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boil, then macerate?

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Manderscheidt, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Manderscheidt

    Manderscheidt New Member

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    Forgive me if this is a stupid question.

    I live in Iowa where it obviously is too cold outside to macerate naturally until springtime. I would like to do some deer skulls in my garage, but I am naturally concerned about the smell. If I boil them and clean as much material off as possible by hand, could I still put them in a heated container and macerate them the rest of the way without too much smell? And if so, roughly how long would I be looking at if I kept the water at around 100 degrees?
     
  2. Maceration only needs 80° water. Your best bet would be to use a sealed container put into another container with insulation between the two. I use a old freezer and 5 gallon buckets with fish tank heaters. Hardly any smell untill I open it, but beware, it's a sticky smell, so be sure to open the one with the actual skull in it outside.
    Boiling is just never a good idea, it will cook the meat and delay decomposition time. Remove as much meat as you can by hand, including the eyes, tongue, and brain. Removing the brain will really help with odor.
     

  3. akvz

    akvz New Member

    Boiling can ruin the integrity of the bone, causing it to flake or crumble. Just do straight maceration, invest $30 in an aquarium heater from Wal-Mart and you should be good.

    At 100 degrees, in a 2 gallon bucket, it took 1 week for a bobcat skull to be cleaned, and a beaver skull in another bucket. This was without removing the eyes, brains, or tongue, and including the first several vertebrae of the neck. Currently, at ~80 degress, it's taken almost 2 weeks to clean an entire bobcat skeleton with fur and muscle still on the feet.
     
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If you are going to heat to 100, then trim most of the flesh off the bone, remove the brain and macerate it. It is never too cold outside to macerate. Insulate your container.

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  5. Manderscheidt

    Manderscheidt New Member

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    Thanks for the advice everyone, I will put it to good use!