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#7057342 - 01/29/18 02:37 PM Skull cleaning: need serious help!!!
diamond10x Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 157
Loc: Helotes, TX
So I have 2 deer heads that I need to clean. One is a mule deer from October and the other is a whitetail from mid December. I skinned them and hung them in a tree with the intentions of power washing and then boiling them within the same week I killed them and skinned them. Well I forgot about them and now they have all that hard dried rotted flesh stuck on them. My question now is how do I go about getting all that off?

I've heard I can mix a water with a bleach containing enzymes and let them sit in that for a day or 2? are there any ways to get them clean so I can hang these heads up in the house?
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#7057418 - 01/29/18 03:20 PM Re: Skull cleaning: need serious help!!! [Re: diamond10x]
D. Cavaretta Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 04/30/16
Posts: 221
Cut off horns, go with an artificial skull, get the kit at any taxidermy supplier, not worth the time and trouble to get them right at this point.
DC

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#7057494 - 01/29/18 04:07 PM Re: Skull cleaning: need serious help!!! [Re: diamond10x]
deerfever Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 07/21/07
Posts: 496
Loc: In the duck blind
Just set them in a bucket of water and rehydrate the flesh.you could even Leave them in the and let the skulls macerate. No bleach. It never stops whitening and it will turn the bone chalky.

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#7057548 - 01/29/18 04:42 PM Re: Skull cleaning: need serious help!!! [Re: deerfever]
Duck Buster Offline
Tracker

Registered: 01/09/12
Posts: 697
Loc: Yukon Delta, Alaska
Originally Posted By: deerfever
Just set them in a bucket of water and rehydrate the flesh.you could even Leave them in the and let the skulls macerate. No bleach. It never stops whitening and it will turn the bone chalky.


Depends on the time frame you want, and quality at the end.

If you want fast and easy, and don't mind a fake skull, go the fake skull route. I've only done 1 this way because my dog got a hold of my deer skull mid cleaning while I was taking a break and ate the face off. I personally don't think it looks as nice as the natural skulls- but is much less work.

If you're willing to spend some time and prep on them and want more natural looking, then choose an option:

1) Soak them for a couple days and re-hydrate the meat, but don't put the antlers in the water. Then continue with your original plans of powerwashing, but may need to do some extra re-hydrating or scraping. And don't forget about them while soaking again.... or it will turn to the point of (see next)

2) maceration. This works best if the water is kept warm with a tank heater. Put in a bucket/container of water (leaving antlers out of water) and leave it until everything rots off (which stinks, and you'll have to let it air out outside once finished because it'll stink too much to want to keep in house, which can take quite a while)

3) You can boil them (leaving antlers out of water), which helps rehydrate- then powerwash and scrape everything off. I would recommend rehydrating a couple days prior to boiling. I think it will make that process quicker.

4) leave it hanging where it is- everything will eventually fall off.

After any of the 4 above options:
to get it white: "bleach" it with a kit online or soak in hydrogen peroxide.


All is not lost, you just have a little more work and elbow grease required to do now that it has dried. But at least you skinned them- that would make your job MUCH more difficult if you hadn't. Good luck.

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#7058782 - 01/30/18 01:40 PM Re: Skull cleaning: need serious help!!! [Re: diamond10x]
Bulldog4949 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 2430
Loc: TX Panhandle
Put them in a bucket of water and let them rot. It will stink but it will get them clean.
It will work better if you can give them some heat of some sort at the same time.
_________________________
JB European Mounts
Professional Skull Cleaning
(806) 683-3739
jbeuropeanmounts@yahoo.com

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#7058815 - 01/30/18 01:58 PM Re: Skull cleaning: need serious help!!! [Re: diamond10x]
unclebubba Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 1767
Loc: Collin County, TX
Don't ever put bleach in them! It will weaken the bone. As stated above, put them in a big bucket of water and let them macerate. It will stink to high heaven, but it will get them clean. Once the flesh is all gone, soak them in some water with dish soap to help get some of the grease out. Then go to a beauty supply store and buy some hydrogen peroxide...The kind used to lighten hair, not the kind you clean a cut with. cover the skull with the Hydrogen peroxide and be very care full to keep this stuff off of the antlers, unless you want the antlers to be white too. Clean it all off and you are done.
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Originally Posted By: txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...

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#7058833 - 01/30/18 02:09 PM Re: Skull cleaning: need serious help!!! [Re: diamond10x]
Da' Hitman Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/23/17
Posts: 146
Loc: Fort Worth TX
Definitely don't cut em off for artificial skulls. The difference is way too obvious to me. Stick with the original skulls
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#7060576 - 01/31/18 03:26 PM Re: Skull cleaning: need serious help!!! [Re: diamond10x]
diamond10x Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 157
Loc: Helotes, TX
Thank y'all for the replies. I will definitely be going the natural way as I do not care for the fake skull look.
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