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Yak skulls

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by jbhunter86, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. I had a customer bring me 4 yak skulls to whiten and polish the horns. He wants to give them to his kids as gifts. The problem is 2 of them have been dead for probably 3 yrs or longer, and he just left them sitting out in his field. I cannot get the horns off! I have simmered for hours hoping the horns would eventually swell and pop off, but its just not happening. Does anyone have any other tricks to try? Common sense says that the horns need to come off the ensure they are properly cleaned. Is there a point where a horn is just stuck on and won't come off? Thanks
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If they have soaked for a long time, try banging on them with a rubber mallet to get them off. Hit hard around the bases and also hit out in the direction that the horn has to go. It's a shame he left them just sit out there. The horns will be damaged from the weather and may not polish up well either. If you can't get them off, just make sure the rest of the skull is really clean. After that length of time outside, material inside the horn will be pretty far gone by now.

  3. Thanks Sea Wolf, I have also been using the a mallet along with the simmering.
  4. greatbasin

    greatbasin Member

    I just did a dryed out ram and the horns took 4 months to get off. I soaked, simmered, and slid an knife with a 14in. blade up under the sheaths.
    I also gave up on 'em, threw the head in the yard for a few weeks, then with one last try they released...much to my amazment!
  5. lokireptiles

    lokireptiles Member

    I have also heard drilling a small hole in the horn to allow air / steam behind the dried stuff inside the horn and may help get it off. Put the hole on the back side or a less visible spot. It can be patched with a bit of dark epoxy or actual horn dust and glue.
  6. Bones N Beasts

    Bones N Beasts New Member

    On a stubborn long horn I did I strapped the skull down and hooked the horn to a tie down and just kept racheting it until it popped off. This was after a long hot soak and I had cut upside it the best I could.