For many years I've been cutting off the antlers using a bone saw. With short incisions, this method is difficult though. I saw a technician at a DNR check station using a power saw that looked like a reciprocating saw, but had a bone saw blade that was about a foot long. I've also heard of taxidermists, who use a chisel to remove the antlers, which requires a very small incision. Please let me know if anybody has used these methods and the pros and cons. Also, does anybody know where to buy a power, bone saw or bone saw blade for a reciprocating saw? And how much do these cost? Thanks in advance for your help.
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I've been using a reciprocal saw for years; get blades at your
local hardware store!
I use a 12" blade with 6-8 tooth per inch; double cut, which
means the teeth are sharpened on both sides and they cut on
both the push and pull stroke.
These will cut even the heavy stuff-moose and elk.
usually get almost a year out of a blade at $6/$8 per blade.
A Dewalt Sawz-All. Will run you about $116.00. Some of the best money you'll ever spend! It's a knuckle saver.
with a PRUNING blade, 9 inches (for rough wood cutting or pruning). Very sharp and lasts near a year. This blade we use to also cut our personal deer (will literally cut down the center of back bone).
Don't know how we did without it before! Haven't touched the bone saw in years.....
I have used the "sawzall"by Craftsman (around $100)with great results.I usually use a blade for wood in the 10 inch length.I have recently bought a pruning saw blade for it to try ,glad someone else thinks that was a good idea.I saw down the back of the eye orbits so reallignment is almost foolproof.I'd rather cut out foam than try to fine tune bone.I make the level cut so that I start at the back of the head and end up at the back corner of the eye orbits .
I'm not a taxidermist but I do own a meat cutting shop--I do about 100 to 130 moose per year. I burnout at least 2 reciprocating saws a year because I use them to split the moose down the middle as well as cutting out the skull cap. The pruning blades I find are unsuitable because they are so flexible--cut wanders all over the place. I went to a plumbing supply store and found some very stiff 10 inch blades, teeth are kinda coarse about 6 to the inch. If I only had to do a few a year I would go to Home Depot and buy a Stanley Sharktooth hand saw--14 to 16 inch blade. Even if you are not saving the cape, skin the hide back from behind the ears down to below the eye orbits.
From what you have written it sounds like you are trying to cut the antlets off before skinning the head. I cant figure any other reason that you would mention the incision length when talking about cutting off antlers. Tube skin up to the head then cut it off, make an incision down the back of the neck large enough to access the entire back of the head and cut the antlers off after the skull is removed. If my assumption is correct you are causing a huge amount of work to save 2-3" of extra sewing. I must have a wire crossed somewhere because I cant imagine someone doing it that way? Also buy the recipricating saw(also called a saws all)you will find it useful in many other applications as well. A for using a chisel to remove antlers you might just as well beat them off with a hammer!