Anyone done a European mount?

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Troutrageous, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Troutrageous

    Troutrageous Active Member

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    I got a nice buck this year, and if I had a money to throw away I would probably get it mounted, but I do not, so I am looking at making a european mount. Has anyone ever cleaned off the skulls to do this? I've already skinned it, taken off the lower jaw, and thrown it in the freezer until I get a chance to do more.
    Unless anyone knows of somebody with dermestid beetles around Yakima or Walla Walla I will probably be boiling the skull to clean off most of the flesh. The most intimidating part to me is probably getting the insides of the skull cleaned, so any advice on getting the brain out would be awesome. Lastly, if anyone has done this, how did you finish the skull? I've seen suggestions to use detergent with bleach to whiten it, and been told you can simply paint it with a mix of water and elmers, and I'm sure there are a number of other ways as well.
    Thanks for any input!
    -Eric
     
  2. 2506

    2506 Active Member

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    I know a guy near Pendleton with the beetles you need. PM me if you're interested.
     
  3. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    if the ants arent down for the winter put the skull on an ant hill. but I guess someone migt steal it (human or animal) You can soak it in a bleach solution withgood results. Thats what I used to do to clean my skulls
     
  4. mccascades

    mccascades mccascades

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    Boil the skull in water and Dawn dishwashing detergent. Be careful not to let the antler bases become submerged. Remove the skull from the water and scrape with a dull knife or paint scraper. You will likely have to repeat this process two or three times. AFter you have removed all flesh and brain matter allow the skull to cool. Soak the cooled skull in a 50/50 solution of chlorine bleach and water for at least 24 hours. This should result in very clean and odor free skull.

    I hope this helps.
     
  5. Kerfwappie

    Kerfwappie Member

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    I've done two with good results. The 4x5 was bleached, the 2 point was left natural. Everything I've read says not to boil them. When you boil it the bone softens and breaks down just like a soup bone. The way I do it is to submerge it in a 5 gallon bucket of water with a fish tank heater set to about 76 - 80 degrees. This creates the perfect conditions for the bacteria responsible for decomposition to thrive. After a couple of weeks, take it out but do not dump the water. Spray it with a hose and use a soft brush and plastic or wooden pick (a chopstick works) to remove all the loose flesh. If the teeth fall out, save them to be glued in later. If there is still flesh stuck in places it needs to go back into the bucket. But before you do, pour out half the bucket and refill till the skull is covered. Give it another couple weeks. Check on it it occasionally. When you get ALL the flesh ( including inside the brain cavity ) off the skull, rinse it well and then put it someplace warm to dry thoroughly, like on top of the water heater. Rodents like to chew on antler for the minerals, so keep that in mind. After it's dry you'll find little pockets and specks of fat. These can be cleaned off with acetone and a Q-tip. For bleaching, use the Hydrogen Peroxide that beauty salons use to bleach hair. I believe it's strength is 40%. Mask off the antlers. I use tin foil and tape. Using a foam brush paint the peroxide onto pieces of paper towel applied to the skull. The paper towel helps to control run off and holds the solution to the bone. Make sure you don't get any on the antler or they will whiten as well. Leave it on for 5 minutes and peel it up and look at it. When it get to the whiteness you like, rinse it well with water and dry it again. That's it.
    Good Luck,
    Eric


    P.S. Grinning will repress your gag reflex.
     
  6. Grayone

    Grayone Fishin' to the end, Oc.P

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    I agree...........................
     
  7. Troutrageous

    Troutrageous Active Member

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    Oh man.... As bad as boiling sounded, that sounds worse by far. I'm not sure I could grin hard enough to not gag.
    I've heard the same thing about boiling, but been told that if you keep it just at or below boiling (rather than a rolling boil), and simmer it, there should not be an issue. Thanks for the advice, I'll have to see when I get a chance to work on it, but if nothing else my time constraints might force me to try boiling this time, and save the bacteria swamp bath for the next skull if the boiling doesn't work out.

    Whenever I get a chance to work on it (probably a month or two from now) I'll let you guys know what method I chose and how it turned out.
    Thanks,
    Eric