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Thread: Skull shrinkage...

  1. #1
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Default Skull shrinkage...

    What are peoples thoughts on average shrinkage of a bear skull. When I shot mine, it measured xx 14/16 (official measurement from ADF&G when sealing) and then after the 60 day drying period, it measured xx 10/16, shrinking a whole quarter of an inch overall. Anybody experience the same? more? less?

    Thoughts on how to mitigate shrinking?

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    Heard of guys keeping the skull in a freezer and in water in a freezer.
    I have been told that EACH time a skull (or antlers/horns) is measured by a B&C official, that new measurement becomes the official measurement. Skulls can continue to shrink over the time period it takes to reach the final entry into B&C records.
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  3. #3
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default it depends on the xx

    a 14 inch black bear will shrink more than a 19 inch black bear, and a 24 inch brown bear will shrink more than a 26 inch brown bear..just like a 7 year old rams horns wil shrink more than a 12 year old ram...your quarter of a inch doesn't sound too unreasonable for say a medium sized black bear..brown bears seem to shrink less than black bears overall
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  4. #4
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Default

    a 14 inch black bear will shrink more than a 19 inch black bear, and a 24 inch brown bear will shrink more than a 26 inch brown bear..just like a 7 year old rams horns wil shrink more than a 12 year old ram...your quarter of a inch doesn't sound too unreasonable for say a medium sized black bear..brown bears seem to shrink less than black bears overall
    I would think that a larger skull would shrink more but of equal percentage of a smaller bear skull. The skull in question is a grizzly bear skull. Does the sub-species of bear necessarily contribute to the shrinkage. I would have to think black/grizzly/brownies would shrink at the same rate on average...Maybe not though...
    Heard of guys keeping the skull in a freezer and in water in a freezer.
    I have been told that EACH time a skull (or antlers/horns) is measured by a B&C official, that new measurement becomes the official measurement. Skulls can continue to shrink over the time period it takes to reach the final entry into B&C records.
    Mine was measured twice (once at official measurement in Wasilla then in Kansas City and it was the same 2 1/2 years later)...

  5. #5

    Default Average

    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    What are peoples thoughts on average shrinkage of a bear skull. When I shot mine, it measured xx 14/16 (official measurement from ADF&G when sealing) and then after the 60 day drying period, it measured xx 10/16, shrinking a whole quarter of an inch overall. Anybody experience the same? more? less?

    Thoughts on how to mitigate shrinking?
    From what I've seen thru the years, that's about average, plus of minus 1/8. It also somewhat depends on temperture during druing period.
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  6. #6
    Member goaty's Avatar
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    Default just a thought

    I know that when I've got mine sealed, there was still a lot of flesh on it still and that might have added to some of the increase in overall size. I shot a 7 footer on POW last year that the trooper measured at 21 1/2". Too bad I accidentally shot it in the head and blew the back of its skull out. Needless to say, I had WAY more than 1/4" of shrinkage on that one. To bad I'm a sucky shot. He was sitting down looking at me head on at 200 yds. and I put the cross hairs on his chest. I don't know what happened, but I hit him right above his left eye. Bummer for me. At least I didn't have to track him. I tried to upload a pic of him but couldn't, oh well.

  7. #7
    Member akndnlawyer's Avatar
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    Default I've hunted w/Goaty, his head shots are uncanny

    All I can say is measured skull shrinkage is better then ground shrinkage. I've shot a bear on POWI that looked huge till we got up close...

  8. #8
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    Default age is a factor

    the reason that the large skulls shrink less is because a more mature bear is more fully developed....a yonger bear isn't done growing yet and that is why it would shrink more....sub species doesn't really matter....each individual bear is different...one bear of the same exact measurement may not shrink as much as another of the same size.....how it is dried is different too...those who freeze it will last the sixty days but when it dries out it still shrinks....the climate up here doesn't help either ... it is pretty dry especially in homes....some very large old bear skulls will not shrink at all...where some very young bears will fall apart when they dry
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  9. #9
    Member Jeff U's Avatar
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    Default Shrinkage

    Shark is correct. Just for thought, if you put your skull in a freezer or do anything to it other than let it dry in room temperature surroundings, then it is not measurable by BnC or P&Y methods. All trophies have the drying periods at room temperature. If you did put your trophy in a freezer or other, then the drying period starts after you take it out of the abnormal conditions.

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