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Discussion Starter #1
I shot a nice 8 point buck last year. I want to clean the fur and skin off the antlers. I heard something about soaking them in bleach? If I use bleach, what should the mix consist of? Is their another way to clean them ? [/color]
 

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I had a buddy that burried one in the back yard for six months with the antlers sticking out of the ground. Looked pretty funny that way, but when he pulled it up, what little was left just wiped off.
 

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Got access to a pond or lake? The "JimboTechnique" is to tie a rope to an antler and chuck it into the water in early summer. When fall comes, pull it in. Then place it in the wife's flower bed in the front of the house and let the sun bleach it out. The nice part is that with the head under water, there is no offensive odors. Oh ya, don't pull it in to check on the progress... The smell is enough to make you YACK.
My buddy in Michigan, puts his heads behind his garage and covers them with old carpet. Those little beetles that museums use are native and come running to pick the skull clean.

Jim
 

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First, congrats on your success!!

I have done many European skull mounts and while I still enjoy a shoulder mount, I really like to skull mount those nice deer that do not warrant $400 in taxidermy work.

First, DO NOT use bleach. It is too hard on the bone and will yellow over time.

What I like to do is skin the head asap as it is easier to do before the hide gets taught. Then you can freeze the head if you like and thaw it later for completion.

When you get ready to finish the job, boil some water outside in a large pot and then reduce heat and "simmer" the meat off the head. I usually take it out a couple of times and whittle the meat off to help it clean faster. A taxidermy product called sal-soda can be added to the water and helps with the process.

Just keep cleaning away at it. You have to use a water nozzle to blast the cooked brains out. I use needle nose pliers, etc to gently clean the nasals, etc. If you don't get every bit of meat and other tissue removed, it will smell very bad. I usually let my finished skulls stay in my shop for a couple of weeks before they come into the house.

Once the skull is clean and ready to whiten, I like the whitening powder you can get on line from taxidermy suppliers. Enough to do several skulls usually runs me about $30. You can also submerge the skull in peroxide and set it in the sun, but be careful not to get the antler bases in peroxide or it will whiten them also.

Its basically a slow tedious process, so have some time and maybe a couple of "cold ones" in the fridge on Saturday. That's why I like to do it in the spring rather than during hunting season. If I have more than one to do, I would rather do this all at once.

Good Luck

Smoky
 

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The pond trick works, you only have to leave it under water for a couple of weeks in the summer. However the antlers are usually stained if the pond has a mud bottom. I've boiled skulls before and its a pain in the butt. The dermestid beetles work great, just skin the skull, pop out the eyes and throw it in a container of beetles and let them clean it. As far as whitening, use 40% peroxide (from a salon supply house), and bleaching agent (Vandyke's taxidermy), don't use bleach. Mix the peroxide and powdered bleaching agent into a slurry and paint on the cleaned skull, after 18-24 dust off the skull. This step can be repeated if neccessary.
 

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I take a 5 gallon bucket and make thick mud using good garden dirt and water, enough so that I can cover the skull. The enzymes and small creatures in the dirt will clean the skull very well but I do skin the head first..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys, great suggestions! I'll have to think for a while before I decide which one to try.
Thanks again!

Buckshooter
 

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A Buddy of mine's mom used to put cow heads out back near an ant den.
They will eat every bit of meat and skin of.
She painted them to sell as southwestern art.
 

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Partsman is right if you can find a Fire ant hill they work the best if you can find one close to a tree is best. Take some rope and tie it to the tree so the big animals can't take it off.
 

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The ant hill works pretty good if you don't have any varmints to ruin the plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey guys thanks for your replies,but here is the thing. I want to be able to do this in a half an hour or so.

Buckshooter
 

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I dont think theres any methad to do it in a half hour or so the only one i know of that is pretty quick is the boiling one my nephew did 1 a couple years ago and it to like 2to 3 times of boiling the head for quite awhile so i dont think there is one for your time frame i might be wrong though
 
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