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Big Lion skull I need advice please help...pic added

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by shawnc, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. shawnc

    shawnc New Member

    Hello. I'm not a taxidermist so I have some questions for you guys.
    I shot a big lion here in Utah and I cleaned all the muscle, eyes, and tounge off of it the best I could. I put a tape on it and it looks like if it dosn't shrink too much it will make the Boone and Crockett books.
    I have heard that you dont want to boil a cat skull because it will crack the teeth...is that true?
    Is there any one out there that will walk me through the process (cleaning, degreasing, whitening. I really dont want to screw this up.
    Thanks for any help
  2. hambone82

    hambone82 New Member

    that is a huge cat.

  3. hey there, your right you dont want to boil that skull, it will crack the teeth and possibly damage the bone itself. the best method for cleaning these sorts of things is to either get a good sized colony of beetles(money and time), or use maceration, which is my preferred method for cleaning larger nicer skulls. you can do either cold maceration, which will take a longer amount of time but you dont have to fiddle with it to much, or warm water maceration, by using an aquarium heater. since you already have it pretty well fleshed out(remove the brain also) i would suggest warm water maceration. its going to take alittle more time but you wont have to degrease as long and youll have a much nicer trophy that will last much longer. first and foremost remove the brain by inserting a flat tip srew driver or any other piece of long metal into the brain case and stirring it up, than run water in there, tip over and shake out. do this till no more brains are left(its not as bad as it sounds honost) than you can rig up a container large enough to submerse the lions head in and suspend an aquarium heater in there, ideally you want the water temp to be like 85-95 degrees. let it set for 2 weeks than check on it, it may be done this soon but more likely not, than continue to check on it every week after that until all flesh and tendons are gone. than youll want to degrease your prize, though the maceration should have helped alot with that. you can put the skull back into some water with the aquarium heater with a good amount of dawn dish soap mixed in(1 cup per gallon or so,give or take) and keep changin the water as it gets cloudy. repeat this till the water is no longer getting murky and cloudy. take it out, dry it off and give it a day or two and see if any grease has leaked out, if it has back into the bucket. you can also use ammonia for this, either straight or diluted, i personally think it works quicker but who likes those fumes and crap. when all grease is gone than you can put it into some BO or some other strong form of peroxide for 24-48 hours. remove and expose to heat, as heat is what makes the peroxide work its magic. in the end you should have a nice white cougar skull. you can also substitute the maceration for beetles if you wish, but degreasing and whitening will be the same procedure. hope that helped
  4. man thats a big local cat there dude....all I have done is bobcats, someone who has done some mountain lions should pipe in on this one. but i do agree on the do not boil, I would bug it or macerate it.
  5. thats why i piped in toxic lol
  6. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman $90 for your fur made into trapper hat or mitts!

    If you want to keep the B&C value of that cat DO NOT boil it, boiling causes some shrinking. Even tho I macerate all my skulls, a record skull should be bugged, send it to someone.
  7. I would be happy to bug it for you
  8. ndindy

    ndindy New Member

    I wouldn't use a potential record book animal as my first experiment. You start off with prairie dogs and other animals that it doesn't matter if you screw it up.
  9. Littlejoe1973

    Littlejoe1973 New Member

    Send it to me brother I'll treat you right. I hunt Redbones myself and heading for new mexico this week. Hope I get as lucky as you!
  10. I'd hate to run into that thing in the woods lol.
  11. My 2 cents - If you macerate - keep track of the teeth - don't dump them out in the "soup"
    Nice Cat !
  12. skullclnr

    skullclnr Active Member

    I would send it to some one but do a little research and if you can go see their work. Look closely at their finished products. Look for the nasal bones intact, no splitting on any of the seams and growth lines, white skulls without paint, see if the teeth are glued in and if they are try to see the glue, lots of epoxys will turn yellow in a few years. Ask what they seal with. Be picky, you dont want to leave your head with someone who doesn't know what they are doing just because they have bugs. There are WAY too many guys that have bugs shouldn't be touching a BC cat IMO.

    Longthetooth's description is right on if you are going to try yourself but like fcsuper just said KEEP TRACK OF THE TEETH, they are WAY to easy to dump down the drain ( and once they are gone your out of luck). Try not to expose the head to extremes in temperature, and do a search on sealing teeth on here before yo start if you try yourself.

  13. bulldog4949

    bulldog4949 "Mounting your Memories"

    Send it to Gobblingfever, he will clean it for free!
  14. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    Send it to someone! That cat is so kick @ss that you really should have it professionally done. Do the research too - check out some photos of finished skulls.
  15. I think Bulldog is on to something there.
    Imagine having that big cat on your website (commercial guys) and the fact that you were intrusted with it. Might be worth doing for free - just for the advertising potential.
  16. bulldog4949

    bulldog4949 "Mounting your Memories"

    I will beetle it for ya...then you you can finish it up.

    Let me know...pm me for more details if this interests you.
  17. Jeff.

    Jeff. New Member

    That thing is a big, bad boy!!! Nice going!
  18. The Head Shop

    The Head Shop New Member

    that cat is huge. my wife wants me to go get one now! i would suggest bringing it to someone with beetles b/c of the chance of making a mistake. make sure you do your research though, this is a great place to start. the guys/ladies on here have helped me with many things. congrats and good luck. and im not trying to get business we are too young of a company to chance a bc cat on:) i understand that. great cat man!
  19. bulldog4949

    bulldog4949 "Mounting your Memories"

    What does that cat measure? I just got a 15" cat (mt lion) and a huge wolverine I should get tomorrow.

    I am pumped, they are cool.
  20. DO NOT BOIL even MACERATION will cause that skull to shrink some . if you want the best possible score, bug that skull immediately and keep in a COOL and not OVERLY DRY place during the drying period. DO NOT WHITEN b4 you have the skull measured by b n c. that can be done later. good luck and congrats on a monster cat!!