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Thread: Beetle Clean

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Default Beetle Clean

    Can anybody tell me the approximate going rate to get a bear skull beetle cleaned....??? I've always really liked the finished products I've seen on brown bear skulls.....such detail is left. Thinking about having it done to a blackie I just killed.

    Thanks.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Can anybody tell me the approximate going rate to get a bear skull beetle cleaned....??? I've always really liked the finished products I've seen on brown bear skulls.....such detail is left. Thinking about having it done to a blackie I just killed.

    Thanks.....
    There's a place in the Mat Su area that has beetles for cleaning, they say that their beetles are the fastest around <grin> you might want to give them a call 907-355-6451 or check this link on Alaskaslist they have a few photos of their work. http://alaskaslist.com/1/posts/9_General/135_Furs_Trophies/254478_Mat_Su_Beetle_Taxidermy.html

    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    skull and bones on Kodiak has a great reputation and has the prices on his website.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    There's a place in the Mat Su area that has beetles for cleaning, they say that their beetles are the fastest around <grin> you might want to give them a call 907-355-6451 or check this link on Alaskaslist they have a few photos of their work. http://alaskaslist.com/1/posts/9_General/135_Furs_Trophies/254478_Mat_Su_Beetle_Taxidermy.html

    Yeah, I'm not sure about the reputation of the above Beetle Cleaners. Anyone can start their own beetle colony, I've heard it's kinda tricky keeping them, certain temp, humidity, and you wouldn't want them to escape and start chewing on your shoulder mounts either! They will eat hair, skin, and horn, if nothing else is available. And usually most regular shoulder - full mount taxidermy guys don't use them just for that reason. If you decide to go with the beetle cleaning method, make sure there are no stowaways on your skull, I'm sure most reputable beetle cleaners would make sure there are no beetles or larvae ( small cocoons ) on your skull before returning it.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    ,...... Anyone can start their own beetle colony, I've heard it's kinda tricky keeping them, certain temp, humidity, and ,......
    4merguide, I realize you were looking to have it hired out, in your OP,....so this is maybe not applicable
    but your question, reminded m of a Beetle Project My boys and I got into a while back,...

    This is a long thread, with lots of pics, and LOTS of "learning going on" We had a blast doing it tho

    thought you guys might find it interesting

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...Home?highlight=

    as to your question, Ken, at B&B in Kodiak gets $175 for a Brown Bear,...$125 for a Blacktail,..so I imagine it would be around 125 for a Black Bear
    He has it down pretty good, but is fairly booked up in the fall
    that should give you a feel for what it's worth elsewhere

    a Nicely Finished Bear Skull is a pretty cool conversation piece/memory starter,.... for sure



    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Thought I would leave a tip on shrinking horns. Did a bison euro once and after removing the horns, ( upwind I might add ) did a detergent cleaning, filled them with borax, then topped that off with about a half inch layer of regular ole wall plaster. Once dried this will keep the base of your horn from shrinking. When your skull is ready, just tap and break up the plaster.
    Nice story and pics on the beetle project.Bison Horn HPIM0433 sm.jpgBison Skull HPIM0429 sm.jpg
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    Thought I would leave a tip on shrinking horns. Did a bison euro once and after removing the horns, ( upwind I might add ) did a detergent cleaning, filled them with borax, then topped that off with about a half inch layer of regular ole wall plaster. Once dried this will keep the base of your horn from shrinking. When your skull is ready, just tap and break up the plaster.
    Nice story and pics on the beetle project.Bison Horn HPIM0433 sm.jpgBison Skull HPIM0429 sm.jpg
    Thanks for the tips and lesson on Bison horns, I never would have thought about them shrinking and would have had some issues one o these days I am sure.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    locally check with forum member Hunt-n-photos.. Cory does it on the side in ER, not sure his schedule or back log
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    Thanks for the tips and lesson on Bison horns, I never would have thought about them shrinking and would have had some issues one o these days I am sure.
    Your Welcome! This should work for any horn, not just bison. Maybe an inch of plaster would be better for a large base horn, just not so thick that you can't break it up.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I have conversed with matsubeetle - he told me 165 for my Griz skull a couple weeks ago. I am still counting out my pennies - might end up doing it myself. In my conversations with him, they sounded very professional.

    randy

  11. #11
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I have conversed with matsubeetle - he told me 165 for my Griz skull a couple weeks ago. I am still counting out my pennies - might end up doing it myself. In my conversations with him, they sounded very professional.

    randy
    Before I ever did a skull on my own I thought beetle places and taxidermist charged too much. After doing them myself with beetles and or maceration I quickly figured out they are not making a dime. It is a long process if you are doing it correctly but well worth it in the end. I will continue to do my own and put that money towards something else.

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    Member Ernie Scar's Avatar
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    Did you ever consider using Kenny Jones at Skulls and Bones down Gas Well? He's done 3 sheep for me but I can't remember what he charges. He's always done a great job.

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    I had one done by Kodiak Bones and Bugs. Took forever to get it done and it showed up with none of the teeth glued in, the skull is cracked in multiple places and both occiptal bones are broken. To the do it your self guys who have posted your skulls look much better than my "professional" one does. Koodos to you guys. Job well done.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by redale View Post
    I had one done by Kodiak Bones and Bugs. Took forever to get it done and it showed up with none of the teeth glued in, the skull is cracked in multiple places and both occiptal bones are broken. To the do it your self guys who have posted your skulls look much better than my "professional" one does. Koodos to you guys. Job well done.
    Wow! Sounds like the guy really trashed your skull. BUT I for one would need to see pictures to tell for sure if it was poorly done/damaged in the process. The reason I say that is skulls have natural sutures which someone could mistake for being "cracked in multiple places" also occipital bones can naturally separate at their sutures and if one did not know what they were looking at might say "both occipital bones are broken". This would be particularly evident on a young animal.
    The way you kicked them in the nuts I think it is incumbent on you to show us the evidence.

  15. #15
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redale View Post
    I had one done by Kodiak Bones and Bugs. Took forever to get it done and it showed up with none of the teeth glued in, the skull is cracked in multiple places and both occiptal bones are broken. To the do it your self guys who have posted your skulls look much better than my "professional" one does. Koodos to you guys. Job well done.
    I would love to see some pictures of your skull. Hard to believe the teeth were not glued in and they caused all those skull fractures.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    I would love to see some pictures of your skull. Hard to believe the teeth were not glued in and they caused all those skull fractures.
    Yes, I would love to see some photos of your bear? skull too..weather it's good, bad or ugly.
    "Grin and Bear It"

  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I did these three myself, two with beetles and one with maceration. All of them were soaked in coleman fuel for a couple of weeks then water with dish soap for a couple of weeks, and back and forth like that for a few months till it looked like the fat had leached out of the bone and I was seeing very little floating in the water or at the bottom of the fuel. After that I used 40% peroxide and whitened the skulls. Then I used devcon epoxy and glued the teeth back in and any skull fissures that were starting to separate.

  18. #18
    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broncoformudv View Post
    I did these three myself, two with beetles and one with maceration. All of them were soaked in coleman fuel for a couple of weeks then water with dish soap for a couple of weeks, and back and forth like that for a few months till it looked like the fat had leached out of the bone and I was seeing very little floating in the water or at the bottom of the fuel. After that I used 40% peroxide and whitened the skulls. Then I used devcon epoxy and glued the teeth back in and any skull fissures that were starting to separate.
    Those skulls look like a pro did them!
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Bronco, I was wondering what happened to that biggest, obviously brown bear skull, top near the front missing teeth? Just looks like a bigger hole than normal there. Thanks.
    "Grin and Bear It"

  20. #20
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    Bronco, I was wondering what happened to that biggest, obviously brown bear skull, top near the front missing teeth? Just looks like a bigger hole than normal there. Thanks.
    I'll answer for him. It's called stalking a wounded bear in an alder jungle along the coast and emptying two guns into it as it charges and drops at your feet! I wasn't there but that's the story I got.

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