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Boiling a skull, African style. #7732653 01/29/20 11:50 PM
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So, a good, young eyes, friend on here spotted a deer that'd been dead for quite a while that I'd been hoping to shoot, and my neighbor, more than likely, put an arrow, or some such, in to deliver a fatal, although suffering, blow. (Probably...no real tellin'.)

After I tie a stick/board to keep the antlers from dropping into the water, can I just boil the skull down, like I've see the trackers do in Zim/Moz, on a "Cajun cooker" (propane burner)?

If so, any estimate on time? Thanks in advance. up


...and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Gen. 1:28
Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7732750 01/30/20 01:40 AM
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You can, but it's a mess and takes a lot longer than you think (don't ask me how I know). It's not as simple as just boiling it. You have to boil it and use a knife, pick or whatever tool you want to remove all of the meat and tissue connecting it to the skull. A lot will come off pretty easily after boiling it, but there will still be a lot left you have to pick at.

I'll never do one myself again. I think you can have a taxidermist to it for about $75, they use African beetles to eat all of the meat/tissue away from the skull then boil/bleach them.

Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7732823 01/30/20 02:53 AM
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Got a fireant bed near by? If so, throw in on there and put a crate on top of it and weight it down. They can do a lot of the work for you.

Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7732831 01/30/20 03:01 AM
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You can boil it and then use a power washer to knock off all the skin and dried on tissue/meat. Done a lot this way over the years. Wear some good rain gear when doing it. Just have be careful to not use to high a pressure to keep from breaking up the bones on the skull. On fresh skulls I would take the skin, eyes, ears, etc off and then boil it for 1-3 hrs till the meat/tissue was really soft. Then power wash it clean. I would boil it again after it was clean to degrease them, some I just left them like they looked after power washing them.
You can also bury it with the only antlers out of the ground. Then cover over the top it with a large cattle tub or large wire basket/varmint cage with weight on it to keep the critters out of it. Takes a while( at least a month and probably even a couple of months) for the bugs to get all the dried on skin off. I then power washed it to clean it up. Might pre-soak it a day or so in a bucket of water to soften it before burying it to speed it up. I have buried a few and then power washed them off after a couple of months. The soil will stain the skull but I boiled them to clean them up in soapy water.
I am sure someone has done ones like yours that are found dead and will have a better way to do them.


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Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7732997 01/30/20 01:22 PM
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I would keep it at or below the 200 degree mark. A rolling boil makes the bones more brittle.


Originally Posted By: Chunky Monkey
Never been to a camping world. I prefer Dick's to be honest.
Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7733013 01/30/20 01:45 PM
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I prefer maceration over boiling. Yes, it takes MUCH longer, but you don't have to babysit it. I'll let the fire ants do their thing first like krmitchell, then soak in water for a month or two. Once it is clean, use hair bleach (hydrogen peroxide) to get it nice an white.


Originally Posted by txhuntingguide
If I choose to hunt in a coon tail hat, a pink tootoo and hip waders that is my fine...
Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7733377 01/30/20 06:59 PM
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I skin and cut out eyes teeth and ears and just put in a bucket full of water. The water wont hurt the horns. I will fill the bucket with boiling water a time or two and then just wait... it takes a while, but will be clean when done. Like said above then use peroxide to bleach white.

Also the long soak in water will leave most of the fat floating on the water, good degreaser. It takes a few weeks and can smell. If its summer time leave it in the sun and it can greatly reduce the soak time.


It's hell eatin em live
Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7733431 01/30/20 07:42 PM
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done it, once
I am all about DIY and can be a cheap bastard, but. yeah, I just pay now


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Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7733586 01/30/20 10:06 PM
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Boiled out several skulls at the house, as well as buried one. I live in the suburbs so it was interesting to be pressure washing skulls on my driveway while folks walking by. Also, nothing like pouring out the boil water full of bits and pieces down the storm sewer. Ahh the aroma is still in the nostrils.

Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7739036 02/06/20 01:17 PM
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Easiest way is to take it to Mike at McTaxidermy.


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Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Dave Davidson] #7746174 02/14/20 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Davidson
Easiest way is to take it to Mike at McTaxidermy.


I’ll second that.

Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7746871 02/15/20 03:28 PM
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It’s easy!!!! Simmer, not boil, the skull in a pot on a hot plate for about 30 hours. Everything but the brains and nasal tissue will literally fall off with a few shakes. The rest is easy to clean out with a straightened coat hanger. But peroxide at a beauty supply place and cover the skull but not antlers for a few days. Perfect and EASY.



By grace alone; through faith alone; in Christ alone!
Re: Boiling a skull, African style. [Re: Creekrunner] #7749692 02/19/20 12:40 AM
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I would second the recommendation NOT to boil...and I would HIGHLY recommend adding some Dawn dish washing detergent to break down the oils and fats that will be in the water. It speeds up the process and improves the process by getting the oils and fats out of the bone so that it stays white longer!!!! Just add a good squirt on the first batch to get an idea about how much to use....looks stupid to have it bubbling over.

I usually am not in a hurry so it takes three days. Day 1 I get it hot enough to cook all of the main meat off. I let it cool over night so I don't have to deal with pouring the hot water into the storm drains. Day 2 I focus on getting the brains out and clean the sinus cavity... don't rush it otherwise you will destroy the delicate bones. You will need to do some poking around the brain to remove it. I use a forester bit to enlarge the brain stem to make it go faster. Day 3 I get as much Dawn as I can and really try to get all of the oil and fat out of the bones. Typically I might mess with it 3 or 4 hours each night...but mostly it is run out on commercials and scrape a little meat off or add a little more water.

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