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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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    Ontario Honker Hunter
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  • Ontario Honker Hunter
    replied
    A wire paint scraping brush works well between boiling for removing some of the stubborn stuff that pressure hose can't blast off, especially gristle on back end of skull. It won't hurt the bone though care should be used in delicate areas around nose.

    Leave a comment:

  • fitch270
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  • fitch270
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    I've been following along, seems there's more than one way to skin a cat. Last one I did was the easiest and fastest but messy. I simmered mine for about a half hour then took my pressure washer to it to blast off what loosened up. Stuck it back in the pot for another 10 minutes and repeated the process. Third time pretty much finished it, the rest of the gack that wouldn't blast loose pulled out in one piece with forceps.

    I'd like to try this at some point, problem is our temps are too cold to do it outside during and after hunting season. This is a good write up as to the technique:


    https://www.usskullhunter.com/how-to...ing-maceration

    I did try this with my daughter's turkey skull last year. I put it in a peanut butter jar and left it in the shed for a couple weeks. Worked a little too good, the skull came apart in pieces. It may have had something to do with being a bird or I simply left it too long. Bones were completely clean.

    I'll probably try it with a smaller mammal at some point using a five gallon bucket and leaving out away from the house.

    Leave a comment:

  • Ontario Honker Hunter
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  • Ontario Honker Hunter
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    I still would recommend simmering the skulls as a final step. Add a lot of Dawn dish soap to the soup (we also add about a half cup of soda ash). This will remove much of the grease stains that I see in the smaller skulls especially. Have a ladle handy to skim off grease and dead bugs while it's simmering. Smell isn't too bad if you've already got most of the meat off. Do it outside with pot on the BBQ grill. Keep the bone from touching bottom of the pot while cooking. Try to keep it at a simmer just below boiling.

    It's VERY important to remove the brain as soon as possible. It is loaded with greasy fat that will permeate and stain the bone if allowed to sit inside the skull. I think I earlier posted instructions on how to make the tool for removing brain.

    Also, if you simmer the skulls, consider painting them with #40 beautician's peroxide creme while skull is still hot. Will whiten it more evenly and add a very pleasant odor (the stuff is scented). Rinse well after letting it stand painted overnight.

    Leave a comment:

  • IanS
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  • IanS
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    Yes. If it’s not the right time of year it’s at a stand still. One thing I did learn with the buffalo heads was that when they are clean get them out of the barrel and get washing, soaking, etc. Leaving them in the same container over winter causes a lot of dead bugs to get stuck in the inside crevices. I soaked and blew out with an air compressor 7 times and every time more were loosened up and dead bugs swarmed out like bugs to a light. I think that would not have been as bad or difficult if I had taken the skulls out when the bugs were still a alive. It was much easier to “debug” the bear head. The live maggots all swam/floated to the top.

    Leave a comment:

  • Ontario Honker Hunter
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  • Ontario Honker Hunter
    replied
    I certainly was not suggesting you acquire African beetles. They are finicky and require constant attention. Don't last in cold weather for one thing. I don't think they do the job any better than simmering, etc., but, as you discovered, the bugs can do a lot of the work for you. A lot less obtrusive if the right working environment is available.

    Leave a comment:

  • FirstBubba
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  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Originally posted by IanS View Post
    I am just going with what worked for me. With using my buddies acerage now I can put the heads in and come back a few weeks later to clean skulls. I don’t have to actually be near the stench. However doing it in my back yard was a terrible idea and I thank God I have a forgiving wife!

    If contained in a barrel the maggots do stick around long enough to do the job.

    I have no intent or ability to turn this into a business so I won’t be buying anything extra.

    I wonder if soaking that head for a few days to soften up the remaining meat and then trying the maggots method would work?
    I dunno, Ian? Sounds logical. I think it would be worth a try, should the need arise.

    Leave a comment:

  • IanS
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  • IanS
    replied
    I am just going with what worked for me. With using my buddies acerage now I can put the heads in and come back a few weeks later to clean skulls. I don’t have to actually be near the stench. However doing it in my back yard was a terrible idea and I thank God I have a forgiving wife!

    If contained in a barrel the maggots do stick around long enough to do the job.

    I have no intent or ability to turn this into a business so I won’t be buying anything extra.

    I wonder if soaking that head for a few days to soften up the remaining meat and then trying the maggots method would work?

    Leave a comment:

  • FirstBubba
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  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Ian, just reread your original post.
    Okay, so a simmering deer head isn't THAT appetizing or appealing, but the odor is not unpleasant nor anywhere near what would have been coming from a rotting, maggot infested buffalo skull.

    In fact, when I started my deer skull, I added a few drops of Dawn dish detergent and about a quarter cup each of hydrogen peroxide and bleach.
    I was reluctant to use the hydrogen peroxide and bleach for fear of bleaching the color off the antler bases. I covered the antler bases with tin foil from the skull to above the water line. No color loss!
    Check the skull every 4 or 5 hours and add hot water as needed to replace water loss.

    Anyhow! That's how I did it. If you prefer your method, good enough!

    Leave a comment:

  • Ontario Honker Hunter
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  • Ontario Honker Hunter
    replied
    We just got in a bear skull. Our beetles are still recovering from a recent mysterious die off so bear will probably go in the boiling pot this week. Client did a pretty good job of cleaning the skull so it should go quickly.

    Beetles are vulnerable to attack from domestic fly species, particularly the same mites that attack honey bee hives. We learned that lesson the hard way. Skulls received are now sealed in bags and frozen. Then when ready for beetles, skull is thawed INSIDE THE BAG before removed and dropped into sealed beetle enclosure.

    The difference between fly and beetle larvae is this species of beetle is pretty much flightless so they stay put in the pen through their lives. Houseflies are flying all over the place.

    Leave a comment:

  • IanS
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  • IanS
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    With the bear it was in July. Once the maggots showed up which took about a week it was meat free in 4 days. I hosed it off and put it back in the pail for about 1 more week. Maggots showed up and then drastically reduced after about a week.

    Then I washed it in soapy water and left in water for a few days changing the water every day till maggots stopped floating to the top.

    Then soaked in peroxide about 3 days. Then glued teeth in with crazy glue and glued up the cracks.

    Leave a comment:

  • FirstBubba
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  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Originally posted by IanS View Post
    One thing I’d add is that I did not skin the heads at all. The maggots removed everything. Brain, eyes, etc. The heads went into the barrel completely in tact.
    How long did it take?
    With my deer head, I skinned the head out, removed the eyeballs and the tongue. The "boiling" (not really a boil) took about 24 to 36 hours. Then about $5 worth of quarters at the car wash.
    I hung it to dry for a couple of days, then a long, skinny chisel and a set of forceps to remove cartilage.
    Total time, maybe a week.

    Leave a comment:

  • IanS
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  • IanS
    replied
    One thing I’d add is that I did not skin the heads at all. The maggots removed everything. Brain, eyes, etc. The heads went into the barrel completely in tact.

    Leave a comment:

  • IanS
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  • IanS
    replied
    I did not boil mine or use water for the process at all. I drilled holes in a barrel and just put water in the bottom few inches to keep it humid. Flies got in and with that comes maggots. They are amazing skull cleaners.

    Leave a comment:

  • FirstBubba
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  • FirstBubba
    replied
    Looks as though you did about as good as can be done.
    From my limited knowledge of Euro mounts, if the water gets too hot, the skulls separate.

    This is the outfit my buddy loaned me to do my whitetail with.

    https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/the-...B&gclsrc=aw.ds

    No reason you couldn't purchase a larger container and set it up with an adjustable thermostat heating coil.

    ​​​​​​​Good job!

    Leave a comment:

  • IanS
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  • IanS
    replied
    They were all domestic raised. Friend saw the bear I did and asked me to do a few for him. The bear was road kill
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:

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