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European mount


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Happy with time spent to clean this years deer up. Something on European mount I just like-simple.

A few more from “the fortress of solitude”   wild boar   Roe deer and a small boar   jackal     Warthog and eland    

I like mine too, but I draw the line at sleeping with them.

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I send mine out to a taxidermist who uses the domestid beetles. I have enough on my hands skinning, breaking down a deer, and processing, packaging, etc. I may try the boiling off method someday, but I like the results from the beetles. I have no desire to keep my own beetle colony. It’s not that easy, they die  off, require a certain temperature, and wherever you keep them smells like death. The cost here in Maine is generally $150-175 (My regular Taxidermist doesnt have beetles so sends skulls out so it may be cheaper to do directly o the beetle person) for a completely cleaned and whitened euro mount of a whitetail buck. I’m not sure how long it takes the beetles to clean a skull, but I typically get mine back in a year, much like a shoulder mount. I do know that some skulls are more greasy and require more time and work to get the clean white result. I had sent out two a few years back and got one back within a year but the other months later because it was a more greasy or oily skull. I  have tried burying skulls in the dirt/garden but the results aren’t that great and trying to bleach them white with peroxide paste, etc never works that well.


 

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I always heard that boiling wasn't good for the bone, so I've both soaked them in water to decompose which smells just like it sounds, or buried the skull leaving the antlers above grade. The burial was the easiest by far, but you have to protect the antlers from rodents. I never bleach them either, just spray paint them with Kilz or BIN white pigmented shellac. If you do them yourself you have to make sure you find all the teeth and glue them back in. 

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5 hours ago, Virgil Kane said:

Can I ask how you guys are doing these?  Are you boiling and peel flesh off then bleach/peroxide or are you using beetles?  And if your using beetles where are you getting them from?

I have done the boiling method and find it troublesome to do and along with that I find I loose a lot of detail.  The beetles sound much easier but how long does it take using them?  In the past I have put heads outside under wet cardboard in the summer and the bugs did a magnificent job of cleaning the skulls, problem is it takes all summer and if we have some extreme highs or lows it seems to kill the bugs doing the work and progress stops abruptly.

 

Virgil

The hardest part is skinning the head.  Oh, and digging the eyeballs out, cutting the tongue out... 

 

Then  I boil in Dawn Dish soap and nothing else.  When the bubbles die down add more.  Works great.  Then I use a big pair of Kelly Hemostats to rip out all the cartridge in the nose and a bent wire to get the brains out.  Little bit of work but using the Dawn I've never needed to bleach.  Kind liking the new fake ones though, I can't lie!

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How about the hair around the antlers?  I have a heck of a time getting that hair off.

 

Virgil

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Birdcountry70

For years I had a sweet deal with a neighbor who kept beetles. In exchange for the cape he would beetle and bleach the skull. I have quite a few and have never paid for one. Unfortunately last spring he was killed in an accident in his Polaris razor.  Last falls buck got the skull cap cut off with a saw. If I shoot a really big one I will probably boil it myself but I did that once long ago and I recall it was not a very enjoyable task.

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2 hours ago, Virgil Kane said:

How about the hair around the antlers?  I have a heck of a time getting that hair off.

 

Virgil

I just work off what I can with a knife after it’s boiled awhile. 

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I always have found that the head skins easy when done right away. Sharp knife / scalpel /razor and it comes off. There were times when I boiled it first and thought it was harder coming off. Like it cooked on. (For the little bit of hair around antler)

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Absolutely skin the head the day you cut up the deer if you can. I’ve never tried boiling the head hair and all first. 

 

I guess the the more I think about it the more work it is but I so rarely get a decent buck (read not a spike) that it’s sort of part of the celebration!  Actually my biggest buck is just an antler mount. 

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52 minutes ago, Tim Frazier said:

Absolutely skin the head the day you cut up the deer if you can. I’ve never tried boiling the head hair and all first. 

 

I guess the the more I think about it the more work it is but I so rarely get a decent buck (read not a spike) that it’s sort of part of the celebration!  Actually my biggest buck is just an antler mount. 

I have never tried the whole head boil with hair on either. (That actually sounds a little funny 😁)   Just the little bit around the antler . What I am finding works best is skin it while it is still pretty fresh kill. I like to hang a deer for at least a week . I have found if you skin the head at a week or more the hair comes off  harder .

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I wrap the antlers in masking tape to keep them from getting sun faded. Then I wire the head to an ant hill and let them go at it for a while. After everything is pretty much rotted off and the bugs have done their work, I use a power sprayer to get the vast majority of the remaining tissue off. Then I boil the skull in water and peroxide and scrape off any other bits. 

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 I find those things beyond hideous!!  Ugly with a capital U!   But then again, anyone who cares what I think needs to take a long hard look at themselves!! 

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14 hours ago, Virgil Kane said:

How about the hair around the antlers?  I have a heck of a time getting that hair off.

 

Virgil

Taxidermist that I know showed me to take a smaller flat screwdriver and then push the skin down and away from the antlers.

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7 hours ago, OldSarge said:

I wrap the antlers in masking tape to keep them from getting sun faded. Then I wire the head to an ant hill and let them go at it for a while. After everything is pretty much rotted off and the bugs have done their work, I use a power sprayer to get the vast majority of the remaining tissue off. Then I boil the skull in water and peroxide and scrape off any other bits. 

I’ve done a couple bucks that I’ve found dead on the farm that way.   With ones I’ve shot I worry some canine, or rodent, is going to damage them. Keep thinking I should make a wire cage for doing that but we’re talking maybe one deer every 2-3 years so I haven’t got around to it.  

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The antelope my son & I got this year. I did these by boiling, then 24 hr bleach with 40% peroxide hair bleach. Wrapped the skulls with paper towel soaked in peroxide then placed in plastic bag. Getting brain out is much easier, after I took an oscillating saw and cut 1” hole in back of skull.

 

 

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