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hartner62

Skull soup

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I think I am going to try and boil a skull so that we can hang it in the deer camper. Have you guys ever done this before? How hard is it for a first timer to do it? What are some things that need to be done so that it turns out correctly? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Someone told me you can wrap the antlers in aluminum foil, and bury the skull in the ground right up to the antler bases. Then cover the antlers with a big garbage can or similar for extra protection. Leave it that way for 6 months and the bugs will clean the skull right up.

I haven't done it myself though, just getting that second hand.

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I took a skull to a taxidermist a couple of years ago and had an European mount done. It was worth the $50 to me to pay her to boil it rather than myself dealing with the mess. It looked really nice and was mounted on a nice chunk of wood too. Took only 2 weeks and I had it back. Sometimes I think its better to let someone else do the messy work. I do believe there are kits you can buy from Cabelas, Gander Mountain, etc. if you want to do it yourself. I have even heard of people tying the head to something heavy and letting it sit in a river, but I would think that would take forever and there would be a chance of losing it. Good luck to you.

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I have a skull collection.I normally leave the skull out side till spring,I leave it on the ground,check it may,june when it looks cleaned out I then boil it,to whiten it,bleach it, dry it a few days and coat it with clear spray varnish.

I tried the boil right away but the brain sets up firm and ya have to get a wire and break it up to remove it...not worth it!

Having it commercially done they use insects to remove all soft tissue,Just like outside insects.

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The ONE time I did this I boiled several bear skulls in a mix of bleach and water. If you plan on doing this I STRONGLY suggest doing it outside. You'll have to burn your house down if you do it indoors. You'll never get that smell out and any woman you are associated with will immediately leave to never return. Neihbors will also come out of their house to see what the heck is going on

It's worth the $50 for somebody else to do it. You'll be scaping flesh, trying to remove the brain for quite awhile.

So, you can do it yourself, but it's worth the $$ to save the trouble.

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LOL what a buncha whimps. wink Not that tough. I just add a couple paks of lipton soup to the big pot if I do it inside. kinda fun doing it myself. all that scraping and brain picking and eyeball popping can be fun. grin

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I have done my own with bear skulls. Soak in hydrogen peroxide on a hot-plate in a well ventilated area. Repeat the process and scrape off skin, tissue, etc.

I had students in a local HS science class take care of my first one, and have done the rest on my own. If you boil it with water be careful not to boil it too long. The skull will separate.

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What would you say the right amount of time to boil it would be?

We are going to boil one and bury the other, experiment which one we like the best.

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I have had a skull in tree for 3 years, it still has hair and skin on it. I put two in there last year and they look the same as the 3 yeer project. So bugs/maggets only do so much.

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I do some back yard skull boiling--don't boil it--just simmer it. Add some sal soda--washing soda--not bi-carb to the water and scrap off as much meat as possible--remove eyeballs--stick a piece of wire in the brain cavity and stir it up then wash it out first. After you get all the meat off--then you have to degrease it. Soak in warm water and dish soap--maybe a little ammonia. This can take weeks and in the case of bear skulls can take months. After it is all degreased then you soak in hydrogen peroxide to whiten it. If you use Clorine bleach like Clorox the bone will turn to powder and eventually disintegrate.

Heating hydrogen peroxide on a hot plate I think might be dangerous--the fumes ain't good for ya.

I tried the buying it in the ground thing but I was afraid I wasn't going to live long enough to get the job done.

You want a first class job then send it to Cory at Lucky Seven Skullworks--he's a sponser here and he does museum quality work with dermisted beatles.

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I bought a skull bleaching kit from Van Dykes (The Taxidermy place) and have used it to do several deer, some coyotes, otter beaver etc. It works very well and turns out great. The boiling part is kinda messy and you definatly don't want to do it in the kitchen! Once it's boiled and clean, you have to bleach it and with the kit they give those chemicals. I highly recommend the kit.

davedeerskull.jpg

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the boiling is a good start, then once the skull is clean of all muscle and fat, talk to your local associate at a beauty supply store like Sally Beauty Supply. They are open to the public and you can buy what you need there. Get some 20 developer and the bleach they use on hair, they can even tell you how to use the items to get the result you want. Trust me, they sell tons of it to the ranches in Montana and Wyoming for exactly the same thing.....

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Much of what has been said is good, but this process does not take months. (?) Depending on how much time and effort you put into a skull, maybe a couple of days - tops. Once the water boils, I turn the hot plate off and let simmer. Once the solution has cooled, scrape, clean, etc. and repeat the process. It takes a little work, but the more you clean off after the soak, the easier it gets. Leaving it outside takes too long. (IMO)

Besides, unless you have it hanging or stored someplace secure, animals can chew on and even steal skulls.

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Is there anything in the water when you boil the skull and for how long?

I have a great buck and story that needs to be put on display and think a European mount would fit the bill.

mr

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If you have squirrels in your area do NOT leave it outside for the the bugs and weather to clean it up. My dad hung a nice 10pt rack in the tree for a while and the squirrels completely ruined the whole rack.

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For those of you that do your own European mounts, how do you dispose of all the Hydrogen Peroxide? Dump it down the drain?

I'm currently in the process of boiling a skull ( Dad got a "keeper" this year!) and am about to begin whitening it.

Just wondering how to dispose of the Peroxide safely! Thanks!

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If all you're going to do is hang it at deer camp take a pressure washer to it - not a car wash, but a real pressure washer. It is the fastest way to clean a skull hands down. I can do a deer skull in about 15 minutes. You can then get a whitening kit and do it yourself, by far the easiest option for you.

If you don't have a pressure washer, if you can find someone to do it for $50, go for it because if you boil it - do you have a pot big/deep enough, something to put the pot on (OUTSIDE) that you can heat it up with (turkey fryer stand) and giant tweezers to reach in and get all the little stuff out of the brain cavity that won't come out by just boiling it as well as the whitening kit? That would probably add up to more than what you can pay to have someone do it if you don't have those things.

Not to deter you...it can be done, it's pretty easy, it's just how much work do you want to put into it is the bottom line.

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My advice is to do it shortly after harvesting. We boiled a 9 month old rotten skull that had been sitting in a plastic bag, and it was one of the most disgusting things I have ever done....

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Is there anything in the water when you boil the skull and for how long?

I have a great buck and story that needs to be put on display and think a European mount would fit the bill.

mr

I have used a mix of Hydrogen Peroxide and water. More HP than water.

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If all you're going to do is hang it at deer camp take a pressure washer to it - not a car wash, but a real pressure washer. It is the fastest way to clean a skull hands down. I can do a deer skull in about 15 minutes. You can then get a whitening kit and do it yourself, by far the easiest option for you.

If you don't have a pressure washer, if you can find someone to do it for $50, go for it because if you boil it - do you have a pot big/deep enough, something to put the pot on (OUTSIDE) that you can heat it up with (turkey fryer stand) and giant tweezers to reach in and get all the little stuff out of the brain cavity that won't come out by just boiling it as well as the whitening kit? That would probably add up to more than what you can pay to have someone do it if you don't have those things.

Not to deter you...it can be done, it's pretty easy, it's just how much work do you want to put into it is the bottom line.

Great tips! Agreed with all you said. Will fire up the pressure washer next time. You do need a little equipment, time, and patience to do a skull.

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The ONE time I did this I boiled several bear skulls in a mix of bleach and water. If you plan on doing this I STRONGLY suggest doing it outside. You'll have to burn your house down if you do it indoors. You'll never get that smell out and any woman you are associated with will immediately leave to never return. Neihbors will also come out of their house to see what the heck is going on

It's worth the $50 for somebody else to do it. You'll be scaping flesh, trying to remove the brain for quite awhile.

So, you can do it yourself, but it's worth the $$ to save the trouble.

50 bucks! I am so there. Do you remember the name and phone number for that guy?

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I do europeans with beetles. By far the best way to do it.

Ive also done elk which i would like to see someone boil. They look so cool.

I do it for friends and others and charge $50 to clean and whiten to cover my costs.

Email me if you need any help

[email protected]

here are some pics

waltsside3.jpg

DSC01311.jpg

DSC01313.jpg

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