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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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  • IanS
    replied
    Having a hard time sleeping and just sitting by the firepit. Decided to take a look at the bug box and since I cut that slash in the pig head....just a few hours...it now looks like it’s boiling with maggots. The sheep are almost clean and at this rate I’m pretty sure the pig will be clean by the end of the week. I will do what I did with the bear. When they look clean pull out, hose off as best as I can, empty the box and let the maggots at it one more time. Last thing I want is for these things to start stinking in the house. I won’t post a picture in their current state unless you guys want to see. It’s a Rubbermaid full of maggots and definitely not a pretty sight! But I guess we all know what gross is if this is our hobby!

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  • IanS
    replied
    Oh well. If the maggots need a few more days they can have it. Aside from time it takes for the bugs to clean is there any other advantage to skinning. Or just take longer as mine is.

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  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Yes sir. Skinning out the head is just that much more material you don't have to mess with.
    The buck I "Euro'd", I skinned out the head and removed the tongue and eyeballs.

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  • IanS
    replied
    Checked sheep and pig this morning. Covered in maggots and lots of bone showing on the sheep. The pig is a little slower but I cut a slash in it today to allow more maggots to get inside. It will work for sure but the last pigs I did this way were also a lot slower. I’m guessing pigs would be tons faster if skinned.

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  • IanS
    replied
    I must have killed them all. Letting them bake in the sun Prbly helped too. I certainly don’t claim to be any type of expert. Just saying what has worked for me. I know when I did the bear it was dead in a bucket and a garbage bag for about a month. I could barely get close enough to it to take it out of the bag and put it back in the pail, wasn’t even going to attempt to skin it.

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  • Ontario Honker Hunter
    replied
    We finished both the bear and the buck in one day. That's from just thawing meat to ready for bleaching (we let them set wrapped in peroxide paste overnight). Totally clean and no smell, even for the bear which is saying something. Bears and hogs are notorious for lingering stench. Also, that buck head had been allowed to spoil before brought over last fall. The nose and tongue were rotten in the extreme. That one I skinned two days ago while it was still partially frozen. Wasn't too bad. Cooked it in the house on the range and really not much smell at all. The bear soup actually smelled quite appetising. It is important to get as much meat off as possible before boiling, especially the brain and eye stuff. A lot of fat in both. The grease will badly stain skulls if left inside any period of time. Also important to keep skimming the grease foam while the skull is simmering. And change the water as needed (gets cloudy with grease). The bear was quite greasy and I changed the water three times before finished. When clients bring heads over and we're backed up, we'll quickly skin them, take out brain and eyes, and then bag it and throw in the deep freeze till we can get at it. That buck we just did was very gross when the guy brought it over late last fall. Daughter didn't want to mess with it and talked the guy into a skull cap mount. It was the guy's first buck (a family friend) and I talked her into doing a euro for him. So it went straight to the freezer as is which turned out to be a good thing. Not messy at all dealing with it half frozen and no chance for maggots to revive. But it was harder work. Had to let it set overnight before brain was thawed enough to remove.

    One of the problems you'll have with the maggots is though you may think you've blown out the maggots, have you got all the eggs? They are almost microscopic. Won't turn into maggots for a couple of days sometimes. That's why it might be best to at least dip the skulls in boiling hot water when you think they're done with it. That will take care of everything living. I think that is probably why you are having to blow the skulls out repeatedly.

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  • IanS
    replied
    The worst ones for bugs were the buffalo heads. I soaked in water and blew out with air compressor I think 6 times till they quit coming out. Smell hasn’t been an issue yet with any of them. What I’ve learned is that it’s best to give the maggots a 2nd chance at the skull. After it looks clean I put it back in the bucket for round 2. Surprising how many more maggots show up and how long they stay. When they are gone i take that as meat free which is where stink would come from

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  • Ontario Honker Hunter
    replied
    If you do decide a skull needs a quick boil down the road to eliminate smell or bugs, you'll be in trouble with super glue. When heated up it turns piss yellow and stains the bone. Again, I would have given them a quick boil at the end to kill all bugs and help eliminate smell. Then glue back together anything that needs it. My kudu and gemsbuck horns are not glued down. They simply set on the skulls. Much easier to move the mounts around and clean. Most shoulder mount elk and moose these days have antlers that screw on and off. Otherwise it's almost impossible to move the mounts from room to room or new house. I have a gold medal SCI elk rack on a plaque that's very difficult getting through doors. It would be almost impossible to get in my house if it was on a shoulder mount.

    Long needle nose pliers is an interesting way of knocking out the nasal cartilage. I'll have to try that.

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  • IanS
    replied
    I have not had to boil any of mine yet. The maggots did the clean up. None of them have started stinking yet so I’ll take that as a win.

    For horns I used gorilla glue. First goat I did I used too much and it came out but for the buffalo and other 2 goats just a drop in the very tip and then put them upside down so the weight of the skull itself held them in place while it dried.

    Then crazy glue to stick all the cracks together. So far so good!

    To each his own, but I removed as much of that nasal cartilage as I could with long needle nose pliers, I think it looks better and cleaner that way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ontario Honker Hunter
    replied
    You likely will still need to boil the skulls if only for a bit to remove the horns. Then clean the live tissue from the stumps before setting the horns back on. Glue gun will work for reattaching. The taxidermists (I use that term generously) in Africa left the horns off both my gemsbuck and kudu for packing purposes (which was okay) but the rest of the antelope (blesbuck, impala, springbuck, wildebeest) did not have horns removed or they were reattached without cleaning the live material between horn and bone. For some reason several holes were drilled in those horns and then filled with window glazing putty. Not sure if it was to reattach or for veterinary inspection for export/import. Anyway, when I opened the crate the stench about knocked me over. They smelled BAD. Also a lot of meat was left on the skulls, teeth fell out and not replaced, and worst of all, they PAINTED the skulls (probably to hide the mess from customs/vet inspectors). I had to chemically strip the paint from each skull, boil them, clean off tissue, and then bleach with peroxide (DO NOT USE CHLORINE BLEACH AS IT WILL MAKE THE BONE CRUMBLE). Eventually, they all turned out okay except the kudu. That one was really screwed up.
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    We finished our first bear skull last night. The beetles all died off so we had to do it boiling method. Actually, the smell was pretty enticing. Like a tasty broth. Not advisable to drink it though. Not with all the added Dawn dish soap. Skull will get bleached this morning. Then I'll wire hinge the jaws, position with mouth open, and mount on a plaque. It was very important to fish out ALL the nasal tissue on this bear. He must have been lung shot because the nasal membranes were filled with blood that went black. Badly discoloured the very thin bone on sides of skull and around eyes. Working through the open end of the nose I ripped/bashed out all the fine bones, then blew out the black stuff with pressure nozzle.

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  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Originally posted by IanS View Post
    I have 3 sheep and a pig in a Rubbermaid right now. Maggots showed up after about 5 days so if anything like the bear they should be meat free in about a week.
    Interesting! Keep us updated.
    Good luck!

    Leave a comment:


  • IanS
    replied
    I have 3 sheep and a pig in a Rubbermaid right now. Maggots showed up after about 5 days so if anything like the bear they should be meat free in about a week.

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  • IanS
    replied
    Oh for sure. I was more curious to see if others had done them.

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  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Originally posted by IanS View Post
    Has anyone ever cleaned a sheep skull? I’m getting a few for free and I’m curious how it will look. Are they a fairly delicate or sturdy skull? The pigs were nice and thick with minimal cracking.
    I dunno Ian. Since they aren't somebody's hunting trophy, what have you got to lose but some experience? Give it a shot.

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  • IanS
    replied
    Has anyone ever cleaned a sheep skull? I’m getting a few for free and I’m curious how it will look. Are they a fairly delicate or sturdy skull? The pigs were nice and thick with minimal cracking.

    Leave a comment:

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