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I want to do a european mount. I don't want to do the boiling because I don't think my stomach or my neighbours could handle the smell. I have heard a few alternatives that I have never tried but sound like they may be worth a try. Reviews also say n

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  • I want to do a european mount. I don't want to do the boiling because I don't think my stomach or my neighbours could handle the smell. I have heard a few alternatives that I have never tried but sound like they may be worth a try. Reviews also say n

    I want to do a european mount. I don't want to do the boiling because I don't think my stomach or my neighbours could handle the smell. I have heard a few alternatives that I have never tried but sound like they may be worth a try. Reviews also say no cracking. 1\. Put the head in a secure container with holes so that flies can get in but no other animals. Doing that will cause maggots to get in and clean the meat clean off the skull. 2\. Completely emerse the head in water and let it sit for a few weeks. A bacteria will develop which will clean the meat right off the skull. I live in the city so I don't want to annoy my neighbours too badly. And I don't want to damage my trophy. Any advice is welcome.

  • #2
    I've used all of those methods. Letting it be consumed by maggots means your neighbors can join you in many days of the sweet aroma of decomposition. Immersion in water is not as bad but for some reason wives are not too keen on that smell either. Boiling a fresh head is really not too bad, it's just not the most effective because it hardens the tissue in those tiny places you can't reach when skinning.

    So, each method as it's negatives. I guess immersion for some time followed by high pressure rinsing (with a garden hose) of the rotted meat and final cleanup by ants is the best for reducing smell. As long as you have a good place to dump the rot water and rinsed off rotting meat.

    My brother just places the heads on the roof of a barn and presto, a year later it's ready. But he doesn't have close neighbors.
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    • #3
      Did you check to see how the Europeans do it?

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      • #4
        So you can buy the beetles and in large numbers so that you don't have to deal with flies and maggots, it's better than dealing with rotting flesh.

        It costs more, but a skull can be clean in a couple of days.

        http://www.skulltaxidermy.com/kits.html

        http://www.bonesandbugs.com/purchase-dermestid-beetles.html

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        • #5
          I've done it with bleach. Set it in a plastic container filled with enough bleach to cover skull. Don't get any on the antlers and keep checking back on it every hour or so to scrape off any hanging meat. Bleach loses effectiveness depending on how nasty or clean the skull is so change it out if it goes flat. Have had a bone white skull in as little as 3 hours. You have to be diligent with it and when it's clean rinse it thoroughly with cold water. If your too lazy to scrape meat when it comes loose it might not be the right method.

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          • #6
            Not to be too flippant, but based on your circumstances and criteria, I'd say you have two good options: Photoshop, or taking it to a taxidermist and paying the $75

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            • #7
              Boiling is easily overdone. I boil my not so trophy mulies and coyotes and have definitely damaged a couple to the point of not saving them. The bone can separate, plus you still have to pick flesh out afterwards which causes a lot of damage to the nasal cavity and thinner bone.

              Maggots can, and most likely will, do quite a bit of damage to the bone as well. Most euro guys will charge you extra once a head gets maggots and will tell you if there is any damage from them so you know it wasn't the taxidermists doing.

              Beetles work well, they are expensive though. They require some maintenance to keep alive, can be prone to disease, and STINK. They will also often leave stains that wont bleach out and sometimes end up dying inside the skull tucked away in places you can't retrieve them.

              Maceration is a slow process but it works, and it works well as long as your vat is temperature controlled. Most pro's use maceration because of the low risk of them damaging the skull and getting a near perfect result.

              If it's a trophy you really care about, it's definitely worth the $75 - $100 to have done well by a professional.

              Hope this helps, euro mounts are my favorite. They always look cool!

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              • #8
                Some of the local taxidermists here in Wyoming have "bug boxes". If you don't want to do the euro mount yourself you might inquire around for a taxidermist that maintains beetles for this use. I have some antelope euro mounts done in about all the methods described and the best is a beetle cleaned skull in my opinion.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the answers guys. It’s been a long time since I asked and I’m back since I finally got a head to practice with. I got a bear head.

                  I put it in a pail with 2 holes drilled. One on top to allow bugs in and another lower down for drainage.

                  Due to the smell when I got the head I was not able to clean any flesh or hide off the head so the bugs have a lot of work to do.

                  I’m going to leave it for at least a month and check it. At that point if maggots are still eating it I’ll let them continue. If not I’ll try to remove some of the flesh and hide manually then soak in water to help the process along.

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                  • #10
                    I just checked it again today. There were no maggots and just lots of dead flies. I drilled more holes in the pail around the top and put the pail in a shadier spot in the yard. Hoping that works.

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                    • #11
                      Well I’m amazed at how fast the maggots cleaned this skull. 4 days and it was a complete head. I did not remove any hide, flesh, or brain. I hosed off the skull and the pail and put it back in so that the maggots can get back at it if there is any meat in any of the tight spots.

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                      • #12
                        This was my bear head. I did not skin it or deflesh it at all. The maggots did everything. All I did was put it in a pail with a bunch of holes drilled and put it in a shady spot of the yard.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          I still need to finish it whiten it and glue the teeth in. They are pretty loose. But I’m definitely happy with how they cleaned it.

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                          • #14
                            Has anyone used anything other than peroxide for the final whitening? I did a few more heads and will need over 30 gallons to soak them so hoping there is a cheeper and more readily available alternative. Bleach? Vinegar? Heads are 2 Bison, 3 goats, and 2 pigs

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                            • #15

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