevada
Bob, you'd have to make some type of brace to hold the antlers out of the water. I've done about 50 Roe deer and 10 Hirsch (Red Stag) and countless foxes and badgers when I was hunting in Germany for the past 5 years or so. I made a little vise on a flexible piece of metal pipe from a desk lamp to keep the horns out of the water. Of course a set of roe deer antlers fit in the palm of your hand and don't weigh a thing, so its a lot different, but the principle is the same.

There was a commercial powder available at the hunting sops in Germany used to do this....we cut out all the other steps there and go straight to the boiling with this stuff in there and it strips the flesh right off the skull. They also say use a little dish detergent while boiling cause it cuts the oils from the skin and meat.

Anytime we hit the antlers with the whitener by accident we would touch them up with a mix of brown and black shoe polish and you can get the shade to match just right.


Another trick for "bleaching" the skull when it has antlers or horns, whatever chemical you use is this.....

Set the skull in a baking tray with inch or two high sides. Wrap the skull inside and out with those cotton sheets (like cotton balls but rectangular) and attatch them tightly with rubber bands. Now soak the cotton in whatever you were going to use and it holds it the skull without getting it on the antlers.

Once you do this a few times, you'll find a good way to do it. I go staright to the boiling to loosen up (shrink) all the meat and flesh away from the skull and then use a screwdriver and a needle nose pliers and a good sharp knife to cut everything away from the skull and get it out of all the cavities.

Good Luck!

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#178015 - 09/26/05 04:01 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: Guido]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
Guido:
Pretty much following your advise. I modified my trap boiling barrel to soak most of the skull in the water and use an old towel to wick water to the top of the skull. Waiting for the chemical you described to arrive from VanDykes so I can boil it. Everything is similair to what you describe but 5 and a half feet of horns makes it a challange.
PS: I spent time in the sandbox in the early 60s and the best part of it I remember was leaving.

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#178016 - 09/26/05 09:41 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
grinr Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 767
Loc: New Brunswick,Canada
HOLY-not a COW Bob,what a brute!!If I ever get a moose like that 'round these parts I would retire my rifle and call 'er quits!
BTW,speaking of having a place "wired",I've seen the view from your window.Awesome stuff!
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#178017 - 09/27/05 11:29 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: grinr]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
Grinr:
The rack in the barrel was actually a meat bull that turned out a little larger than I originally guessed. I estimated him in the upper 50's but he actually taped 66 7/16. There was a small paddle bull with him that I really wanted but this guy ran him off and I couldn't find him.
Now if you want to talk big bulls the photo below is the bull my wife and I chased for 3 years and cost me two transmissions in my Argo. I had an 200 yard walking away shot that I never took. He got big by staying in a area no one could get to. He made the mistake of wandering about 18 miles south of us during the late season rut and the pay for view crowd got him. That distinctive curl in his right horn made him very easy to identify.

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#178018 - 09/27/05 02:36 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
BigAl Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 100
Loc: Gretna, NE
Us poor folks down here in the lower 48 are definitely humbled by that one! Great job on a fantastic bull! Think I'll put in my walking papers today and move to the promised land!!

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#178019 - 09/28/05 02:06 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: UgashikBob]
grinr Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 767
Loc: New Brunswick,Canada
MY GAWD!!!!
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Ammo,camo,and things that go BLAMMO! These are a few of my fa-vor-ite things.

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#178020 - 10/02/05 02:09 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: grinr]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
For anyone interested I thought I would update my skull cleaning thing. Received my Sal Soda (Sodium Carbonate) from Van Dykes and mixed it 1/4 cup to the gallon with water. Kept it at a rolling boil for a little over an hour. Everything below the water line was bare bone except for some residual nose cartlidge. I kept an old towel on the top of the skull in hopes of wicking some of the water/sal soda mix up there. Didn't work but most of the remainder of the skull was easily cleaned with a sharpened spoon. Everything that was boiled off turned into a gell that almost looked like candle wax only smelled worse. Waiting on a source for 3% hydrogen peroxide to mix with the Magnesium Carbonate to bleach the skull.

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#178021 - 10/18/05 10:16 AM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
AR-MAN Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 314
Loc: Nebraska
Here is the easy way to do it. There are many different places to send to. Way less stinky and not too bad of a price to come up with a great product. I haven't sent one in yet but am going send to one of the places some time soon.
Mike web page
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#178022 - 01/01/06 09:05 PM Re: How to do a Skull. [Re: crapshoot]
EricMullen Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 20
Loc: Kuna, Idaho
Just wanted to take a minute to thank crapshoot for posting these instructions for us. Thanks to you I have a coyote skull I'll be proud to display, even though it was a lot of work! Thanks again and I hope that you enjoy the pics.
Couldn't have done it without you.



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