popping off ram horns
I've got a set of ram horns still on the skull that I would like to pop off. Does anyone have some tips for doing this?
Also, I am still looking for a good carver in AK. Does anyone know of someone that works on ram horns?
Put the skull in a black trash bag.. mist the bases with some water.. (MIST).. seal tight, then put in another bag to seal.. place in a warm area and leave it alone for 2 weeks.. after 2 weeks, open bag.. stand up wind.. should be able to twist the horn and it will pop right off.. If not, their may be a grissel membrane right at the base of the horn that will need to be cut.. use a flat tip screwdriver and go slow and carefully.. pop em off.. or re bag, leave another week and try it again..
DO NOT BOIL and try and get em off.. it will discolor and ruin the horns..
Hold on to one horn and use a 36" chunk of 2x4 to whack the other horn while holding it in the air.
A good rap with the lumber should jar it loose. Repeat with the other side.
Brian, go see TOM in Sterling. I think the business is called Alaska Antler. Been carving for 20+ years. You'll be happy with his work.
the recommendations you received so far (from Hoytguy and bkmail) are good/great. But................
But......how long have you had these ram horns? If you have had them a long time, say, a year, then they become much harder to seperate from the skull and horn cores. And if they are several years old they become brittle around the edge, around the most recently grown part of the horn. You might need to submerge the horns in water for a day to get some moisture/water inside the horn so the black-plastic-bag-in-the-sun deal will work.
And I agree (with Roland-River) that horn carver Tom Cooper, in Sterling (I guess...right on the highway) is the best of the best, with honors. Also consider Tony Russ, (bowhunter,sheep guide, #1Pope&Young ram)www.tonyruss.com/alaska art.htm, in MAtSu.
Two years ago, I was boiling my friends ram head for a euro mount. I boiled the head for about 20 minutes. I grabbed a horn to check the head and the horn popped off. I freaked--grabbed the other horn. The other horn promptly pulled off. My buddy was not worried at all. He said the horns had pulled off on other rams before. I stuck a few dabs of liquid nails on the bone and the horns are still there today.
The above skull was about a month old.
All that rambling to suggest: try boiling the skull. Good luck.
when I did my euro mount I soaked it and worked em a little every day or so and they finally popped off.
Seems like a hundred years ago, but the guys at Boondocks Taxidermy (that certainly ought to date me to some fellows out there!) in Eagle River told me to take a medium sized chisel and work my way around the base of each horn just inside in the zone between the horn and the skull to make a "scoring" so to speak, then take the horns and smack them firmly on the floor or a log etc hitting the floor exactly where the rams would ideally meet up in a battle head on charge. It worked perfectly and I was only 15 at the time. One good smack and they both came free.
I didnt know what to do with them for all them years, finally about 5 years ago I had that Tom Cooper carve them up for me, and put a bronze tag on the walnut bases he mounted them on, gave one to my Dad, one to my Father in Law engraved "For Taking a Kid Hunting". Seems like it took Tom many months to get them done, but I was well pleased with the results...