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Thread: can I just put a skull on the ground and let nature clean it?

  1. #1
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default can I just put a skull on the ground and let nature clean it?

    Im wondering if I just put my bear skull in the woods at the edge of my yard if nature will take its course and my skull will get cleaned?

    I have considered the smell, but I dont think it will bother anyone.

    I have considered the possibility of other animals messing with it. I have a old box made of wood I can put over it, as well as leave a fence around it. other than that it would serve the neighbors right if bowser dragged over a smelly bear skull to their place

    I have thought of boiling it, but Id have to do that inside and im sure the smell would be more than I can hack.

  2. #2

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    Matt,

    Put it in a bucket of water and cover it. Add a can of beer to it. After a couple of weeks, wash the skull off and soak some more. Watch for teeth falling out. It works well and I have even used my pressure washer to clean some of the tougher stuff off. I am almost done with two grizz skulls and will pressure wash them a final time, soak them in peroxide and then coat with elmers glue.

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    Don't know about in Alaska, but here in Missouri that is not a good idea. We have too many gnawing critters (squirrels, rabbits, mice, groundhogs, etc) that just LOVE to chew the skull bones and antlers.

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    why can't you boil it outside?

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    It will come clean if you bury it in the ground. I have put skulls in the ground and covered them with dirt then put a piece of chicken wire over it followed by more dirt, although nothing messed with it in over a year of being in the ground. the skull will not be white it turns kind of brown and gets tannin (?) stains on it. Mine are all in the garage so I have left the brown color and not tried to remove it. The teeth did not fall out when I have done it, but were loose enough to pull out.
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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    This is good advice just use an $30 aquarium heater and and change out 1/2 water every week for a month and watch for the teeth when you dump it out.. PM me if you want more help

    Quote Originally Posted by northway View Post
    Matt,

    Put it in a bucket of water and cover it. Add a can of beer to it. After a couple of weeks, wash the skull off and soak some more. Watch for teeth falling out. It works well and I have even used my pressure washer to clean some of the tougher stuff off. I am almost done with two grizz skulls and will pressure wash them a final time, soak them in peroxide and then coat with elmers glue.

  7. #7
    Member ACNDHO's Avatar
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    shrimp pot in a sand flea hole, it will be clean as a whistle in a couple days
    Even a jackass won't stumble on the same stone twice.

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    Grab a coleman burner and some 1lb bottles. boil that sucker. Add some lawry's or similiar if your worried about smell, it doesnt cover it all but helps. glue the teethe back in, bleach the skull and your done.

  9. #9

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    skin the hide from the head being careful not to cut or gouge the skull then chicken wire or hardware cloth the horns/anthlers. bury the skull only and cover the whole set with trash can and cement block to keep critters away. after six months in the ground, the skull will have an antique patina, not the bleached white. brains, eyes, and the nasal cartilelage, all gone.

  10. #10

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    a buddy of mine has over 25+european mounts & he boils all the meat & tissue away after he slices all that he can with a capeing knife then he got a 5gal bucket of peroxide from a taxidermy supply co ( has a higher % of peroxide than the type you buy at the store) & soakes the skull till he's satisfied usually no longer than a month, he does this soaking in his garage without smell as 90+% of the meat & tissue were removed during the boiling process, tip to remember if the said skull has a rack ( DO NOT LET THE PEROXIDE CONTACT THE HORNS) as it will bleach the horn white so wrap/seal the horn bases with duct tape tightly, they clean up nicely without any trace of smell, his wife is very addament about her house & wouldnt allow for even the slightest odor from a rotting skull in her house so if it passes her inspection then all is good in his life, lol. im having 2 black bear skulls being done currently using the dermesticide beetles so when i get them back i'll post on their quality & appearances.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    Im wondering if I just put my bear skull in the woods at the edge of my yard if nature will take its course and my skull will get cleaned?
    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by nuskovich View Post
    skin the hide from the head being careful not to cut or gouge the skull then chicken wire or hardware cloth the horns/anthlers. ...
    I didn't know any bears had horns or antlers.

  12. #12

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    sorry marinehawk, didnt think i needed to clarify or be species specific as the same procedure will work for both horned as well as non horned/antlered game, i realize others read these suggestions & wouldnt want to see someone bleach out a nice set of antlers/horns as this is a very easy process just somewhat time consumeing, so to all who read my previous post and couldnt comprehend or decipher what i was trying to explain i express my sincere appoligies if my explanitive indescretion caused you to ruin any antlered/horned skulls or any of those extremely rare horned/antlered bears, no offence taken marinehawk, just a bit of fecesious/fun throwing your way, lol

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    Member dieNqvrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorhuntr01 View Post
    a buddy of mine has over 25+european mounts & he boils all the meat & tissue away after he slices all that he can with a capeing knife then he got a 5gal bucket of peroxide from a taxidermy supply co ( has a higher % of peroxide than the type you buy at the store) & soakes the skull till he's satisfied usually no longer than a month, he does this soaking in his garage without smell as 90+% of the meat & tissue were removed during the boiling process, tip to remember if the said skull has a rack ( DO NOT LET THE PEROXIDE CONTACT THE HORNS) as it will bleach the horn white so wrap/seal the horn bases with duct tape tightly, they clean up nicely without any trace of smell, his wife is very addament about her house & wouldnt allow for even the slightest odor from a rotting skull in her house so if it passes her inspection then all is good in his life, lol. im having 2 black bear skulls being done currently using the dermesticide beetles so when i get them back i'll post on their quality & appearances.
    Peroxide does not dissolve any meat left. Strong peroxide will eventually dissolve the bone and weaken it if left in too long. Horns are always removed from every critter except impossible for a muskox. Antlers on the other hand don't get removed. Duck tape will also not prevent peroxide from getting on the antler burr and bleach it white. Put peroxide level just below antler bur and use paper towels wrapped under burr and on top of forehead to wick it on top of and under burr. This will prevent the white burr. Moose are the hardest with angle of horns out of side of head. The smell test is not a good judgment of quality. I can get you a skull that does not smell but will not look great and there might be some non visible meat for bugs to chew on in the house for many years to come.

    Quality and appearance of skulls by dermestid beetles is a two part issue. Remove flesh and then degrease/whiten. The second part is the hard part and separate the quality from the hacks. Look at european mounts closely and if they are yellowing from grease in many areas or are painted then they did it quickly and are quantity minded not quality which is the most important in my opinion when paying for a service. Get educated about what you are paying for, the process and the outcome to be expected/desired.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by predatorhuntr01 View Post
    sorry marinehawk, didnt think i needed to clarify or be species specific as the same procedure will work for both horned as well as non horned/antlered game, i realize others read these suggestions & wouldnt want to see someone bleach out a nice set of antlers/horns as this is a very easy process just somewhat time consumeing, so to all who read my previous post and couldnt comprehend or decipher what i was trying to explain i express my sincere appoligies if my explanitive indescretion caused you to ruin any antlered/horned skulls or any of those extremely rare horned/antlered bears, no offence taken marinehawk, just a bit of fecesious/fun throwing your way, lol
    Thanks for the concern. I did know exactly what you meant. I was just having some fun with the idea of antlered bear. Who knows, maybe they exist in strange places, like Arkansas?

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