Do Ram and Goat horns need to be boiled from skull plate

Submitted by Shawn on 4/12/01. ( )

I received a corsican ram and spanish goat for a shoulder mount. I have already caped them out, but was woundering if the horns needed to be boiled and separated from the skull plate.

Thanks for any info,


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This response submitted by Yes Man on 4/12/01. ( )



This response submitted by ratskinner on 4/12/01. ( )

Do not boil the horns to remove them from the cores. If you boil the horns, they may discolor, shrink badly, or crack later on. Soak the skull plate and bases of the horns until the tissue under the base of the horns is soft ( may take several days). Work a thin bladed knife under the horns all the way around the base. Soak some more. Let them rot a bit if you have to. Then grab a horn and pound it or throw it repeatedly against a stump or 6 X 6. You wont hurt the horn and it will pop off the core eventually. Saw off 2/3 of the cores and boil the skull plate. Let dry and bondo the horns back on to the cores. This is basic info. There was a good article in Breakthrough a few years back dealing with Dall sheep start to finish that is more detailed than this.

You CAN boil them

This response submitted by George on 4/12/01. ( )

That old wives tail continues. I've done aoudad, mouflon, all the wild sheep,longhorn steers, domestic sheep and goats and never had a problem PERIOD. They shouldn't be COOKED, just boiled long enough to have the cases slip off. Set aside for a few minutes, clip the cores while they're soft and slip the cases back on to the cores.
That being said, if you still insist on it might damage your horns, put them in a plastic bag and set them where you don't have to smell them or the maggots.

Never boil sheep horns

This response submitted by Jim Marsico on 4/12/01. ( )

If you boil sheep horns you will ruin them period. Follow ratskinners advise or you will be sorry you didn't.

Jim, I hate to differ

This response submitted by George on 4/12/01. ( )

I'm certainly aware of your qualifications, but either you don't know how to boil or I don't know what "ruin" is. I have two Dall sheep that are over 25 years old hanging in a game room that were boiled off and they ain't cracked, they ain't split, and they ain't black or brown, they're still the beautiful gold color they were when they came here.

I Got Letters

This response submitted by George on 4/13/01. ( )

Look folks, every time this comes up, I get letters telling me I'm full of crap. Aside from my digestive capacity not having anything to do with this, I wonder how many of you have actually tried this or are just parroting what you've "always been told". I don't do show work, but I've done between 15 and 20 of the big sheep over the years and I still haven't suffered the calamities I've been promised. That doesn't mean I'm right, but I'm sure not that lucky. If you have doubts, then do what ratskinner suggests. It works and it works great, but I'm always doing something else when sheep come in and I never get to them while they're fresh most times Once that epidermal layer dries, it's going to take a whole lot of rotting to remove them. And I'm one of those impatient people with a gasoline ass. I want them done and I want them done quick. I wait until I have 3 or 4 pair, get out the catfish cooker and the turkey fry pot and get the water boiling. I dip them in for about 10 minutes and then try to twist them off. If not, I repeat until they do with 10 minute intervals. Once they pop off, I let them cool a little, cut the cores, dump a hand full of DP down the cases, dump the excess out and then slide back over the core and leave them until I'm ready to mount. I've never had a problem, but you might. So do it the way you'd like, but as for me, I'm planning on continuing to push my luck until I'm proven wrong. (By the way, I NEVER boil pronghorns)


This response submitted by . on 4/16/01. ( )

If you have a microwave that's large enough! I never did ram horns but i do all my antelope that way. Put them in the micro and give them 20 second shots of the micro until you can twist and pull them off. Works for me!


This response submitted by Ramo on 4/19/01. ( )

THis last fall I did my first sheep. It was a Texas Dall, and I asked on here what to do. I got the same responses you did, "What ever you do, DON"T BOIL!", What ever you do, BOIL!" I figured I didn't want to ruin the horns, so I filled a trashcan up with water, and set the skull in there to rot. After a month of rotting, I took the nasty mess out of the trashcan, and pulled and cussed that animal, and the horns didn't budge. I then took a drill with a long bit, and drilled up into the cores, so the water could get up into the horns, I also took a thin knife, and went around the bases. Keep in mind while I was doing this, I was about to lose my lunch, because this thing stinks BAD. I then put the skull back in the water for another month (My cousin's mount, and he wasn't in a hurry) After another month, and It got even worse smelling, I took it out. I slammed it abgainst a stump, (Gross nasty stuff flying), I kicked it, I pulled for all I was worth, and guess what. It didn't budge. FInally I took it to my propane cooker, put it in a big pot, and got the water hot(not quite boiling), and they practically fell off, with hardly any pulling. Do what you want, but if I were you, I wouldn't let them rot and stink, I would just boil.

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