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Maine Hntr

Antlers and Skulls

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So I keep all my racks regardless of size as a memento of each deer harvested, I have a head in a junk compost pile right now and will wait till next year to dig it up for the antlers and skull, the bugs eat at it and it decomposes as well, anyone else have other simple methods they use? just curious..

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Most of mine are in the basement. Cut the skull plates off. This years deer was not quite worthy of a shoulder mount, but caped out anyway. May do skull mount.

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Got last years head in a barrel here, filled with dirt and leaves. Pretty stinky.

Checked it the other day, dunno how long it usually takes, but the heat would think it should not take too long. Guess I will clean it up this fall sometime.

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I talked to my taxi about how long and he said about 4 weeks when the temp is over 70 degrees outside. I have a coyote skull buried since early June. Will wait until August before checking.

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Think the head i have in the barrel out here is about ready to be cleaned up. Pulled it out to look this morning and the remaining hide fell off with just a little nudge against the edge of the barrel, looks like most the meat inside is gone.

One thing i did notice, looks like the antlers have drawn inward quite a bit. When i first put them in the barrel they were touching the sides, now a good bit of clearance.

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Hoyt, same here, I boil em in borax, bleach em, and there done in about a week or two. Tip my hat to you guys, I wouldn't be able to put up with the stink. I split a small hickory log, and have the skull sitting on it in a row, and for the smaller bucks I cut the antlers off and tied them individually to a piece of 550 cord, kind of like Primos's turkey rope.

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Always heard not to use bleach, will make the bone deteriorate. Wondered about borax, seems a great all around cleaning agent. Planning to use sodium carbonate to clean up this one, have used it before on skull plates and it does a good job. Head i have in the barrel is ready just need to find a big enough pot for the skull to sit in that i won't get in trouble for using. Read not to boil either but instead to slow cook.

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Wtnhunt, your right, I don't use bleach, I use peroxide, the stuff you get at the salon for perms, comes in two parts, a paste and powder, you mix em together, and paint it on your skull, cover it with a plastic wal-mart sack, stick somewhere cool, and wait for a couple days, the stuff will dry and fall off once it's deactivated. As far as boiling skull, it usually takes me a half a day or so, and I use 20 mule team borax detergent when boiling, then use a pressure washer on the final touch. I had a taxidermist do one of the skulls last year, and he puts something in, and it eats it away, not too big of a fan, ate pretty much all of the membrane out of the nose.

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Seems to be working ok. Been cooking about an hour in the salsoda. So long as we don't run out of propane before its done will be good.

IMG_20140726_171740-1_zps7248f471.jpg

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Guess 3 hours of cooking was maybe too long. Never got to a boil. Checked before eating supper and everything seemed to be going just fine. Went back out about 30 later and the end of the nose was gone. Started pulling the remaining cartilage out of the nasal cavity and the plates in the upper jaw and around the eye socket fell apart.

Teeth are all still in and intact. Guess i may try to glue the pieces back together after finishing cleaning up.

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You can mess up a skull fast boiling them might try a method called maceration u get a bucket and fill with water and put a fish tank heater in it turned all the way up and leave your skull in there wait 5 days and change half the water till its done then u degrease and whiten the teeth will fall out using this method but u just glue em back. One thing is u r basically rotting the flesh off so it is pretty bad on the smell factor.

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