Clean Skull cap / horns

Submitted by Eric on 11/14/04 at 1:06 PM. ( ericroy@cox.net ) 68.3.98.48

I have an elk rack w/attached skull cap, cut off the bull I harvested this year, there was still the hair and skin attached to the skull cap between and around the horn base, a hunting buddy told me to put the cap-base in salt water for a month to clean it up, after 4 weeks there is just rubbery stinkin skin and hair left-no membrane,.. should I just cut all the hair away from the skull cap and keep soaking in salt, and/or is there some other "mix" to get the smell out and prepare this skull cap for mounting?
Thank-you

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salt water?

This response submitted by Raven on 11/14/04 at 1:57 PM. ( ) 24.150.199.145

Salt water is one of the most difficult ways to clean flesh. There are certain bacteria that can do it, primarily those naturally found in sea water. The salt you put in the water will keep most bacteria from reproducing enough to eat the flesh. Anyway - use water without salt if you want to remove the flesh that way.... or cut it all off with a scalpel and scrape it down well. Then soak it alcohol to kill all the bacteria and your smell will go away.

At this point because of the water thing you have to kill the bacteria in the bone. Sprinkling salt or borax on the top won't do it since the stink is down deep in the bone.


Just let the skull cap dry out......

This response submitted by Coyote on 11/15/04 at 10:45 AM. ( coyote@wideopenwest.com ) 69.14.89.168

Dry out. Then remove any hair remaining with a screw driver and knife. No need to soak it in anything.

Coyote


Humidity

This response submitted by Raven on 11/16/04 at 7:37 PM. ( ) 24.150.199.145

If it's just dried out - then during humid periods, the smell can come back as the bacteria start up again.

Coyote is right - once it's dry the smell will go away. If you are sure it will never get humid where it is displayed, then ya - you don't need to soak it in alcohol. If you are somewhere that gets those sticky summer days or the client ever moves to somewhere that does.. you can have a problem later.


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