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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lots of people have questions about doing skull mounts so I figured since I had 3 to do this morning I would take some pics.





The victim...the tools...my tools vary sometimes. I use scalpels just because I always have, sharp, quick change, disposable. I usually wear gloves and would suggest that you do but I was in a hurry. BE VERY CAREFUL...TAKE YOUR TIME...GETTING IN A HURRY MEANS GETTING CUT!





Here it is after the cuts and begining the skinning. I work my way down the sides on both sides and then work forward from the back to the chin.





Here it is after being skinned down to the jaw.





Victim de-skinned.





Then I take the scalpel and cut around where the jaw bone attaches to the skull, removing as much meat as possible. Then grab the bottom jaw and pull down as you push the top of skull away. This will separate the jaw from the skull. I try to trim as much as I can close to the skull at this time and leave it attached to the jaw.





This is how it appears from the bottom when jaw is removed.





Now the eye removal. First I cut around the eye socket/eyeball to separate it a bit. Then I use my finger to push the meat down as I work the scalpel between the bone and the meat/eyeball.





Here is the eye ball removed.





Here is the view from the back side after the eyes are removed.





I use a piece of rebar and hold the skull over a buck. I work the rebar in a pumping motion to kind of liquify the brain and shake as much out as possible. I usually go back and remove any large pieces of meat that are left and then wash off the skulls and antlers.





Here are the 3 skinned out skulls ready for the next step.





I put the skulls in a cooler and fill it with enough water to cover the skulls and in a week or 10 days I'll check them to see how they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hjorgan (1/24/2010)Yes please post the next steps



What chemicals do you use after the water soak?



Do you spray it with anything after it's done?


The water thing is kind of short maceration. I first did and still do because sometimes after I get them skinned out I don't have time for the simmer process so instead of letting them sit around and the meat getting hard to remove or refreezing them I just put them in water. After they sit in water the bacteria begins to break down the remaining tissue/meat making it much easier to remove. Usually most of it will spray of with a water hose. I never use a pressure washer because it could blow the little bones on the front of the skull across the yard and if you aren't careful it can cut into the bone. After I get as much meat of as possible with the hose then it is simmered which gets anything left off. I let them dry completely and see if they stink...if they do then I simmer them again and check the brain cavity good to make sure I didn't miss anything in there. If they are non-stinky then I whiten them with 20%-30% by volume peroxide from a beauty supply store. Wash them off good and let them dry. Seal them with satin acrylic and mount on a plaque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jason (1/24/2010)That looks purty good....I just did 1 and I boiled the whole skull w/ flesh and all. After about 3-4 hours the flesh peels off real easy then I boil the rest fer about 4-5 hours and the meat just falls off... The brain matter easily scrambles and falls out. I washed it off then soaked it in peroxide about the same dilution you used fer about 3-4 hours then let it dry in the sun.



Wheredo you getthe satin acrylic you talked about painting the skull with??? I used old english oil fer the horns and it looks good. I was going to have Ryan do my littlew un's 1st buck but Logan was getting impatient to throw it on the wall. When I get the plaque in, I'll post a pic....:letsdrink


I never simmer mine for more than 45 minutes. Sometimes boiling them for hours on end will weaken the bone structure...just my experience. The clear acrylic is just satin clear spray paint. Love to see a photo!

Here are some that I've done.











 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Marine Scout (1/24/2010)Very Interesting??? What do you do with the skin??


I have friend that has a farm and he just dumps it in one of his fields for the yotes to clean up. If you know a deer processor some times they will let you discard it in there garbage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Borty (1/24/2010)Thanks SW for pics and tips,just skinned mine and put in a bucket of water, hardest part for mewas breaking the lower jaw bone off


If you run a knife between the jaw bone and the skull, cutting the muscle there then sometimes the jaw bone will come loose much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
itsme (1/25/2010)
skullworks (1/24/2010)Peroxide will make it as white as you want.


So, you put peroxide in with the water or just water when boiling/simmering???How much peroxide do you use?


I don't put any peroxide in the water. After I get the skull clean. I allow it to dry and then put the skull in a rectangular tupperware container and fill it with peroxide to just below the antlers. Some of the skull will be out of the peroxide so I wrap the exposed part of the skull with a washcloth or rag which I keep wet with peroxide. Some people use a paste that they say works good but I haven't tried it. I might this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
horse sense (1/25/2010)Where do you get the wood plaques? And how do you attach the wood to the skull without it being seen. My son is in the process of doing one and I will have to help in finish with the wood and hanging on the wall.



Thanks for the info.


I get my panels from Ozark Woods from Arkansas. You can find them with a google search. I don't have the phone number handy. They make this panel in oak and walnut. Just ask them for their deer skull panel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Southernblood77 (1/26/2010)Thanks Skullworks! This is by far the most informative post I have ever read on here. I do have one question...how do you attache the skull to the plague? Also hw much do you charge to do them?


Just below the spinal opening the bone flattens out. I usually drill hole in it and in the plaque and just use a wood screw that is a little bigger than the hole to attach it to the panel.

When I do mounts I charge $125 with a panel and $100 without.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Bullshark (1/26/2010)It's not going that easy for me. I have the skull and jaw seperated but I let the head sit in my truck for a few days and the meat is as hard as a rock long story short I can't see the hole to put the rebar and I can't get the eyes out. If I just soak it would it be easier in a week or so?


Maybe...it is pretty hard to get it to rehydrate. You might try getting the water to a rolling boil or better just shy of that and add some Dawn dishwashing soap to it. Let it simmer for 45 or an hour and check it on occasion to see if it is softening up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
hosscat (1/26/2010)I normally just put mine in a metal trash can, screw the lid on, forget about it, come back in a few months, and Taadaa, all of the skin, hair, and gross stuff has fell off leaving only the bones.


My way isn't the only way. It is one of many ways. I have found this to be the easiest way for me after doing them for 12 years. I probably take more time than some because I don't do it for a living. It is just a sideline to help sponsor hunting stuff.:letsdrink
 
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