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Old 06-02-2017, 10:54 AM
Sakoluvr Sakoluvr is offline
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Default How to clean skulls

Here are a couple of bear skulls I just finished. I have cleaned deer skulls the same way.





Get as much meat off of the skull as you can. The more the better, but don't worry about every bit. No need to try and separate the jaw either. My season is in late fall early winter, so I store the head in the freezer after I get the meat off.

When the weather warms in the spring, get a 5 gallon bucket and dump the head in. Fill it with water. Unless you like flies and dislike your neighbors, put a lid on it. You don't want to do this in your shed or shop. Put it someplace outside.

After about a week or so, I drain off the water and see what I got. A lot of fat and grease/oil will float to the top of the water so that is why I like to drain on a regular basis.

About the 2nd or 3rd week, you should be able to slice off a lot more meat and separate the lower jaw. Some teeth will get loose so be careful draining the water. I put the teeth in a separate container. I also like to hit the skull with a hose. The brain will liquefy and flow right out.

After about the 3rd week, the worst of the smell is over. You can check it out every few days and hose it. Watch those teeth! The water will get cleaner and cleaner.

By the 4th week (if the weather is warm) the skull will have all the meat off. It will be dark in color. The bottom jaw may split apart at the suture. Don't worry about it

Dry the skull and jaw in the sun. Do not glue the teeth or jaw yet (if it split).

Buy some acetone. It is about $12.00 a gallon. Pour the acetone in the bucket or a suitable container that will cover the bone. If using a plastic bucket make sure the bottom says high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or the acetone might melt the plastic.

Put a tight lid on the acetone bath or it will evaporate pronto. Leave the skull in there at least a few days and longer if the bear is old. Deer skulls don't need much time.

Take the skull out and let it dry in the sun. You can reuse the acetone, so don't dump it!

When dry, start gluing the teeth back and whatever needs gluing. I like gel super glue because it dries clear. If you glued before the acetone bath the glue will dissolve.

Mix the 40 volume peroxide and the powder lightener. I don't like a paste. It's easier to apply runny wet. Get a paint brush and slather and wet it on. The powder will form a paste on the skull. Get it in the nose cavity so you cover the cartilage. Don't miss any nooks and crannies.

Wrap the skull in plastic wrap or a large zip lock. Let it set for 2 or 3 days.

Hose off the skull and let it set in the sun to dry. Done.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:20 PM
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Johnnie Johnnie is offline
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Dang, those look great.
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