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Unable to get horns to slip off OLD OLD Longhorn

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Jeni, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Jeni

    Jeni New Member

    I have a Longhorn skull that is off a cow that was really really old; I was told 27 years old. The cow finally died and it sat in a field for about 8 months minimum. When the customer brought it to me it had NO meat, hide or hair. It hardly had an odor. I've drilled holes in the back of the horns and funneled some water into them and let them sit bagged up. I've attempted every week to loosen them to no avail. This has been going on for months. My question is could they be legitimately fused together and impossible to get off? At what point do I throw in the towel? Since there is no odor would it be ok to leave them on? I honestly think the bugs in the field it layed in took care of everything. I've thought of funneling borax in the holes I drilled and filling them in. I'm at a loss. I want this beast out of my shop. :mad:
  2. sgsmith

    sgsmith Member

    I had the same problem with one , it had been out side a couple of years and never could get the cores off ended up leaving them on the skull and just repaired them by sanding and using modge podge to make them look good.
    Dale Loescher likes this.

  3. Jeni

    Jeni New Member

    I'm going to give it one more week and that's it. If it doesn't smell bad I'm leaving them on and calling it good.
  4. BrookeSFD16

    BrookeSFD16 Well-Known Member

    There was a thread not long ago on here by Wyatt Oakley. He got his off with ratchet straps. PM him or see if you can find the thread.

  5. Bad idea! You have to get the horns off.

    While you think It will be OK, odds are bugs have been all thru the skull and laid eggs. You send the skull home with the customer and the eggs will hatch in his house. Just because you shoot some water and a little borax in it doesn't mean you will get everything.

    The horns aren't coming loose because they sat in the field and dried out and locked down to the cores. A fresh set of horns can be VERY tough to break loose and a dry set even harder.

    You should have completely submerged the skull and horns in water for a week or more to rehydrate everything. Once you have it rehydrated then try to remove the horns.
    Mr Clean likes this.
  6. some horn sheaths actually do, in a way, fuse to the cores on old cattle. I have Shadowizms' skull and the sheaths will never come off, but of course, no bugs can ever get inside of the horns either.
  7. woakley144

    woakley144 Active Member


    Here is a link to the post I made about getting the longhorn sheaths of the cores.....

    Skulls and Skeletons : Topic was listed under - Longhorn core removal & {Finally mounted}

    If you can't find it let me know and I will post the pictures here for ya.
  8. Jeni

    Jeni New Member

    Found it! I had to do that about 12 years ago. I'mgoing to have to borrow my deers water trough to soak them in.
  9. They can fuse to the cores in away but they can come off.

    If you think that “no bugs can ever get inside of the horns” I feel sorry for your customers.
  10. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    So what would you do with a horn that can't come off, like a wildebeest?
  11. We all know that some horns do not come off due to the shape of the horns & cores.

    Some people give really bad advice like , leaving them on because no bugs can ever get inside. LMAO They Can and Will get inside. They will eat the horn while they are at it.
    Letting them dry out and fuse to the core is equivalent to mounting a raw cape and letting it dry and fuse to a form. Why tan a cape but not do anything to the horns?

    Wildebeest in most cases have been boiled, removing the tissue from inside the horns. Once the tissue has been removed it creates a void that still needs to be treated for potential bugs.
    The void also should be filled.
  12. BareBones11

    BareBones11 New Member

  13. cynpeterson

    cynpeterson Member

    Tried an oil filter wrench with a towel?
  14. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    this post was nearly a year and a half old. I would hope they found a solution along time ago
  15. cynpeterson

    cynpeterson Member

    I looked at the date of the last responce and not the first, my bad! Hopefully they did!
  16. Still no bugs in my longhorn, horns never came off. Luckily Shadowizm's skull isnt for a customer. He was a $10k+ bull that helped establish the longhorn breed that you see today. He was only 11 years old when he died of natural causes too. Here is a pic of him when he was still wet from an ammonia bath.
  17. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    JP, sorry. As Cole said, if it won't come off, what do you do. Wildebeest, Cape buffalo, muskox, 27 year old Longhorns? Back when we had DDT, we poured it around the casings. After setting a few days, we melted wax and arsenic soap was added and poured into the horn bases. Never had a bug issue. Today, I use permethrin. After it sets, I pour fiberglass resin in. How this "bug" issue became voodoo surprises me. If your client has bug issues, you can bet the hide will have been destroyed a helluva lot sooner than the horns will.
    I seriously doubt those horns will ever come out of the casing. Purifying meat creates it's own glue (remember old horses going to the glue factory?) I grow tired of being accused of "old school". Back then, we learned things you young guys never seem to have heard of. It's called ingenuity.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    woakley144 and Richard C like this.
  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    George, do you use permethrin only on horns or do you treat the hide with it too? Used to be arsenic got used on hides but no more. Borax seems to be the replacement for it but I also have liquid permethrin too.
  19. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I used permethrin on everything and I warned clients about the dangers to cats. I also told them that after one year, it would be their response utility to refresh the treatment.