what do i have to do to the skull for an antler mount of a deer. i heard that you can boil the skull but is that important. or can i do something else.
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1. Remove as much meat as you possibly can with a knife.
2. I have a big pot that I can STEAM in on low heat. I use the bottom to my pressure cooker (metal plate that has holes in it-if you don't have one of these turn a pie tin upside down and cut holes in it) in the bottom of a big pot. Put a couple cups of water in for steaming, place the skull on a (different) pie tin so the skull is not sitting in the water. Steam for about 20 minutes before checking it and removing any excess meat that you didn't get off before (remember HOT). LEAVE the nose cartilage alone, that will come off later! Repeat as needed to get as much off as you can. The reason I steam rather than boil or simmer, is the high heat from doing that can crack canines. Take something wire that you can make a hook out of (such as a coat hanger) and hook out the brains. Be careful not to go into the nose cavity from the back and damage the delicate bones in there.
3. After I've gotten as much meat and cartilage off the skull as I can I have a 10 gallon aquarium that I place the skull in hot tap water and keep the water warm with an aqarium heater on the highest setting.
4. Let the skull sit in the water for about a week, take it out and rinse off with warm water, a lot of the flesh will come off. You can use a brush to scrub a lot of it off at this point. If the nose cartilage hasn't fallen off by now, don't worry it will! Start watching for loose teeth at this point, some of them will fall into the bottom of the aquarium. Make sure you fish em out and keep em. Also watch for them to fall into the sink when you're cleaning, they're impossible to get out of a drain!
5. Place back in FRESH water and let sit for another week and repeat. By now 99.9% of the flesh should be gone, if not do it one more time, some skulls are more stubborn that others.
6. Once all the flesh, cartilage, etc has been removed place the skull in a peroxide bath. I just buy it from WalMart (3% solution) and let it sit for a few days to whiten. If you want to whiten overnight you can go to a beauty supply store and buy 40% peroxide (DONT get this stuff on your skin or in your eyes!).
7. Remove the skull, let it dry off for a day, replace all the teeth (that you've also cleaned) with a small amount of glue, let it dry for about 2-3 more days and you're done!
8. Email me if you have any more questions!
I use a small propane torch and burn the meat off. You can wire wheel the charred remains off to a clean skull. Boiling is a pain. Just make sure you do this step outside. It will smell like you are branding cattle.