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Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by bobaloo11, Dec 1, 2015.
just spit in it....loads of bacteria in the mouth
That thought crossed my mind. Also thought of swabbing my toilet bowl and toss the Q-Tip in the bucket.
Seems like you didn't trim it much so there is a lot of extra flesh to rot. What you need to do is put it in the bucket, go away and leave it alone. Stop pulling it out and disturbing it. The more you mess with it the longer it will take. Every time you pull it out and rinse it off you are making a lot of the bacteria start over. Look at the mountain lion skull thread that I did. When your skull is done, it will look like that. You don't need to be cutting any flesh off once you put it into the bucket. See if you can drop the temp to a little under 100. That way you will be avoiding what looks like hot spots. 109 is getting too high. You also don't want to be trimming the rotting flesh because cutting yourself while handling it will be generally very bad.
Well I've never rinsed it off and I was just pulling on the flesh and trying to cut it with a exacto knife, but it didn't cut easily so I didn't go any farther. I can only imagine the infection that could come from having a cut exposed to this bacteria. I always use gloves when messing with it and have never tried trimming it until today, and wont try it again, not worth it.
The temp is at 109 and as you know from a previous post my bucket heater isn't adjustable (preset at between 85 and 110deg. but I make sure that it is not touching the skull at all. I have another heater (aquarium) on it's way so that will be the next time I disturb the skull and then I'll leave it be until it's done... I hope.
I'll just let it be for a week or so more and check it then.
Someone on here used the term "Set it and forget it" .. try just ignoring it for about 5 days and take a look then.
The only reason I'll open the lid is to check the temp. Not going to worry about skull, just let it steep.
Last looked at the skull on the 11th, just checking the temp daily. I'm going to pull it out and check it on Saturday. That will make it 8 days. I will update with pics then.
Watch for black on the skull. You might also see the water and the surface of the inside of the bucket are black. No harm done as it is a different bacteria and the color comes out with peroxide. If you do see that though, change out half the water with clean warm water.
I'll check for that. Water is just very cloudy (and stinky) right now. BTW is the lower jaw supposed to split apart on a white tail skull?
A lot of animals will do that. Especially younger ones. I have had an occasional old bear or mountain lion not split but pretty much all the others do. The halves are easy to glue back together. I use Elmer's glue and hold the halves together with a rubber band. Set it onto the upper jaw while drying and position it so that the upper and lower teeth mesh correctly then let dry for a day or so.
I've seen others posts about lower jaws splitting, just wasn't sure if it included white tails. Thanks.
Well, as promised, my whitetail skull after an additional week soak and totally undisturbed, except for me checking water temp daily. I received a new heater today it's a 300 watt aquarium heater unfortunately, my mail carrier jammed it in my mailbox and broke it, so no new heater for now. Still using my bucket heater.
Below are some pics... the snout and front half of the pallet seem to be coming clean slowly. but it is an improvement over last weeks posting.
Now for the top:
Shortly after taking this pic, I noticed the bones on both sides of the nasal cavity were cracked and breaking off, but I assume these will just be needed to be glued back also.
The molars are a little loose but not falling out yet...
Lets see what next week brings....
P.S. should some of the water be changed out?
Maybe leave the water as is. Can't say that I can figure why it isn't clean. Normally a deer head is stripped clean in less than two weeks. The whole skull should be as clean as the nose area is on yours by now.
Gonna leave it alone for another week and check again. I will update then.
Thanks my mentor!
Easiest way I've found to drastically cut down on the smell and maceration time is to remove as much of the flesh by hand from the skull while it is fresh or you are prepping it as possible and I always remove the brain too, as mentioned before it drastically cuts down smell and grease. It's also very easy to do with a home made brain blaster that you can attach to your garden hose.
Here is for comparison a young male wolf skull that I fleshed out today
I'll probably still trim off that dried stuff on the front of the lower jaw but its more or less done. There is a whole lot less flesh to rot off and thus it's finished quicker and stinks A LOT less. I'll probably put in some tape water heated to about 30C or that's about 90F and in 2-3 days it should be fully clean and standing 5-6 feet from the bucket with the lid open you only get a faint whiff of smell.
I've also before taken some wolf and wolverine skulls that were prepped to this degree, and after a quick rinse in water to get some residual blood out, just put them straight into 35% industrial grade hydrogen peroxide and 24-30 hours later all the remaining meat was gone. It works great for getting rid of residual pieces of dried meat.
Ive done 50 deer this winter and they are all done within 5-6 days. My temps stay in the mid 80s-90 at the highest. Something you are doing is making this way harder than it should be. I dont change my water until the heads come out. I do 3-5 at a time. Put in on Saturday take it out next Saturday and its clean.
Still thinking that the initial water temp was too high. I macerate at around 80 degrees, not over 90 and even poorly fleshed deer are done in less than two weeks.
Life is a learning experience. This is my first time doing this. I've been learning as I go, that's why I joined this group. I have learned quite a bit from everyone on here and greatly appreciate all of it. I now know to clean most the meat off first and remove brain. I think my temp is a bit high, but it's what I could find at the time. Now that I have a better idea, next time things will hopefully go better for me.
Thanks again and will keep with the updates.
Hopefully it gets clean for you. Possibly the initial batch of bacteria got cooked and the meat changed a bit by too high a temp. If you can get the temp lower, maybe by removing some insulation, the rest of it will get as clean as the nose area. Nothing worse that cutting and scraping at nasty rotted bits.
No reason for updated pics... no change from last week! So I've made some changes, I got rid of the old heater and put my aquarium heater back in set at 90deg, but it's a small heater so I doubt the temp. will get that high. hopefully it can keep the temp high enough to be bacteria friendly.
I did notice that there is a hairline crack on the roof of the mouth running lengthwise. Maybe normal or from the skull sitting in warm water for about a month. Who knows. Gonna keep trying and see if this does the trick... we'll see what next week brings.