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Few elk skulls

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Major, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one


    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
  2. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    Been a good year for elk this year. This is the first batch finished up

    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire

  3. tem

    tem Well-Known Member

    yep. that will keep you busy. ;D have fun.
  4. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    Some people hate skull mounts! At $425 a pop on elk I don't mind them

    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
  5. eurosbyRT

    eurosbyRT Skull Designs

    I've got in 180+ so far, I hate elk
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    $425 .. ? Damn. That's a fair chunk of change sitting there.
  7. skullclnr

    skullclnr Active Member

    180+ r u kidding me?
  8. RJ skulls

    RJ skulls New Member

    Really 425 for just a european mount? Is that what most people charge? Around here it's a lot less I kinda wonder if I should be charging more
  9. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    We were at $395 last year and I went up this year. They are a lot of work to do them correctly. If they do not want a panel I knock off a little bit. Most elk come in with all the hide still on and are usually plenty ripe. I don't feel bad charging that.

    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
  10. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    It seems high but we get them done quickly and people are very happy with the final product. A clean, degreased and very white skull.

    Sent from my iPhone using Ohub Campfire
  11. gnatboy911

    gnatboy911 Member

    Major, I'd love to see some picture or a description of your setup and process. That's awesome that you can do that kind of volume that quickly. Nice work!
  12. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    Thanks! It's nothing special at all. I do my first boil with about 4 skulls at a time. Then clean, and simmer for 2-4 more hours in a clean degreasing bath (Dawn/tannery degreaser)

    Once they're totally clean, I soak in 37% peroxide for a very short amount of time. It's a strong bath, but works very well. You have to be very careful with this stuff, as it can make a mess in a hurry..... I'll use a little bit of the 2 part hair paste under pedicles if needed after I take them out of the whitening bath. I also give a quick neutralizing rinse after I take them out of the peroxide.
  13. Raphite01

    Raphite01 New Member

    Holy smokes, elk degreased in a few hours?

    I just finished a whitetail that took a good five months before grease spots stopped showing up after a few days. Most take significantly less than that, though.
  14. I charge $175 for a European elk. How do you get them degreased in such a short time? After maceration my elk skulls are in the ammonia/dawn bath @ 118-dergrees for weeks sometimes months to get the grease out?? Does the grease show up over time?

    Do you uses the same process for bear?
  15. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    If I had to do anything for "months" I would dang sure charge more than $175!! I have had great success doing it this way. Not saying it's the perfect way, but they sure turn out nice and clean. I have personal elk I did the identical way 8+ years ago, and still look the same. Yes, bears, cats, pronghorn, etc. take a little more time in the degreaser, but not much more than a few hours.
  16. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    You could almost hear the skull guys gasp when you used the "b" word Major! LOL!

    Amazing how much degreasing takes place in that initial boil.

    Nice job! Happy customers + big profit = win win!
  17. eurosbyRT

    eurosbyRT Skull Designs

    I wish I was Dog, I've got elk everywhere and now the deer are stacking up, its been a crazy year
  18. Orkman-X

    Orkman-X New Member

    Jared, as a hobbyist bone cleaner/collector... this just keeps confusing me.
    I never do deer/elk and the like and I never "b'-ed anything since everywhere I read that it will set grease in skull and probably damage bone.
    still almost all my taxidermy friends do some 'b'-ing and tbh when I look at the results, they look fine (I can't of course judge after a few years if they 'turn' at the customer's wall)

    when I look at the dirty jobs video on skulls unlimited (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R7eqMug-wo) in the first minute you see horse and bizon in a very hot tank, I assume it is at least simmering temperature since it hurts them touching the skulls. I'm also sure SU would not sport techniques hurting the quality of their customer's skulls. this seems to be part of their standard method for larger skulls so I think there must be more to the story than just saying anything higher than 50°C will hurt skulls which I read often.

    I hope to once understand this confusing information and perhaps the truth, being confused is confusing :)
  19. Duckslayr

    Duckslayr Active Member

    Acceptable methods for cleaning skulls are dependent on what you are trying to accomplish in my opinion. If you where servicing, say a museum or university, you would need to macerate or bug, and follow the lengthy degreasing process outlined in many of these threads. However, if cleaning for the hunter, as a taxidermist, which covers most if us on this forum, your goal is a satisfied customer with maximum profit. So, what does the customer want? A clean white skull in a timely manner at a fair price. Major is accomplishing that, and making more money than the "museum quality" guy will ever dream of. Many on here will criticize this method, but barring afore mentioned schools and museums, the guys paying the bill would be hard pressed to even notice the difference. I think a lot of guys take great pride in doing things to perfection, like the neighbor down the street who spends hours a week grooming his lawn. The rest of us are just fine with the company that zips across ours in 15 minutes with a zero turn and gets the job done. Take your pic, but guess which one is making money.
  20. Major

    Major New Mexico.....Not much different than the old one

    Jared, you couldn't have said it better. I would never claim that my way is the best, or even close to the best. However, the end result is a nice, white, clean skull that is presentable on any wall. To do any kind of volume, you have to be quick and efficient. I could not keep these elk laying around, waiting to be done. I have to jump on them right away and get them finished.

    That being said, we are extremely careful in the "boil" and keep the heat to a minimum, and in the boiler for the least amount of time. An "over-boiled" skull is a wreck, but done just right, they turn out great. I am sure that the beetle process is a great way to do them, just no where near feasible in my situation. It's no different than the Kro-tan, DP, Commercial tan, shop tan, etc argument. Whatever gives you the best results, maximizes your profits and produces the highest quality possible is the route you should take. I'm sure every mount that comes out of my shop could use another few hours of work on it, but, that's just not possible. We do the absolute best we can do, while still treating our business as a "business".