What about a deer skull?

Submitted by Robyn on 3/24/00. ( )

I am a 1st year high school biology teacher and I would like to have as many specimens of things as possible to engage students. I have been "watching" as a dead deer in the woods near where I live has decayed(it was evidentally hit by a car). Its skull is fully off of the rest of the body and I think all the skin is gone from it, but I've been too nervous to get a close look. Would it be safe for me to retrieve the skull? If I do get it, what do I need to do to it to sanitize it and preserve it?

Return to Beginners Category Menu


This response submitted by jim marsico on 3/24/00. ( )

I think youd be better off to leave it there. When hunting season rolls around ask the local taxidermist or locker plant to save you some skulls and then get someone to clean them properly for you. That old skull will fall apart and have germs to the max, let the woods eat it.

Pick it up!Deer skull

This response submitted by sklmstr on 3/24/00. ( sklmstrq@skullman.com )

Pick up the skull use gloves if not cleaned, put it in a trash bag, bring it home if it stinks soak it in some peroxide and bleach and let it sit in the sun a couple of days, it will be ok then, and if it still has skinn on it let it rott off before soaking it, hope this helps, Skullmaster

watch out....

This response submitted by Mike on 3/24/00. ( mikieloo@statecom.net )

....don't mix peroxide and bleach indoors, tends to make clouds of steam. Don't breath fumes as they only last for a few seconds. I do agree that this is a good solution to use though as long as you use caution...Mike

I have never had a problem.

This response submitted by Todd B on 3/26/00. ( trigger@indy.net )

I have found many skulls in the woods like you mentioned. I have not
gotten any mysterious germ or disease. Do like the last 2 responses said
and use gloves and take it home and clean it up. If it has any remaing tissue
on it boil it for a short time in Sal Soda not to long and that will loosen
up any remaing flesh. Then go with the peroxide bleach method to whiten

Todd B


This response submitted by jim marsico on 3/27/00. ( )

I stand by advise; esp. to a layperson in taxidermy or skull boiling and bleaching.

Return to Beginners Category Menu