DIY European Skull Cleaning - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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DIY European Skull Cleaning

Hey all!

So I harvested my first archery buck! A big bodied 6 pointer that I am very proud of! I want to do a european mount and am looking for advice! we boiled my dads skull last year and ended up boiling it too long and the skull and antlers broke and chipped all over, it was a disaster. If you could post the instructions you follow for a european mount or post a link to a website you enjoy using that would be so awesome! I dont want to mess this skull up and i want it to look decent too! so I would appreciate any and all advice!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 05:28 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

I'm sure someone will post a detail procedure but..

Try using the buck boiler, I got one from Bass Pro, I used it last year and it worked great. Simply scrape as much hide, meat and tendons as you can off before placing in the buck boiler. The low boiling action and chemicals that come with the kit break down all the fibers connecting everything to the bone. Keep an eye on it and every now and then take the water from a hoes (with low pressure) and wash the left over meat and tendons away from the skull. Once this is complete go to a beauty salon and buy the highest peroxide you can buy without a license and coat the skull with a layers letting it dry inbetween. Mine turned out awesome last year and I think it actually looks better than any job I've seen beattles do.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 05:29 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

do yourself a favor and send it to Franks Skull Cleaning. Best money you ever spent! I have several "boiled" skulls that require constant attention. Derek's don't. Once he cleans/seals them, they're good forever.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 05:38 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

If you want to do it yourself, the best method I have found is macerating the skull. Simply drop the the skinned skull in a bucket of water and let mother nature do its thing. Make sure the antlers are covered so the sun can not bleach them and make sure the antlers are away from the house. (going to smell) The more meat you get off of the bone before you start the process, the better.

Process is slow during the winter months but does not take long once temperatures increase. I spray the skull off with the water hose once or twice during the process to keep the bone looking clean.

Takes less then an hour of your time, protects the skull from the stresses of boiling, keeps me from driving an hour to have my skull cleaned professionally, and keeps $80 in my pocket.

2B, 2A, South East NE, Jefferson National Forest VA
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 06:14 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

I used two different cheapskate methods. Neither involve boiling which I hear is completely disgusting to go through. A. I bury the skull in the garden with the horns exposed. B. I hang it in a tree. Hanging in a tree involves a bit of tidy work once you retrieve it, but the burying method does not. It completely cleans it. Then it just involves whatever kind of bleach/whitening proces you want.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 06:20 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by bownut
do yourself a favor and send it to Franks Skull Cleaning.
+1
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 06:34 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

I've boiled mine two ways, using a turkey fryer and a turkey roaster, and both worked. Do yourself a favor and dont let the head sit around for a couple weeks and get stinky, or this whole process will smell. If you do it fresh, its not bad at all. For either method, skin the skull and get the large flesh pieces off and eyes out, but don't work too hard yet since the big stuff comes off easy later. Then into the water. Once I used a turkey fryer (9pt below below) and boiled it, pulled it out and picked at it, back in to boil more, and repeat several times until clean, takes a while, alot of picking to get it real clean. Last year I used an electric turkey roaster (8pt below below)filled with water and covered with foil with the antlers sticking out and cooked it for a few hours or over night, sort of like a good roast falling off the bone. Then picked and cooked and picked more. I dont think you want to really boil it, more like a simmer, to help keep the bone intact. A hard boil or cooking too long can soften the bone and open the joints. I boiled the 9pt pretty hard and you can see the joint down the center opened up some. Needlenose pliars, a knife, piece of wire, and screwdriver are useful tools. After picking it as clean as you can, dont forget the brain, wash it with Dawn dish soap and rinse with hot water. Then to get it real clean, I soak it in water with Biz laundry detergent for a couple days. Biz is an enzyme based detergent that will break down and get out the last bits of stubborn grease. After that, rinse it well again. Finally, I soak it in peroxide for a couple days. I put it in a container and fill it up to but not touching the bases of the antlers. Then drape a rag over the top of the skull with the ends in the peroxide to wick it up onto the top. If it soaks on the antlers, it will bleach them too, so be careful. Both racks I have done this way have turned out great. I used normal peroxide from the dollar store or Walmart.









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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 10:39 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

bury it works like a charm if you in a hurry get it bugged, forget boiling..it will be too brittle and fall apart..rotting it in water..have clothespins handy for your nose lol

The original point and click interface was a Smith and Wesson
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 11:04 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

don't boil it, it ruins them. I have the beetles and that is the only way to do it properly.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 11:21 PM
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Re: DIY European Skull Cleaning

You can boil it and get the same results as beetles if not better.
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