Beetles Vs. Deer head soup - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

If you have tried both and have a preference please let me know your thoughts on deer skull cleaning. I am thinking DIY camo and want the best results.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 09:52 AM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

beetles for sure, bone won't shrink up and you will lose all the nasal bone if you boil them off
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 11:33 AM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

I don't miss the nasal bone on the dozen or so I have boiled. I boil for 45 minutes maximum to avoid losing too much connective tissue or loosening the teeth too much. I also open the skull cavity up on the back with a cross section saw cut and drill a hole through to the nasal area prior to the boil to allow me to use compressed air and long handle needle nose pliers after cooking. I also keep a garden hose handy and cool the skull quickly to make it easier to handle, they are very hot fresh from the pot. once I'm cleaned I hang the skull next to the wood stove to dry out. All my skulls hang in the garage and the flying flesh eaters find them during the summer and give them a final cleaning. Beatles are faster I'm sure, but I'm a cheap country boy and once they are done I'm not out any cash and I'm proud of my work.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 03:21 PM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

You don't have to boil the skulls to clean them without beetles:

http://www.skullsite.com/misc/macerationmanual.htm

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 04:38 PM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

Beetles for sure do a better job, and the maceration process is ok if you don't mind waiting and the stink. I don't hav the time to mess with them so that's why I go that route
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 08:33 PM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

Some guys don't like to bother with the boil and can't take the smell. I have a friend who said, he could take it no problem until it hit his nostrils, he yakked. I have boiled them fresh and boiled with 'scavengers" on board, fresh is better. The nasal bones that I lose are the feathery thin ones inside, the main skeletal bones do not shrink or fall off if you do it correctly. I will have to get some pictures of some of mine and post.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 10:07 PM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

i have a beetle colony and they can clean a deer head in about 3-5 days. ive done both. in fact when i have something large enuff that wont fit in the beetle tank i have to macerate but i would rather beetle clean.

He never said it would be easy;
He only said it would be worth it!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 12:20 AM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

boil 'em fresh and the stink isn't that bad. outside of course.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 12:29 AM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

If you're gonna do it, don't boil, keep it to a simmer. Make sure you've skinned it, removed as much flesh as you can, and the eyes. Don't forget to get the brains out BEFORE you do it or they'll turn into a big ball of hardened junk that is even harder to get out than before hand. There is something beneficial to add to the mix that helps break down the flesh and assists with removing some grease. You'll need the best part of a tank of propane and a propane burner that holds a pot big enough to hold the skull. Keep the antlers out of the water or they will discolor. Figure about 3-4 hrs, removing the head now and then to help deflesh it. I did this ONCE and then bought my beetles. Never again!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-12-2011, 01:53 PM
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Re: Beetles Vs. Deer head soup

My neighbor and i clean them with a pressure washer. You have to do it within a few days of harvest but it works pretty good, I repeat do it within a few days or you will hate yourself. Skin it and get the eyes and as much flesh as you can off of it, also remove the lower jaw. Fire the pressure washer up and hammer down. Its a wet slimy job but its works pretty darn good. Once you get most of it cleaned off then we simmer it for 1/2 hour and pull the last of the tissue and meat off of it. We also like to cut a little bit off the back of the skull to help get the brain out. Once you get it to your liking we then throw it back into the pot with new water and a bottle or two of cheap peroxide from the dollar store, simmer for a 1/2 hour and your done. This year i am going to try some degreaser in the first boil. One last note, keep your mouth closed at all times! I nice chunk of gooey deer brain in your mouth will surely make you gag!

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