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Skulls and Skeletons / Re: What animals are the most/least greasy?
« Last post by akeenz1 on Yesterday at 04:35:08 PM »
Seconding Sea Wolf with bears and pigs. If we're just talking skulls, I've noticed relatively little grease rise over 3+ years with my raccoon skulls. Not sure why as their pelts are notorious for being greasy, but I've noticed my raccoons tend to only accumulate grease in the area surrounding their occipital condyles and right where the ending opening of the nasal passage is. This is just my experience, though. I've yet to have noticeable grease rise from any opossums I've dealt with.

Two animals I've noticed (once again, just my experience) that are oddly greasy are deer and coyotes. It isn't obvious, but if you let them sit long enough, a lot of grease will rise to area just above their orbital bones (among other places, like the jaw, but this is just what I've noticed).

My vote ultimately goes to pigs, though. ;) Go a few years without degreasing one. The darn skull will be more grease than bone (disclaimer: this was hyperbole).
Skulls and Skeletons / Re: Ammonia vs Detergent. Ammonia is winning
« Last post by Sea Wolf on Yesterday at 04:34:07 PM »
What you just stated above shows that you care for the quality of your work. A good job takes time. How much? When it's done, it's done. There will always be those customers that don't really care if you do a good job or not. They are just going to stick it on the garage wall and be done with it. Next season they will forget about it and have another to do. To be honest, I prefer not to have someone tell me they just want a quick job done and get it back so they can show it off. Yeah, I can knock out a good looking deer in a day or two but what is the point if it looks nasty in a few months to a year or so. I want something to look as good going out the door as when the clients kids start getting their own trophies and the next generation wants work done. Taking the time to do it right the first time is the key. Might be done in a couple of weeks, might not. I make sure that customers understand this and I do not give back work early to get rid of someone that keeps calling and asking every week. I have even had them come in while I pull their skull, dry it a bit and show them greasy areas and they are happy to have it stay. I simmered a skull in soda, then soapy water, whitened it and took good pictures of it. It looked great. Now, 5 years later it looks like crap with grease coming to the surface. I use this as a demo to show what the quicky way ends up looking like.  I enjoy doing these and like seeing a well done piece go out the door knowing that the owner has a right to show it off and brag. Doing this sort of work can be tough when people want it back yesterday. Bubba down the road would boil it and it was fine. But when shown the Bubba skull and one done the slow way, it isn't a very big choice for them. They just have to get used to the wait time. For me, and a lot of others, it's not worth boiling and turning out a powdery skull when you are doing this for good money. The ammonia works and many times I switch around between ammonia, detergent and acetone. Each one hits grease differently and sometimes going from one to the other shakes things up a bit and gets it moving too. Heating the ammonia will also move more grease due to the heat alone. But in a shop environment, many are pressed for space and fumes like that in a shop can be very unhealthy .. as well as damaging. I soak horses in straight ammonia in a closed shed. Took a while to realize that the corrosion of the metal tools I had in there as well as the interior of the metal shed was due to the fumes from the ammonia.
Beginners / Re: Transporting frozen animals when moving?
« Last post by AliciaG on Yesterday at 04:26:03 PM »
If it's a full freezer, it will be fine.  It will keep itself cold with the frozen mass of the contents. Tape around the seal with packing tape to keep it shut, and keep it plugged in until you're pulling out of the driveway. The most important thing is DO NOT OPEN the freezer in transit. Plug it in as soon as you get to your destination and it will be fine. CA to TX isn't bad, maybe 2 days? I guarantee they will still be frozen when you get to Texas.
Skulls and Skeletons / Removing Ram Sheaths for the First Time
« Last post by akeenz1 on Yesterday at 04:18:33 PM »
Hello! This may be a bit long, but I've always been a long-winded person.

I've been a lurker here on a while and only got around to making an account (quite literally...days ago) because I wanted to buy something. Before that, I'd been browsing the forums and Google for answers to what I'm going to ask below, but none of the methods provided are possible for me OR I haven't had luck with.

A few facts:
I'm definitely an "amateur" collector and have been at this since just 2012. I've only done home tanning and skull-cleaning. All my skulls that I've processed myself have had the typical maceration + peroxide + fish tank heater degreasing. I've had excellent results with all of them. However, nothing has been too exotic. My experience has been limited to coyotes, bobcats, whitetails, hogs, raccoons, opossums, dogs (mostly skeletal/mummified remains I found in a ditch), etc. All in all, the things I've been doing, I've gotten good at because I've never had anything new thrown at me.

Until recently! An out-of-state online friend recently sent me the skull of a Barbados Blackbelly ram. Unfortunately, he was boiled (I can't blame her--she didn't know and took information from a misleading site that meant to say simmer). Super greasy now, destroyed nasal bones, cracked and broken teeth, a bit of discoloration on the horns, etc. Upon asking her if she had removed his horn sheaths, she had no idea what I was referring to, and I did found out that no, she didn't. I tried degreasing him for a bit, and the water immediately began to turn murky (and NOT greasy murky) overnight with a bit of a smell.

This guy's sheaths gotta come off...and I can't seem to do it. I've tried soaking them overnight to rehydrate the tissue, sticking a flathead screwdriver underneath, twisting, pulling, etc. Only one sheath will even so much as slightly budge. Keep in mind I'm a tiny ol' thing, so it may just be that I'm not exerting enough force to twist them off.

Methods unavailable to me are simmering (I don't have a larger enough pot nor means of keeping the temperature from further destroying the head/cracking the horns) or the few people I saw recommending unusual chemicals. There is one method I think may work--the "trashbag method'--but I'd like to hear from you professionals about the best way to maximize results if I go this route.

Or, hell, just what in general is the easiest. I just want to get this guy's horns popped off so I can see if I'll have any luck degreasing him despite being boiled and then seal the skull afterwards to try and stave off degradation.

This is him, in all his boiled, discolored, damaged glory (with some editing effects going on because I just had to post him to Instagram):

Wanted / Caracal Cat claws
« Last post by magicfeathers on Yesterday at 04:17:18 PM »
Looking for any caracal cat claws and their price range.
For Sale / Re: Life-size warthog and life-size axis
« Last post by RENUIRT on Yesterday at 04:15:30 PM »
..posting pics!

For Sale / Life-size warthog and life-size axis
« Last post by mikeblake on Yesterday at 04:09:32 PM »
Wildlife gallery wet tanned, life-size warthog,52" nose to base ,24" neck. Real nice skin. $200 Also wildlife gallery wet tanned life-size axis,60" nose to base,18" neck also nice skin $200. Both shipped price. Can text picture,360-791-5552
Beginners / Transporting frozen animals when moving?
« Last post by Cargophora on Yesterday at 03:34:17 PM »
So I'll be moving in April possibly (hopefully) back to Texas from my current residence in California. I have a 5 cu freezer chest filled with future projects but was wondering what is the safest way to transport them so they don't thaw?
Fill any open spaces with dry ice and drive as fast as I can?

Also if anyone happens to know of some nice taxidermy studios looking for apprentices in the Austin area...hehe 8)
Bird Taxidermy / Re: Reference Pic needed on Pheasant
« Last post by RichMO on Yesterday at 03:10:04 PM »
So far no pics??  So here is the next question....  Has anyone won a show with a bobcat and pheasant mount...  Pheasant on bobcat paw...?
I'm looking for pics of fully dried, degreased skulls that have not seen peroxide. I have a few whitetail deer skulls that are in this state and are not evenly colored (but not too bad either) and i was just wondering if its normal or if its maybe iron stains from blood?
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