Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

I was going to attempt to clean and bleach the skull of the buck I shot. Not sure if I should do that or take the beetle route. Don't really wanna spend the $85 though lol. So what's the best way to clean a deer skull without messing up the colors of the antlers?
Thanks!!!

NOTE: I am planning possibly have it painted, so it is more important that the antlers stay nice then it is that the skull looks perfectly white.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

Interesting, thank you!!

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 03:35 PM
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

If you are going to paint it, ask your bug guy if it is cheaper to beetle clean only and not whiten. I have a guy doing this for me and charging me $26 for a deer.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 04:42 PM
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

Ya when I dropped off my buck told him I wanted head to do euro mount. He said he could do it for 100 with beetles and I laughed and walked out. Cost me about 7 bucks for half tank of propane, couple drop of dawn and spoonful of oxiclean.
I just take the fur off of with a knife then put the head in a big galvanized tub and put it on the grill outside in some water. Takes about a day or two depending on how much time you have to clean the cartridge messy etc off of it. Just remember not to boil the water or you'll have a tub of bones lol. Pretty much always come out white and not of the of color is the cartridge or fat that needs removed. I just then let it dry than enamel it to seal the bones to keep the cartridge from degrading and keep it white.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 08:25 PM
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

I use a similar method as mentioned. First skin it the best that you can. I put the skull in a pot of boiling water for about 4 hours and then peel off any meat that is still attached and scrape out the brain. More than 4 hours and the cartilage starts to weaken and the bones can fall apart. I then wash it with dish soap to degrease it and then let it dry.

If I'm bleaching it I place it in an aluminum roaster pan and wrap it with paper towels. I then use a small paint brush to dab on 40% peroxide. I use Elmer's glue to tighten up any of the bones that may fall off or loosen up but usually don't have a problem. They are not pure white but look good at a lot less cost.

I don't worry about if the antlers are in the boiling water and use a old toothbrush to clean any oil and fat off the base of the antlers. Make sure you don't get any bleach on the antlers or it will discolor them.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 08:40 PM
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

On the whitening step, I don't remember the solution exactly, but I fill a tub high as it'll go to the base of antlers then dip cotton balls in the solution and lay them on the skull that is not submerged. Once a day I re-dip the cotton balls.

It's a good spot. Just not today.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

Awesome, thanks for all the tips guys!!!!

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 10:44 AM
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

Do not boil for very long. After skinning it, I'll let it in the water for 15 minutes then cut as much off as I can. Then repeat. Adding dawn dish soap. Usually after a couple hours total I'll have it to where I'm satisfied. I'll let it dry for a day then soak the skull in coleman camp fuel to degrease it.

My cousin recently gave me a buck to whiten after he attempted to clean the skull himself. He boiled it for six hours. The nose fell off and the plates on the top are all loose. Im waiting for the teeth to fall out next.

I've painted them before with white satin spray paint and I've also soaked them in the 40 solution up to the base of the antlers. If you get the bases bleached, you can take dark walnut stain or any stain you feel matches your buck and dab that on the bleached antler areas.

There is also a paste you can use from sally beauty supply. I'm going to try the paste this year.

2F for a while...
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 03:10 PM
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

I can have one done in about 2 hours. I cut the hide off and as much meat as I can and separate the lower jaw. Then into a pot of boiling water. I've boiled for years and have done both deer and bear and never had an issue with them holding up. I boil for 20 minutes and break out the pressure washer. Then it's back in to the pot for another 20-30 minutes and one last round with the pressure washer does it. Then it's into peroxide and it's done. These were all done with pressure washers and boiling water.








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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best way to clean skull while protecting antlers?

cool, great tips! Thanks!

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