Removing flesh/meat from a deer skull.

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Andyd

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I have a Mule Deer skull, 3x3 with about a 16 inch spread. Id like to clean it up and keep the skull intact.
In the past I have buried them. but I did not like those results.
I did a search and I read to steam the skull for 20min then pick out the flesh. Then soak in warm water for a week. Repeating the process tell all meat is gone then scrub with hydrogen peroxide.
I have steamed it but that meat is no where near "done".
Any one have any suggestions?

Moderators feel free to move this thread if this in not the best place to post this kind of question.

Thanks
Andy
 

Black Hand

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Andy,
Simmer your skull in BIZ laundry additive. The enzymes will do a number on the meat and you'll be able to remove it fairly easily (check the progress occasionally). Beware that it will dissolve the cartilage that attaches the nasal bones, but they are easily reattached with a little superglue. It's worked like a charm on several skulls I've done.
 

BrownBear

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Best I've ever seen has been skulls that were cleaned by dermestid beetles. Dunno if there's someone in your area who as a colony, but I'd be surprised if not.

Google dermestid beetle and see what you learn. I know some of the folks even sell colony "kits" so you can do your own, but you'll need a warm place to do it where smell won't be an issue.

Here is the guy whose work I've seen. Sparkling skulls from him, but I bet there's someone closer to you.
 

Rick Son

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Bucket of warm water with corox bleach is what i have done,tape or cover the antlers so they don't bleach and i just sat it out by the barn for few days checking on it now and then,if it got stinky i changed the water and clorox,got as much off as i could then let sit outside.Took awhile but i was in no hurry.After it was good and clean an artist friend of mine antiqued it and painted sitting bull on it. :)

 

Andyd

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That turned out real nice. Thanks for posting a photo.
Yup Im guessing there is no quick way to do this.
 

Black Hand

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Having used bleach, I can tell you that the Biz will clean a skull in a few hours (vs. days with bleach) and there is no danger of bleaching the antlers themselves.
 

Wes/Tex

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Down here, it's easy to remove the skin and sit the skull on a fire-ant mound. Only problem is getting them off quick enough when it's done...they get kind'a possessive about what's on their pile! :haha:
 

mossie

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I never did this myself but I have heard that scrapping off as much as you can and staking it to a big ant hill works pretty good.
 

longshot47

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I've fleshed out a number of skulls by simply coating the antlers with Vasoline, wrapping them tightly in aluminum foil, and then hanging the skull on the south side of the woodshed until ready.
 

woodse guy

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Pick a day when you don't have anything to do and put the skull in a pot of water and boil it OUTSIDE. To help with the smell buy some beef bouillon to help with the smell. The problem with using bleach is it will after time it will turn the bone to powder and give it a yellow tint. We don't put anything on our skulls to seal them. A better choice in my opinion is to get some hair bleach from a beauty salon. If you have a deep enough pot the nasal bones usually don't fall off.
 

Andyd

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I have been working on it for two days. Low and slow.....I don't think I had the heat up high enough. I heard not to boil so I kept it low. Im not using any chemicals. Just water..But the beef bouillon thing. I was thinking about throwing in some salt and pepper a few bay leafs and big sprig of Rosemary. LOL Its all going good
Thanks for all the suggestions. :stir:
Andy
 

woodse guy

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We boil all of ours never have had a problem. The hair bleach will make it white. If you don't it will have a off white color. Call a taxidermists and see what they use to bleach the skulls with unless you don't care about the end color. I like the white really looks good if the rack is dark.
 

dant

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I did one a few years ago. Boiled the pi## out of it. Took it to the car wash, pressure washed. Then boiled some more. It finally came clean.
 

woodse guy

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Was it fresh? My brother did the last one after it was frozen for awhile. He said he would never do one that had been frozen again took forever to get every thing off.
 

Billnpatti

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Find an ant bed and carefully bury the deer head in the ant bed as much as you can. It doesn't have to be completely buried, just sort of stuck down in the bed. Be sure that you have it protected from dogs, coyotes, etc. so they don't drag it off. Let the ants do their work and they will have it cleaned off in a week or so. They do a pretty thorough job of it. There are also some kinds of beetles that will do the job, too but I don't know where to find them. I have always let ants do it for me.
 

Rick Son

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Look forward to seeing it,i'll look for that Biz stuff to,sounds good.
 

Rifleman1776

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BrownBear said:
Best I've ever seen has been skulls that were cleaned by dermestid beetles. Dunno if there's someone in your area who as a colony, but I'd be surprised if not.

Google dermestid beetle and see what you learn. I know some of the folks even sell colony "kits" so you can do your own, but you'll need a warm place to do it where smell won't be an issue.

Here is the guy whose work I've seen. Sparkling skulls from him, but I bet there's someone closer to you.

Quoting in case some missed this.
There is a business that does this and is quite well known for their work. I think they are ml'ers also.
Biggest problem I can see is shipping something like a skull with a big rack. :shocked2:
 

Black Hand

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Chief Moonthunder said:
...i'll look for that Biz stuff to,sounds good.
I've used it on year-old "mummified" deer heads and the dried-on flesh/skin pretty much falls of after simmering a while.
 

Andyd

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The skull is coming along fine. I still need to remove the "stuff" in the nasle cavity. And there is some flesh still in the brain cavity. I'm letting it dry out a bit. With the thought that I can break out some if the sinu stuff. I'm trying not to break anything. So I'm being very gentle. Ill post some photos later.
 

Wes/Tex

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survivor45 said:
I still need to remove the "stuff" in the nasle cavity. And there is some flesh still in the brain cavity.
Fire ants...I keep telling you guys, it's fire ants!! :wink: :haha:
 
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