Well I thought I would maceration on some akull plates that sat around for a while before they came to me. Problem is- 1 set from the bach now absolutely wreaks. It is the antlers that smell.
1. why did this happen to one set of horns, and not the other two.
2. How do I get rid of the stink? Right now I have em un a room with a de-humidifier- hoping that will help.
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Put them back into the water for a few more weeks and then let them set out and bleach in the sun. Only rotting meat can produce a stench.
Ive seen bad typing and spelling, but this is like deciphering! I just read it to see what "sinking antlers" were, lol. Anywho, are they deer antlers? Perhaps the stench from the skulls simply absorbed into the antler material. Also, sometimes, but not often, antlers retain blood and then rot when handled in this way. Antlers are porous, dont forget. Take the smelly ones and drill up through the skull plate and into the antler, it might just drain over a couple days. Put it where it can drain, as itll stink (sink) pretty bad. Now you see why we dont do the antlers this way...just skulls.
Technically bacteria produces odour. Rotting meat DOES happen to house a whole lot of bacteria so the connection George made is certainly on the mark. Like Bill said, there can be blood etc in the antlers still - antlers ARE a type of bone - and bone has a lot going on in it. To get rid of your stink - ya gotta kill the bacteria. An anti bacterial application will help. You can use alcohol or acetone.. something that will wipe the bacteria out without discolouring the antlers (no peroxide for example). By drying the antlers out - youa re not necessarily killing the bacteria - they can remain dormant for a VERY long time so that if humidity rises or whatever.. the smell may return. Kill the bacteria - you kill the smell =)
Quick note about bacteria and odour... the odour is a by product of the bacterias biological processes. Human sweat for example has no odour. When that sweat makes a nice environment for bacteria to grow though.. ya get funky armpits or in your case - funky antlers. Don't provide an envirnonment for bacteria to grow in...
I have a poor keyboard and very little time in the day to sit down and type. As a result, I rush and end up with jibberish. The rack that stinks is a bow kill, possibly less "cured" than the two from later in the year. That may have something to do with it. Raven, you mentioned alcohol or acetone- wipe em down with it? Or emerse em? What about a mild solution of antibacterial dawn?
You gotta admit, that was some bad spelling there, hahaha. Glad you saw I was just having fun with you. I see early antlers all the time. Once they drain out those holes I described, theres usually no further trouble...or smell.
Do like Bill suggested.. drill em out from underneath to drain them.. then you can keep them inverted and pour acetone etc in from those holes.. it will move through the marrow and wipe out any nasties that may remain.
I neglected to mention that in my above post - but definately don't skip Bills step.. mine is sort of a follow up to his... not a replacement for.
With other bones when I'm doing a skull or skeletal display - I fully submerse them in something anti bacterial. If you use dish soap make sure it's clear otherwise the dyes in the soap can tint the antlers.