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Anyone know of a good Skull Cleaning Place?

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  • Anyone know of a good Skull Cleaning Place?

    Hi guys
    I was wondering if anyone new of someone that cleans skulls for a Reasonable Price and does a good job. I was going to try to do it my self but would hate to wreck it. Thanks for your help. In the Anchorage area.

  • #2
    I took a moose skull plate over to Knight's and they cleaned it up for me for $10 a couple years ago. I don't know how they would handle a whole skull. You might give them a call.
    344-5501

    If you take some reasonable precautions, you can't wreck it. The mistake most make is to boil it too long, then it sometimes falls apart. The teeth will also come out but they are easy to glue back in. I have the name Knight's uses, its Arm and Hammer stuff you can get at the grocery but I can't remember the specific item. I can look at the box tonight.

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    • #3
      skull clean

      hey gunner---go to pennsylvania hunting forum--in the FOR SALE section a gent has some cleaning beatles for sale

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      • #4
        Hunter Fisher Taxidermy in Anchorage does a great job at a fair price.
        Pick A Spot

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        • #5
          Dermestid beetles

          There is a guy in the valley that has beetles. I can't remember his name right now. These beetles are used in all museums for cleaning skulls. You can purchase them on-line yourself and start your own colony but don't get them in the house or you mounts may become trash....

          Alternatively, if you have access to a good pressure washer and the skull is fresh, this works well.

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          • #6
            Beetles...

            Originally posted by Boss Gobbler View Post
            There is a guy in the valley that has beetles. I can't remember his name right now. These beetles are used in all museums for cleaning skulls. You can purchase them on-line yourself and start your own colony but don't get them in the house or you mounts may become trash....

            Alternatively, if you have access to a good pressure washer and the skull is fresh, this works well.

            Do not just start up a beetle colony without doing your homework..it's not just as easy as raising beetles sounds. If ONE gets out in your house (or garage and clings to your coat when you go inside your house)...bye bye mounts.

            I 100% agree with the pressure washer...by far the easiest and fastest way to clean a skull.

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            • #7
              I got bugs

              i have a bug colonie that i have had for about two years now but the only drawback for me is that i cant realy do anything with antlers till i build a larger incloser(Im in the prosess of). so if you have a brown bear size skull i could probly help you out just shoot me a PM if your interested. heres some of the work i have done so you can get an idea.

              this was a mule deer i did for my father. only exseption on this antlered critter was the antlers were not that wide and fit in my tank


              and here are some skulls from the trapline last year


              I wont be back till monday or tuesday . Last chance to find a big bull.

              have a good one
              Todd
              sigpicLOVE MY LITTLE SKULL CLEANERS

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              • #8
                Dermestid Beetles

                Gunner,

                This came up a while back and I posted on a friend of mine who has Dermestid Beetles here in Anchorage. His name is Jed Crabb. Here's a re-post of my comments of 7/23 this year:

                "Be careful about boiling; if you overdo it, you could soften the skull itself. This is especially true of the thinner areas around the nose.

                An excellent alternative is the use of Dermestid Beetles. They eat flesh and will have your skull cleaned out pretty quickly, including the brain area that is so hard to deal with. The brain has a thin layer of fascia between the skull and the organ itself that can be difficult to remove.

                There are several folks around who can clean it up with beetles for you. If you're near Anchorage, you might give Jed Crabb a shout. He's been doing this a while.

                I would be extremely leery of burying it in the ground; that's where things rot. There are tannins there from leaves, and all sorts of other things that will discolor the skull permanently.

                Several treatments for whitening the skull have already been listed, so I'll not comment there, except to say that some animals that have a higer level of body fat (bears, for example) may discolor in the thicker parts of the skull. I have a grizzly skull from a bear I shot in the high Arctic about 15 years ago, and the back part of the skull near the Atlas vertebrae is all brownish. The rest of the skull is white."


                Hope it helps!

                -Mike

                Originally posted by Gunner1 View Post
                Hi guys
                I was wondering if anyone new of someone that cleans skulls for a Reasonable Price and does a good job. I was going to try to do it my self but would hate to wreck it. Thanks for your help. In the Anchorage area.
                Michael Strahan
                Site Owner
                Alaska Hunt Consultant
                1 (907) 229-4501

                Comment


                • #9
                  skulls and bones

                  Alot of the skull work is done on the Kenai by Kenny at "SKULLS AND BONES", He uses the beetles and how he keeps them trapped is in old huge Chest freezers. The beetles have trouble escaping these Chest freezers and Big Antlers fit even if you have to tip them around a bit. Kenny puts heavy weights on the lid, and a hasp lock , so it does not get opened unless he opens it, and has a small air vent in the top made with fine mesh screen.
                  When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

                  Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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                  • #10
                    So how do you get all the beetles off when you remove the skulls? Seems like that would be the time they'd hide in a little crack and escape?

                    Just curious.

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                    • #11
                      They all come off when you soak the skull in the whitenins solution or you can soak in water for a minute to get them all off.

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                      • #12
                        Getting rid of beetles

                        Originally posted by FarmerGrant View Post
                        So how do you get all the beetles off when you remove the skulls? Seems like that would be the time they'd hide in a little crack and escape?

                        Just curious.
                        Grant,

                        The link to the article I posted indicated that freezing or boiling will kill them. At that point, you may have to pick some of them out of the brain cavity and nasal area and other tight spots. After cleaning with beetles, it's common practice to degrease the skull (especially bears) and whiten them with bleach or something else.

                        -Mike
                        Michael Strahan
                        Site Owner
                        Alaska Hunt Consultant
                        1 (907) 229-4501

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          great info....

                          Thanks for posting it Mike.



                          fk
                          Proud to be an American!

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                          • #14
                            Dont use bleach, it will cause the skull to become chalky, go to a beauty supply store and get the strongest peroxide they have or can get. Do your own skulls is both rewarding and cheap, I got qouted over 3 hundred bucks to do a european mount for my first bou.

                            I've done lots of skulls, mostly hogs and Alligators. Fire ants are presently working on my Bou now. I have 100% peroxide and after the bugs are done the peroxide will eat the rest off as long as it's kept somewhat moist. Goodluck.

                            If you decide to use bleach just make sure its a weak solution.

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                            • #15
                              Anyone near Fairbanks

                              Did anyone ever find someone near Fairbanks that uses beetles to clean skulls? I am currently looking for someone in the area. thanks

                              Comment

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