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Does anybody have any experience with Joe from Mountain Creek Trading? I just wanted some feed back before I send mine out. Thanks!!
 

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JJ Hack in the Africa Forum is the best.

He does it himself and is part of this forum. He is a regular contributer in Bear Hunting Magazine, if fact he wrote a story there with instuctions how to do it yourself. I did one of mine, and it came out great. He also has a website where you can look at pictures of how it is done proffesionally. Get this...he uses beetles to clean the meat off first. I'm sure he would give you some tips.
 

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Skull Cleaning

Ant beds do a good job of cleaning skulls, then soak it in clorax. That's the way I do turtle shells, works great.
 

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JJHack: Now I'm worried! I have about 12 trophies from 12 to 1 year old all curred using boiling water, a 20 minute clorox soak, and enough sunlight to dry them well. So far all the bones are tight and seem solid enought. Can you tell me when they should start falling apart? 8)
 

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20 minutes of clorox is not very long, but it will never come out of the bone. The bone will get a chalky texture and maybe some parts will look as if they are peeling? It's hard to say. The Sun light does not Ruin the bone quality it shrinks the bones significantly when allowed to dry in the sun. The sun also increases the power to make the clorox work at the whitening process.

Boiling is horrible on animals that are not fully mature. It's OK to simmer a skull in near boiling water and scrape and peel the meat off as you can. It's just horrible to have a skull in a rolling boil for any length of time. The tooth sockets begin to shrink away and the teeth are loose and don't fit properly. Then the bone sutures start to seperate making the skull look as if it was several pieces not one big massive bone.

On older animals this is not as big a problem but Bears under 5 years old will show definate suture lines and seperation when boiled. The Zygomatic arches tend to peel and flake when boiled and certainly when exposed to clorox bleech. I suppose if these things don't seem to make sense you need to see what a skull looks like that was not boiled, bleached, or exposed to sun looks like to compare them. There is no comparison!

In a future issue of Bear hunting Magazine I have an article coming out telling how to age your bear by the condition of the skull and teeth. It will be a photo intensive article. You will see lots of high quality photo's of professionally finished skulls then.
 

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Well, I never actually boil the skulls, just bring them up to about 190 degrees or so until the meat falls off. That takes about 3 hours... sometimes longer. Then it's about 1/2 hour with dental pics cleaning up the exterior and interior. And then the clorox is mixed 50/50 with tap water. After drying in the sunlight until bright white, I spray the skull with fixer that's used to fix chalk drawings on paper... I think it's a light grade clear lacqur. And, sometimes some of the teeth have to be glued back in. Anyway, they look good, almost like the ones shown on this thread. One of these years a big blacky (600+ lbs) will come into the yard, big enough to spend a few bucks on, and then I may be more picky about preparing a real trophy. Until then I like the price (Free) I pay now. 8)
 
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