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Antlers stinking after degreasing

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by StickinEm, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. StickinEm

    StickinEm Member

    109
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    My degreaser is basically a large tub with a water heating element in it. I strategically fit my skulls in there in a way to get as many in as I can at a time. In doing this, some antlers are submerged more than others. I’ve noticed that some of the antlers will absorb this greasy concoction and STINK! It’s typically in the area of the beam where the G2 comes off or if there is some type of antler abnormality such as a “hole in the horn.” Anyway, I try to avoid submerging these types of vulnerable spots, but I always seem to get several each year that absorb the greasy water. My question is, are there any solutions to correcting this afterwards? I’ve found that drying for a period of time will help with the stink but not totally eliminate it. I just hate giving skulls back to people where I can still smell some of that stench.
     
  2. big dan

    big dan Member

    366
    7
    utah
    Krylon flat matte finish clear coat sealer works good for me
     

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Out of curiosity, are you hitting the antlers with this before putting in the degreaser? I normally change out the water often enough to prevent any grease buildup. Also circulating it so maybe that has something to do with it. I rarely ever have antlers that come up with an odor. Problem antlers have been one recently out of velvet or had the velvet removed.
     
  4. I’ve had this same problem. Not sure what the issue is but curious to get opinions.
     
  5. I had a similar problem. Elk antlers that smelled rotten after drying. Mine was caused by the antlers slipping into the maceration water. Way back in the archives I stumbled across a post suggesting Comet w/bleach (cream type). Apply with a rag and wrap with damp cloth to slow the drying time. Took two applications, worked like a charm. However, bleach has a reported tendency to weaken antlers. Use with caution.
     
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Sea Wolf, I'm with you. I learned very fast that the water should be changed regularly. Sitting in the flotsam will make anything putrid.
     
  7. big dan

    big dan Member

    366
    7
    utah
    I apply it after. I probably don't change the water as often as I should as I have at least 50 at a time mascerating so it's quite the job changing it every time. I change my water once a week.
     
  8. J7

    J7 Member

    At each water change I like to take a brush and hot soapy water and scrub the skull and antler bases then rinse with 120 degree tap water until the slimy/soapy layer comes off. Then I put them back into the tank with a fresh mix of dawn and water. I have left a couple in dirty water too long and have a few skulls with water lines and green marks on antlers but they dont stink. Changing the water sooner and scrubbing seems to help me.
     
  9. StickinEm

    StickinEm Member

    109
    2
    This is not macerated water. This is just a degreasing tank after the beetles have cleaned the skull. Water is changed every 3 days and I have 3 small circulating pumps in the tank. I usually have about 25 gallons of water in the tank.
     
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If, as you say, the antlers are sitting in a "greasy concoction" then something isn't right. The water should not be greasy and you shouldn't have grease sitting on top of the water. What are you using in the water?
     
  11. StickinEm

    StickinEm Member

    109
    2
    All I'm using is Dawn, heated to about 115. Maybe greasy conconction isn't accurate. The water is nasty after a few days of degreasing. I've run hundreds of deer through this process over the years and this only happens to a small percent. I'd say 5 or 6 out of 100.