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European Mount Questions

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by cmill628, May 11, 2020.

  1. cmill628

    cmill628 New Member

    Collected a few skulls over the past few years from bucks found dead after the season. I've been kicking around the idea of cleaning them up and mounting them. A couple are already pretty clean and just need some brushing up, but the others have dry rotted skin on them. Would beetles or boiling be best for the job here? I've read a little bit about this and haven't seen anything that says whether or not the beetles will still work on dry rotted heads. Any tips and advice are welcome.
  2. Westcoast

    Westcoast Active Member

    Boiling would be easiest, there’s a million and one tutorials on it

  3. LostNewbie

    LostNewbie Member

    If it isn't too late already, do not boil the skulls. Just leave them in buckets filled with water in the sun for around a week or two. The flesh will rehydrate, and either fall off or be eaten away by bacteria. This makes skulls that do not degrade over time because excessive heat can change bone structure, so boiling is never a great method.
  4. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I took this deer head I found that still had dried skin attached and cleaned it up and sprayed it with insecticide and made a display. I get enough comments on it that I am going to try to mimic the look with tanned cape scraps.
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    As they are old and dried out, soak them in water that you have added some ammonia to. When the flesh/skin has re-hydrated give them to the beetles. Beetles are attracted to ammonia and will eat the old tissue. You can also try rotting them the rest of the way after soaking but you will probably have to add in a small piece of something fresh to get a good bacteria culture going. Do not just leave them in buckets of water in the sun. There is no such thing as cold water maceration and nothing productive will happen. Use a submersible fish tank heater to keep the water at 80 to 90 degrees 24/7 so the bacteria multiply and work on these.

    Your very last resort is to simmer (not boil) them clean. Yes, there are tutorials online, most of them will ruin your skulls. It is not as easy as some would have you think.
  6. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    A second I treated and euro mounted... AD0E049C-5D7C-4FE2-A200-4889490B8370.jpeg
    tem and ARUsher like this.