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Thread: Anyone have beetles in Anchorage?

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default Anyone have beetles in Anchorage?

    I have some small heads... a couple of squirrels, a porkypine and a marmot that my boys shot last summer. They would like to have the skulls done and preserved ofter seeing the displays in the fish and game office. Will be happy to pay for the service if anyone can help. I really dont want too boil them for feer of messing them up...
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    Sounds as though your boys are having a good time. I don't know of any beetle colonies in Anchorage (although there are some in AK), but if you would like to tackle the skull cleaning as a learning project with the boys, "maceration" may be something to try. Warning! - it STINKS during the actual maceration process, but if you have an area to let some covered buckets sit in a warm place without irritating the family or neighbors, it's a tried and true method. It's not quick, but it works very well.

    Basically, the bacteria in the "soup" of water rots all the meat off (many of the teeth will fall out, so keep track of them -- taking some close up photos before you start will help remember where they go when gluing them in later); then you can degrease in water/Dawn detergent repeated soaks; whiten in 3% hydrogen peroxide (the weak stuff available at Walmart medicine area); glue all the teeth in; seal with diluted Elmer's glue or clear matte acrylic spray when completely dry.

    Here are a few links, but if you search "taxidermy maceration" or "skull maceration", there are many slight variations.


    http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index...c,48226.0.html


    http://boneshoppe.blogspot.com/2011/...taxidermy.html

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    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    I've macerated several skulls before. Like the other poster said, it stinks! It also takes a long time and will still require a bit more cleaning once it's fully done macerating. Another option is to put it in a animal proof cage/box and leave it out in the woods somewhere, the bugs will clean it up in a matter of time. That also takes quite a while too. Macerating in the ocean is a great way to do it also. The sand fleas and little bugs will clean the skulls up in no time.

    However, no method I mentioned is as fast, clean, or maintenance free as beetles. You can buy flesh eating beetles from a company in Kodiak if you were interested in doing it yourself.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Ive thought a bout maceration or even boiling these little skulls but really dont want to dive into that stinky mess unless i have too. But if I dont find anyone with beetles I might try the sand flea thing this summer.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I've a friend with beetles, give me a ring:
    903-2101

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    Ive thought a bout maceration or even boiling these little skulls but really dont want to dive into that stinky mess unless i have too. But if I dont find anyone with beetles I might try the sand flea thing this summer.
    Boiling smaller skulls can be problematic, as it will severely weaken/degrade the thinner bones. There's a good chance you will end up with just a pile of teeth and pieces and parts of skulls. Maceration is the way to go.

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